MARRIOTT, DUFFY, HOLDSWORTH, RAYNOR,EVANS REACTION
Exclusive post match audio from Stags man of the match Alan Marriott, who spoke to StagsWorld's Martin Shaw, here
Stags matchwinner Rob Duffy is interviewed by Radio Nottm's David Jackson here
David Holdsworth and Crawley assistant Paul Rayor are interviewed by Radio Nottm's David Jackson and BBC SCR's John Barnet respecively after the game here
Video of Holdsworth post match here
Evans: We tore them apart
CRAWLEY Town boss Steve Evans had nothing but praise for his side despite their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Mansfield on Saturday.
Reds dominated for much of the game and produced a few chances to score while the home side created little but scored the vital goal.
Evans said: "I am disappointed to lose but am delighted with the performance. We were by far the better team and played better football.
"They had one chance and took it while we had six or seven chances and never took any of them. They've been torn apart.
"Their 'keeper (Alan Marriott) was Man of the Match and deserved it. In fact he should have had a medal. He's an excellent 'keeper who we tried to get over the summer.
"Lewis Chalmers was outstanding at Cambridge and was outstanding today as was the whole side. We were magnificent like we were at Cambridge but came away with nothing. We will play worse than that this season and win.
"We didn't make a substitution because we didn't need to - we got players forward and were pressing hard in the last half hour and it would have been an injustice to take anyone off."
CHAD.co.uk: Steve Evans interview here
Visiting boss Steve Evans could not believe his side had nothing to show for their efforts and said: "We had 99 per cent of the play and 99 per cent of the chances. We tore them apart at will and looked like the home side all afternoon.
"David Holdsworth seems a genuine man and if I am honest I will say we have smashed them off the park today and they have stolen the three points.
"We had enough chances today to win three Conference Premier matches.
"It was a fantastic performance. Only one team passed the ball.
"We are really hurting tonight. We know we will play a lot worse then that and win.
"It's a shame as I think the play-off teams will beat Mansfield home and away and David Holdsworth has a lot of hard work to do here.
The Argus (Sussex)
No justice for Crawley
Monday 19th January 2009
By Bruce Talbot »
If Steve Evans was disappointed by Crawley's four-point deduction it was nothing compared to the acute frustration he felt after his side missed the chance to claw three of them back.
Evans described Saturday's defeat, Crawley's first for eight games in the league, as an “injustice” and while his opposite number David Holdsworth laughed off that assessment even the new Mansfield boss would have to agree that his side had rode their luck.
But while Crawley enjoyed virtually a 100% success rate in front of goal when they hammered Cambridge United 5-0 in midweek, this time their finishing let them down.
That and some fine saves by Mansfield's Alan Marriott, one of six debutants in Holdsworth's first selection since taking over and rightly named man of the match.
“We were magnificent,” said Evans. “On another day we would have taken our chances and won comfortably because, let's not mince our words, we were a different class to Mansfield.
“We will play far worse this season and win. If David Holdsworth is honest he will say his side were absolutely smashed off the park.”
Holdsworth, not surprisingly, took a slightly different view. “We had to earn it because they pumped a lot of balls into our box and we defended for our lives.”
The truth was somewhere in between. Reds certainly dominated possession for long spells but as the second half wore on they seemed to run out of ideas, relying increasingly on getting as many balls into the penalty area as possible and feeding off Steve Fletcher, who had another good game but ran out of steam as the effects of two games in four days took their toll on his battle-weary 36-year-old body.
Mansfield were happy to shuffle everyone back at the first hint of trouble, hang on doggedly to Rob Duffy's 28th-minute volley and feed off the support of a vociferous home crowd.
Jon-Paul Pittman thought he had earned his side a point with 11 minutes left when his shot through a crowded box beat Marriott but not the crossbar. Earlier, Pittman had delivered an inviting ball across the face of goal but no one in a red shirt could get a decisive touch while Marriott's best work had come in the first half.
He dropped Sam Rents' cross but made amends with a brave block as Adam Quinn followed up before showing superb reflexes to keep out Lewis Chalmers' close-range header.
Fletcher volleyed wide and Pittman saw a low strike turned round the post while Mansfield's goal certainly came against the run of play and for a defence who have prided themselves on their ability to keep clean sheets in recent weeks it was a poor one to concede.
Duffy had time to chest down Nathan Arnold's cross and turn Quinn before beating Simon Rayner with a volley at his near post which the keeper got a strong right hand to but could not keep out.
Apart from Arnold's second-half free-kick which was straight at him and Louis Briscoe's late effort into the side netting on the counter-attack, Rayner had another quiet afternoon but at the other end Crawley could not find a way through.
Defender Jake Wright shared the frustration of his team-mates but does not believe this defeat or the four-point deduction will do irreparable harm to Reds' play-off challenge.
He said: “I think if we had played for another 90 minutes we wouldn't have scored .It's not been a good week league-wise and the lads are gutted. It is hard to take when you play so well and deserve to win but if we play like that for the rest of the season we won't have any problem making the play-offs.”
What hampered Evans more than anything was his inability to be able to change things in the second half. His bench consisted of three youngsters, defender Jamie Stevens and Thomas Pinault, who is still struggling with a back problem. Five players are still sidelined through injury and none are likely to be back for tomorrow's Setanta Shield game against Chelmsford, although Danny Forrest will be available after suspension.
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk, Jeannin (sub: Kay 53), Moses, Garner, Briscoe, Somner, D'Laryea, Arnold (Ameobi 57); O'Connor, Duffy (Stallard 73). Unused subs: Whatsize, Burrell.
Crawley: Rayner, Wilson, Rents, Quinn, Wright, Weatherstone, Bulman, Chalmers, Malcolm, Fletcher, Pittman. Unused subs: Stevens, Pinault, Nayee, Carter, Mills.
Mansfield Town keeper Marriott celebrates man of match award on his debut
By Staff Reporter
MODEST Mansfield Town keeper Alan Marriott played down his marvellous debut which helped the Stags to victory in new manager David Holdsworth's first match in charge.
Marriott was named man of the match after an assured and often brave performance in the Stags' 1-0 win over high flying Crawley - only his second game in four months following injury.
The visitors, unbeaten in nine matches, battered the home side for long periods as they failed to stretch their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
And one of the main reasons for that - and the Stags' first clean sheer in 10 games and two months - was new keeper Marriott.
The experienced stopper (30) pulled off two fine saves, countless other good stops and fully deserved his man of the match award.
Marriott hoping to walk tall for Stags
Marriott, who played 351 matches for Lincoln and was signed from Rushden by new boss David Holdsworth, said: "I was just feeling myself back into the game again . . . to get man of the match on my debut was pleasing; you can't ask for anymore and it is something to tell my little boy.
"It was very nerve wracking, but coming here has given ma new lease of life. I know what a great club this is with a great fan base," he told Stagsworld's Martin Shaw.
"The reception the fans gave me was absolutely fantastic and built my confidence from the start.
"They can make a massive part, footballers thrive on confidence and the more support they get from the fans the nore the performances will come."
On his fine reflex first half save to beat away a close range header, the keeper joked: "It was one of those where I was either going to eat it or save it . . . and I didn't want to eat a football!"
Holdsworth celebrates his Mansfield Town revolution's winning start
By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth reflected on a winning start to life as Mansfield Town manager today after a hard-earned 1-0 win over Crawley Town on Saturday afternoon.
Made to wait 19 days before getting a game, Holdsworth watched his side defend superbly against a side nine games unbeaten to hang on for a crucial win through a sole Rob Duffy strike.
"I am very satisfied with that," he said. "I expected to win and I told my players that.
"Credit to Crawley – we knew they would throw the kitchen sink at us and we needed to show determination and grit and have a bit of luck.
"We were under siege at times and I thought our second phase defending was wonderful.
"Okay they did hit the crossbar, but apart from that Alan Marriott hasn't really had a shot to save.
"Stats will show they had the ball in our box a lot, but didn't do anything with it and most of their shots were from outside the box and finished in the stand.
"We had to defend for our lives and I am delighted.
"A clean sheet and 1-0 win were my minimum requirements today and we really had to earn it. We had to battle which is a quality I hope I have brought to this football club.
"We had four making debuts. Rob Duffy scored a superb centre forwards's goal, Scott Garner was a warrior at the back against a very tough opponent in Steve Fletcher, Alan Marriott does what it says on the tin – he is a good, reliable keeper and Louis Briscoe played a cameo role with good work ethic.
"The fans were wonderful and embraced the players and let's enjoy this tonight. The fans and the board can enjoy it. It has been a great, great day for this club.
"My wife will be happy too as she has been more nervous than anyone!
"Steve Evans is right when he says they had a go at us. They put us under a lot of pressure – all route one down the middle which we had to deal with and did. Yes, we needed a little bit of luck and we know there is a lot more to do here.
"But we dug deep and were resolute. I wish Steve Evans and his club all the very best for the rest of the season – they are a good side."
On his new skipper, Jon D'Laryea, the Stags boss added:
"I see Jon D'Laryea as the future of this club. He is not the finished product but he did very well today.
"He was a little general in there and I want to see him become a colonel. I want him to take that armband, respect it, enjoy it and understand the importance of having it.
"It is imperative he leads by example and he did that today, getting through a lot of dirty work. I am pleased with that. I remember one second phase header after 75 minutes."
He also said that he wanted more flexibility in the squad and expected to strengthen his squad this week, after a busy seven days players' wise at Field Mill.
The manager also revealed that Duffy had limped off with a groin strain, saying that the rest of his squad was injury free and now needed to work on their fitness levels.
Debutant goalscorer Rob Duffy thanked the Stags for their 'great support' and added: "It is always good to score and has lifted a weight off my shoulders to score so early, after just half an hour of my time here.
"I took a touch on my chest, realised the defender wasn't as tight as he might be and twisetd my body and had a shot at goal.
"We're full of confidence on the back of this win aagainst a team third in the league and there ia a great feeling in the dressing room. It's great for the gaffer and all the players.
"Four new players came into the team today, but I think we slotted straight in."
Crawley: How did we not beat stags?
Steve Evans was astonished his Crawley side left Field Mill pointless.The Red Devils controlled long periods of the game but eventually lost out to a first-half strike from Rob Duffy.
Evans said: "They were on the back foot from 3.01 until 5.05pm and, if he is honest, David Holdsworth will say the same. Our performance was fantastic. There was only one team passing and moving and we have had a lot of chances.
"We hit the bar and we missed five or six in the second half and so we go away hurting."
Duffy joy at debut goal for stags
Rob Duffy was thrilled to score on his Mansfield debut - and instantly lift the burden of expectation that always follows a striker joining a new club.The signing from Newport County took a 28th-minute pass from Nathan Arnold on his chest and brilliantly volleyed into the left-hand corner.
The strike was to prove the only goal of the game as the Stags defended doggedly under extreme second-half pressure.
"To score in your first game is great - it lifts a weight off your shoulders straight away," said Duffy.
"It is something that can start playing on your mind if you go three four or five games at a new club without getting a goal. It was pleasing it happened that quickly.
"It was about 12 yards out from goal and I knew that, if I twisted my body right, the only outcome I could have ended up with was a shot on goal.
"Four or five people have come straight into the squad, which we have worked on all week, and I think we have slotted in pretty well."
Duffy believes the win will do wonders for morale and confidence ahead of Saturday's trip to Lewes.
He said: "It is great for the gaffer that we have got off to a winning start and great for the players and the fans as well.
"I thought the fans were excellent. They were right behind us and loud and if we are going to crack on up the table we are going to need that kind of support.
"We defended really well and the lads at the back stepped up. Crawley had a game plan but, while they had a plan A, they had no plan B.
"It's true we rode our luck but you need that and every team rides their luck at times.
"Alan Marriott pulled off two or three unbelievable saves and the one in the first half (from Lewis Chalmers' header) was point blank.
"But everyone who has started or come on has played their part."
Reaction: Holdsworth thrilled with Stags win
David Holdsworth was delighted with the character his Mansfield side showed to grind out a 1-0 victory over Crawley in his first game in charge.
The in-form visitors were unbeaten in nine and had the bulk of the possession and pressure, particularly in the second half.
But the Stags stood firm with the help of a brilliant goalkeeping display from debutant Alan Marriott.
“One of my first requirements is to keep a clean sheet and we did, but we had to earn it and battle,” said Holdsworth.
“I think all the lads contributed. Scott Garner was a warrior against a tough opponent in Steve Fletcher who you don't come across every week in this league. His anticipation was wonderful.
“Alan Marriott does exactly what it says on the tin. He is a good keeper and reliable too.
“Hopefully those players are a sign of the quality I will bring into this club.
“Rob's (Duffy) goal was a superb centre forward's goal. We maximised our chances with the ball in and the strike was with the help of some technical work he has done on the training ground.
Holdsworth was not surprised by the way play-off chases Crawley put Mansfield under pressure in search of an equaliser.
He said: “They had a lot of shots from outside the box and lots what were blocked by defenders.
“We had to defend for our lives, but we did and we did it well.
“It is very satisfying for me, but I expected to win and told that to the players.
“Crawley through the kitchen sink at us and we had to show resilience, determination and have a little bit of luck.”
Holdsworth wants so much more from stags
David Holdsworth insists there is more to come from his side after guiding Mansfield to victory over Crawley in his first game in charge.The Stags boss admitted his team rode their luck at times and had to work hard for their clean sheet, the first in ten games since they beat Salisbury City 3-0 in November.
But he said the side would get better when he had more time to work with the squad and bring in new personnel.
"We are not the finished article," said Holdsworth. "There are still things that can be done to allow us to win games more comfortably.
"We have to keep better possession at the right times and also play the ball in the right area at times.
"But most of the last two weeks has been spent on fitness and organising the team.
"We are still short on numbers and flexibility, and we had two on the bench who are in nappies really.
"We have won the game against Crawley and that is great, but there is still a lot more to do."
Holdsworth was delighted with the input of the four debutants; keeper Alan Marriott, defender Scott Garner, midfielder Louis Briscoe and goalscorer Rob Duffy.
Jonathan D'Laryea was a surprising choice from Holdsworth as captain, who hopes it will bring the best out of the quietly-spoken midfielder.
"I see Jon as the future and while he is a colonel now, he will become a general," he said.
"It is important the captain leads by example and he did that against Crawley."
Latest | January 2009