Sky Bet League Two, Saturday 18th September 2021
When you’re on a poor run of form shipping goals like there’s no tomorrow, you need to really work hard to balance the scales and get the ship steady again. What doesn’t help is losing your best defender for the season, and having your two deadline day signings both out injured too!
That’s exactly the situation Clough finds himself in, Richard Nartey will be out for 6-8 weeks, whilst the yet to arrive Will Forrester won’t be available until October.
Add into the mix the only two other actually fit defenders having shockers, it could have been a nightmare afternoon as Rochdale came to town – as it was, both Rawson and Hewitt showed improvement – sadly, they passed the ‘I’m going to make a mistake’ bug onto Kellan Gordon!
His second half error led to Rochdale netting an easy goal, but Danny Johnson came from the bench to grab his second goal in as many games – earning a deserved point for the Stags.
At one point I did think Clough had forgotten what a substitution actually was, however when he did introduce Johnson and Stirk for Oates and Maris on 70 minutes, the Stags looked like they’d FINALLY found what they’d been missing and caused problems – intensified with four minutes to go when Charsley came on, I’d start with the team that finished next weekend, apart from Stirk, who is a real asset to bring on from the bench rather than a starter.
Rawson out of the two defenders really showed what he can do, going in with strong tackles early to stamp authority on a hungry Rochdale attack, I was pleased with him, but more pleased with Bowery, playing on the left side of a front three – I thought he was excellent, I’d love to see what he, Quinn and McLaughlin could do…. Shame we’ll have at least four more games to wait for that with Quinn suspended!
There’s not much more to say to be honest about yesterday, the rot was stopped, a point was earned and a base set – we are where we are with injuries at the back, we can’t do too much about it, so let’s crack on and focus on staying tight, making as few mistakes as possible and moving onto the next rung of the ladder – a cleansheet, followed by a win!
STAGS: Bishop, Gordon, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rawson, O. Clarke, Bowery, Maris (Stirk 70’), Hawkins, Oates (Johnson 70’), Lapslie (Charsley 86’) UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Burke, Sinclair, Law
Attendance: 4,336 (318)
If you enjoy the Mansfield Matters Podcast, our Blog page is very similar - just in article form as team members share their views on matches and events!
Fancy submitting an article, DM us on Facebook/Twitter to get our attention, or email firstname.lastname@example.org (please note, this inbox isn't monitored often so it may take a while to get back to you)
Please read the disclaimer on the home page.