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Archived News from April 2009

22nd April 2009 22:28

David Holdsworth reaction from BBC Radio Nottingham and Graham Baker reaction from BBC Surrey here

David Holdsworth video interview here

Surrey Advertiser:
Cards on the brink

WOKING are staring down the barrel after their 2-2 draw at home to Mansfield on Saturday left them relying on other results - or a summer reprieve - to secure their Blue Square Premier safety.

Graham Baker's side fell behind after 41 minutes to a spectacular overhead kick from Robert Duffy. But Colin Miles neat back-heel from close-range was the culmination of a brief spell of pressure two minutes later.

When Joe Anderson finished off a flowing move to put the Cards 2-1 up midway through the second half it seemed as though the crucial win - against a team who had lost their last five away games - had been achieved.

But Duffy was allowed a free header to snatch a draw for Town, while Joel Ledgister's wayward shot from 10 yards with virtually the last kick of the game means Woking are sweating on Tuesday night's results.

York City look almost certain to escape, with three games remaining, after they beat Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.

Barrow need a point from two games, while Woking must hope that either they lose against Torquay, or Grays fail to beat Crawley to set up a last-day finale. Weymouth's only hope of staying up could rest with their home clash against York City on Friday evening.

“We are relying on others now and we just hope that the results go our way to give us a chance of going to the last day on Sunday,” said Baker, whose team face a Surrey Senior Cup semi-final at Merstham on Tuesday night.


Duffy double could seal new Stags' contract
By John Lomas
ROB Duffy's two-goal salvo could help seal him a new contract in the summer as Stags drew 2-2 at struggling Woking on Saturday.
Duffy scored in both halves to go joint top scorer with Mark Stallard on nine goals and boss David Holdsworth said: "I was pleased with Rob and they were both good centre forward finishes.

"When he plays like that he is hard to play against. When he plays the other way he is anaemic and I am working hard with him. He has some attributes that may contribute to us next season.

"I have already told him he can't rest on his laurels. But I have been pleased with him and he is now joint top scorer.

"So he has two home games to finish top scorer and reach double figures. I know we need two strikers to get into double figures next season if we want to be up there."

Duffy said: "That was the second bicycle kick I've scored, I got one at Oxford last year.

"It was more of a reaction really as I was in the vicinity and it was the only way I could get to it.

"But we mustn't let leads slip. It is the difference between finishing mid-tale and pushing on up next season.

"We have to be more professional and more tough after we have scored.

"After recent away results it was important we got something today so it was nice to put things right. We can't slack off now – we have two games left.

"It is now the business end of the season and the gaffer has decisions to make over contracts. We will have to wait and see what happens but I hope we will sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where we are."

The 2-2 draw ended a five game away losing streak and Holdsworth said: "The response was good today, coming back from behind, dominating and having good chances to win it. Our heads are held high this week after last Monday at Northwich.

"I think we dominated the game for large parts. Woking had a good go in the first half and I was a little critical of our players at half time.

"I don't care if it's the first game of the season or the last – I want to win it.

"We took the lead but we showed a lack of concentration or ability and ended up going behind. I am still asking questions of the players and of myself.

"They had one chance in the second half and scored out of nothing. And how Nathan Arnold blazed over at the end I don't know though he was in the right position.

"Our fitness levels were good in that second half."

He added: "They were dominating down our left in the first half and Curtis Woodhouse was playing on with a sore groin which got worse so fair play to him for trying. But we changed it round and did better in the second half which allowed us to get Ryan Williams into the game."

Stags had lost Louis Briscoe after only 20 minutes and the manager added: "We had already lost Matt Somner and now Louis Briscoe has damaged ankle ligaments and we will have to wait and see how he is. It is probably down to those green boots and trust me, they are going!"

Some Stags fan dressed as Smurfs to mark the last game of the season in party mood and Holdsworth added: "Our fans were absolutely different class today and I can only thank them, It really gives you a lift.

"And I was pleased for the chairman, Steve Middleton and Andy Saunders who were all there supporting us again. We are a tight unit and there is a good togetherness."

Stags had two youngsters in central midfield but they were in charge by the end.

"I thought Olly Hotchkiss and Curtis Shaw did well together in midfield," he said. "They started slowly but by the second half they were dominating with Hotchkiss running midfield.

"Curtis has that Chris Waddle 'I'm tired' look about him but he did well."

Hotchkiss added: "At 2-1 down we would have been happy to get the draw but with the chances we had we should have won it.

"But it puts that defeatist attitude away from home to bed.

"This is a great club and the gaffer has put me in and I think I have done all right so far. I have really enjoyed it.

"It is a much better standard than playing for Leeds reserves. It is tough and physical but I think I have coped with it well and adapted. I now know what to expect.

"I have a year left on my contract at Leeds and will report there for pre-season training. But I will be sad to leave here as the lads have been different class with me and I am now looking forward to the last two home games."

Evening Post:
Stags boss Holdsworth may offer Duffy new deal
MANSFIELD Town manager David Holdsworth watched Rob Duffy bag two goals against Woking, then hinted the striker may be offered a new deal.
The striker's double in the 2-2 draw in Surrey took him to nine goals for the season since joining in January and makes him joint top scorer with Mark Stallard.
Duffy netted with an acrobatic overhead kick to put Mansfield in front and then he headed home with ten minutes to go to equalise after Woking had scored twice through Colin Miles and Joe Aanderson.
Holdsworth was delighted with the Welshman's efforts and suggests he can help the player become even better if he sticks around next season.
"When Rob plays like that, he is very hard to play against, but when he plays the other way, he is anaemic," said Holdsworth.
"But he has attributes that mean he may be able to contribute for us next season.
"For the first goal I taught him all he knows about that one! It was a great goal from a striker who was in the right position.
"Most goals are scored when a player is in between the sticks – and both his were.
"I took Rob off because we already have a few injured and I need him fit.
"He wanted to stay on and score a hat-trick, but he could have scored one anyway with a better first touch."
Since his arrival Holdsworth has bemoaned that none of his front men have hit double figures for the season. He has urged Duffy to change that by netting at least one more goal in the two games to come.
Holdsworth said: "There are two more games to go and I have already told Rob he can't rest on his laurels.
"The two goals at Woking have taken him to joint top of the list and now he has two home games to be top scorer on his own.
"If he gets there then credit to him. I will be over the moon to have someone in double figures.
"If you are going to challenge in a league then you must have two players who get into double figures."
Holdsworth felt Mansfield could have won the game in the second half. "The first half Woking had a good go and I was a little bit critical at half-time," he said. "I don't care if it is the first or last game of the season – I want to win it.
"I got a response in the second half, but we have still got a lot of things to work on.
"We stopped them playing down their right like they were in the first half and that allowed Willo (Ryan Williams) to get on the ball. But I think they had one chance and we had about eight or nine. How Nathan Arnold has blazed it over near the end I will never know.
"Our fitness levels in the second half were very good and there were plenty of positives out there."
Louis Briscoe (ankle ligaments), Curtis Woodhouse (groin), Matt Somner (knee) and Daryl Clare (back) are all fitness doubts ahead of tomorrow night's clash with Altrincham.

Hotchkiss grabs Stags chance with both hands
OLLIE Hotchkiss could already be winding down for his summer break were he drifting along in the reserves of his parent club Leeds United.
He could be thinking of beaches and swimming pools, a nice cool beer and an ice cream in the sun.
Yet, instead, the youngster has taken himself out of the comfort zone to focus his mind on a loan spell with Mansfield Town at Field Mill.
The holidays can wait.
Talking to the enthusiastic Hotchkiss, it is clear he is thoroughly enjoying his temporary stay in north Notts, particularly now he has broken into boss David Holdsworth's starting line-up.
And, even though there are only two games to go, neither of which mean a great deal in terms of Mansfield's position in the table, he is just as excited about playing in them as when he made his debut against Ebbsfleet.
The Sunderland-born teenager feels he has already learned so much by playing in the Blue Square Premier – and he wants that education to continue.
"It's been great at Mansfield and the gaffer (David Holdsworth) has been really good to me," said Hotchkiss.
"I had to be patient at first but I feel I have done all right since getting in the team and I have enjoyed what I have done.
"I can't wait to play the last two games of the season. I have played for Leeds reserves, but this is a much better standard.
"The Blue Square Premier is a really good standard, as well as tough and physical where you get pushed about a bit.
"The manager has helped me along and given me guidance and the rest of the lads have been great too."
Hotchkiss, 19, felt Mansfield did enough to win at Woking on Saturday, where the Stags had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
He was pleased with his own performance too, setting up Rob Duffy's 80th minute equaliser with a pinpoint cross from the left flank.
He said: "I hit a few crosses and some didn't come off, but when I got the ball from Ryan (Williams) I knew what I wanted to do.
"I saw Rob was in space at the back post and he has stuck it away superbly. He turned a good cross into an even better goal.
"He also came up with another fantastic goal and we did enough to win it.
"We should have had a penalty for handball and Nathan Arnold missed a great chance but it was a good performance and we put the run of away defeats to bed."
With a year left on his Leeds contract, Hotchkiss is determined to fight for a first-team future at Elland Road.
But first he will be giving his all against Altrincham tonight and Stevenage on Sunday.
"It will be sad to go back to Leeds in a way. But we have the home games and we want to end on a high," said Hotchkiss.
"I've had one win (against Ebbsfleet) and a draw but we deserved to beat Barrow.
"The gaffer has drilled into us that the home form is vital and we don't want to lose one under him.
"I haven't got a clue what Altrincham are like but I'm confident in my manager and my players that we can beat anyone at Field Mill.
"You perhaps get a bit more time on the ball at home because teams come knowing that we have some quality in the side and can hurt them. We have to take advantage of that because we want to send the fans away for the summer happy."

Holdsworth: Stags can hold their heads high
Sunday, April 19, 2009, 09:32Comment on this story

DAVID Holdsworth was delighted Mansfield Town finished their season away from Field Mill by ending a run of five consecutive defeats at Woking.
While the Stags have done well on home turf, they have found life very difficult on the road.
But their final trip of the campaign to the Kingfield Stadium yesterday yielded a 2-2 draw, with Rob Duffy netting both Mansfield goals.
"It's pleasing to end in a decent way. I have got my head held high after last week and the players went home with some credit," said Holdsworth.
"There is lots to do in the summer – and I can't wait for that – but there were a lot of positives..
"I felt the midfield players got better and better in the second half and Ollie Hotchkiss controlled play.
"Curtis Shaw has got that Chris Waddle "I look tired" look about him, but he played really well."
Holdsworth paid tribute to the 220 Mansfield supporters who made the trip down to Surrey, some in fancy dress.
He said: "Our fans were a different class. I went over at the end and they wanted to give me some of their blue make-up! (some supporters were dressed as Smurfs).
"They have been supporting us all through the season, as has the board.
They are great people and it was really good support."
But it was not all good news – Louis Briscoe (ankle ligaments) and Curtis Woodhouse (groin) were both injured and are doubts for Tuesday's home game against Altrincham.

Stags goal hero Duffy: I've played better and not scored
Monday, April 20, 2009, 07:00Comment on this story

ROB Duffy rated his two-goal salvo for Mansfield Town at Woking as his worst performance in an amber shirt.
Boss David Holdsworth sung the praises of the Welshman after he struck a goal in each half to help the Stags claim a 2-2 draw.
But Duffy insists he has played a lot better for Mansfield and not scored.
"I was delighted with the goals, but up until the first one I was anonymous and frustrated," he said.
"A goal can always lift you but I felt it was probably my worst performance for Mansfield overall.
"I will take the goals and I am pleased with the total I have got since coming in.
"If I could get into double figures before the end of the season, it would be an excellent return for me.
"We have two home games to finish and hopefully I can get at least one more goal.
"I don't think those goals have sent a message to the manager. He has known me long enough now to know what I'm about. If he decides to sit down with me and talk about a new contract, that's great..."
Duffy's first goal, an overhead kick, was as spectacular as his second was simple, a neat header.
"The first one was just a reaction," he said. "Sometimes they go over the stand and sometimes they go in the corner."


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