EASTBOURNE PREVIEWS AND COMMENTARY LINK
Commentary of Saturday's game at the Langney Sports Club will be brought to you free-to-air by BBC Radio Nottingham online. Follow the link here or go bbc.co.uk/nottingham and click on Listen Live. Commentary will be by David Jackson and Martin Shaw.
Latest on injury crisis: Mayo and Arnold don't travel with squad. Full video interview with David Holdsworth from Friday at mansfieldtown.net here
Stags face injury crisis: Full audio interview with David Holdsworth from Thursday at mansfieldtown.net here
Stags face injury crisis ahead of Eastbourne trip
CHAD.co.uk, 29 January 2009
By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town have big injury worries ahead of Saturday's tough trip to high-flying Eastbourne Borough with EIGHT first team players on the treatment table today.
Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Nathan Arnold, Michael Blackwood, Tomi Ameobi, Adie Moses, Paul Mayo, Jon D'Laryea, Alan O'Hare and Alex Jeannin are all in a race against time and boss David Holdsworth could find himself short in key positions.
"Some of these players are very doADVERTISEMENTubtful which is very concerning," he said.
"We are now paying for the legacy of not having a squad of players capable of playing in different positions.
"I have brought in two or three like Curtis Woodhouse and Louis Briscoe. But we need more like that.
"I am also concerned about fitness levels here. My players are showing fatigue after 60 or 70 minutes.
"So it seems those who have not been playing regularly have not been worked hard enough to keep themselves fit and ready which annoys me. They have not been pushed hard enough so they are ready to step into the fold.
"Also I have brought in several players from the part-time non-League system who need time to adjust."
O'Hare and Jeannin would probably have been in line to win a place back in the first team in the current situation but both limped off in yesterday's home reserve defeat by Port Vale.
"Nathan is definitely out again - he is not recovering very quickly which is disappointing," said Holdsworth. "Jon has hurt his Achilles, Tomi has been back to Doncaster for treatment on his ankle, Michael has twisted his ankle, Adie his knee and Paul Mayo is struggling with his hamstring which is down to fatigue after not playing at Notts for so long."
However, Holdsworth is unlikely to delve back into the transfer market in the last few days before the window closes unless someone leaves.
"I have not had a single phone call yet about any of my transfer listed players which concerns me and should concern them," he said.
"I fear for them as they will be so many players available in the summer. They need to do more now to get themselves fixed up.
"But if I have to go with what we've got at Eastbourne then we will get on with it. I can't expect the chairman to keep giving money for players. It is not a bottomless pot and he has backed me very well already."
However, Stags will welcome Curtis Woodhouse back into the squad after a 'gentlemen's agreement' saw him miss the midweek 0-0 draw against Rushden.
Opponents Eastbourne have won five of their last six BSP games, winning the last four at home, and romped to a 4-0 success away at Woking in midweek.
D'Laryea: New Stags boss made me want to sign
Evening Post, January 30, 2009
JONATHAN D'Laryea says David Holdsworth's appointment as Mansfield manager was pivotal to him signing a contract extension.
The midfielder has agreed a deal that will keep him at Field Mill until the summer of 2010.
But he says he would not have been so keen to commit long-term if he had not known what direction the club was going in.
"I had been speaking to the chairman about extending my contract," said D'Laryea.
"But it was important to me that David wanted me to sign. He came in and said I was someone he wanted around next season.
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"But it is important that I don't rest on my laurels. I need to keep working hard to improve."
D'Laryea, who has been made captain by Holdsworth, is Mansfield's second longest-serving first-team player behind Nathan Arnold.
He joined in October 2005 on loan from Manchester City before signing permanently.
D'Laryea said: "I'm as ambitious as the new manager and I want to get back into the Football League with this club."
Somner thriving for new-look Stags
Evening Post, January 30, 2009
IF anyone has come to typify what Mansfield Town are all about since David Holdsworth took over as manager, then it would be midfielder Matt Somner.
The Stags manager demands hard work, grit, determination and a good attitude from his players as a bare minimum – qualities the former Notts County player has in abundance.
Somner is not the kind of player who is going to spray around 40-yard passes or ghost past people as if they weren't there.
But what he lacks in god-given ability, he makes up for in other ways with his ability to tackle, scrap and fight for every cause.
Under previous boss Billy McEwan, the 26-year-old was in and out of faltering Stags side.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D655963/acc_random%3D5008391335/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10330.10331.10332.10319.10425.10428.10429.10464.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3EBut he has started all three games with Holdsworth in charge and has duly helped Mansfield to three clean sheets in a row.
Somner is pleased with his recent progress and hopes he can continue to impress.
"The gaffer has changed things round a lot and you can't complain because we have got seven points out of nine," said Somner.
"He has come in and told us that we start with a clean sheet and we shouldn't give that up without a fight.
"We do a lot of work on our organisation in training and we have done a lot of work on set pieces, which is particularly important in this league and where we were letting in too many goals earlier in the season.
"The key thing is that everyone knows exactly what they are doing and goes out to win their own personal battle.
"We know if we can win seven out of the 11 battles going out on the pitch then we have a good chance of winning the game.
"It's always nice to hear the gaffer say good things about you, especially because there are so many new players and some others have already left. It is hard for the lads who are already here, but part and parcel of the job. I have just got my head down and make sure I am wanted."
Like a number of Mansfield's players, Somner is out of contract in the summer having signed a one-year deal on joining from Notts County.
Former skipper Adie Moses, declared his desire to stay with the Stags earlier this week and Somner is also bidding to earn a new contract from Holdsworth.
He said: "I would definitely like to stick around because I have enjoyed my first season at the club so far.
"There have been plenty of ups and downs but the people here are great and so are the fans.
"I like the way the gaffer is going about things because he sets the standard high, which you need at a club.
"He wants to win every game and was disappointed we drew with Rushden and he is definitely the same as me in that regard."
Isleworth-born Somner has seen another challenge for his place arrive this week in the
shape of former Magpies team-mate Neil MacKenzie.
But he has welcomed the acquisition, feeling it will give the Stags a different dimension.
"I have played with him a good few games at Notts and while he is not too much about the defensive side, he is creative, with great ability on the ball, awesome passing and a knack of getting goals," said Somner.
"We want to have as many options as we can and I think he gives us something we didn't have.
"The competition is fierce now because there are five midfielders with Curtis Woodhouse, Curtis Shaw, Jon D'Laryea, Macca and myself.
"But that is healthy and the way you want it."
Paul Mayo (hamstring) is out of tomorrow's trip to Eastbourne while Nathan Arnold (knee), Gary Silk (illness), Adie Moses (ankle) Tomi Ameobi (knee) and D'Laryea (calf) are all doubts.
Stags boss Holdsworth ponders Havern offer
Evening Post, January 30, 2009
DAVID Holdsworth today admitted he is keen on trialist defender Gianluca Havern – but says offering a contract is not cut and dried.
The former Stockport County right-back, who can also play as a central defender, has played for the Stags' reserves against Derby, Shrewsbury and Port Vale.
And the Manchester-born 20-year-old has impressed manager Holdsworth during that time.
But the player himself has other options on the table while he is training at Field Mill.
And Holdsworth is also well aware that he has a budget to stick to.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D657960/acc_random%3D4057936145/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10330.10331.10332.10319.10425.10428.10429.10464.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3E"Havern had another assured game for us against Port Vale at right-back on Wednesday," he said.
"He is a very steady on the ball and he likes to keep it. He can also cover in the centre if needed.
"I like the boy, but we have to do things correctly and he has got other offers to consider.
"I am pleased to have him in my thoughts, but it all comes down to money and I am aware that I haven't got an endless pot."
Holdsworth is continuing to monitor the progress of fellow defender Michael Briscoe.
He is also looking closely at former favourite Neil MacKenzie, who is back at Field Mill on non-contract terms in a bid to earn a deal.
He said: "Macca came in for the game on Wednesday and did fine and got better as the game wore on even though the pitch wasn't conducive for passing. I feel sorry for our groundsman with the rain we have had.
"I was disappointed with the result (Mansfield lost 3-1) and the way we let goals in, but it is always hard when you are bringing in new players."
With a host of players struggling with knocks ahead of tomorrow's trip to Eastbourne, Holdsworth is eager to bring in more central defensive cover today.
But even if he is unsuccessful, he remains determined to strengthen in the area before Monday's permanent transfer deadline.
"I am still keen to get a defender in before the window because I was thinking of putting my boots on!" said Holdsworth.
"I am happy with things in attack because we have got some options and cover there but we are running out of options at the back.
"Defensively we need to fill in some of the cracks."
Paul Mayo and Alan O'Hare (both hamstring) are definitely out, as is Nathan Arnold (knee), while Adie Moses (ankle), Gary Silk (illness), Jonathan D'Laryea (calf) and Tomi Ameobi (knee) are doubts.
Eastbourne have won seven out of their last nine games, but Holdsworth is not fazed by the trip to Priory Lane.
He said: "Clearly it is going to be tough, but I am always up for the fight and the challenge.
"We know the way we are playing now and we might just upset a few people with the result, hopefully we will.
"But if not, we will take it on the chin, evaluate things and go again for the home game against York."
Borough chase more new signings following double swoop
30 January 2009
By Steve Hollis »
Eastbourne Borough are hopeful of further strengthening their squad before the transfer window closes after signing two new players yesterday.
Borough signed goalkeeper Michael Jordan and brought in striker Sam Gargan on loan with both expected to be in the squad to face Mansfield tomorrow.
Assistant boss Nick Greenwood was also holding talks with another target last night and has not ruled out further additions before the transfer window shuts on Monday.
Greenwood said: “We are delighted to get Michael and Sam in and there is a possibility another couple might come off.
“We have been working hard to find the right people to bring in since the transfer window opened and not just rush into things. Our form means we haven't needed to panic and could wait until the right people became available.
“It would be nice to get another in before tomorrow's game but if not then we have until Monday to do something still.”
Gargan's arrival fills the gap left by Ashley Barnes' return to Plymouth, although the Albion striker will have his work cut out to emulate the Argyle man's impact at Priory Lane.
The 20-year-old has already proven he can score goals in Blue Square premier with three in six games on loan at Lewes earlier in the season while he also spent a month at Blue Square south outfit Havant and Waterlooville at the start of the campaign.
Gargan has only made one appearance for Albion as a substitute back in April last year and his contract is due to run out in the summer.
Borough have signed him for one month initially but there is the possibility of making it permanent if he impresses during his loan spell.
Jordan has also spent time at the Dripping Pan after playing five games for the Rooks last year.
The 22-year-old began his career at Arsenal but never made an appearance for the Gunners before being released in 2006. He has since had spells at Yeovil and Chesterfield and was a free agent after being released by Stevenage.
Greenwood said: “After Monday we are not allowed to sign anybody for a week so it was important to get another goalkeeper to provide cover for Lee Hook and we are delighted to pick Michael up.
“Sam has been around the Sussex scene at various clubs on loan in the last few years and has got goals wherever he has gone. He did well at Lewes earlier in the season so we are confident he can come straight in and play at this level.
“With Ashley leaving, Jean-Michel Sigere (released) and Allan Tait (loaned out) all gone we were a little bit exposed up front if we picked up any injuries but now we have got four strikers who all offer us something different.”
The additions of Gargan and Jordan show Borough are refusing to rest on their laurels despite a run of seven wins from their last nine league games. That impressive form has seen Borough climb from just above the relegation zone at the end of November to tenth place going into tomorrow's meeting with Mansfield.
Gargan may have to be content with a place on the bench against the Stags if Andy Atkin passes a fitness test on the calf injury he picked up at Woking on Tuesday.
However, he could be asked to partner Atkin with Dan Smith moving to right wing and Jay Lovett switching to left-back in place of the suspended Neil Jenkins.
Mansfield will field a very different side to the one which beat Borough 3-1 at Field Mill in September – with only four players from that clash expected to be in their starting line-up. One familiar face will be Curtis Woodhouse who scored the only goal at Priory Lane for Rushden and Diamonds on the opening day of the season and returns to the Mansfield side after missing the midweek goalless draw with his former club.
Meanwhile, Mo Harkin has become the third of Borough's four summer signings to be released.
Harkin follows Sigere and Chris Winterton out of Priory Lane after failing to make an impact since joining from Havant and Waterlooville. A problem with his vision has meant the winger has been sidelined since the Boxing Day clash with Lewes.
Eastbourne: Hook, Austin, Baker, Pullan, Lovett, Smith, Smart, Brown, M Crabb, Gargan, Atkin. Subs from: N Crabb, Jordan, Wormull, Harding, Johnson, Xano.
Mansfield: Marriott, Silk, Moses, Garner, Mayo, D'Laryea, Somner, Woodhouse, Briscoe, Duffy, Blackwood. Subs from: Howell, Whatsize, Shaw, O'Connor, Kay, Ameobi, MacKenzie.
Boro sign Gargan in time for Mansfield clash
30 January 2009
By Derren Howard
Eastbourne Borough have signed Brighton and Hove Albion's Sam Gargan on loan in time to face Mansfield Town at Priory Lane tomorrow.
Boro' have been locked in talks with the 20-year-old striker, who has previously had loan spells at Worthing, Bognor Regis, Welling, Havant & Waterlooville and Lewes.
He made his Albion debut last April when he came off the bench in the 85th minute against Bristol Rovers.
Gargan has featured strongly in Lewes' few successes this season, scoring three goals in eight Blue Square Premier appearances – in the 1-1 draw with Histon, the 2-1 triumph over Oxford and the 3-2 victory over Forest Green Rovers.
Final discussions were being held last night and head coach Nick Greenwood was optimistic a deal would be completed.
"He is a player with experience of scoring at this level and we believe he will be a good addition to our squad.
A striker was a top priority for Boro in a week that saw Allan Tait and Jean Michel Sigere depart, Ashley Barnes recalled to his parent club Plymouth and Andy Atkin injured after a three- goal blast at Woking.
Greenwood added, "We are cautiously optimistic with Andy but he has to be a doubt for Saturday. Only at Borough can we go from having five strikers to one. But things change fast in football and obviously securing a striker is our main aim."
Gargan is joined by 6ft 2in ex-Arsenal youth, Chesterfield and Lewes goalkeeper Michael Jordan and in-form Plymouth Argyle striker Dan Smith whose loan was extended at Priory Lane this week.
Barnes was recalled to his parent club hours before Boro's 4-0 win at Woking. He was on the bench for Plymouth's midweek 2-0 defeat at Bristol City and is in contention to face Ipswich Town after scoring for the reserves on Wednesday.
Few teams will relish a visit to Priory Lane at the moment. Boro are riding the crest of a wave after a winning run of four league games with Tuesday's 4-0 Woking triumph taking them to third in the Blue Square Premier form table.
Garry Wilson's men have not lost at Priory Lane since their 2-1 defeat defeat by FA Cup heroes Kettering way back in October.
The Boro boss said, "We are delighted with the way things are going. The players are playing with confidence and enjoying their football.
"We have heard talk of play-offs but we cannot get involved with that. This is a tough league and we just have to work hard, keep learning and concentrate on the next game.
"Mansfield will be tough to face and hopefully we can get a good crowd behind the team and generate a good atmosphere. Against York the crowd were fantastic and hopefully they can play a big part once again on Saturday."
Mansfield, who are the fourth highest supported club in the league with an average home gate of 2,478, have endured a patchy season.
The Stags beat Boro 3-1 at home in September but currently sit just five points above the relegation zone on 33 points from 27 matches.
They were deducted four points for fielding an ineligible player which coincided with an alarming dip in form that saw them win just once in 12 games.
However, The Stags have enjoyed a recent upturn in fortunes with their only defeat from their last six matches coming from leaders Burton Albion.
Boro' Supporters Club are running a coach for next Saturday's game at Altrincham for the bargain price of £25 (non members £28).Contact Les Baker on 735378 by Wednesday.
Hitman staying with Borough
29th January 2009
By Steve Hollis »
Dan Smith will get the chance to emerge from Ashley Barnes' shadow after agreeing to extend his loan at Eastbourne Borough.
The Plymouth forward's current deal ends after Saturday's game against Mansfield and there were fears he would follow Barnes out of Priory Lane.
Barnes was recalled early from his loan spell by Argyle boss Paul Sturrock on Tuesday and was an unused substitute in the Pilgrims' 2-0 home defeat by Bristol City.
Sturrock, who has been impressed with the duo's progress at Borough, was also keen to test Smith at a higher level by sending him out on loan to a League club but has now agreed to let him stay at Priory Lane.
Smith has helped Borough to seven wins out of nine games since his arrival with Barnes at the end of November and assistant manager Nick Greenwood is delighted to hold on to his services.
Greenwood said: “Dan is happy to stay and Paul Sturrock has agreed to it so that is great news for us. We would like to keep him for the rest of the season but we are still ironing out the details with Plymouth.”
Barnes' return of five goals in eight Blue Square premier matches ensured he hogged the headlines during his stay at the club but Smith has shown encouraging signs of his potential in the last two weeks.
The 19-year-old scored a fine goal at Forest Green Rovers 12 days ago, set up both goals against York City on Saturday and then scored one and made two in the 4-0 rout at Woking on Tuesday.
Greenwood added: “Ashley was perhaps the more prominent of the two over the past couple of months but maybe it is time for Dan to come into the limelight now. We pointed that out to him after the game on Tuesday and hopefully he can grab the chance to show what he can do.
“He has missed a few chances since he has been with us but in the last few games he has been involved heavily in the goals we have scored and is causing real problems for the opposition.”
Meanwhile, Borough are hopeful of further reinforcing their squad today.
A new goalkeeper is expected to sign to provide back-up for regular No.1 Lee Hook following the departure of Chris Winterton last week while Greenwood is also hopeful of landing a striker.
Borough could be short of options up front for Saturday's clash with Mansfield if Andy Atkin fails to recover from a calf injury which forced him off at half-time at Woking on Tuesday.
Atkin, who scored a first-half hat-trick on his return to the starting line-up at Woking, was due to have a scan last night to discover the extent of the damage. If he is ruled out it would leave Smith, Nathan Crabb and the untried Idalio Santo as the only available strikers in the squad, although Pat Harding can also play up front.
Ashley Barnes improved his chances of keeping his place in the Plymouth squad for the trip to Ipswich on Saturday after he scored for reserves in their 2-2 draw with Bristol City yesterday.
Plymouth agree to extend Smith's loan deal
28th January 2009
By Steve Hollis
Dan Smith is expected to stay at Eastbourne Borough for at least another month.
The Plymouth striker's current deal is due to expire after Saturday's home game against Mansfield but Argyle boss Paul Sturrock has agreed to extend it.
Borough are hopeful of keeping the 19-year-old until the end of the season with the Pilgrims having the option of an early recall but they may have to settle on extending the loan for just another month.
Sturrock recalled Ashley Barnes from his loan spell early on Tuesday and Borough feared they could also lose Smith who has scored twice in the last three games.
Eastbourne's 3 first half goals last night were all scored by Andy Atkin (all headers), and he went off injured at half time and is doubtful for the Mansfield game according to the report attached. Atkin was the replacement for star-striker Ashley Barnes who was recalled by Plymouth on Monday.
Highlights from youtube (taken by a fan, but reasonable quality)
quick clip of one of the Atkin goals from youtube (also taken by a fan, but reasonable quality)
Atkin proves there is life after Barnes
9:00am Wednesday 28th January 2009
By Steve Hollis »
Andy Atkin proved there is life after Ashley Barnes for Eastbourne Borough as he inspired them to a record win in Blue Square premier.
Atkin was only in the starting line-up at Kingfield last night after Barnes was recalled from his loan spell early by Plymouth Argyle.
Barnes had played a massive part in Borough's run of six wins in the last eight games but Atkin's first-half hat-trick eased fears the wheels would come off without him.
Atkin's last goal came way back in September but it took him only 95 seconds to end that barren run and he went on to score twice more before being substituted at half-time with a calf injury which may rule him out of Saturday's visit of Mansfield.
Dan Smith added a fourth in the second half to eclipse Borough's previous biggest victory in non-league top flight, the 4-1 win over Northwich Victoria.
Atkin said: “It's been a long time since my last goal so it was good to get back scoring. Ashley has been brilliant for us and I hope he goes on to better things but I saw this as my opportunity and I was delighted to grab it.
“I'm big enough to admit that I've learned a lot from watching Ashley play over these last couple of months and I think I am a better player for it.
“It was tough going as I got a kick before my first goal. It wasn't too bad while I was running but as soon as I stopped it seized up.”
Atkin scored the majority of his 30 goals in Blue Square south last season with his head and wasted little time proving that he is still a real threat in the air.
The striker could hardly believe his luck as he was allowed a free header at the near post from Matt Crabb's right-wing corner.
Joel Ledgister and Paul Lorraine both sent headers wide while Matt Pattison's chip was off target as Woking pressed for an equaliser but they were caught out in the 31st minute when Smith's corner picked out Atkin who rose above his marker to head home.
The same combination did the trick again five minutes before the break with Smith and Atkin linking up again.
This time the goal came from a well-crafted move as Matt Crabb, Dan Brown and Matt Smart worked the ball over to Smith on the right and his cross was inch-perfect for Atkin to nod into the top corner.
Injury forced Atkin off at half-time but his replacement, Nathan Crabb, immediately exploited the gaps behind Woking's defence with his pace.
Smith had a great chance to make it 4-0 straight from the restart while Cards keeper Simon Eastwood was fortunate to escape with a yellow card as he handled outside the area with Nathan Crabb closing him down.
The fourth goal did arrive in the 66th minute as Crabb cleverly set up Smith with a neat ball inside his marker and Smith placed a shot into the far corner of the net.
Woking's night was summed up when subsitute Tom Denton looked sure to grab a consolation only for his header to bounce up and hit the bar.
Assistant manager Nick Greenwood said: “It was a blow to lose Ashley but Andy scored a lot of goals for us last season and there is no doubt he will be a big goal threat in this league too.”
Borough: Hook 7, Austin 7, Baker 7, Pullan 8, Jenkins 7, Smith 8 (Johnson, 81), Wormull 6 (Lovett, 67), Smart 7, Brown 8, M Crabb 7, Atkin 9 (N Crabb 7, 45). Subs not used: Harding, Lightwood.
Woking: Eastwood, Lorraine, Quamina, Miles, Marum (Lambu, 45), Pattison, Konan (Denton, 56), Ledgister (Magunda, 72), Domoraud, Bozanic, Kamara. Subs not used: Gindre, Moone.
Referee: Richard Martin (Somerset) Attendance: 1,101.
Man-of-the-match: Andy Atkin.