Stags' Somner out of Forest Green replay
Evening Post, November 16, 2009
MANSFIELD'S Matt Somner will not have his sending off against Crawley rescinded – meaning he will sit out tomorrow's FA Cup tie with Forest Green Rovers.
The Stags had hoped to have the second of the combative midfielder's two yellow cards scrubbed off.
But the club have been told that the bookings will stand – only straight red cards can be rescinded.
With Somner out of the Field Mill clash, Mansfield will now be forced to change the side that earned a 2-0 victory at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday.
But one piece of good news is that winger-cum-forward Louis Briscoe is nearing his return to fitness.
He has not played since falling down the stairs and damaging his knee prior to the Eastbourne game in mid-October.
But the former Ilkeston man has a chance of making the bench tomorrow night.
"It is great to have Louis back in the running as he adds to our options," said first team coach Gareth Holmes.
Confident Stags ready for Forest Green test
CHAD.co.uk, 16 November 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
MANSFIELD Town will be confident of moving one step nearer to a potential money-spinning FA Cup third round tie when they face Forest Green at Field Mill on Tuesday night.
Stags face a winnable away trip to Bath City in the FA Cup second round if they overcome their fellow Blue Square Conference opponents.
David Holdsworth's men have won six of their nine home league games this season and will be favourites to progress against the Gloucestershire side.
But, according to First team coach Gareth Holmes, the Stags will not be taking the Conference strugglers lightly.
Said Holmes: "Their record against us is decent and they play some good football.
"We will prepare correctly for the game and look to pick holes in where they are weak.
"It is important that we finish the job and that we keep the ball better than we did in the first game.
"We have to impose our game on them, to put them on the back foot and be decisive in front of goal."
If Stags win the Field Mill replay they will be confident of beating Blue Square South outfit Bath City for a place in the potentially lucrative third round.
Midfielder Matt Somner will sit out tomorrow night's game following his controversial dismissal against Crawley on Saturday.
But Stags could welcome back striker Louis Briscoe after his recent spell on the sidelines.
Mills: Stags have every chance in Cup
Evening Post, November 17, 2009
GARY Mills insists Mansfield Town have every chance of putting themselves in the hat for the FA Cup third round draw.
The Stags face Forest Green Rovers in a first round replay tonight, having drawn 1-1 at the New Lawn 10 days ago.
And if they are victorious, they will visit Blue Square South side Bath City in round two on November 28.
Mills says Mansfield are confident they can do the business – and net the club a welcome cash windfall of £57,500 in prize money alone, to go with additional gate receipts.
"If we can beat Forest Green then we would go to Bath and be confident of getting a decent result," said Mills.
"It wasn't good from us at Forest Green. We didn't play well as a team.
"Mazza (Alan Marriott) was the only one who came out of the game with any credit really.
"But if you are not playing well and you are still sticking together and getting results, then it is a good quality to have. We hope to play a lot better in the replay.
"Bath is a very winnable game if we get through Forest Green and if you had asked anyone before the draw was made, they would have been happy with that.
"That is not meaning any disrespect to Bath at all, because we know they will be a good side. But at the same time, you fancy your chances more than if we had been drawn away at a League One side.
"Of course, you are not guaranteed to win any game and we know we are going to have to be on our mettle in these games to have a good cup run."
Mansfield rescued a draw in Gloucestershire thanks to Scott Garner's 87th minute header.
Mills feels the Stags' never-say-die attitude could serve them well again tonight.
He said: "It shows the spirit and quality we have in the squad. We will keep going to the 94th minute and not let our heads drop.
"We are a fit bunch – and that certainly has an effect late in games."
Stags' Holmes: Let's finish the job in FA Cup replay
Evening Post, November 17, 2009
OF all the good things to come out of Mansfield Town's weekend victory at Crawley, one significant achievement went relatively unnoticed.
There was delight at a seventh game unbeaten, joy at a third success on the bounce away from home in the Blue Square Premier.
Jake Speight earned rave reviews for his livewire performance and poacher's goal and Paul Heckingbottom was rightly praised for his first Stags goal – a well-struck free-kick, bent around the wall.
With all those pluses in mind, it was perhaps no surprise that a first clean-sheet in four league games – and the first on the road since Chester in August – slipped by almost without acknowledgement.
But it was an almost – first-team coach Gareth Holmes made sure of that. What made him smile more than anything was the way Mansfield defended.
He saw a solidity from the Stags that he hopes will become the norm.
Another test for the Stags has come around quickly in the shape of tonight's FA Cup first round replay against Forest Green Rovers and Holmes is demanding another strong showing.
"You look at the defending at Crawley and it is really pleasing as a member of the backroom staff," said Holmes.
"The lads have stepped up to the plate and said they wanted to do something about the away form.
"They have bought into the mentality that we are going away and have to make ourselves hard to beat.
"Then, after that, if the game opens up, we can go and play some football.
"Blair Sturrock did very well playing in the deep striker role – he was excellent.
"Willo (Ryan Williams), Pezza (Kyle Perry), Jake and Blair all made sure that we defended from the front.
"We were able to help the defence a little bit more than we have done in some of our previous games.
"We won every first ball at the back, which was so important.
"However, we know from their recent form against us that Forest Green are a decent side. They passed the ball very well at their place and moved the ball into good areas.
"But now we are back at home we are looking to finish the job. We have to go about it in the same manner as at Crawley and it's a matter of getting the right tempo."
The Stags had previously turned to a 4-3-3 formation on their travels to earn wins at Altrincham and Eastbourne.
But this time they used a 4-4-1-1 system at Crawley and Holmes was impressed with the way that was employed in Sussex.
Williams and Speight played key roles as the two wide men and Holmes said: "Jake showed a real hunger.
"He has put in some great performances, particularly when we played Ebbsfleet and you know what you are going to get with him.
"He puts players under pressure and is great in one-on-one situations.
"We are more than confident Ryan is going to do a job when called upon.
"I can't speak highly enough about how he does things day-to-day. He is always working, doing that bit extra at an age when many players might take it easy."
Manager David Holdsworth hinted at the Broadfield Stadium he is still keen to add to his firepower.
And Holmes has not ruled out the possibility of player movement this week.
He said: "The gaffer is always looking, even though we are very pleased with the players we have got.
"There is a good depth to the squad but we are constantly looking to strengthen.
"The players will keep their shirt if they play well, but you can never say never if the opportunity arises to bring someone in."
Holmes is adamant the Mansfield players will not become complacent after their recent successes.
He said: "There is no danger of that happening.
"Everyone has got objectives in their head – we know you don't win the league or get to the later stages of the FA Cup in November.
"It is at the end of the season when you are able to see what you have achieved and each game you win is another tick in the box towards where you want to be."
Sturrock keen to keep Stags place
Evening Post, November 17, 2009
BLAIR Sturrock is hoping for a run of games in the Mansfield Town team now is back to full fitness.
The Scot has worked hard in training and the reserves to get himself up to full speed after signing for the club in September.
He was rewarded with a start in Saturday's 2-0 win over Crawley, where he impressed in attack, just behind Kyle Perry.
Sturrock is now keen to get the nod for tonight's FA Cup game with Forest Green – and prove he deserves a regular start.
"I felt quite good about getting the chance to come in at Crawley because I am getting back to where I want to be," he said.
"I still think I can do more though, even though I was quite happy with my performance and the team played very well.
"It's just a case of building confidence and if you keep performing, you will stay in the team.
"What you need is a run of games – four of five games on the bounce to get bedded in and kick on.
"The team has been winning with the two big lads up front (Perry and Rob Duffy).
"But on Saturday we went a different way so hopefully I can stay in now and get back to my best."
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