Papa John’s Trophy Group H 1/3, Tuesday 31st August | Harrogate Town 3-1 Mansfield Town
The Papa John’s Trophy is about as controversial as discussing if Pineapple belongs on Pizza – someday yes, some say no, others don’t care, last night at Harrogate Town, it felt like 95% of the Stags squad didn’t care about a number of things, with a lacklustre uninspiring 3-1 loss at Harrogate Town.
The defeat I can take, the manner of it not so much – when a player pulls on a Stags shirt, I expect a certain level of performance for the badge and for whatever reason, that seemed to be lacking.
I’m not going to go into full rant mode because of the competition (even though personally I’m all for trying to win it) and because a lot of the side out last night were young ones getting a taste of senior football – BUT, what I’m left disappointed by is an obvious lack of depth within our squad.
In fact, it felt like we had as much depth as a shallow kids splash pad in a park, that had been filled in by concrete!
I really felt sorry for Keaton Ward especially, thrown in at centre-back with Hewitt rested, Perch injured and at that point, absolutely no cover! Fortunately, we’ve signed two on loan – but I’ll save my views on that for the Podcast tonight!
I could real off negatives and grievances like an auctioneer but again I’ll save some of those for the Podcast when I’ve woken up more! I will, however, finish on a positive – James Clarke, fantastic at right back and showed a real captains attitude, even when he lost the ball or didn’t win the initial header, he was determined to win it back and I’d say did – 98% of the time, why he’s not playing more is beyond me at times.
Rhys Oates looked lively when he came on whilst Charsley, his first run out post injury, looked hungry – albeit a little lost on the right hand side of the diamond – it’s time to ditch that for 4-3-3 without a shadow of a doubt.
Nigel Clough post match said he didn’t care about the competition, which is fair enough – however a little bit more effort for the travelling fans and acknowledgement of them coming out to support the younger lads wouldn’t have gone a miss – especially when your experienced striker absolutely fluffs a penalty, costing us the game and 10K!
That’s a third consecutive defeat for the group – we need to have a good couple of days training now and come out on Saturday, at home to Harrogate, and put three points on the more.
Who’d be a football fan eh!
STAGS: Shelvey, Rawson (55’ Oates), Charsley, Bowery, Burke, Sinclair (78’ Cooper), Ward, J. Clarke, Law, Hill, Lapslie (68' Caine) UNUSED SUBS: Bishop, Gordon, O. Clarke, Johnson
Attendance: 825 (135)
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