DEARDEN, BOULDING AND BUTCHER REACTION
Dearden proud of players in capital
Mansfield boss Billy Dearden was proud of his players after they shrugged aside a far-from-ideal match build-up to claim an opening day point at Brentford.
The Stags drew 1-1 at Griffin Park thanks to Michael Bouding's strike - the third consecutive occasion they have claimed a point on the opening day after a stalemate at Shrewsbury last year and at Stockport in 2005.
Dearden felt the result was all the more creditable considering his side had been delayed en route to west London because of heavy traffic caused by England's rugby union international with France just down the road at Twickenham.
"We didn't have our pre-match meal until 12.50pm because we were stuck on the M25 for more than an hour," said Dearden.
"But the lads didn't let it affect them and came out for the warm up and got on with things as normal.
"I am proud of them. It is only one game but we deserved to win it and there are not many teams who will come here and get a result, don't worry about that. If we carry on like that we will be OK.
"We take no notice of what people predict for us. They have to pick someone who they think will go down and because of what happened at the end of last season they have picked us.
"But we just set out to prove people wrong. It is something we will keep in the back of our minds and remind one or two people about later on.
"We have a small squad and will probably struggle as much as anyone if we get injuries. But if we carry on doing well and get more punters through the gate there is no reason why we can't strengthen it."
Dearden was delighted with the contribution of goalscorer Michael Boulding who he feels is reaping the benefits of a full pre-season.
He said: "You won't see a better goal than that on match of the day. He hit it from 30 yards, 35 maybe, and gave the keeper no chance.
"Mickey will always get chances. He might create two or three chances for himself and one of these days he is going to score them all.
"At the top level if you have five or six chances then two or three are normally scored. Mickey only put one in and that is probably why he is at this level. But I still think he can play higher."
Dearden was frustrated by the way Mansfield conceded from a set-piece - just as they did so often last season.
"We should be better than that from set pieces. Everyone was marked up tight for the corner but someone has lost their man and he (Alan Connell) was on his own at the back post," said Dearden.
"But I do think we will score more goals from set pieces at the other end this season with the likes of Bucko (Jake Buxton) and (Martin) McIntosh up there."
After his thunderbolt, Boulding says Stags will click in front of goal
Michael Boulding insists Mansfield's day in front of goal will come after spurned opportunities cost them victory at Brentford.
The Stags created a succession of chances to take the three points in their opening match of the season at Griffin Park on Saturday, which finished 1-1. Inspired goalkeeping from Ben Hamer, together with some poor finishing, forced them to settle for a point.
But Boulding reckons things will click into place, so long as the team keep making openings.
"I thought we had far better chances and that shows we have done pretty well going forward," he said. "Some of the lads will be disappointed with their misses, but the keeper made some good saves as well.
"If you are creating chances then you are going to take them eventually. Hopefully then we will start getting full points from games."
Mansfield's goal came from a 23rd minute 30-yard screamer from Boulding that cancelled out Alan Connell's 14th minute opener.
He said: "It came in to me and I had a decent first touch. It sat up nicely and that meant the shot was on. When I caught it, it felt just right and I could see it was heading for the top corner.
"It was a nice feeling because you are always trying to get off the mark early in a season.''
Stags have a tough Carling Cup clash at League One Oldham tomorrow night. Boulding said they should not get disheartened should they lose. "At some point you are going to have some bad results but you have to keep bouncing back.''
Mansfield will have no problems - butcher
Brentford boss Terry Butcher reckons Mansfield can make a mockery of their pre-season tag of relegation favourites.
Some bookmakers are predicting the Stags will suffer the drop to the Blue Square League at the end of this season.
But the former England international cannot see that happening if Mansfield produce the level of performance they did in drawing 1-1 at Griffin Park.
"I can't see any problem for Mansfield on the evidence of that performance. It is still early on but they look a decent side," he said.
"They will want to sharpen up on their finishing, but they don't look like a side who are going to struggle.
"It certainly was different to what we have encountered in our pre-season games. They have some experienced players and they made it very hard for us."
Butcher was delighted with the efforts of his keeper Ben Hamer, who was drafted in on loan from Reading the day before the game.
He said: "I'm sure Mansfield would say they had enough good chances to score and win the game.
"Our keeper played very well to save our bacon a few times and they hit the woodwork.
"No doubt, Billy Dearden will be feeling disappointed, but so are we about a couple of the refereeing decisions didn't go our way.
"I think either side could make a claim to say they could have won the game, so perhaps a draw was a fair result."
Audio interview with Terry Butcher from BBC London (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/realmedia/sport/110807_terry.ram
Audio interviews with Billy Dearden and Michael Boulding from Mansfield 103.2 here
Audio interview with Billy Dearden from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2008/stags_brentford_away_manager.ram
Audio interview with Michael Boulding from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2008/stags_brentford_away_player.ram
Evening Post website
Billy says pens were close call
Brentford 1 v 1 Mansfield Town
New Brentford boss Terry Butcher insisted the best is yet to come from his young side after seeing them fight out a 1-1 draw with Mansfield.
Eight of the former England skipper's new signings were in the starting XI - and two loan players had only signed the day before.
But Butcher, who rang in the changes after Brentford's relegation last season, believes the hard-fought draw will keep fans' feet on the ground and give him "plenty of positives" to work with.
His reign got off to the best possible start after 14 minutes when Alan Connell smashed home an unstoppable drive from the edge of the box.
But Michael Boulding pegged the Bees back within 10 minutes thanks to an equally superb strike which gave Reading loan keeper Ben Hamer no chance from 30 yards.
Charley Ide thought he had given his side a foothold on 75 minutes when Martin McIntosh almost ripped the shirt off his back but astonishingly referee Andy Penn waved away the penalty appeal.
And Chelsea loanee Adrian Pettigrew was then pole-axed in the box by Stags keeper Jason White, only for referee Penn to again wave away the protests.
Mansfield boss Billy Dearden admitted the penalty shouts were a close shave for his side but added: "We created the better chances, hit the post twice, and we are bitterly disappointed. It feels like we lost.
"Credit to Brentford, they played some open football and both sides wanted to play but there were plenty of good things for us to build on."
Butcher said: "The conditions were very difficult in 90-degree heat but there were a lot of positives.
"We're a very young side and we haven't had much continuity so as we play together and grow together things will get better. At least we didn't lose.
"We could've lost that game but the players showed tremendous honesty and put their foot in. It's best that I don't say too much about the penalties."
Striker celebrates vital wonder goal
STAGS' striker Micky Boulding savoured his stunning 25-yard drive which earned Mansfield Town a point in a 1-1 draw at Brentford on the opening day of the season.
Boulding said: "We have been practising shooting from distance in training and hopefully it will pay off like that all season.
"Personally, it was nice to get off the mark today with a goal, but more importantly the team performance was encouraging."
Boulding's crashing shot in the 23rd minute cancelled out an early Alan Connell goal for Brentford and sparked the Stags into creating several good chances during the rest of the match.
Boulding added: "We showed a lot of character, created a lot of chances in the second half and the keeper made some good saves. Our own defence was solid, we looked strong in midfield and pretty good going forward
"Last season we would not have come back from conceding an early goal away from home."
Manager Bill Dearden said: "I think we should have won, we created the better chances.
"Having said that we might have conceded a late penalty, but the decision swayed towards us.
"We were disappointed in conceding the goal we did. It was bad marking.
"But after that we took over. You won't see a better goal than Micky's. He might have had more goals, but he will always get chances. He has been on fire pre-season. I still think he can cause problems for anyone
"Their keeper has made good saves from shots putside the box. All the midfield had shots on goal and got in the box at the right time, I am pleased about that.
"If we carry on like that we will be ok. And we know we can play better.
"This was against a good team, from a higher division last season. We are supposed to be relegation favourites. That hurts a bit. We will remind one or two people later on about that.
"We had so many serious injuries from March onwards last season. We did well to stay in the League.
"If we stay fit we will give most teams in this league a good game this season."
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