Sky Bet League Two | Wednesday 13th January 2021 – Boundry Park [Behind Closed Doors]
It’s long been said that there’s an easy way, a hard way and a Mansfield Town way – well as the Stags make it four league wins on the spin and make up for Sunday’s FA Cup exit – they certainly stuck with that, in an eventful 3-2 victory at Oldham.
There’s been a lot of talk about a chase for the play-offs as with victory last night we moved to just five points behind Crawley in 7th, however they and all the teams above us have a game in hand, some two games, on us. The same too can be said for below us as with last night’s win, there’s now a nine point buffer between us and the drop – BUT, with the exception of Grimsby and Port Vale, all teams below us also have games in hand, some two games.
My point is not to be negative or pessimistic, but to be realistic – this league this season is so tight, a swing of results (like we’re currently seeing) can send huge waves crashing through the table. I’m loving the run we’re on and the potential we have, and I’m not saying the unthinkable can’t happen – I’m saying that we know how poor we have been and what effect that has, keep building that buffer and what will be will be this term, nothing yet – is set in Stone.
A prime time to talk about him, Aidan Stone that is – one of three changes last night. They’ll be a few who criticise the young keeper for his early error to put Oldham 1-0 up, but actually he deserves huge credit for the role he played in the win – making two key saves at 1-0 when Oldham we’re edging the game, and then again when we were 3-2 up and on the ropes.
The changes were a masterstroke from Clough with all three having a big impact on the game. Stone as I mentioned was key when called upon as the game progressed, Kellan Gordon was under pressure after how Perch and O’Keeffe performed in his absence but came back in and gave us real flare down the right hand side, delivery a number of key crosses – whilst Cook, well he was just Cook – strong and articulate in stretching the Oldham back line in open play, and forceful in the air from set plays.
Two quick examples, he wins the initial header for Sweeney’s goal – and then for Reid’s much deserved goal, takes two defenders out of the central positions and creates space for Reid to pounce. The 4-3-3 system real suits him and gets the best out of the supporting midfield.
We still missed Ollie Clarke and James Perch and we’re nowhere near the finished article – I still maintain that we need three more faces to supplement us and help us push on, these are likely to be loans with Clough saying after the match he’s waiting to hear back on one or two enquiries.
Carlisle, the league leaders, at home on Saturday – not an easy game but certainly winnable, for me – I’d take a draw and to keep this momentum going! A gritty win last night which could, and should, have been a little more comfortable than it was – but what really matters, is the points – job done, onto the next one.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Aidan Stone | Kellan Gordon, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney ©, Stephen McLAughlin | Harry Charsley, George Maris, George Lapslie | Jamie Reid, Andy Cook (Nicky Maynard 90), Jordan Bowery (Mal Benning 80)
Unused Subs: Marek Stech, Rollin Menayese, Aaron O’Driscoll, Corey O’Keeffe, Jason Law
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