PALMER, DAY AND JASON WHITE REACTION
Audio interviews with Carlton Palmer, Rhys Day and Jason White from BBC Radio Nottingham
PALMER SAYS STAGS SHOULD HAVE WON
Evening Post website:
Mansfield Town 1 v 1 Darlington
Mansfield manager Carlton Palmer felt his side should have taken all three points.
"I thought we deserved to win the game. We were the better side throughout," he said.
"I was disappointed with the goal we conceded - we got done from a straight, long ball.
"But we missed a penalty and created chances - more then them - and showed great spirit.
"Performances equal results and last week we were done by a refereeing decision. So this week I told them they had to keep that belief.
"We are a good young side and got our just rewards in the end from a set piece.
"I am working them very hard right now and next season we aim to be the fittest side in the league.
"I was pleased with Jason White's debut. He did everything he had to do, made one great save and did well with crosses."
Promotion-chasing Darlington's assistant manager Mark Proctor remained positive despite his side dropping two points to Mansfield's injury time equaliser in a 1-1 draw with the Stags.
The Quakers survived a second minute Mansfield penalty kick and, after having a goal disallowed, went in front through veteran striker Clyde Wijnhard before Rhys Day levelled.
Proctor said: "That lapse has cost us dearly. But we are still in the driving seat, two points clear in the play-offs and I would rather be in our position than Northampton's or Wycombe's. And I am sure there will be a few twists and turns yet.
"We have to be pleased over the 90 minutes. We created numerous chances in the second half and overall we remain very positive, despite that dreadful last few seconds.
"We are massively disappointed with conceding a goal in the last few seconds. One player was unprofessional and didn't do what he was asked to do.
"We upped a gear after going ahead, had two or three good chances but couldn't quite take them. Ultimately that proved costly."
Darlington Official Site:
Proctor disappointed but encouraged by Mansfield point
Darlington's assistant manager Mark Proctor was left disappointed but encouraged by Quakers' point at Mansfield Town this afternoon. Darlington conceded in the dying minutes of the game after leading from a second half Clyde Wijnhard goal.
Proctor, refusing to name anyone in particular, felt a player was unprofessional in how the corner kick which led to Mansfield Town's equaliser was handled. Despite this however Proctor was still taking the many positives out of the game following Darlington's poor performance at Cambridge United the previous weekend.
"Obviously the last few seconds of the game when we thought we've got the three points in the bag, but lets be honest fellas you know you never thought we going to get off Scott free did you? We make things very, very difficult for ourselves don't we and obviously it is a massive disappointment at the moment," said Proctor. "But on the plus side I thought we played ever so well for the majority of the ninety minutes, it was a massive improvement on last week but ultimately someone being unprofessional in the eighteen yard box from a set play has cost us a goal which we warned them about at half time. We thought possibly the only way they were going to break us down was from a rash tackle from one of our players in the defending third or from a set play and it proved to be costly."
The Darlington dressing room was a disappointing place at full time, Akpo Sodje in particular looked dejected out on the pitch as the final whistle blew, and Proctor revealed one player more than most was even more disappointed after not doing their job.
"As I say we prepared properly, we'd organised and just as I say, I don't want to name the individual but obviously there was someone in the dressing room massively disappointed in the dressing room who didn't not do their job, and ultimately it has cost us two points," said Hodgy's second in command.
If Quakers' had claimed the three points at Field Mill they would have opened up a bigger gap between themselves and Northampton who lost at Cheltenham Town by a single goal. Proctor labelled the situation as typical - a statement fans can properly identify with to some extent. Darlington will now be looking to pick themselves up for the visit of Rushden and Diamonds.
"Like I say that is typical of us at this moment, we don't do things the easy way, we make things difficult for ourselves and I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago it might go to the wire and that there would be a few more twists and turns and there was another twist there in the last few seconds," said Proctor. "We obviously go into next week's game, I think results around us have helped again, but it was an ideal opportunity to really consolidate that seventh spot if we had picked up another two points. But it wasn't to be. We've got to pick ourselves up, draw from that encouraging performance and hopefully be prepared for another tough game on Saturday."
The game could not have got off to a worse start for Darlington as Adam Rundle fell in the box inside of thirty seconds with three Quakers' players around him. Proctor was unable to comment on the incident but was delighted with the way his side came back after what could have a been a big set back in more ways than one.
"I was actually coming out of the tunnel, I was late coming out of the dressing room and as I was walking along the back of the goal the next thing I see is a penalty," said Proctor. "So I don't know I didn't see the incident at all. Obviously it was a terrific save off Sam (Russell) which was obviously a bad start with the penalty but a positive result with the save and I thought first half we played very well. The second half we didn't quite get to the tempo of the first half and they were always going to have ten minutes which I think ultimately they did in the second half but I think once we got the goal we seemed to push on another gear from there and had one or two really good opportunities to seal the game but we couldn't quite take it and ultimately as I say it has cost us dearly in the end."
Whilst Neil Wainwright and Clyde Wijnhard will be quickly recognised for their contributions, one in setting up the goal and the other in taking it, Matthew Bates, making his debut since joining the club on loan from Middlesbrough, was fantastic and on several occasions was pining brilliant balls over the top for Wijnhard to flick on. Proctor, who has worked with the player in his time at Boro, was not surprised with the immediate impact he made. However the Darlington assistant manager was quick to praise the other players in the back line.
"It doesn't surprise me," said an honest Proctor. "I think he has got a terrific future, it won't be at this club unfortunately. Matthew is obviously still in the early stages of development but to come in for a weeks training with the lads he was outstanding at the back and to be fair along with Curtis (Fleming) and Joe (Kendrick). I thought it was terrific back four, a nice solid shape about us and there was a lot of pluses today right across the board, we worked ever so hard. Yeah we made mistakes like you do but we played predominately progressive football and that's properly why we've taken it so hard. If it had been on the back of a poor performance or a sloppy goal you can possibly stomach it a little bit better but on the back of a very good performance, we believe, considering the poor performance we showed last week, it was hard to take."
Darlington had several injuries worries before the game and indeed were forced to play with niggles to key players. Curtis Fleming was not fully fit ahead of the game and had to play the remainder of the game with impaired vision. Meanwhile Bobby Petta was suffering from a chest infection and Armstrong was still suffering from a calf problem. Proctor refused to use it as an excuse.
"We've had our catalogue of injuries over the season but that's football, we haven't made a big deal of it," said Proctor. "We've got on with it and in fairness the chairman has backed us tremendously well and he has given us the funding to bring a big squad to the stadium and we've had to draw on those players over the nine months. All in all we've got to be looking on the positive side, nine months of toil up and down the country and with two or three weeks to go we are still in the big shake up which is terrific and a massive improvement on last season."
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