McEWAN AND WALKER REACTION
McEwan: Stags young guns can be proud in defeat
MANSFIELD'S young guns should hold their heads high despite defeat to York City in the Setanta Shield last night, insists Billy McEwan.
The Stags boss watched from the stands – reserve team boss Neil Richardson was pitchside – as his team bowed out 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Kit Kat Crescent.
But the Scot believes there was a host of positives – not least the performances of some of the less experienced members of his squad.
Chris Wood started his first game of the season at right back, Emile Sinclair scored his second goal for the club, while Jamie McGhee came off the bench.
The match saw 16-year-old winger Nick Langford handed a first-team debut as a substitute to become one of the Stags' youngest ever players.
"It was a cracking performance from some of our younger lads against experienced players who have been at York for three or four years," said McEwan. "All the players who have come in have done well and not looked out of their depth.
"It is unbelievable that we have lost but we should have killed the game before the penalty lottery.
"The team was changed around to give some lads a chance and I thought we were the better team for most of the game. It was a night that boded well for the future of Mansfield Town and there was a lot to be pleased about, even if we are disappointed with the result."
McEwan was incensed by refereeing decisions that he felt swung the game in his former club's favour. He believed too much time was added on at the end of normal time, during which York scored their leveller.
He was aghast that keeper Michael Ingham got away with what appeared to be a handball out of his area with Sinclair clean through.
He said: "Decisions have cost us again and how many times have I said that this season?''
Adnan Ahmed has picked up a groin injury and is a doubt for the weekend.
McEwan bemoans decisions as Stags lose shoot-out
CHAD.co.uk, By John Lomas
BILLY McEwan bemoaned the officiating as vital decisions went against Mansfield Town in their Setanta Shield exit at York City on Tuesday night.
Stags had led deep into stoppage time which had been signalled as three minutes, but was well into the fourth when Mark Greaves forced extra-time and penalties.
Then home keeper Michael Ingham also blatantly got away with a handball well outside his box to stop Emile Sinclair scoring his second of the night in extra time.
In the end the home side, before their all-time record low first team crowd of 608, finally got one over on a much improved Stags at the fourth attempt this season.
But McEwan - who watched the game from the stands after deciding to switch from his usual touchline view - told Chad: "Decisions have cost us again and how many times have I said that this season? I say it until I am blue in the face.
"The three minutes were up before they got their corner.
"And their keeper handled well outside his box and got away with it. The referee said he was unsighted, but their chairman said to me in the stand that it was definitely handball.
"It was unbelievable. But overall I was pleased with out performance.
"We eventually lost on penalties which is a lottery. But it should have all been over well before those as we had enough chances to make it safe.
"We scored a good goal and were the better team tonight against a good and very experienced York. They had all their big guns out - that was their first team.
"But we changed it round a bit and had some young lads (Nick Langford (16) made his debut and another teenager, Jamie McGhee, also came on) in there and none of them looked out of their depth which is promising for the future of this football club.
"We have come here and put on a cracking performance and I feel sorry for those lads that we lost as they gave everything, ran their socks off and didn't deserve that."
With Chesterfield away looming in the FA Cup on Saturday, Stags lost midfield loanee Adnan Ahmed with a groin strain and McEwan added: "That's the last thing we needed.
"No disrespect to this competition, but the FA Cup is the big one and it's games like these in which you can pick up the injuries. We will just have to wait and see how he is.
"Most of them have played 120 minutes tonight so it's all about rest and recovery now.
"With so many games in this league you don't get a lot of chance to practice. It's all seems to be games, rest and recovery."
Boss Walker praises York 'guts'
audio here --->
Mark Greaves scored the equaliser to take the game into extra time
Boss Colin Walker praised York's character after they beat Mansfield for the first time in four attempts this term in the Setanta Shield third round.
Mark Greaves scored a late equaliser to force extra-time and penalties after Emile Sinclair's opener, and Simon Rusk scored the winning kick.
Manager Colin Walker told BBC Radio York: "Did we deserve it? Well I'm going to take it.
"There were some fantastic guts from the players. They didn't give up."
He added: "They didn't give the ghost up. We had [goalkeeper Michael] Ingham up at the corner that we scored from and I've just said to them that might just be the little bit of luck that we needed.
"We have dominated games and not got anything out of it. I thought we dominated the first half. I thought we set off really well and had loads of chances and should have been two or three up.
"I think we've got to have big praise for the young players, [defender Andy] McWilliams and [striker Adam] Boyes. I thought they did ever so well.
"I'm not saying we played that well at times. We started to rush things. But we didn't half show some guts at times.
"I'm dead chuffed for the players. There's been a lot of flack flying around and I'm dead chuffed for the players."
Latest | November 2008