Another week reflecting on life at field mill and yet again it started on a negative, this time a 2-1 defeat at home to Cambridge United – report and podcast here. Whilst the performance was much improved from the showing away at Fleetwood and the home fixtures against Alfreton and Southport, it still wasn’t enough to send us home happy, in fact after the game things got heated as a tiny section of the crowd called for Paul Cox’s sacking, whilst another small party launched a personal attack at Ross Dyer and family in the club car park.
I’m not for a second here to write about that news in depth, nor do I agree with the views expressed or the actions taken, my point is that the cracks we’re beginning to show and that our beloved club was once again on the rocky road. During my interview with Paul Cox on Monday, he expressed views that the two week break would rejuvenate the squad and help us prepare for the next part of the season, whilst I fully agree that sometimes you need a break to be ready to start again, I’m actually drawn to something Adam Murray said at the fans forum later that night.
Comments were flying around the room about how frustrating it is to be playing Alfreton in a league fixture and that it’s simply too hard to accept – I fully agree that it is a bitter pill to swallow, however it’s the comments from our skipper in response to this; that put a lump in my throat.
“There has to be a sense of realism, at the minute we are where we, we’re in that situation and if we want to get out of it, it’s hard but we’ve got to forget the past. We have to say ‘We are Mansfield Town in the conference, let’s stick together and get out of it’ not ‘Well five years ago we was here and I wish we was back there because we had Liam Lawrence etc’ We haven’t got that now, we are here and we have to deal with this time and now otherwise it’s going to go on and on – that can’t happen (If we want to be a success).”
As captain and a player whose in his third spell at the club, Murray is a well respected figure who has the best interests of the club within his heart, sometimes you need these figures to put the truth on the line for the greater good, because people then realise he’s right and the domino effect begins, we understand our frustrating past and turn it into positive support – which is exactly what the boys need to go on a progress our club to the next level. I mentioned it on Stags Talk this week when I was invited on as a guest panellist; we have to use this break as a period to review our past, scribble down feelings on paper and then, in time for Saturday, burn the notes and clean the Stags soul of the dark cloud that looms above. There is no room for cracks appearing in our armoury because in this horrible league, other teams will use those cracks to break us even more – the tighter we are as a until, the further we will climb – fact.
Moving on from the fans forum, highlights of which are on the clubs official website, Paul Cox arranged a few behind closed doors friendly’s for the boys and a few trial players. On Tuesday we we’re beaten 3-0 by a very strong Northampton side, Rhys Day aided is road to full fitness with another 70 minutes, Adam Smith & Lee Stevenson also featured as the duo returned from their respective loans.
On Wednesday it was evening action for the Youth team, their fantastic form continued as they saw off Stalybridge Celtic by 5 goals to 1, climbing to second in the league standings and stretching there unbeaten start to six games. Striker Joe Flint opened the scoring two minutes in, heading home from a Scott Rogers corner, Flint put the stags back ahead with 21 minutes gone this time heading home a Marsden cross after the visitors had levelled the game from the spot on 13 minutes. The youngsters added a third thanks to Clayton Brown five minutes later, Brown headed home from Marsden’s deep free kick. Two more goals followed after the break, Likely scorer Adam Somes headed in his 11th of the season on 73 minutes after excellent work from Jack Hawkins. It was Hawkins that completed the scoring with eight minutes to go, arriving at the right time to tap home a pass from substitute Lewis Chambers.
Thursday saw the news again hit the lead lines that Tom Naylor looks set to be signing for Derby County in January, it appears papers are waiting to be signed however Paul Cox made it clear that until January arrives, Tom is very much a Mansfield Town player which was proved later in the day as he played 45 minutes in another behind closed doors friendly with Nottingham Forest. Former Reds defender Karlton Watson played on trial for Stags in the first half before being replaced by Ritchie Sutton at the break, Ross Dyer and Rhys Day were both on target for Mansfield however it wasn’t enough as the stags conceded three at the other end narrowly losing the game. Starting line up: Shane Redmond, Karlton Watson, Rhys Day, Tom Naylor, Luke O’Neill, Ross Dyer, Adam Murray, Paul Bolland, Lee Stevenson, Nick Hegarty, Matt Green. Used Subs: Ritchie Sutton, Andy Todd, Anthony Howell, Lindon Meikle and Louis Moult.
A fairly quiet Friday for a change has only been interrupted by the news a Stags 11 are to travel to Paul Cox’s former employers Eastwood Town on Monday night for an open to the public friendly. With the game open for public viewing, Takeover Radio 106.9FM will have full match commentary from 7.30PM with Craig & Scott.
A blank Saturday tomorrow before another week at the mill, stay tuned to find out what happens – Thank you for reading, have a good weekend, see you on Monday with LIVE commentary on Stags’ friendly with Eastwood Town.
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