The Beast from the East left a freezing chill across the country last week, but as snow fell and temperatures dropped – the Mansfield public were left short of breath in bewilderment as Steve Evans resigned with full intention of taking up the vacant managerial post at League One Peterborough United.
It was far from a posh and pleasant move from Evans who rode into Mansfield 15 months previously in a blaze of publicity, promising to turn Mansfield Town into champions, but ultimately allowed his ego to get in the way of real progress as week upon week he singled out a minority of supporters and focused on playing verbal tennis rather than the football.
Results were improving and to be fair, after a stuttered start, Evans had began to find some rhythm – yet still there was always a sense of distance between the nine-time promotion winner and the club faithful, this is something which, now he’s jumped ship, I’ll admit worried me.
Very rarely would Evans be seen applauding the fans after a game home or away, unless of course it was a win in a big game – I also know too from credible sources that the now Peterborough manager was very reluctant to agree to take part in the annual supporters forum, which he cancelled.
Regardless of all of that, Evans left the club in the critical time it needed a leader, seriously jeopardising project promotion – the club’s supporters are lucky that deep down, the Radford’s had a plan for a wee cheeky sneaky move from the Scotsman – and what a move, a masterstroke in poaching David Flitcroft from Swindon.
Flitcroft has achieved promotion from this division before and upon meeting his at last Thursday’s press conference, I got the impression that the missing community feel between management/ players and the supporters had been found.
I was proved right on Sunday when Flitcroft, staff and players brought along their shovels and joined supporters in clearing the snow covered pitch ahead of tomorrow night’s showdown with checkatrade trophy finalists and play-off rivals Lincoln City.
Straight away Flitcroft getting stuck in creates a bond, a lust to support which is pivotal at this stage as there are only twelve league games to go before the full time whistle blows on the 2017-18 campaign – something which in all the drama of the last week, you’d be forgiven for overlooking.
When a manager quits in such a manner on with the sands of time running thin on the season, panic sets in, however a swift appointment has given Flitcroft nearly a week to train with the players and get his feet under the table – couple that with the fact we’re at home tomorrow night for his first game rather than be away (Stevenage having been postponed at the weekend) and add on the togetherness bond, it may just be enough to give us that extra energy and push going into the final twelve games.
That Scottish fella is a thing of the past, and no matter how many articles try and stir the pot we have to 10000000% back Flitcroft’s appointment and HIS team – from now on, it’s HIS team selection, HIS training methods, HIS style of play and HIS guidance through the wild wilderness which is league two.
The new Stags boss inherits Evans’ staff but straight away, even before the ink was dry on his contract, they were working for Flitcroft – clearing a training area for the work to start straight away, once again highlighting that we are in this for Mansfield Town Football Club and not for egos and personal records.
I’m delighted that Lee Taylor has stayed – his work often goes unnoticed and unrecognised, yet it’s no coincidence that the likes of Danny Rose, Alex MacDonald and CJ Hamilton have all be re-born since his arrival – Adam Murray used to talk about (and get wrongly mocked) the missing percentages, those little 1 or 2% extras which win games – and that’s exactly what Taylor brings to the party.
Swindon’s fan base are naturally disappointed with Flitcroft’s switch which ironically is pretty similar to what that Scottish fella did to us – the difference is we’ve done it professionally in the best interest of both clubs – aka we’ve got a manager who I sense has been a target of the Radford’s for a long time, and Swindon have a very decent compensation package, allowing them to address some issues their fans are choosing to ignore.
Lincoln City may well be dreaming to Wembley success, but they’ll also be focussed on progression in Sky Bet League two – four points outside the play-offs with a game in hand on Swindon – they will not roll over and give Flitcroft the traditional easy early ride, there’s no time for honeymoons here, it’s all hands to the pump.
Naturally changes will be made, certain players will be better suited to the way in which the new manager wants to play and certain players may have taken the opportunity to come out of their shell and give that extra 10% which could prove the difference.
This time a week a go there was a sense of unease with the rumour mill in full swing but what followed, few actually believed would happen until the end of the season – and yet it did and once more Mansfield Town Football Club have come through the other side of the water, together as one.
What was it John Radford said? No Individual is bigger than Mansfield Town Football Club – well now, I don’t think we have anyone that fits that bill, just a manager, players and supporters all wanting one single thing, promotion.
Get yourself to the One Call Stadium tomorrow – make as much noise as possible, the sands of time on this season may well be running thin – but they are still flowing, and three points would be the perfect way to start second beginnings.
Mark Plumb Writes...
Mansfield Town suffered a heavy 3-1 defeat at the hands of Swindon Town at Field Mill. The first half started with both teams having plenty of the ball in the early exchanges but it was the away side who took the lead in just 4 minutes when, from a free kick the ball got whipped in for Linganzi who was their to convert from close range.
Disappointing start for the Stags, who should have dealt better with the marking from the free kick. As the half wore on Mansfield were huffin and puffin and created a good chance from Spencer shot, which was well saved the Swindon keeper. It was difficult to pick any stand out performers for us but I felt Butcher did well to intercept a few passes and made a few good tackles, coming back deep.
Mellis also had plenty of the ball but not being able to create anything in good positions. Swindon doubled their lead courtesy of Goddard who finished off from a good attacking move from the away side to make it 2-0. Changes had to be made from a disappointing performance from our perspective. It came with Angol replacing Spencer and Sterling James coming on for Atkinson. It was to get much worse for the Stags as the half wore on with Swindon dominating possession and looking threatening every time going forward. Adding salt to the wounds the away side were awarded a penalty when Pearce looked to have draw the foul. Up stepped Norris to slot home and kill the game off 3-0.
The game was crying out for a Jamie Maguire type player to get stuck in and a leader of the pitch to install some passion and belief. We got a constellation goal from Rose who did well to direct his shot past the keeper making it 3-1.
Full time whistle blew and the Stags were put out of their misery. For me the frustration of it is we know we have the players and have a good squad but it means nothing if you don’t play with pride or passion, which I feel is something that lot of players lack in today’s game. Credit to Swindon they played good football and were well organised.
As a supporter all we ask from our team is for them to give it their all and to want to wear the shirt with pride, getting our money’s worth. I felt today we should have had a reaction from the disappointing result against Colchester a week before, hoping that result would just a bad at the office. Even though it is still a new squad, some of the players need to really step up their game and prove their worth.
It is all well and good doing it in league one and championship but league 2 is a tougher league where you have to get stuck in and show some ruthlessness. Onwards and upwards for away trip to Barnet. Up the stags !!!!
Mark Plumb writes....
Mansfield Town continued the league 2 campaign with their first away win of the season, courtesy of Danny Rose. Their was 3 changes made to the line up with Paul Digby, Hayden White and Alfie Potter coming into the side replacing Jacob Mellis, Rhys Bennett and Joel Byrom respectively.
The first half wasn't much to shout about from our perspective, with Lincoln having the lion share of possession and restricting us from playing. Throughout the half and the whole match the defence looked a solid unit, along with Logan who was impressive again.
Neither side looked likely to score, with both keepers having a relatively easy first half not being tested at it. The only stand out performers in the first half for me was Mirfin and Pearce continuing their impressive partnership in the centre of defence. First half whistle blew with the scoring being level at the break. For me it was disappointing, Lincoln were organised and make it difficult for us to get a foot hold in the game. It was way to flat in my opinion and changes needed to be made.
The second half started with the Stags attacking from the blocks straight away with over 1,459 Mansfield fans backing Steve Evans men throughout the game, chanting for DANNY DANNY ROSE. We got our wish on the hour mark when the fans favourite came on to replace Hemmings, who was ineffective throughout the game. Rose came on to nick a goal and he did just that when Hayden Whites run down the wing, crossed ball into the area fell nicely for Rose who jumped up well to meet the ball making it 1-0 Mansfield.
Two more changes were made to the Stags with Anderson and Atkinson coming on to protect the Stags lead for Angol and Macdonald. Lincoln made changes of their own with Josh Ginnely coming on almost making an impact with a turn to unleash a shot towards Logan's near post, that was well saved by the Stags number one, who was looking solid throughout.
Their was a number of good performances from the likes of Hunt, White, Rose, Mirfin, Logan and Digby to name a few for an impressive performance. As soon as we went in front Danny Cowleys side struggled to get back in the game with the Stags restricting them from going in front, despite them having majority of the possession. The full time whistle blew and it was 1-0 to the Stags a much deserved/ needed win in my opinion.
The positives was we came away with the 3 points, clean sheet and continuing our unbeaten run. Their is hardly any negatives that concerns me, as a lot of teams will find it tough to come to Sincil Bank, which many teams find it hard to get a result. On to the next one at home to Cambridge. UP THE STAGS !
Mark Plumb Writes...
Mansfield Town continued their league 2 campaign with a scrappy 0-0 draw at the hands of Wycombe Wanderes on a miserable wet night at Field Mill. The team was unchanged that beat Grimsby convincingly heading into the game, which for me was spot on.
The first half started with the Stags creating chances earlier on from Lee Angol whose first time shot was well saved by Scott Brown who did well to keep the effort out. In the first 15 minutes we played some good football in the early exchanges showing signs that we would be the most likely to score. Wycombe stood up well to the challenge making life hard for our front men to have much of an impact on the game, out muscling and being organised when called upon under pressure.
Dan Scarr must have thought he put his side in front when his header looked certain to end up in the back of the net only for Logan to pull out an impressive save from close range. That was only one of his saves to keep out the Chairboys. Wycombe kept on pressing us high up the pitch, with Mansfield struggling to get a foot hold in the game in my opinion, especially in the midfield area.
Once again Scarr found himself on the end of another header towards the stags goal, again being kept out with Logan heading away from goal to somehow keep it out. Even though the conditions did play a part throughout the match it was frustrating us not being able to play our usual game, as we have been doing a lot so far this season.
This time it was Marcus Bean who fancied his chance with a shot for outside the box, which Logan could only parry out to Makii Smith whose shot was well kept out from point blank range from the former Rochdale man. So far this season he has been criticised for his performances thus far, including myself in previous blogs but if it wasn't for his saves we could have easily have gone on to lose the game by 4-0 with the chances they created. Logan if your reading this hats off to you.
The half time whistle blew with the scores at 0-0 with the rain not letting up any time soon. Overall assessment for me in the first half was disappointing after the first 15 minutes of the game with Mansfield not doing enough on the ball and making the most out of the chances we had in the early periods of the match. The second half began with Atkinson and Anderson replacing Macdonald and Mellis respectively. Much of the second half was very scrappy with both teams getting into some crunching tackles and the ball being played to much in the air for me.
We had a good chance to break the deadlock when Hemmings crossed into the box was screaming for the ball to be put away, with Rhys Bennett being inches away from connecting with the ball. Alfie Potter was introduced coming on for Butcher, who put an average performance at best not having made much of an impact since his promising debut against Carlisle.
In the last 10 minutes Wycombe were mounting on the pressure, taking advantage of our sloppy play by giving the ball away inviting them to attack us. The rest of the half was nothing to shout about with the only other chance coming from the Stags was Hemmings who shot was miss timed completely giving Wycombe the chance to clear their lines. Full time whistle blew giving Mansfield 4 points in the space of 3 days.
The positives from the game was we kept a clean sheet, looking solid at the back and their were no injuries. On another day we could have easily have lost the game by at least 4 goals if not for Logan pulling the saves out of the bag. Their were standout performances from Logan, Hunt, Mirfin and Pearce to name a few that have done enough for me to keep their place in the team against Lincoln come Saturday. The negatives was not taking advantage of the chances we had and being dispossessed far to easily for me, not being able to get a foot hold in the match. On to Lincoln Saturday which will be a good test for the team. Onwards and upwards UP THE STAGS !!!!!
Mark Plumb writes...
Mansfield Town continued their league 2 campaign against Carlisle finishing one a piece. Their was no changes made to the starting line up, which for me was surprising Logan kept his place in goal with some costly errors in previous games.
The first half was end to end with the Stags playing some good football, coping well with the long ball/ throw ins into the box testing our defence that looked solid throughout.
Against the run of play Carlisle went ahead, when the Stags corner got cleared straight to the away side, who played the ball up field to Hope, left Benning for dead to run up and slot past Logan to make it 1-0 Carlisle.
Their is no doubting how good our defence are but just looked all over the place, as the Cumbrians broke clear leaving Logan with no chance. As the half wore on the home side was pilling on the pressure with their direct approach with long balls into the box, making life difficult for Steve Evans men pressing for the second goal.
The frustration of it was seeing Logan being reluctant to come off his line to claim the ball, making life easier for the defence, leaving them to head clear. Keith Curles side came close, when Hope again was their to see his headed effort crash against the crossbar with the keeper rooted to his spot.
Credit has to go to Carlisle keeper who pulled out some tremendous saves for his team. Mansfield came close to the equaliser when from the resulting corner, Mellis did well to control the ball into his path, away from the defender to see his shot saved, that looked a certainty to beat the keeper.
Hemmings also saw his shot saved from a free kick, that forced the keeper into a fingertip save in a matter of minutes. The half time whistle blew and I think that we was unlucky not to be ahead, with the chances created. On the other side of that could have been 2 goals down with the home side creating chances.
We was playing good football at times, showing signs that the players are getting used to each other, which can only get better.
Second half began with the Stags coming out of the blocks early on making their intentions known straight away with Lee Angol leading the attack to put the pressure on with his pace and was for me one of stand out performances in the match. It also saw us play to our strengths, that on our day not many teams can handle.
Changes were made for Mansfield with Alfie Potter, Danny Rose and new signing Calum Butcher being introduced into proceedings. Carlisle had chances of their own clipping the bar again from questionable marking and communication.
From the outset the defence don't feel comfortable with Logan in goal, with him being reluctant to Marshall them commanding his box and catching the ball instead of punching it out. On another day it would have proven costly, had Lady Luck not been our side at times in the match.
The Stags were rewarded a penalty when Anderson got brought down in the box, giving us massive chance of getting back into the game. Before the kick was taken Angol picked up the ball wanting to take it, with much confusion over whose responsibility it was. Kane Hemmings was the man to step up, only to see his effort saved by the Carlisle keeper.
That is 3 penalties in a row we have missed from different takers, it makes me question if they even practice them in training. For me you have to look at Evans for who he picks to take the penalties, just poor.
The Stags got their just rewards with good work from Anderson who whipped in a ball into the area for the keeper to punch away to Butcher on the edge of the box to dip his effort over the keeper to score on his debut, making the scoring 1-1, game on. Butcher went close again with his shot just above the bar, looking a threat going forward.
Carlisle came close through Jason Kennedy seeing his shot cannon against the post, much to the relief of the 280 travelling Stag fans. Full time 1-1. Upon reflection a point away from home isn't a bad thing, as it seemed a fair result. Although saying that I thought we could have easily won the game, could have gone on to lose it to, if not for good defending/ post.
The positives from the game was we came back from going a goal down and their were impressive performances from Mirfin, Angol, Anderson, Bennett and debutant Butcher grabbing we hope first of many goals for us. Coped well when under pressure and unlucky not come away with 3 points. Negatives was again Logan who in all honesty is a lucky boy to keep his place in the team for his recent performances. Looks like a liability between the sticks, just no confidence when he's on the pitch.
Also Benning, who past couple of games has got caught out few times. Biggest thing for me out of all of that has to be the penalties, to miss 3 in a row simply isn't good enough, if they players are reading this then what I would say to you is just keep on working on them, as we know their good players but need to get that addressed asap. Onwards and upwards UP THE STAGS !!
Mark Plumb writes...
Mansfield Town suffered a disappointing defeat against league 2 newsboys in the checkatrade trophy group match at one call stadium. As expected 10 changes were made to the line up giving the fringe players a chance to prove their worth and in other cases fighting for their contracts.
The first half I thought we played well in spells, created chances and looked comfortable on the ball. Stags took the lead courtesy of Alfie Potter, who was one and one with the keeper to convert his effort past the Imps keeper to make the scoring 1-0 Mansfield.
We should have doubled the league when Sterling James found himself in a good position but saw his shot wide of the post. As the half wore on we looked dangerous on the counter and for most of the half looked solid defensively, most notably George Taft and Johnny Hunt, making his stags debut. Then came the equaliser when Lincoln hit us on the counter by whipping in an inviting ball into the area for Whitehouse to head home to make the scores level 1-1.
It was a cruel blow for how well we played but we switched off defensively and they took advantage of poor marking. At half time their wasn't much of a concern at 1-1 we showed signs of the quality that we know we have within the team, so was expecting more of the same if not better in the second half. Second half began with the Imps wasting no time in going all out attack, causing the Stags defence and forcing Oljenik into some good saves to keep the scoring one a piece.
They made it difficult for us by playing direct and out muscling us in most areas of the pitch, most notably when the ball was being pumped up to Spencer & Sterling James who found it difficult to work along side each other. At one point in the match I thought we should have had a penalty when Spencer got into the box and did well under pressure to turn and have his shirt virtually pulled to the floor, any claims were waved away by some dubious decisions by the referee.
Paul Digby came close to opening his account for Mansfield from the resulting free kick his looped header clipped the top of the bar. On the 79th minute mark they went ahead courtesy of former Stag Ollie Palmer when he found space evading the defenders to make it 2-1 Lincoln in front of 800 Imps who travelled.
A disappointing goal to concede but they kept on pressing and got their rewards but again go back to the awareness of players marking their men, just hope they learn from these mistakes. Both teams made changes with Steve Evans bringing on Hamilton, Atkinson and Rose to try and have an impact on proceedings for the Stags.
Then in the 95th minute another former Stag in Matt Green raced forward from a Mansfield corner to score from a resulting Stags corner to convert into an empty net, having came on as a sub. For me I think the manner in which we lost the game made it all the more painful to take. We all knew this competition was never going to be a priority and that it was a match for players who needed more minutes and a chance to prove their worth.
On paper you look at the players we had out with the likes of Macdonald, Potter, Pearce, White and others to add to that list and still came away empty handed. I am sure Evans will be reviewing the performances of some of the players and knowing whether or not they feature in his plans going forward but just can't help but feel frustrated with the strength in depth we got in the team, that we should be doing better.
On the flip side of that the longer they play together the more they will gel but felt that some of the players let the fans down by not putting enough effort in. It is still early days for us to panic but as said in previous blogs/ podcasts we need to stop making silly mistakes that costs us in games, whether that be league or cup as teams punish you for it.
The positives from it was no injuries and minutes of the pitch. Other than that struggling to find anything to be positive about from the match. Onwards and upwards UP THE STAGS !!!
Mark Plumb writes...
Mansfield Town threw away a two goal lead to draw with Luton 2-2 at Field Mill in frustrating circumstances. Prior to the game their was much excitement building for the game, even more so with Kane Hemmings making his debut, hoping to add more fire power up front.
Even though it is still early in the season I just couldn't help but get frustrated by us taking the foot of the gas and inviting pressure on ourselves when Luton have players such as Hylton, Collins and Berry to name a few that will punish you if given the opportunity going forward.
The first half saw the Stags dominate possession and create chances that given the quality of players we have should have been put away, albeit some good last ditch defending by the Hatters.
The pressure paid off when Rhys Bennett found himself unmarked at the free kick to put Mansfield ahead, his first league appearance of the season and first goal for the former Rochdale man.
The Stags did well to restrict Hylton and Collins from causing us any problems, showing that we could handle the pressure. The second half started with Luton on the attack but not really testing Logan out, who kept his place in goal. As the half went on Mansfield kept on pressing for the second goal and it came with good work from Byrom who played in a good ball that was converted by Lee Angol to make it 2 in 2 goals for him.
At this stage we was comfortable and looked in control for a little while but just seemed to me that the players didn't do enough to test the keeper after the early pressure and goals we scored to really kill the game off.
Even with the introduction of Rose, Spencer and Digby it wasn't enough for the Stags to hold out with the Luton pressure proving to be to much for an experienced Mansfield Defence. Luton hit back first with Collins that should have been dealt with by the defence to convert from 3 yards out to make the score 2-1.
Minutes later Hylton converted from a mixup between defenders and goalkeeper that gave him space to equalise, past a disappointing Logan to level the score 2-2. Mansfield was awarded a penalty in extra time, up stepped Jimmy Spencer who's penalty was saved by the legs of Stech earning his side a good point away from home.
I don't like calling out individuals but for me Conrad Logan has cost us in games against Crewe, Accrington and now Luton with him not being commanding or coming out for balls into the box.
At times his defence has let him down with some poor marking at times, admittedly so but that's when he needs to organise his defence and not staying on his line making life tougher for them.
I know we are only in the fourth game of the season but it is another game this season that we haven't killed a game off and haven't seen a game out by striving for more goals making the pressure count that ultimately cost us from taking all three points.
If we are to challenge for promotion the players need to be proving why they should be on board by playing for the shirt and learning from daft individual errors. There is no doubting the quality of players we have but for me the players get to complacent and aren't ruthless enough.
Still a lot of games to be played but the only positives for me so far are that we're creating chances, playing well and look good going forward. Disappointing to say the least but one piece of coal for the Steve Evans train. Onwards and Upwards Up The Stags !!
Mark Plumb Writes...
Could Kane Hemmings be the final piece in the Stags jigsaw for Steve Evans men ? When you take a look at his stats it's hard not to get excited with his goal ratio scoring one in every two games played.
His most prolific season came in his spell at Dundee where he netted an impressive 28 goals in 41 appearances. His other clubs include Rangers, Cowdenbeath, Tamworth, Barnsley and Oxford. Evans had been after the frontman since May, having failed to sign the 25 year old at his in the past from Dundee stating that a deal could not be agreed.
Huge credit has to go the Radfords for making the deal happen, showing their ambitions that we are aiming for promotion and moving the club forward. The deal is only a loan until the end of the season, with an option to buy if the club would want to make the deal permanent.
It also worth noting that club did extremely well to beat off competition from Scottish teams, League one and League two rivals for his signature. With the service we have in midfield, along with the other strikers we have at the club gives him the platform to score goals and give opposing defenders their worst nightmares.
Still at only 26 he has a good track record at league one level with a proven track record, he will fit it nicely with the style of football that Evans has us playing along side likes of Rose and Angol, who will no doubt score us goals to success.
The one thing that has impressed me most about this signing is he genuinely wants to come to Mansfield to not only be help us in our promotion push instead of coming to earn a pay package, as most footballers do in this day and age.
Evans has done extremely well to attract quality players having had promotions, champions league and championship experience on their cv to drop down to league two. Hemmings will no doubt have a lot to prove not only to the Stags faithful but himself, having not played a minute for Oxford this season being down the pecking order.
He will be hoping to recapture his goal scoring form that we all have in my opinion been lacking since we have been back in the football league. Good luck Kane. UP THE STAGS !
Mark Plumb writes...
Mansfield Town suffered their first league defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley, with goals from Hayden Jackson and Billy Kee.
The Stags made one change to the line up that won against Forest Green with CJ Hamilton coming in for Joel Byrom. The first half was a scrappy game with both teams fighting for possession and trying to stamp their authority on the game. The first goal came from Hayden Jackson who got an extra yard of pace past the defenders to slot past Logan to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Mansfield quickly equalised courtesy of Lee Angol, a long ball forward from Logan got headed on by Rose, which Angol was first to react to and open his account for the Stags, which will hopefully be the first of many for Steve Evans men.
The second half started with the Stags on the attack from the off and looked the more likely to score as the half went on, creating chances that caused the home side problems throughout.
Their was a number of good performances from likes of Benning, Anderson and Atkinson looked threatening every time they was going forward opening up their defence but not taking their chances when they arised. Accrington weren't causing many problems and was happy to let the Stags have possession as they were well organised and made it difficult to have a shot on goal.
The Stags also used all their subs with likes of Mellis, Spencer and Sterling James to try and make a difference but it wasn't enough to get through a well organised Accrington side. The way the game they went a lot of Mansfield fans would have taken a point, which has been tough place to come over the years but in added time ex Stag Billy Kee was first to pounce on a loose ball to convert from close range past a helpless Conrad Logan.
Even though it still early days the main problem is not being able to defend from set pieces, which has been our Achilles heal recently. The team is still relatively new so it will take time for them to gel but for me the communication between Logan and the defence has for me cost us goals against Crewe and Accrington.
He has shown he is a good shot stopper but for me he doesn't command his area or defence enough to show enough authority that a keeper should be doing. It is a long season and results at this stage mean nothing yet, with still over 40 plus games to go but it is important we learn from the mistakes we are making so we can learn from them before it to late later in big games.
A point would have been a fair result but we shot ourselves in the foot again with not being able to do the basics, that ultimately cost us the 3 points. The one thing that we can be assured of is we have the players/ manager who will know how to bounce back and cope with the pressure of us being the "favourites" for promotion. Also a huge shout to the travelling Mansfield fans again with another good away following, just a shame the team couldn't grind out at least a point from a scrappy affair.
Overall I thought we played some good football and coped well with the pressure in large parts but need to cut out silly mistakes that keeping costing us games, when we know we have the players to challenge anyone in this league. Up the stags !!
Mark Plumb writes…
Mansfield Town got back to winning ways by beating league 2 newcomers Forest Green Rovers, on a hot summers day with goals from Danny Rose & Paul Anderson.
Their was 2 changes before the game that drew with Crewe Alexandra week before with Pearce and Digby coming into the side, replacing Mellis and Mirfin, respectively. The first half the stags dominated possession and controlled the game creating chances galore, most notably to Lee Angol who was one on one with the goalkeeper saw his shot saved straight at the keeper.
Their is no doubting he will score goals for us but today wasn't his best day in a stags shirt, at times it was almost as if he was trying to hard to force a opening, no doubt he will be willing to prove himself and fans wrong that he can put the chances away next time around.
As the first half progressed the stags kept on huffing and puffing but couldn't break the dead lock, much to the annoyance of Stags fans and Steve Evans, who knew we should have at least been 2 nil up before the break. Forest Green didn't cause us to many problems, other than a mix up between White and Logan who collided into each other with the Stags number one clutching to the ball, to the relief of Stag fans.
The league 2 new boys also used time in the first half to time waste and feign injury, used as a tactic to frustrate Steve Evans men.
The second half the Gloucestershire side come out testing our defences by pumping up long balls into the box and having a go, showing that they are no push overs. Finally the stags went ahead with Danny Rose rising up well to head the ball home to make it 1-0 to the home side, making up for his missed chance against Rochdale 4 nights earlier in the league cup exit. As soon as the first goal went in Mark Coopers men looked deflated and didn't look like they had a goal in them after the Stags breakthrough.
The pace of Anderson and White especially was all to much for their defence. Mansfield doubled their league when a loose ball fell into the path of Anderson who cooly finished to make the score 2-0 to kill the game off. It could have been a rout on another day with the likes of Digby, Rose and Pearce creating chances to test the keeper.
Sterling James and Jimmy Spencer were introduced in the second half to try and add to the score line but that was enough to give Mansfield Town their first win of the season. We dominated the game from start to finish and was good to keep a clean sheet, the only concern was we didn't kill the game off sooner by being ruthless in front of goal.
I still think we need an experienced striker up front to add to what we have got. Up the stags !!!
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