Sky Bet League Two, Game 2 – Saturday 19th September 2020, Breyer Group Stadium [Behind Closed Doors]
After so many months of waiting for football to return, we all had a renewed hope that this new Mansfield Town would be free of the errors of the old Mansfield, alas there’s never a truer statement than “papering over the cracks – doesn’t actually get rid of the cracks”
It was all going so swimmingly for the Stags who, after a well contested first half, had worked hard to take a two goal lead at Leyton Orient with ten minutes to play. Someone forgot the golden rule – never swim in waters out of your depth, as the Stags players did the full Chris Tarrent routine – offering three points to the fans only to whip them away “We don’t want to give you that”!
Concrete footed defending allowed the hosts back into the game late on, BUT the Stags’ new found confidence in keeping the ball theoretically should have seen Graham Coughlan’s men through…. WRONG! As someone had the bright idea to hold the ball up in the corner with a good five minutes, plus stoppages, to play!
We won’t even mention Ollie Clarke’s late SHOT from practically the half way line to give possession away with a minute left, which led inadvertently to the hosts having one last chance… KEEP THE BALL MAN! Ah, I’m having nightmares of last season again.
Usually I’d still be fuming on a Sunday morning after throwing away victory, but I’m a tad more mellow today. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t then spend X amount of hours in a car stewing over the result (cheers covid)? No, it’s because I saw how absolutely raging Coughlan was in his post-match interview!
Those players were not instructed by the management (if we’re going on what the real GC said) to hold the ball in the corner at 2-1 with so long left, nor did he expect his skipper to give the ball away so cheaply with victory so close! With last season’s cohort, I’d expect a repeat of that because it was not a squad built by GC, this one however is – and I firmly believe the next time we hold the ball in the corner with so long left, GC will storm onto the pitch himself and two foot his own players as a wakeup call!
OK, I’m being daft now I know – but you get the point.
Taking the positives away, the Stags were in control of that match and kept a hungry Orient side pretty happy – they lifted their game in the second half and chased after seemingly lost causes, highlighted perfectly by Andy Cook in winning the penalty which Jordan Bowery put in the postage stamp top corner! Never in doubt?!
We had some good build up play and looked a lot fitter again, there’s an energy about this team and I honestly think the lessons will be learned, mistakes will be corrected and those aforementioned cracks, properly repaired.
We move on, we hurt, we learn, we look forward and WE DON’T HOLD THE BLOODY BALL UP IN THE CORNER FOR SEVEN MINUTES!! Watching the Stags never gets easier… but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Marek Stech | Rollin Menayese, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney | Corey O’Keeffe, Ollie Clarke © George Maris, Mal Benning | Harry Charsley | Andy Cook (Nicky Maynard 90), Jordan Bowery
Unused Subs: Aidan Stone, Tyrese Sinclair, James Perch, Aaron O’Driscoll, Jamie Reid, Stephen McLaughlin
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 email@example.com (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.