PALMER AND HORTON REACTION
Audio interview with Carlton Palmer from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)
PALMER CAN'T HIDE DISMAY IN DEFEAT
Evening Post website
Mansfield boss Carlton Palmer could not hide his dismay after what he perceived as a decent performance from his players.
He said: "I'm really disappointed.They had two corners in the first half and our keeper barely had a save to make.
"We were by far the better side but if you don't defend re-starts you're going to get beaten.
"I went into the dressing room and looked around and didn't see anyone who had a bad game and that's very unusual when you've been beaten."
Macclesfield boss Brian Horton insisted the result was more important than the performance after watching his side romp to a 3-1 win over Mansfield.
It was the Cheshire side's first win in seven games and leaves them four points behind third-placed Scunthorpe with only two games left.
Jon Parkin, Matthew Tipton and David Morley grabbed the goals as the Silkmen cruised to a comfortable victory.
Horton said: "The three points was the most important thing.
"It was an apprehensive first half. The players were nervous, even I was nervous.
"I watched Chelsea this morning and even they were tense so it's bound to happen at this time of the year. But it's been a magnificent season.
"This time last year we still needed points to stay in the Football League, now we're almost certainly in the play-offs and still have a chance of automatic promotion."
Macclesfield keeper Steve Wilson endured a day to forget after gifting the away side their 54th-minute goal but Horton was quick to jump to his defence.
He said: "Willow earned us a vital point at Scunthorpe and has been outstanding in the past few games. We all make mistakes. The officials make mistakes, even I make mistakes."
Manchester Evening News :
Macclesfield 3 Mansfield 1
A VINTAGE performance it was not, but it was a vital three points that virtually nailed down a play off spot for Brian Horton's phoenix-like Macclesfield side.
"This time last season we still needed points to stay in the League, now we are virtually certain of being in the play-offs and still have a chance of automatic promotion.
"It has been a magnificent campaign, " said Brian Horton. However he admitted that the first win in seven games was still a nail biting affair for an apprehensive side.
He added "Three points were the most important thing but it was an apprehensive first half.
"I thought when we scored early that it would settle us down but we seemed to get nervous, all of us got nervous, even me."
He added, "I was watching Chelsea this morning and they were tense, it's bound to happen at this time of year, we are all going to be tense and as we've seen today some of the sides may stutter yet."
Macclesfield took the lead in the sixth minute when giant Jon Parkin scored his 25th goal of the season with a low right-foot 25 yard free kick that left Stags keeper Jason White rooted to the spot.
Mansfield might have equalised in the 12th minute when the former Macc favourite Richie Barker flicked on a Simon Brown cross only for Fraser MacLachlan to hoof a half volley harmlessly into the stand.
Mansfield were desperately unlucky in the 17th minute when Macc keeper Steve Wilson allowed a Giles Coke 20 yard bullet to burst his grasp only to see the ball bounce back off the upright.
Coke again fizzed a shot at Wilson in the 25th minute but this time the keeper stood firm.
However, he looked unsteady two minutes before the break when he flapped at an Adam Rundle shot only grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
Wilson however made a good save two minutes after the break when Barker set up Brown to unleash a powerful drive from the edge of the box.
Mansfield were creating the better chances and in the 53rd minute Brown hesitated moments too long allowing the ever-present Kevin McIntyre to make a telling block on the six yard line.
However, the Stags finally got into their stride in the 56th minute when Callum Lloyd produced a speculative long-range shot which Steve Wilson dived over to gift them a precious equaliser.
Horton, however, was the first to stand by his number one: "Steve Wilson earned us a vital point at Scunthorpe and has done wonders for the side in recent weeks. I have told him that we all make mistakes, the officials make mistakes and even I make mistakes, so let's think no more of it."
His teammates responded with one of the best goals of their season four minutes later as Paul Harsley won the ball in midfield with a tough challenge before setting up Matthew Tipton. He picked out Jon Parkin marauding down the left for the big man to turn back inside and plant a curling cross onto Tipton's balding pate for the Welshman to bag his 14th goal of the season with a classic glancing finish.
Macclesfield then sealed the points in the 66th minute when Dave Morley headed home a Mark Boyd corner with a powerful looping header for his second goal in two games.
McIntyre then tested White with a long range drive, the Silkmen happy to play out the last 20 minutes in the knowledge that greater challenges lie ahead in the play-offs.
Macclesfield Town Official Site:
Brian Horton has spoken after the Silkmen's 3-1 win over Mansfield Town.
"The three points were just what we needed after Tuesday night. That was the major thing. In the first half we were very apprehensive. We got in front early on and never really capitalised on that.
"They got back into the game and we were all probably getting a bit nervous. But getting three points was the important thing.
"But we've got 72 points now and it's been a great season. We had a stutter recently but everyone has one of those and other sides have lost and drawn around us today s we're back in there.
"I feel sorry for Wilson after the goal. But he got us a point against Scunthorpe and he got us a point at Oxford. People make mistakes, including me, including the officials, so I felt for him today.
"But it was important to show the character to bounce back straight away and get back in front quickly. And it's nice to get goals from two set pieces that we've been working on. A great ball in from Boyd for Dave Morley and Jon Parkin took his goal very well by deceiving the 'keeper and hitting it to the other side.
"We were all tense but there is a lot to play for still. There is a lot at stake and these results have put us back in with a shout. If we win the next two games you never know what might happen.
"Mark Bailey came off because he's not quite fit. He's tried like hell to play. He's had to have an injection to be able to play and with Potter out we were struggling for full-backs. But Carragher did OK.
"It's not mathematically safe that we will be in the playoffs yet but it would take an unbelievable situation for us not to be there though. And we're closer to the top three than eighth.
"It's been a good season and there is two more to go. But it could be four to go, and it could be five to go."
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