With no game to reflect on Monday morning, you could imagine how I was scratching my head wondering what to ask Paul Cox at the weekly press meeting. However after last week’s late addition of an open to the public friendly against Eastwood, I thought I’d see what chance John Thompson had of playing and possible grabbing his first start on Saturday at AFC Telford. The Stags boss confirmed to my trail of thought and revealed John Thompson would hopefully be playing against Eastwood – later that evening, Paul again confirmed John would play as I scribbled down the evening’s team news.
The Stags ran out 2-1 winners after turning the game on its head in the second half, Anthony Howell and former Badgers midfielder Lee Stevenson bagged goals for the stags after they’d conceded from a sloppy corner in the 14th minute. Thank you for listening to our special broadcast, I’m glad that the powers that be allowed us to broadcast as we try and cover every game possible.
It was also revealed on Monday that work had begun on ‘Plan B’ – improving facilities at Rainworth MW’s Kirklington Road ground, A lot had been thrown about regarding the political side of things, I’m not a politics man myself so will edge away from it, what I will say is – I’m happy things are starting to take place, if it allows us to get promise land of the football league, then for me, it’s a welcome move.
Back to the footballing side of things and on Tuesday it was confirmed that Tom Naylor’s deal to Derby County had finally been done, with the 20 year old joining the Rams on a 6 week loan with the option of a permanent move in the January window. Tom is the one remaining survivor from our previous academy and made his Mansfield debut at the end of our first season in the BSBP appearing alongside Scott Garner at Field Mill against Altrincham. Over three seasons Tom has made just over 20 appearances for us becoming more of a settled regular under Duncan Russell towards the tail end of last season, always playing with his heart on his sleeve – something which was proved in the away leg of our FA Trophy semi-final with Luton. Tom ran his socks off, covering every blade of grass and was the rock that helped drive us to Wembley stadium, the delight and pride he showed in his final celebration sprinting towards the Stags faithful was a joy to watch. On the big Wembley stags Tom again did us proud playing alongside veteran defender Steve Foster – it’s clear Tom was devastated at defeat as I’ve touched upon many times, including my review of the clubs great DVD ‘A406: The Road To Wembley’ I once interviewed Tom following the Luton away leg, he is a genuine lad who loves the club through and through, I personally wish him all the best – knowing full well that whatever shirt he’s wearing on match day, he’ll do Mansfield proud.
From one young gun to a full set now as we move onto Wednesday, our new look youth team smashed Newcastle Town 7-0 under the Field Mill lights to go top of the table. 14 minutes in Adam Somes bundled home from close range after Liam Marsden had put our very own Scott Rogers’ corner back into the box. Somes then headed down a long ball to set up Clayton Brown on the edge of the box, he smashed home the Stags second of the game two minutes after the first. After the half hour mark had passed, the young Stags soon added a third. Jack Hawkins weaved his way into the box and showed great persistence to feed Adam Somes, who delightfully turned and placed the ball into the top corner, Somes then completed his hat trick, firing home from the edge of the box following another Scott Rogers corner. Three wasn’t enough for Somes however, he grabbed a fourth lobbing the keeper following a Clayton Brown through ball with five minutes to go before the break. The young guns extended their lead to 6-0 two minutes before the half time whistle, Blake Vincent’s left sided cross fell kindly for Clayton Brown following poor defending, Brown smashed home for his second of the night. As I’m sure you’ll hear throughout tomorrow’s show – our Scott Rogers wrapped up the win two minutes from full time, firing home inside the box as the Stags pilled on the pressure.
Thursday’s press meeting saw a confident Rhys Day insist he was ready for his first start of the season, claiming the stags boss ‘Doesn’t need to sign anyone’ ahead of Saturday’s game, saying that he can fill the gap left by Ben Futcher, possibly alongside John Thompson with who he’s formed a strong partnership over the past few weeks.
No signings have arrived today (Friday) so maybe Rhys’ confidence has inspired the Stags boss to hand the welsh centre half a start. With Martin Riley ruled out, the only fit centre half that has featured this season is Ritchie Sutton, question is do you pair him with Day or Thompson and hope they gel? The other option is throw both Day & Thompson in together and either move Sutton to right back with O’Neill at left back and back from international duty loanee Freeman dropped or drop Sutton, keeping O’Neill at right back with Freeman at left back.
Paul Cox has hinted at playing Lindon Meikle upfront after an impressive performance against Nottingham Forest a few weeks ago, following Anthony Howells goal on Monday he too could be a contender for a place in the former place – Add to that Lee Stevenson’s impressive show, Paul Cox will have a selection headache on his hands. Find out tomorrow what he goes with, as myself and Scott Rogers will be LIVE from AFC Telford with full match commentary from 2PM. Listen on 106.9FM and on our MM-Live page!
Will three points and a clean sheet wrap up, another week following the Stags?
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