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Maddo left disappointed by Mansfield defeat
Added on 27th September 2006
Darlington completed a disappointing game against Mansfield Town last night at Field Mill. Quakers never got going and Mansfield took the points with a goal on sixty–minutes much to the disappointing of reserve team coach Neil Maddision. The coach who is still available to Hodgson as a player admitted Mansfield were there for the taking at times but felt that the heavy workload Quakers have gone through of late played a part.
"It was a really disappointing evening. I sat up in the stand during the first half and watched the game and I came down at half time and said: 'lads if you believe a little bit more and get the ball moved a bit quicker we can tear them apart.' They were there for the taking," said Maddison. "They were a poor Mansfield side but they've gone and beaten us 1–0. Overall it is disappointing but without making excuses we've done a lot of travelling, Jockey (Joachim) has pulled his hamstring and the games we've played have probably caught up with him and us but its no excuse."
The game was a poor spectacle compared to the games against Reading and Shrewsbury of late in which both contributed lots. However Mansfield themselves were hardly much better than Darlington at times. Maddison admitted the team did not get into its rhythm and that to loose to such a poor side made things even more disappointing.
"Their own crowd was turning against them during the first half," said Maddison. "I said at half time that we had to start brightly, you've got to find from somewhere forty–five minutes where you dig in, grind it out and scrap out a result. To be fair to Mansfield they have come out and during the first ten minutes and really put us under pressure. We didn't get into a routine, albeit we had a couple of chances and could have nicked something out of the game but nicking it against a side like this is disappointing."
Darlington were forced to bring off Julian Joachim thanks to a hamstring injury. In his place Alun Armstrong came on and whilst the former Ipswich man did well and went on to create a late chance for Giallanza Darlington ended up missing out on the pace Joachim bought to the front line for the remainder of the game.
"Alun (Armstrong) came on for us against Shrewsbury but it was a different type of game. Shrewsbury had big defenders and he held the ball up well for us. Tonight we needed pace and we needed Jockey (Joachim) out there. With the pace we did cause them problems at times in the first half but with him going off it was a big blow. To be fair to Alun he has created a great chance near the end by putting over a good ball and Giallanza is probably the best finisher at our club and for him to miss it is disappointing. He will be disappointed as well because he will have expected to hit the target from there," said Maddo.
Shirtliff pleased with Stags win
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff praised his side for their determiend 1-0 win over darlington at Field Mill last night.
It was their first win in five games and Shirtliff said: "It was a good morale-booster to get that win under our belts.
"I thought it was a decent game and we played well. We scored a great goal and kept a clean sheet.
"I was pleased for the defence and pleased for Jason White who has worked hard and been unlucky not to get a clean sheet so far.
"That was the sort of effort and grit we have got to show to get results.
"September has been a difficult month - Saturday will be out eighth game of the month.
"That is a hell of a lot for a small squad and one or two are running on empty. We will get them through the rest of this week and we go to Walsall in good spirits on Saturday."
On matchwinner Danny Reet, who scored a superb goal on the turn, he added: "Danny has the ability to do that. He always gets himself a chance and I was pleased with him and the whole team.
"Danny has been working hard on his fitness levels and realised what it takes and he will keep improving."
FIRST CLEAN SHEET A RELIEF FOR SHIRTLIFF
Evening Post, 27 September 2006
Peter Shirtliff admitted Mansfield's first clean sheet of the season in League Two had come as a relief.
The Stags secured their first shut-out in 11 attempts and captured the points as Danny Reet's strike gave them a 1-0 win over Darlington.
"It was a decent game. I thought we played well, scored a great goal and we kept a clean sheet," he said.
"Getting the clean sheet was a good morale booster and it is good for the lads at the back and Jason White to get that under their belts.
"That is the kind of effort and grit that we have to show to get results. I'm really pleased with the commitment the lads showed."
CLEAN SHEET NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON
Evening Post, 27 September 2006
Mansfield 1 - 0 Darlington
THE law of averages said that it had to come some time - it was just a question of when.
But, for Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff, the club's first League clean sheet of the season arrived not a moment too soon.
For ten long games he has patiently waited - and waited - for his defence to record a shut-out.
Yet time and again he has been disappointed as, in the main, sloppy errors at regular intervals have been responsible for at least one opposition goal.
Even in the home match with Hereford - when the Stags were 3-0 up and cruising - the team's concentration wavered for a few seconds and they were punished.
There were no slip-ups this time, though, and you sensed that the Mansfield manager was only slightly less pleased with the nil in the goals against column than actually taking the three points.
So what did the Stags do right defensively that they had got wrong in their previous 900 minutes of football?
Well, for a start the defence seemed more compact and, as a consequence, limited Darlington to pot-shots for the most part.
The return of Jon-Olav Hjelde - who has missed Stags' last nine games with a hamstring and then a groin injury - was instrumental in bringing that about.
Not only did his experience help bring important organisational skills, Mansfield also reaped the benefit of his aerial excellence - neither of which Jake Buxton nor Alex John-Baptiste can match, as good as they are in their own right.
Despite his long absence, the Norwegian showed no signs of rustiness and seemed to have a steadying influence on his partner Jake Buxton.
John-Baptiste also put in another fine performance at right full-back where his pace was useful in both subduing the lively Simon Johnson and getting forward down the flank to secure Matt Hamshaw.
Mansfield also had the slice of good fortune that they have lacked in their unwanted run.
Before last night, the vast majority of errors that the Stags have made have been punished by way of a goal.
But when the hosts were caught out in stoppage time at the end of the game and Gaetano Giallanza had a glorious opportunity to net, he fired wide, much to the relief of the Stags fans.
As encouraging as the Mansfield defensive display was, though, it is goals that win matches.
In that regard Danny Reet was the hero with his fourth goal of the campaign, despite it being just his second start.
Reet faces a battle with Chris Beardsley for a starting place alongside Richard Barker and in this game it was the former Sheffield Wednesday youngster who was given the chance to impress.
On this evidence he deserves a run in the side because in addition to his goal - which he took clinically by spinning off his marker to drill into the far corner from an acute angle - he also had the all-round work-rate to go with it.
In the past, Reet has often been criticised for being a little lazy and giving up too easily.
But on this occasion he showed plenty of resolve, determination and strength, as well as a good touch.
Clearly, the Stags do miss the pace of the injured Simon Brown and without him they struggle to get in behind teams.
But Barker and Reet in tandem may be the next best solution because at least there is a strong physical presence that can capitalise on good-quality crosses from out wide.
Both halves of the game were quiet in terms of goalmouth incident - certainly compared to Saturday's match against Accrington.
However, a good move carved open the Darlington defence in the 19th minute only for Hamshaw's goal-bound effort from Jelleyman's cut-back to strike a defender and deflect to safety.
White made one good save from former Aston Villa man Julian Joachim but was otherwise largely untroubled.
After the break, Mansfield stepped up the tempo but struggled to create much of significance until Reet struck on the hour following neat interplay from Sheehan and Jelleyman.
It was predictable that the Stags dropped deeper and deeper as they looked to hold on to what they had got in the last ten minutes.
There was no doubt that Mansfield's win was significant, as well as much-needed.
Having lost five out of their last seven matches, it was important that Shirtliff's men stopped the rot.
It was also vital because points may be hard to come by from the next two fixtures - a trip to Walsall and the derby clash with Notts County.
One clean sheet will not change the Stags' season around overnight and there are plenty of difficult challenges to come.
But at least it shows Mansfield are capable of grinding out a victory and not just win when everything is going their way.
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