HOLDSWORTH AND HEATHCOTE REACTION
Graham Heathcote reaction (several days later, as he does not do any post-match interviews):
Altrincham FC official website
In the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, Alty joint press officer John Edwards quotes Graham Heathcote in the wake of the Mansfield game last Saturday. Graham said, "Even though we lost, there was a real buzz around the ground and in the bar afterwards. People knew they had seen a proper non-League encounter, an old-fashioned tough-tackling game full of honest endeavour and good football. When you look at the card count, you would think it had been an afternoon of thuggery but it was nothing of the sort. It was a strong, committed approach from both sides and it is just unfortunate that the game has gone as far as it has in eradicating any sort of physical contact. But the effort and spirit we showed, especially when we were down to nine men, tells you we have a group of players who are prepared to give their all for this football club.
The atmosphere generated by our supporters was fabulous as well. There were so many good ingredients to the day that I went home feeling anything but disappointed. Mansfield were probably a bit cuter than us in many ways and we have to learn to be more disciplined. But I was elated with the effort we put in".
post match audio from Mansfield 103.2, with David Holdsworth, Luke Graham, Steven Istead, Paul Heckingbottom, Craig Armstrong --->
David Holdsworth post match interview with BBC Radio Nottingham --->
Stags boss Holdsworth: Now let's do it again
DAVID Holdsworth is urging Mansfield Town to follow up their away victory at Altrincham on Saturday with another at Eastbourne this weekend.
The Stags notched their first win in five on their travels at Moss Lane thanks to goals from Kyle Perry and Louis Briscoe.
The visitors were less than convincing against Alty, who pulled a goal back through Aaron Burns despite finishing the game with nine men after Chris Senior and Matt Doughty were sent off.
But Holdsworth was more concerned about the result than the manner of victory – and is targeting another three points at Priory Lane.
"It is 100 per cent correct to say the result was what mattered at Altricnham," said Holdsworth.
"A lot of things in the game could be dissected, but when they went down to nine men we were on a hiding to nothing.
"I'm delighted with the end product because a lot has been made of our away form in recent years.
"That tag has gone now and we can look forward to Eastbourne to try to get another good result."
Holdsworth admitted the Stags did slip into sloppy habits once they had a two-man advantage.
He said: "We had the chances to finish them off but we didn't so I had to be critical of our forwards.
"There were opportunities for Ryan Williams, Jake Speight and Louis Briscoe.
"But it's no use being in good positions and blasting over the bar.
"It just shows you that at this level that people are not higher for a reason.
"We have people who find themselves at this level and if they don't learn from their mistakes, they will continue to play at it.
"Gary Silk made a poor judgment going into midfield when he didn't need to and has held his hand up and the two centre halves also got too narrow.
"Having said that full credit to their centre forward (Aaron Burns) who came on and did very well.
Stags duo delight Holdsworth
MANSFIELD Town manager David Holdsworth was delighted with the response of goalscorers Kyle Perry and Louis Briscoe following their recalls to the side in the 2-1 victory at Altrincham.
Perry had been on the bench following his return from suspension, while Briscoe was dropped after a disappointing showing in the last away game at Barrow.
"Kyle played through illness and at half-time started being sick, which is why I had to take him off," said Holdworth.
"He added a physical presence up there and contributed a lot towards a very good victory.
"I was disappointed he had to come off because both he and Rob Duffy were winning the first headers.
"Louis had heeded some advice I have given him and I was delighted with the goal he got at the start of the second half.
"Everyone knows I believe in his ability but we have to manage it.
"When he is on top of his game he is tough to play against, but if not we have to make sure he does the percentages well."
As for the first half decisions of referee Andy Halliday, who ultimately sent off two Altrincham playeers, Holdsworth said: "I don't like commenting on other teams but he raised his hands and pushed someone in the face and then the referee has to make a decision.
"We have been on the receiving end in terms of discipline this season, but this one was not for me to judge.
"With Gary Mills' challenge (that saw him booked) wasn't a leg breaker. There were a lot of little challenges – it was a niggly game – but we kept our discipline.
"But I couldn't be more delighted with the way we started and I was very pleased with the quality on show. We were far superior in a wonderful first half for us."
Stags boss praises fans
MANAGER David Holdworth has praised Mansfield Town's fans for their 'tremendous' support at Altrincham yesterday.
The travelling faithful saw the Stags claim a 2-1 victory at Moss Lane thanks to strikes from Kyle Perry and Louis Briscoe.
It was their first away success in five matches.
"I couldn't believe how many fans had made the journey across from Mansfield," said Holdsworth.
"They were shouting and singing for the whole game – and we appreciate it.
"They all got nervous at the end, but we were all the same."
Holdworth insisted he was not worried in the final minute when Robbie Williams headed home for Altrincham to seemingly make it 2-2.
He said: "I knew straight away that he was offside because as a defender I knew to look straight across at the flag.
"We work hard on those situations and we defended correctly. I think Graham Heathcote (Altrincham manager) knew it was offside straight away too."
Holdsworth handed Steven Istead a debut in midfield with Kyle Nix out because of illness.
He said of the former Ilkeston's man's performance: "He was very combative, even though it takes time to get used to the pace of the game.
"He did the job I know he can do, breaking up the play well, although he could have released the ball a little quicker."
First start – now to keep my place
STEVEN Istead hopes he has convinced his boss David Holdsworth he deserves to keep his place in Mansfield Town's team.
The midfielder started a game for the first time this season, with his only other appearances having been off the substitutes' bench.
Istead knows the competition for places in his area of the pitch is hot, especially once Kyle Nix returns from illness.
But he would love to see his name on the teamsheet at Eastbourne this weekend.
"I was pleased playing in the 4-3-3 formation because it felt like it clicked," said Istead.
"Soms (Matt Somner) and Millsy (Gary Mills) are very good players and have a good understanding.
"We practiced the formation in training in the week and it went well on the day.
"I loved playing in the game – I have been desperate to play for the last few weeks.
"I'm glad to take my chance and I just hope I can play a few more games now.
"Early on after coming to Mansfield I picked up an injury and when that happens it is hard to get back into the side with the quality we have got.
"I'm sure we will keep pushing each other, but I would hope I have done enough.
"I thought I had a steady game and got up and down the pitch, which I can do, but the gaffer makes the final decision."
Istead was not altogether surprised by Altrincham's spirited response and Mansfield's struggles once the sendings off had happened.
He said: "I think sometimes when you go up against a team which has got fewer men than you, it is not always as straightforward as it seems.
"They put men behind the ball but at the same time were gambling when they had the chance to go forward.
"It wasn't pretty, but we were happy to take the three points at the end of the game."
Istead is hoping the win at Moss Lane will end talk about Mansfield's poor away form.
"Beforehand, everyone was trying to build it up and getting on at us for not doing it away," he said. "It's true at Barrow we were not good enough. But we have been working hard to put it right and now we have."
Graham: Stags made hard work of that
LUKE Graham knows Mansfield Two made it hard for themselves in running out winners over Altrincham.
The Stags looked to have the game in the bag with a 2-0 lead and two extra players with an hour gone.
But they took their foot off the pedal and were relieved to sneak a 2-1 success against a resilient home team.
"It was a difficult game at the end – but we put ourselves in that position," said central defender Graham.
"We should have run out more comfortable winners than we did, but we conceded a sloppy goal.
"I will hold my hand up and say I got caught cold and they scored from it, which was disappointing.
"We would have taken the three points before the game and we have managed to do that."
Mansfield were 2-1 winners at Eastbourne last season as Jonathan D'Laryea and Scott Garner were on target.
Now Graham is hoping the Stags can get another three points on the south coast this coming weekend.
He said: "As long as we win we are happy, no matter how we play. It's a long trip down to Eastbourne and we can't take it lightly.
"We have to go in with the same attitude, be brave and resilient and not give away any sloppy goals at the back.
"If we can take the same approach as we did in the first half at Altrincham – when we played some good stuff – then I think we will be fine."
Holdsworth made to sweat for away win
CHAD.co.uk, 10 October 2009
By John Lomas
STAGS boss David Holdsworth experienced the whole range of emotions at Altrincham on Saturday as his side clung on for a 2-1 win against nine men.
Stags were superb in the first half and when they netted a second just after the break and the home side had a second man sent off, no-one saw a close finish on the cards in what turned into a thriller.
Holdsworth said: "We have had the chances but we didn't finish them off so I have been quite critical of my forward players. We have not worked their keeper enough.
"The game should have been well and truly dead but Altrincham were still in it to the end.
"It just shows you at this level you have people not playing a higher level for a reason. And if they don't learn from their mistakes they will continue to play at this level and won't go any higher.
"Gary Silk made a poor judgement to be in midfield when there was no need – he has held his hands up. And my two central defenders got caught too narrow.
"Full credit to their forward who scored, he ran his socks off throughout the game.
"I couldn't have been more delighted. I was very very pleased with the quality we showed and we were the far superior side. It was wonderful first half for us.
"I don't like to talk about other team's players but if you raise your hands in this game and push someone in the face or head then the referee has a decision to make. At Kidderminster we had a referee decide that was only worth a yellow.
"There were a lot of challenges out there today and it was a niggly game so I was pleased we kept out discipline.
"There are a lot of things I could dissect from that today but I must commend Altrincham today for the high level of spirit they showed. You could see they are a tight-knit bunch.
"But we came here for the points and we got them.
"I must thank our fans today as they were absolutely outstanding. I couldn't believe how many of them had made the journey when I came out.
Defender Luke Graham said: "We made it harder for ourselves and should have run out a little more comfortably than we did.
"We gave them a sloppy goal and got caught cold.
"A lot of the boys just switched off. Two went for the same ball and I got caught too high.
"But if you'd have offered us this score before the game we'd have taken it.
"I think we thought we were going to steamroller them when they went down to nine men.
"It just shows the spirit here and why they are high in the league. They will do well this season.
"Everyone is entitled to an opinion and the opinion is that we are weak away from home. Hopefully this result will have shut a few people up and show we can pick up results away from home."
Steven Istead made his full debut in a 4-3-3- formation and added: "It was nice to start for once. It's been a long time coming but I've really enjoyed it.
"I don't think it was very pretty at the end but not always easy against nine or 10 men as they will take a few chances.
"You have to take the positives and this is a hard place to come to and we have got the points."
Latest | October 2009