PREVIEWS, PLUS SANDERCOMBE JOINS WEYMOUTH
Terras Bring in New Keeper
12 February 2010
Blue Square South club Weymouth have signed goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe from Blue Square Premier side Mansfield Town until the end of the season.
Sandercombe penned a one-year deal with the Stags after joining in the summer.
The 20-year-old 6'5” keeper was on non-contract terms at Blue Square North side Stafford Rangers last season.
He also had a season at Notts County as understudy to Kevin Pilkington, although he was limited to just one appearance.
London-born, he started out as a youngster with QPR before signing professional forms with Plymouth Argyle in 2006.
Posted on: Mon 15 Feb 2010
Goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe has left the club by mutual consent.
The 20-year-old shot-stopper was signed in the summer to provide competition for current number one Alan Marriott but has since fallen behind in the pecking order to January arrival Neil Collett.
With first team opportunities therefore limited, it was decided to be in everyone's interests that he be allowed to leave.
He made one appearance for us when he came off the bench to face Tamworth in the FA Trophy in November and played for Blue Square South side Weymouth on Saturday in their 6-0 defeat to Basingstoke.
David Holdsworth video interview --->
Every game is a now cup final, says Holdsworth
CHAD.co.uk, 12 February 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS boss David Holdsworth says his side must treat every game as a cup final from now until the end of the season.
The Field Mill boss issued the rallying cry after seeing his side get knocked out of the Blue Square Premier play-off places on Tuesday night following their third straight defeat.
Earlier in the season Stags also lost three on the bounce, before beating the then leaders Oxford United in dramatic fashion at Field Mill.
And boss Holdsworth is calling for a similar response when Mansfield travel to Tamworth tomorrow afternoon.
"We have got to put things right quickly and are working hard in training to achieve this," he said.
"We always knew that this was going to be a tight league. There are a lot of good clubs in the league with good budgets.
"It is the business end of the season now and we need to maintain our form and treat every game like a cup final.
"We have not had the luck in recent games, that is not an excuse but we have conceded deflected goals that have not helped our cause.
"There is still a positive vibe in the dressing room, when we win we do not get carried away and when we lose we do not get too down."
Stags go into the game facing a resurgent Tamworth side who are on a seven game unbeaten run, which includes wins over leaders Stevenage, second placed Oxford and a solid away point at Wrexham.
Tamworth also shocked Stags 2-0 at Field Mill to knock Mansfield out of the FA Trophy.
Added Holdsworth: "We need to start putting wins together and Saturday is the perfect chance to begin a good run of form.
"We are looking forward to the game and will go there with a positive attitude.
"At this stage of the season the result is what matters rather than the performance. It will be a battle, but that is the Conference for you. It is about battling rather than beautiful football."
Mansfield will be missing Ollie Hotchkiss, who has not trained all week, and Jake Speight who is likely to be out for between three to five weeks.
New boy Nicholas looks to cement place in first team
CHAD.co.uk, 12 February 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS full-back Andy Nicholas says he wants to make the left-back slot his own as the club push for the play-offs.
Versatile Nicholas, who played 141 Football League games for Swindon before being released in 2008, has joined the Field Mill club on a season long loan deal from Rotherham United.
Nicholas, who made his debut in the 3-1 midweek defeat away to leaders Stevenage, said: "I have enjoyed my time at the club so far and have been impressed by what I have seen.
"Against Stevenage I was happy with how I slotted in to the back four and how we worked together as a unit.
"I prefer playing at left-back, I have always been a left-back but you will play games in central defence if you are a tall full-back and I am comfortable with doing that."
And despite losing their last three games, the attacking full-back firmly believes Mansfield Town has the quality to qualify for the end of season play-offs.
The long-throw specialist added: "There is a lot of games left and a lot of points to play for, I want to make the left-back shirt my own and help get Mansfield Town into the play-offs at the end of the season.
"The long throw is something I have always had and hopefully it will be a good addition to Mansfield's attacking game.
"We have worked on it in training and where we position our players.
"In my early career I worked hard on the throw. A long throw is a really useful weapon in football, as Stoke City proves.
"It is all about where you position players and being alert to the second ball and increasing the pressure on the opposition defence.
"As a defender I have faced long throws and they are not easy to defend against."
Nix speaks of relief after returning from long-term lay-off
CHAD.co.uk, 12 February 2010, By Stephen Thirkill
BATTLING midfielder Kyle Nix has spoken of his delight at returning to the Mansfield Town starting line-up after overcoming a long-term injury.
Nix spent four months on the sidelines after picking up a freak ankle injury before returning in the midweek defeat at Stevenage Borough.
And for the England C player, getting back into action is the perfect reward for his long road to recovery.
"It was great to get back into the team. It was a long, hard four months out injured," said Nix.
"It was nice to get back onto the pitch, though it would have been better if the result had been different. I felt a bit tired in the second half, but that is to be expected
"When you are out injured and watching from the stands you just want to be out on the pitch helping your team-mates.
"It was hard mentally being out for so long, it is the longest I have ever been out injured and I just had to try and take in on the chin as best as I could.
"I am just hoping that I remain injury free from now until the end of the season and play my part in getting us into the play-offs."
The former Bradford City player has made 13 starts for Mansfield this season and scored one goal.
Stags must now tough it out
Evening Post, February 12, 2010
DAVID Holdsworth is facing one of his toughest periods during his 14 months as manager of Mansfield Town.
Admittedly, there is no great crisis, and Holdsworth was correct to point out after defeat to leaders Stevenage that there is still a long way to go.
But when the Stags dropped out the play-off places on Tuesday night, it was a huge psychological blow.
It can be played down but with other teams having games in hand, it has made Mansfield's position clear.
After three successive defeats in the Blue Square Premier, they need to get back to winning ways – and fast.
In recent months, such blips have always been cushioned by the fact they remained in the play-off places, firmly in the shake-up.
Now, it is clear a top-five finish is something that cannot be taken for granted. Not that Holdsworth ever did, but he will hope the situation is clearer than ever as they prepare to travel to Tamworth tomorrow.
Performances such as that against Gateshead last Saturday are unacceptable and cannot happen again, as they crashed to a 2-0 home loss.
Another such display came on home soil against tomorrow's opponents, luckily not costing any points as it was in the FA Trophy.
And at Ebbsfleet in November, a ragged display saw them lose to a side that had not won on home soil all season.
Holdsworth, though, will look to consign those defeats to a place for rare off days, not a place that will become more the norm.
Instead, he was right to take heart from the 3-1 defeat to leaders Stevenage on Tuesday.
It might have ended in a loss but he got the character and gutsy response he had called for from his players.
With a bit of luck, the Stags could have come away with a point.
It was not a performance of finesse or attractive football in Hertfordshire from the Stags, but it possessed all the battling qualities that were so lacking against Gateshead.
Against another club, it would have been enough to see them secure victory.
However, as Holdsworth pulls up at a crossroads with his Mansfield team in Tamworth tomorrow, he fully believes the squad is more than capable of securing a play-off berth.
From the reaction his men produced in midweek, the manager is optimistic they can now drive forward.
For those who beg to differ, Holdsworth can point to the start of the season when his side rampaged their way to five victories in their opening six games.
If that is not enough, he will also draw huge confidence from September.
At that point, the Stags had suffered three consecutive defeats and the sharks were starting to circle.
Mansfield's response? They went on a run of five victories in their next six games.
The message is clear. They have done it before, they can do it again. And that starts against Gary Mills' Tamworth.
Following tomorrow's encounter, the Stags have five matches at Field Mill out of their next six. And with just two league defeats on home soil in the last 14 months, it is a prospect Holdsworth, his players and the fans can look forward to.
It has been a difficult weekbut Holdsworth has said he will not be kicking his players when they are down.
It is one of the toughest times of his Stags tenure, simply because he now has to navigate his side back into the top five.
What Mansfield cannot afford is another demoralising display like against Gateshead. Instead, they need more of the battling instinct they displayed at Stevenage.
If they can get three points at Tamworth, the confidence will come flooding back and they can use it to fuel a memorable spell at fortress Field Mill.
They need maximum returns as soon as possible, as they are two points off fifth-placed Luton Town, who have three games in hand.
They have to banish any negative vibes that still linger from their recent slump.
How Holdsworth would love for a repeat of the last time they found themselves going into a game off the back of three straight defeats.
After all, a return of 15 points from a possible 18 would get their play-off bid well and truly back on track.
Holdsworth: Silk is Stags' Lee Dixon
Evening Post, February 12, 2010
GARY Silk has become Mansfield Town's version of Lee Dixon after being pushed hard for his first team place this season.
That's the verdict of Stags boss David Holdsworth, who has seen his regular right-back flourish in the face of competition from Scott Gardner.
Silk was not even in the 16-man squad for the opening game of the season, after losing his place to the former Leeds United man in pre-season.
But since Gardner was shown the red card in the second game of the season at Luton, Silk has become a near-automatic selection.
The former Notts County man has been out of the side only briefly in serving a suspension for reaching five bookings and through illness.
Holdsworth says that is a reward for Silk raising his standards and showing a greater consistency as a result of being pushed hard.
"Gary found himself out of the team briefly at the start of the season, but when he has come back in he has taken his chance," he said.
"I believe he is playing very much like Lee Dixon used to do – good going forward, but also now paying more attention to detail when he defends.
"I try to improve all the players while they are at the club, that is the ethos I adopt. Gary has certainly improved.
"The greater competition he has encountered this season certainly seems to have pushed him on and he is very content now."
Silk has become a fans' favourite since arriving at the club in the summer of 2008 from just down the A60.
He and close pal Matt Somner are the only Mansfield players remaining from Billy McEwan's time in charge.
Holdsworth added: "I believe all the players I have can go to a higher level and Gary is no different.
"But I'm sure the players recognise that is only going to happen if they show some consistency in their performances."
Shaw is relishing Mansfield Town clash
thisistamworth.co.uk, Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tamworth midfielder Tom Shaw is relishing coming up against his former club Mansfield Town on Saturday.
Shaw is one of a number of ex-Mansfield players on Tamworth's books – with Iyseden Christie, Gavin Hurren, Michael Blackwood and Neil MacKenzie are others.
And Shaw, who made three appearances for the Stags in 2008, is desperate to put one over his former club again – having helped Tamworth to a 2-0 FA Trophy success in December.
"The way we are playing, we can't wait for the next game," said Shaw, reflecting on Tamworth's ten match unbeaten run.
" I don't think anyone wants to play us at the moment, that's for sure.
"Our work ethic is tremendous, we are stopping teams from playing and playing some good football at the same time.
"We just need to keep it up because this season has all the makings of being another memorable one for the club if we keep performing in way we are."
He added: "We had a blip around October, when we lost seven games but there were other factors as injuries and suspensions took their toll.
"When we have a near fully fit squad we are a match for anyone and all credit to the lads.
"We just need to maintain our standards now. This weekend will be another good test for us.
"I'm obviously looking forward to taking on my former club, especially as my family are from that way.
"It would be nice to put one over Mansfield again – a double would be very special indeed."
Lambs fans urged to turn out in force for Mansfield Town clash
thisistamworth.co.uk, Thursday, February 11, 2010
'COME and support potentially the best Lambs side ever'.
That is the message emanating from Lambs chairman Bob Andrews on the eve of Saturday's massive Conference Premier clash at home to Mansfield.
Tamworth head into the game on the back of a ten game unbeaten run – having toppled leaders Stevenage last Saturday.
That was a performance manager Gary Mills described as the best display from one of his sides in 15 years of management.
They followed that up with a 0-0 draw at non-league giants Wrexham on Tuesday night and occupy 12th place in the Conference Premier.
The Lambs are also just two steps away from a Wembley appearance but just 841 fans watched last weekend's home game against Stevenage – with 200 plus from the visitors.
That has prompted Andrews (inset) to call for more support and he said: "As far as I am concerned, this is the best football we have played for as far back as I can remember.
"Our performances are excellent at the moment and this season we have achieved the highest league position in our history.
"So, as a club, we are very proud of the players here and the way they are playing.
"And Gary Mills and Darron Gee are doing an excellent job.
"They have worked extremely hard to get us into the position we are in now.
"There are teams like Stevenage and Oxford – who we have beaten this season – who are working with a budget four or five times what Gary and Darron have.
"But they have managed to bring some good players in and gelled them together well.
"They are all working as a unit and work for each other and they have been fantastic.
"The most exciting thing is that it's a young squad that they are developing and who knows what they can achieve?
"But the only disappointment for me is the lack of support.
"The players can't do any more than they are doing on the pitch.
"If anyone can suggest realistic ways that we can attract more fans then I'd love them to contact me.
"Last Saturday was particularly disappointing against the league leaders.
"I understand times are hard financially but what I would ask is for fans who haven't been here for a while to just come and have a look at what we are doing.
"Mansfield is a massive game on Saturday – they are a former league club, challenging for the play-offs.
"So, what I would say to people in the town is come down and give us a chance because, as I say, the football is great at the moment."
Somner: Stags can beat the big boys
Evening Post, February 11, 2010
MATT Somner believes it is only as matter of time before Mansfield Town start beating their fellow Blue Square Premier promotion contenders.
After Tuesday's defeat at Stevenage , the Stags have still won only once against a side in the top eight – their 2-1 home victory over Oxford United in October.
With most of their rivals at the top still to play again, midfielder Somner knows that record must improve.
But he feels Mansfield have the power to give one of the top dogs a good hiding.
"We are not worried about it because if you are going to do well, you have to beat teams from the top and the bottom of the league," said Somner.
"We all know we are capable of doing that. We have a side and a squad strong enough to compete with anyone in this division.
"If you get in the play-offs then you are going to have to beat top sides to go up, so you can't be scared of them.
"Our record in games against other big teams might not be that great but if you look at the games, we have not been far off winning some of them.
"There is only a fine margin between success and failure in those matches.
"Things haven't always gone for us in those games, but I think they will improve before the end of the season."
Lambs ace Macka looks for Mansfield Town win
Thursday, February 11, 2010
TAMWORTH midfielder Neil MacKenzie says Tamworth's last meeting with Saturday's opponents Mansfield was the catalyst for their current run of form.
After an impressive start to the Conference Premier campaign, the Lambs hit the buffers in October with seven straight league and cup defeats.
And although Tamworth returned to winning ways with back-to-back wins over Chester and Ebbsfleet in November, MacKenzie believes it was the 2-0 FA Trophy victory over Mansfield which has breathed fresh life in the Lambs.
"It was one of our best performances away from home," said MacKenzie, who had two spells at Field Mill, playing 71 times for Mansfield from 2002/04.
"To be honest it was the game that kick started us again.
"It gave us a bit of belief and since then we have gone from strength to strength really."
MacKenzie, who returned from a heel injury as a substitute in the 0-0 draw at Wrexham on Tuesday night, says the Lambs will go into Saturday's home game full of confidence.
And he believes that high-flying Mansfield will not be relishing a trip to The Lamb.
He said: "We have already beaten them once this season which was very good.
"We have a great record against sides in the top half of the table as well.
"So they should fear us more than we fear them – coming here will not be easy for them."
A win over Mansfield could see Tamworth move into the top ten in the league but MacKenzie admits a play-off bid is probably beyond them.
"Realistically we would have to go on an incredible run now to get in the play-offs," he added.
"We are still 13 points or so away.
"Of course, we haven't written it off yet though.
"It's a massive ask but our aim is simply to see how many games we can go on unbeaten in the league.
"And, of course, we still have the FA Trophy to look forward to as well.
"We have Salisbury next and if we get through we are in the last four.
"Once you are in the semi-final, it's a lottery and whoever performs over two legs will go through to a Wembley final which would be fantastic."
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