DEARDEN PRIDE AS SIGNINGS PAY OFF
Evening Post, 15 January 2007
Billy Dearden was thrilled to record his first win since taking over the Mansfield Town hotseat.
The Stags powered to a 3-1 victory at Edgar Street with strikes from debutants Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton and substitute Michael Boulding.
Dearden was relieved a turbulent few weeks off the field had not affected the performance.
"They stuck in there and I'm very proud of them. The result will give them confidence," he said.
"What is going on off the field doesn't help us and all we can do is do our best on the field. We want the fans on our side and if we keep doing that, then they will be.
"Hereford is a very difficult place to come and get a win. We were under the cosh for a while in the second half but when we started to pass the ball I thought we looked a decent side."
Dearden admitted it was "a risk" pairing Conlon and Gritton up front, as both had only signed the previous day and neither was fully fit.
Dearden said: "The new lads have not played for weeks and you could see that. But they have both done well and have got a goal each."
He also picked out midfielders Giles Coke and Stephen Dawson and goalkeeper Jason White for praise.
TURNER: "WE DID NOT DESERVE ANYTHING OUT OF THE GAME"
Hereford boss Graham Turner blasted his players for making life easy for opponents Mansfield, who left Edgar Street with three points after goals from debutant strikers Barry Conlon and Martin Gritton sealed a 3-1 win.
Turner's side were off-colour and the Bulls chief admitted his side got what they deserved.
"It was a poor performance," he said. "There's no disguising that. We did not deserve anything out of the game."
Mansfield went ahead in the ninth minute, courtesy of a powerful strike from Conlon, who joined the Stags from Darlington on Friday.
The visitors looked like they had made the game safe on 79 minutes when substitute Micky Boulding slotted home a Giles Coke cross.
A spectacular 88th-minute strike from Gareth Sheldon briefly gave the home fans hope, but Gritton completed the scoring in stoppage time.
"A performance like that is hard to understand," added Turner. "We came out second best and lost battles all over the park.
"Even with a few minutes to go, when we pulled it back to 2-1, I was expecting a little flurry at the end and to concede another goal like that is something I just can't fathom.
"We will just go back to the drawing board and see where we go from there.
"Coming down the slope in the second half, we usually build up a head of steam and cause problems, but we did not do that.
"To be fair to Mansfield, they were organised and played quite well, but we made life easy for them. We were very, very poor."
Stags boss Billy Dearden was pleased with the way his two new signings slotted in, saying: "I thought the two new lads did well. "They haven't played for weeks and you could see that. Big Barry (Conlon) was shattered and had to come off before the finish, but they scored a goal each and did very well.
"I don't think we showed too many nerves, but this is a very, very difficult place to come to. A lot of teams come here and come unstuck and we were under the cosh for a while.
"I thought both teams tried to play football in what were not easy conditions. The wind was a bit difficult, we didn't handle it very well in the first half, but when we got it down and passed it, I thought we looked a half-decent team."
from Mansfield 103.2:
Dearden then Buxton:
Thanks to Craig for the recordings.
"They stuck at it and I am very, very proud of them all," said a delighted Dearden.
"Hereford is a very difficult place to come and other teams have come unstuck here.
"Both teams tried to play good football in difficult conditions.
"We were under the cosh or a while at 1-0 up and then we couldn't get out our half for 20 minutes after the break.
"But I thought Jason White was terrific in goal. His decision making was good and he made two tremendous saves. So I was a bit disappointed we let one in as I thought we could have done better defensively.
"There were some very good performances out there. Don't forget the two new strikers haven't played much recently, Stephen Dawson had not played for two months and Giles Coke hasn't trained this week as his partner has just given birth so there were a lot of plusses.
"I thought the two new strikers did well. Barry was shattered when I took him off and Martin was treading water at the end.
"But they did what we haven't been doing and that is hold the ball up so it wasn't just breaking down and coming back at us. And they both scored as well.
"It has been a difficult time with what's been going on off the field and the protests don't help us.
"But we will do the best we can on the field of play - that's all we can do and we know if we carry on like that the fans will be shouting for us again.
"That result should give the players a lot more confidence."
Audio interview with Billy Dearden from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2007/stags_hereford_away_manager.ram
Audio interview with Martin Gritton from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2007/stags_hereford_away_player.ram
Speaking after the game, a very disappointed Graham Turner said “It's something I can't quite understand, why we threw in a performance like that.
“From front to back we came off second best, we lost all the battles, and we never played.
“Even with a few minutes to go to get back to 2-1 you think, we may well just have a flurry at the end but to concede another goal like that. I just can't fathom that one out.
“We go back to the drawing board tomorrow morning and see where we go from here.
“It was a poor performance there's no disguising that and we didn't deserve anything out of the game.
“What we've done generally [this season] going down the slope in the second half is build up a head of steam and cause problems but we never did that.
“To be fair to Mansfield they were organised, they did quite well but we made life easy for them. We were very, very poor.
Turning his attentions to the January transfer window Turner said “There's one or two talks going on at the moment, whether we get anyone in for Saturday, that's got to be the aim, a couple of fresh faces can't do any harm.
"At the same time there are a lot of clubs chasing a few good players, and were in the market for players the same as a number of second division clubs and occasionally a number of first division clubs, that is the difficulty at the moment but it doesn't stop us aiming for better players than what we've got.
“The bulk of the side will obviously be the same going to Macclesfield what we have to do is pick that side up and make sure we're ready for it.
Billy Dearden's post match thoughts
Mansfield boss Billy Dearden gives us his thought's on his sides convincing 3-1 victory this afternoon.
I thought we did well, the two new lads came on, they hadn't played for weeks and you could see that big Barry was shattered and Martin was treading water at the finish but they both got what I bought them into the club for and they got a goal each and I thought they did very well.
I don't think there were nerves, but it's a very. Very difficult place to come to Hereford, a lot of teams come here and get unstuck we were under the cosh at 1-0 for a bit and 20 minutes into the second half we couldn't get out, but when we did come out, and started passing nice and sharp we broke and scored a very good goal.
The third goal we broke we used the ball well and the second goal I thought the ball from Matty Hamshaw was a brilliant ball and a good finish.
I thought both teams tried to play, they were difficult conditions out there, the pitch was alright but the wind was a bit difficult. I didn't think we handled it too good in the first half, playing with it, but in the second half when we got the ball down and passed it like we can do I thought we looked a half decent team.
I'm pleased with them all because there were some very good performances out there.
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