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Archived News from July 2002

29th July 2002 13:14

Evening Post, 29 July 2002

Mansfield manager Stuart Watkiss believes everyone at the club could learn from Forest's 3-0 win at Field Mill, including him.

He said:"I thought Forest were excellent. There was plenty of good movement and their shape was very difficult for us to play against and you have to complement them on that.

"Our players have been given a bit of a lesson and I think I have as well.

Hopefully we will not play anyone as good as that in Division Two next season and I am sure that we won't.

"The second half was much better and we were tighter at the back.

We changed our shape a bit but the three goals were down to appalling bits of defending.

"They all know that players who make mistakes continuously will not play for this football club.

"Perhaps we are being hard on the lads when you consider the fees some of the Forest players command .

"After all, Andy White was playing against someone with a pedigree like Des Walker but they all need to learn something from the game."

Mansfield take on Derby County, who will also be visiting Field Mill in the Worthington Cup, in their second home friendly tomorrow (7.45pm).

They then complete their pre-season programme with a trip to Lincoln City on Saturday, where they will be without Shayne Bradley who limped off on Saturday with an ankle injury.

Watkiss said: "Shayne looks like he will be out for four to six weeks while Danny Bacon is out with a thigh strain.

"Bobby Hassell wasn't playing either but hopefully we will be able to give ourselves a lift before Tuesday."

Evening Post, 29 July 2002

Mansfield Town 0 v 3 Forest

Before the start of the US Masters, a par-three competition is held at Augusta among those participating in the first major of the season and they all go out of their way not to win it.

Tradition dictates that the top man in the reduced game has never kept his form up to win the coveted green jacket.

While no-one would accuse footballers of going through the motions before the month of August, there is something strange about the atmosphere at a pre-season game, which sometimes resembles a training session and consequently manages to provoke a relevant level of excitement, roughly equivilent to the life cycle of a blade of grass.

But they always give people some sort of indication as to how the season might pan out and, with that in mind, the Forest fans who made the short trip up the A60 will have left optimistic while Stags fans could only scratch their heads as the full extent of the season's task became plain.

Forest buzzed from the first whistle and it soon became clear the result would only go one way.

A division's difference shone through as the Stags were pulled ragged by a system that saw a change of personnel in every attack, the likes of David Prutton and Riccy Scimeca popping up all over the place and creating chance after chance.

The Stags couldn't live with them.

Stuart Reddington had to foul Marlon Harewood to prevent him bursting through on goal in the sixth minute, only to see Jack Lester finish the job.

Four minutes later, a long ball from Gareth Williams found Harewood and David Johnson was on hand to apply the finishing touch from close range.

And the same player was able to hook the ball home with the aid of a Kevin Pilkington fumble eight minutes before half-time.

Stags, meanwhile, were having problems forcing old boy Darren Ward into action, mainly as a result of a commanding performance from Des Walker.

The fact Forest have signed the 36-year-old may be scoffed at by the club's foes but he brought a buzz to the fans at the Quarry Lane End and demonstrated what a big plus his presence could provide the season.

It has given the supporters a lift at a time when the club's financial affairs have dominated the spotlight.

The second half was one of experimentation, with Paul Hart changing his entire team after an hour, which included the introduction of Marcus Hall, which gave an extra dimension to the left.

For Stags, it was a bit disappointing, particularly after last year's pre-season saw them beat Sunderland and run Middlesbrough close.

They have to pick themselves up against Derby tomorrow but both Hart and Stuart Watkiss were right to point out the game on August 10 against Portsmouth and Plymouth respectively are the real games to aim for.

Practice makes perfect but no team wants to peak before the battle for league points begins.

It was a good run out for Forest and a wake-up call for everyone at Field Mill.

No more should be read into it.

MANSFIELD: Pilkington, Gadsby, Moore, Reddington (Scott 80), Jervis, Lawrence, Disley, Williamson, Corden (Murray 65), Bradley (Sellars 32), White (Beardsley 82). Subs not used: Bingham, Clarke, Holyoak.

FOREST (UP TO 60 MINS): Ward, Louis-Jean, Walker, Hjelde, Brennan, Scimeca, Williams, Prutton, Johnson, Lester, Harewood.

FOREST (AFTER 60 MINS): Roche, Reid, Edwards, Hall, Dawson, Doig, Bopp, Cash, Jones, Westcarr, Haskins.

REFEREE: Frazer Stretton (West Bridgford)



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