Full Time Score Notts County 1-0 Mansfield Town
Competition Sky Bet League Two
Venue Meadow Lane
Stags Goal Scorer(s) /
Attendance 12,660 (4,283)
Craig Priest writes…
Losing a local derby always leaves a bitter taste, but over 24 hours on from our defeat at Meadow Lane, I can’t help but reflect on yesterday not entirely caring about the one defeat, but what is happening to Mansfield Town – how can they go from an energetic, attacking side full of energy, to the lacklustre shambles who non the face of it, couldn’t seem to care.
The truth is, Mansfield have been increasingly poor for a while (with the exception of Tranmere and Macclesfield) going back to Carlisle maybe further and are in real danger if they don’t pull together as a unit, or undoing all the hard work they’ve put in over the course of the season.
The injuries have hit us really hard, we are a worse side without the likes of Oljenik, White and Rose – and with suspensions kicking in too, our depth is being tested and right now, I’m not entirely convinced our foundations are strong enough to hold us in the top three – PROVE ME WRONG BOYS – PLEASE!
Watching Flitcroft’s post match interview in full, I’m convinced we’ll grab the reins and turn ourselves around rather than fall away from grace, I know some will say he shows no emotion but if you let go of your own anger and disappointment and really listen, you can hear the anger and disappointment in not just his players, but in himself and his staff.
He does have to shoulder some blame for yesterday, in my opinion we rushed Ben Turner into the side to keep the back three – I think he’ll be a good addition for us in time but yesterday he was unfit and that was completely exploited. When we switched to a back four we looked stronger but a combination of the referee awarding them a free kick every time we breathed and our own lack of desire – it was never going to happen.
The same can be said for Alex MacDonald who is a legend, his enthusiasm and desire is exactly what we need to carry us forward, but sadly he wasn’t quite up to the level we needed to get back into the game.
Let’s strip it down and go back to basics, we have thirteen games remaining this season to achieve our ambition of getting into league one – an achievement our performance over the entirety of the season deserves. We have been great all season uniting together, so let’s get all the bitching, moaning and anger out of our systems, fans, players, managers and coaches alike and come 3pm on Friday, start a fresh – because, what really matters? Beating Notts County, or beating the odds and getting promotion to League One? I know my answer.
The Stags were forced into at least one change as Ryan Sweeney began the first of a two game ban, despite being ruled out by boss David Flitcroft earlier in the week, new defender Ben Turner was handed a debut, whilst in the only other change, CJ Hamilton was shifted up front for Ajose, Gethin Jones came in for his first start. On the bench, Alex MacDonald made his long awaited return.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE CLUBS MATCH REPORT
FULL TIME: Notts County 1-0 Mansfield Town
STAGS [3-4-1-2]: Jordan Smith, Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce ©, [#25] Ben Turner (Nicky Ajose HT), Gethin Jones, Jacob Mellis (Alex MacDonald 66), Neal Bishop, Mal Benning (Otis Khan 84), Jorge Grant, Tyler Walker, CJ Hamilton
Unused Subs: Conrad Logan, Will Atkinson, Alistar Smith, Willem Tomlinson
Referee: Ben ‘Woeful’ Mason
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