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Archived News from September 2009

30th September 2009 14:32

Mansfield 103.2 post match audio with Rob Duffy and Craig Armstrong, plus audio with chairman Andy Perry --->

Radio Nottm Gareth Holmes post match audio --->

post match video interview with Rob Duffy --->


Stags hat-trick hero played through pain barrier
CHAD.co.uk, 26 September 2009, By John Lomas
ROB Duffy went through the pain barrier once again to emerge the hat-trick hero in Saturday's 3-1 win over Hayes and Yeading.


For the second time in five days he needed a painkilling injection into a swollen ankle and said: "I was sore and had a double dose in it, so we will have to see what it feels like when the anaesthetic wears off.

"It's all about management of the injury and resting up between games and hopefully I will be fit for the next one.

"That was my second hat-trick, the last one was at Forest Green when I was with Oxford.

"I should have probably scored with my header early on.

"They don't normally drop like they did for my first goal. Then I didn't think too much about which way I would put my penalties past the keeper, but I was pleased to get my hat-trick.

"The lads were a bit leggy at the end after our midweek game and the crowd were getting restless early as they expected us to come out of the traps and mow them down like we did Oxford. But every game is different.

"Hayes may not have Oxford's players but every team in this league has grit and determination and you have to get over that hurdle before you have the right to score goals."

Craig Armstrong, like Duffy, played on with an injury and had high praise for Man of the Match Jake Speight, who had one disallowed and won two penalties.

"Jake was immense today," he said. "He was unlucky not to get one himself. But he worked his socks off for 75-80 minutes and cramped up near the end.

"That was a tough game today and a horrible one to play in. I didn't start as well as I wanted to and I think Tuesday night caught up with us all a bit."

"We got what we wanted – three points and that's all that matters," said Stags coach Gareth Holmes - sent out to meet the press by manager David Holdsworth to enjoy some of the credit for the second victory in five days.

Holmes added: "It was a bit physical and occasionally one or two of their players lost their discipline, so all credit to our boys for not losing their rag.

"It would have been easy for it to have been 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' today after Tuesday and we could have put in a poor performance and wasted what we did against Oxford.

"So credit to the lads for sticking to their task and responsibilities.
"We had to go toe to toe with them and we did a very professional job.

"Credit to Rob Duffy for playing again today but every striker will tell you they would play through the pain barrier as long as they get three on a Saturday. He was very composed with the penalties and we had confidence in him.

"But we must give Jake Speight a mention. He won two of the penalties and had a goal disallowed. So I am sure Rob will pat him on the back or buy him an orange juice or something tonight."

Hayes boss Gary Haylock said: "I don't think we kept the ball well enough. We know Mansfield's strengths – we'd had them watched – and we coped with them very well and they didn't cause us many problems.

"But their first goal has come from an error which is the story of our season.

"I couldn't see the first penalty but you trust the judgement of the referee.

"But for the second penalty my lad says it hit him on the shoulder and his hands had stayed down by his side.

"I am a firm believer that referees are not biased or cheating but it seems when you are down, you never seem to get a break.

"One of their lads handled in front of our bench and it wasn't even given. That's what kills me – it's the lack of consistency.

"But we kept going. At 3-1 down their keeper has made a great save and you just wonder what else you can do other than create chances like

"We are a part-time club and we are here at a proper Football League club who are well drilled and well organised. But fitness-wise I don't think we've been embarrassed at all.

"We play well in short spells, but it is just a lack of concentration that lets us down at times.

"There is not a lot wrong with us and on the balance of play and performances we should have another eight or nine points so I am not too disappointed."


Mansfield made most of their chances
Evening Post
HAYES and Yeading manager Garry Haylock felt his side paid the price for defensive lapses against Mansfield.
United played some decent football but eventually slipped to a 3-1 defeat as Rob Duffy registered a hat-trick.
Mansfield's victory leaves them fourth in the Blue Square Premier while Hayes and Yeading have slipped into the relegation zone.
"I thought we kept the ball well enough. We had them watched, knew their strengths and coped with them well," Haylock said.
"But the first goal came from an error – and that has been the story of our season.
"A large number of goals have come where teams have capitalised on our mistakes, but we haven't capitalised on theirs in the same way.
"What we lack is concentration. We can play well for patches but then we give silly goals away.
"In saying that, we had a great chance with ten or 15 minutes to go to make it 3-2, but their keeper made a great save."
Haylock was disappointed with the decision for the penalty which led to Stags' third goal.
He said: "I'm a big believer that referees are not biased or cheats, but when you are down there in the table, you never seem to catch a break.
"What kills me is the lack of consistency."


Keeper cover for the Stags as manager voices frustrations
CHAD.co.uk, 26 September 2009
By Tim Morriss
INJURY hit Mansfield Town are to bring in a young goalkeeper as cover for Alan Marriott - just after manager David Holdsworth had spoken of his frustration at being unable to strengthen his squad.
Suspensions and injuries have weakened the Stags squad amid rumours that Holdsworth's bid to sign a left back ahead of the win over Oxford was blocked by the owners - while moves to cover for injured reserve keeper Tim Sandercombe (quad muscle strain) last week had also failed.

However, it was revealed on Saturday afternoon that a young keeper from Grimsby is expected to join the Stags ahead of Tuesday's trip to Barrow.

And after the match, chairman Andy Perry laughed off any suggestions of a rift between himself and the manager over strengthening the squad.

He also said that they had considered bringing former Stags keeper Kevin Pilkington back to Field Mill - but those discussions ended when the stopper was given the chance for regular first team football at Tamworth.

Holdsworth - unavailable for interview after the victory over Hayes and Yeading - revealed his frustrations to Mansfield radio station 103.2 just before kick-off.

He said that keeper Marriott was being 'wrapped in cotton wool' pre-match and that six to seven first team players had not trained properly because of injuries.

When told that chairman Perry had said earlier in the week there was money available for a cover keeper, Holdsworth told 103.2: "That's news to me. I went to see the chairman on Friday to make him aware that we need a keeper.

"I couldn't get one that we wanted to bring in at such short notice because it cost money. The chairman is aware of the situation regarding Alan Marriott.

"It is a major concern to have only one fit keeper. We are down to the bare bones and it does have an impact."

Marriott needed treatment on the pitch during the midweek win over Oxford and Holdsworth added: "All I can do is inform the chairman and the board of deficiencies; it is of concern to me and the chairman knows that.

"Alan Marriott needs to be wrapped in cotton wool and treated with kid gloves.

"At the moment we are a bit skinny in some areas and I want to sustain our position. Bringing in new players would not be throwing money away, everyone is buzzing after Oxford and I would hate that to fall flat.

"But if we can't (bring in new players) I will roll my sleeves up and get everyone in a positive frame of mind."

A replacement for the keeper during matches currently would be defender Luke Graham - which would increase Holdsworth's problems defensively following injuries to Heckingbottom, Armstrong, Jones and Gardner.

With Mills and Perry suspended, those injury problems were further hit when Nix limped off early against Hayes and Yeading.

During the match Marriott also underlined how important he is to Holdsworth's plans with a top class reflex save to beat away a point blank range header.

After the game chairman Perry, talking on the club's official website mansfieldtown.net's Sunday Supplement, laughed off suggestions of a possible rift with his manager.

he said: "We have a good relationship. We speak every day, he has coffee at my house.

"The manager tries to play at my heart-strings for football, but it is all about what is best for this football club."

In an interview with Mansfield radio station 103.2 in midweek, the chairman had said: "Unusual circumstamnces have happened over the last couple of weeks with two sendings off and some of the injuries we have got.

"The squad itself weas built at the start of the season with great cover everywhere, but with one or two of injuries and lads out on loan we are now a bit thin in a few places . . . but we still have players capable of winning matches for us."

When asked about the absence of a keeper on the substitutes' bench recently following injury to Tim Sandercombe, Perry added: "Not everyone plays with a keeper on the bench; that is something we are discussing each day, if (David Holdsworth) wants to bring in a keeper or not. Life is not ideal and you can not cover every circumstance in all walks of life and football is no different."

The chairman revealed that the Stags have been offered 'quality keepers' from Championship level clubs 'for free', but with the proviso that the loan player starts matches. If the loan keeper didn't start, then the Stags would have to cover his wages - or at least a higher proportion of them.

And Perry said he did not think his manager would want that, with popular Alan Marriott currently the club's highly respected Number One.

He told 103.2: "We could get a quality keeper from say a Sheffield United or a Sheffield Wednesday, a third choice who is excellent, but they would want him to play.

"If he doesnt play, then that is an expensive wage to sit on the bench.

"We are offered players from a higher level for free or an amount we can cover in our budget, but he must play.

"I can't see the gaffer going for that, so it is a case of trying to find a balance betwen if we definitely need someone or can we work through it.

"It is just extreme circumstances at the moment which has left us very tight on numbers in terms of cover."

When asked if there was money to strengthen the squad in light of good attendances at Field Mill, he said: "We have had two games of attendances of 4,000 (crowd), but the average is 3,300.

"At the start of the season we got less people than the 3,000 we wanted taking up the season ticket deal (£195) than we wanted, so there is a hole to fill there . . . plus Setanta and the kit problems with Canterbury.

"We are working very hard on the commercial side to fill that void. We have to use common sense as well as wanting the club to do well.

"Mansfield has to exist under tight governance. Not many teams have the privilege to go out there and spend money as and when they feel fit to, buying players they want to who then leave after 29 days!"


North Stand closed for first time
CHAD.co.uk, 26 September 2009
By Tim Morriss
MANSFIELD Town FC's North Stand was closed on Saturday for what is believed to be the first time since it was opened as part of the 'new-look' Field Mill 10 years ago.


The club - keen to save money on stewarding costs - was able to persuade the county council-led Safety Advisory Group (SAG) that the small number of visiting supporters could be safely catered for in the main West Stand, where they were segregated away from the Stags fans.

Hayes and Yeading brought just 48 fans, one of a number of matches last season and this which will see less than 100 suppoters from visiting clubs as the Stags continue to taste a different life in non league football.

Club chairman Andy Perry said the experiment was likely to be repeated this forthcoming Saturday when Forest Green Rovers come to Field Mill.

Perry said: "We had the support of the police. Carl Gabbitas, who works with the club, recommended to SAG and if they are happy with how it went today, then it will be in place again next Saturday - and be judged in the future game by game."

Earlier this year the club said it would close parts of Field Mill this season to cut down on stewarding costs.

Certain sections of the North Stand, West Stand and the Quarry Lane End have been cordoned off - and will only be re-opened if the size of the crowd is big enough.

Chairman Perry said at the time: "It was well known last season we were concerned about our stewarding costs.

"We don't want to cut the gaffer's budget and we feel stewarding is one area we can make big savings."

The latest news will no doubt re-ignite the debate among Stags fans who have long campaigned for a return to the North Stand, their spiritual home - taken away from Mansfield supporters by police and safety officials just a few years ago.

They decided that away fans would be better housed in the North Stand, always the stand reserved for home supporters up until the controversial move.

Last year, when the new owners pledged to take up the issue with the SAG, police spokesman Chief Inspector Mark Wakeland said: "Keeping fans safe and reducing the potential for disorder and violence was central to the original decision to change the stands. The current set up has been very effective, with far fewer incidents after matches.

"Although some clubs that visit in recent times may bring fewer fans, intelligence reports suggest crowd behaviour is a potential problem. Whilst we appreciate that some Mansfield fans have an affinity towards the North stand, the safety of the audience is of paramount importance."



Latest | September 2009