Sky Bet League Two | Tuesday 23rd March 2021 – One Call Stadium [Behind Closed Doors]
Sometimes you can feel aggrieved at a goalless draw, however there was a sense of pride from supporters last night as Mansfield Town remain tight enough at the back to keep out promotion hunting Forest Green and add another point to the tally in the battle for survival – made better as Southend also failed to win, maintaining the eleven point buffer with nine games now remaining.
Aidan Stone came to the Stags’ rescue with a phenomenal stop in the second half as the Stags suffered a momentary lapse in concentration – claiming the resulting corner to eradicate the events of Saturday and lift Clough’s men when tiredness threatened to undo the hardwork.
Stone’s opposite number was the key man for Rovers’ – keeping out three Jamie Reid efforts, two within the opening minutes as Stags roared out of the blocks – the game as a whole a real advert for League Two, all that was missing was a goal to make it the complete performance for the Stags.
With nine games to go, I’ll be happy if we can maintain that energy and stern approach – because like it did December time, one clean sheet can lead to two, which like a 2p slot machine, pushes us forward to collect a jackpot of a goal and three points.
Eleven points is a good buffer, if we can stretch it to somewhere between fourteen and sixteen/seventeen at the conclusion of the Easter weekend, we’ll be safe – it’s not really the points at this stage, it’s games – they’re running out, so one or two steps forward and the maths will see us over the line.
Clough for a long time has said that the midfield is OK for where he wants to take us next season and that showed last night, it was our engine in both boxes – ran beautifully by Maris at the bottom of the diamond, Law at the top of it and in particular Quinn on the left, whose experience proved key in pulling the strings and nullifying anything Forest Green could offer, which in truth, was little – he’s a must buy in the summer.
When you add into that Ollie Clarke and George Lapslie to come back into the fold, I think it gives us enough options to close teams out – even if we have got limited options up front with Sarkic again injured and likely to miss 80% of the remainder of the campaign.
Tranmere on Saturday will be tough, but if we show the same energy as we did last night I’m confident we’ll come away with something. There’s no time to debate the ifs and buts, or ponder what could have been – let’s go again and get the primary job, safety, done asap.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Aidan Stone | Kellan Gordon, Farrend Rawson, James Perch ©, Mal Benning | George Maris, Stephen Quinn (Stephen McLaughlin 74), Harry Charsley, Jason Law | Jamie Reid, Jordan Bowery Unused Subs: Marek Stech, Ryan Sweeney, Ollie Clarke, Jake Wright, Keaton Ward, Tyrese Sinclair
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