Sky Bet League Two | Saturday 8th May 2021 – Vale Park [Behind Closed Doors]
…MORE! No, we’re not rewriting Oliver Twist, more is exactly what we want from the Mansfield Town who turned up and turned over Port Vale 3-0 yesterday, as the 2020-21 League Two season, came to a close.
The Stags put in the display that we’ve been begging for all season, slick football, good movement, pacey pressing, decent set plays and three well taken goals – typically though it should have been double figures for the second game running, but on the Brightside – no mistakes!
The performance certainly wet the appetite for next season with Clough going after eight targets, including Stephen Quinn. Clough also mentioned Pardington on a potential loan from Wolves again, I imagine as third choice keeper (Clough mentioned when he arrived that he likes to have three) but I don’t think the twenty year old will be part of the “top eight”.
I felt he played well and would be happy with his as third keeper, he didn’t have a lot to do but looked competent in commanding his area and collecting routine crosses – I’m glad, for him as much as us, that we got to see him start and given the chance to irradiate the memory of his substitute appearance against Salford.
Clough hinted in his post-match interview that the retained list would be out next week, with the players already knowing their future, three players started (excluding the on loan Pardington & Quinn) who are out of contract, James Clarke, Ryan Sweeney and Jordan Bowery – I hope both Clarke and Sweeney have been offered extensions (along with Stone, who was on the bench), Bowery, OK if he stays great, but I don’t see him being a regular starter so if there’s other offers for him, let him go.
Clarke was brilliant at right back and like I’ve said on the Podcast time and time again, should have been involved more this season – hopefully he’s done enough in training to impress Clough, because if I had to rank our right back options, he comes above Corey O’Keeffe who hasn’t been on the scene pretty much since Clough arrived.
As for the others, youngsters Keaton Ward and Jaden Charles, Ward could offer us some back up in midfield, perhaps a year with a little loan deal to develop early doors may work – whilst Charles, I’ve not really seen enough to make a fair judgement and there are better options out there to be a real first team contender, and Clough has already said he wants experience.
A good performance to round off the season, I can’t quite believe we’ve done a whole season on the sofa! Cross everything that next season we can return and watch a performance like yesterday on a more consistent basis.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Jamie Pardington | James Clarke, James Perch, Ryan Sweeney, Stephen McLaughlin (Jaden Charles 82) | George Maris (Keaton Ward 82), Ollie Clarke © (Harry Charsley 75), Stephen Quinn (Jason Law 51), George Lapslie | Jordan Bowery (Jamie Reid 75), Tyrese Sinclair UNUSED SUBS: Aidan Stone, Kellan Gordon
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