HOLDSWORTH, FOSTER AND TERRY BROWN REACTION
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Stags under fire after another Field Mill flop
CHAD.co.uk, 10 April 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS boss David Holdsworth and his players were given a hostile time as they left the field at the end of today's 1-0 home defeat by 10-men AFC Wimbledon.
Mansfield even contrived to miss two late penalties as they went a fifth home game without a win and have now failed to score in six of eight home games.
But Holdsworth said: "What more could we have done? It is a question we will ask and ask.
ADVERTISEMENT"We had about 20 opportunities to finish them off and just needed to take one or two of them. You just come out of it rueing your luck. But games are won on goals and we didn't put the ball in the net.
"The fans had a go at me and the players at the end and I can understand that as they are frustrated as I am. But my players were deeply hurt by some of the comments aimed at them.
"I must congratulate their keeper on two fantastic saves. They were massive moments and have cost us.
"He was their man of the match. We also hit the bar and for the last part of the second half we played very, very well.
"The stats for our recent games are amazing as they show we are creating about 20 chances each game. It is a telling factor and we need a bit more luck and a bit more quality.
"The bigger picture is we need to get strikers in that can score goals. It's nothing to do with how we set up or formations. We have paid the price for it again today.
"We have dominated and you just come away scratching your head. I can't fault their commitment."
Holdsworth's decision to withdraw Ryan Williams early in the second half drew some of the day's biggest boos from the crowd.
But Holdsworth added: "I respect fans want to see wingers but if they don't get crosses in then it's not worth having them on the pitch.
"I felt we were making it too easy for Wimbledon so I went 4-3-3 and went for it."
Skipper Luke Foster, whose mistake cost Mansfield the game, said: "I hold my hands up, it was a poor bit of defending from me.
"But after that we had enough chances to win three or four games but we are not getting that luck at the moment though we were just not good enough at times today.
"The end product was not quite there and we are all gutted. We want to end the season on a high and it's just not happening for us.
"Missing the first penalty was a real kick in the teeth for us. And the second was a massive hammer blow. Maybe it should have just been drilled straight down the centre.
"It just summed up the last few months for us.
"The fans pay good money to come and watch us and they want to se goals. We had that many chances I can understand that they went away miffed and confused. They are passionate like us. But we still need their support when things are not going our way."
Dons boss Terry Brown said: "Our keeper was fantastic today. He is only 19 years old and he created a good case for keeping him next year.
"I am proud of the boys. We have had a pretty horrendous week, having to play four games and getting spanked at York.
"So we set up with a more defensive shape today and I asked my players to make sure they put on a performance for our travelling fans that wasn't embarrassing.
"We set out stall out well and hit them on the break in the first half.
"To be honest we were running out of legs in the second half and had to sit back.
"We have not had a bounce go our way in a month but we had every bounce in the world today and I feel sorry for David Holdsworth.
"On another day Mansfield would have scored two or three goals."
Wimbledon boss accepts they were fortunate
WIMBLEDON boss Terry Brown admitted his side were fortunate to collect a victory against Mansfield at Field Mill.
The Dons boss saw his side defend for long periods in the second half once Derek Duncan was sent off for elbowing Kyle Perry.
But his team somehow held on – with the help of two penalty saves from Seb Brown – to see them bounce back from a 5-0 thrashing at York in their previous game.
"We have had a pretty horrendous week with about four games and we were spanked at York," said Brown.
"We defended well and hit them on the break well, especially in the first half and their goalkeeper (Alan Marriott) pulled off some good saves.
"But with the combination of the sending off and running out of legs, we sat behind the ball more and more.
"We haven't had a bounce go our way for about a month but we had every bounce go our way that could in this match.
"I feel sorry for David Holdsworth because it was not his fault."
Monday 12 April 2010
Terry Brown looks back on goalkeeping heroics and forward to the week's games
When we spoke to him early this afternoon, Terry Brown was still feeling elated after Saturday's win and Seb Brown's man-of-the-match contribution in the dying minutes.
"Saturday was a good result as it ended the run of defeats and, more important, it showed the right reaction by the team, not so much against the loss to Stevenage but to the 5-0 defeat at York City.
"We set ourselves up to be more resilient across the team, and with Steven Gregory and Kennedy Adjei sitting in front of the back four we did very well in the first half. We were aiming to attack Mansfield on the break and it worked very well, not only with Danny Kedwell outmuscling their centre back for his goal, but with Luke Moore, Will Hendry and Danny himself all going close to further goals.
"The second half started badly with Derek Duncan being sent off. I haven't yet got a copy of the DVD to watch and I won't be commenting on the incident until I've had a chance to watch it again. From then on, we were under pressure so I had to call Will Hendry off to give us a little bit more of a defensive focus through Ricky Wellard.
"Danny ran his socks off for us yet again and scored the crucial goal, but we couldn't risk him for the entire game, given his recent injury. Which allows me to turn to the hero of the day, Seb Brown. It isn't often that a 'keeper gets to save everything that is thrown at him during the 90 minutes, let alone when he then keeps out two penalties in the final five minutes. He will remember this game for the rest of his life - and so he should, it was a terrific performance.
Holdsworth 'gobsmacked' by defeat
BEWILDERED Mansfield Town boss David Holdsworth was 'gobsmacked' his side had failed to take at least a point from their game with AFC Wimbledon.
The Stags were beaten 1-0 at Field Mill for the second Saturday in a row.
But they missed several second-half chances and two late penalties.
Holdsworth believes his side are doing the basics right but being let down by their inability to score.
"'How did we lose that game?' is a question I've asked. You think, 'What more can you do?' and the answer is, you can't do any more," he said.
"It's gobsmacking to come out of it with nothing. We had something like 20 opportunities to finish Wimbledon off.
"I have to congratulate their keeper on two fantastic saves, but they are massive moments and they have cost us.
"We've had other chances, hit the bar and the keeper has been man of the match. They defended in numbers but in the last part of the second half we played very well."
Holdsworth was not surprised at the reaction from sections of the crowd who booed and called for his head.
But he was unhappy at some of the language used at a club trying to be family-friendly.
He said: "No manager could have done any more, but there is a legacy here and the fans are aiming that at me and the players.
"I respect their opinion, but not when it is unfair. The players haven't played badly and the method wasn't wrong. We just missed the opportunities that we had.
"A lot of fans write to me and e-mail me and I'm grateful for their support. They don't always agree with what goes on.
"I've got a thick skin, but I get angry when people shout abuse and swear. We are trying to attract children to games here."
Holdsworth explains controversial substitution
DAVID Holdsworth today explained why he pulled off Ryan Williams early in the second half of the defeat to AFC Wimbledon.
The Stags were beaten 1-0 yesterday at Field Mill – their third defeat in a row.
The withdrawal of winger Williams brought boos from the home crowd as he was replaced by Kyle Nix.
But Holdsworth said: "The substitution was made because Ryan was not getting enough crosses in and it was too simple for them in the first half.
"The change was made and we began to open them up.
"I respect the fans want to see wingers, but if they don't get crosses in there is no point them being in the side.
"It was a very frustrating day for us, but Wimbledon have defended doggedly and you have to give them credit for that."
Missed penalties gut-wrenching experience – Foster
LUKE Foster conceded missing two late penalties for Mansfield to lose to AFC Wimbledon was a gut-wrenching experience.
The Stags skipper felt the hosts had enough openings to win the game comfortably, let alone claim a draw.
But a failure to take those opportunities left a feeling of disappointment in the changing room, as well as on the terraces.
"On the whole, we had enough chances to win two or three games, but we are not having the luck and it is not good enough at times," said Foster.
"When the first penalty was missed it was a real kick in the teeth. I thought if we'd scored that we would have a chance to go on and win the game because they would have been deflated.
"Then when we got another one I thought it would definitely be an equaliser, but the keeper has made another great save."
Skipper Foster knows he was at fault for the Wimbledon goal, which saw Danny Kedwell get the better of him to score.
He said: "I hold my hands up for it and say it was a defensive error on my part, it was a poor bit of defending from me.
"It was early on in the game and it was disappointing."
Saturday 10 April 2010
Brown the Dons hero – Seb that is!
Wimbledon secured a hard fought away win thanks to two late penalty saves from Seb Brown who also made a number of other great saves.
Terry Brown made six changes from the side that had started against York City with Seb Brown, Sam Hatton, Brett Johnson, Derek Duncan, Will Hendry and Danny Kedwell coming into the starting XI. Wimbledon got off to the ideal start with Kedwell scoring after nine minutes. Hendry hooked the ball on and Kedwell out muscled his defender before finishing well.
The Dons had chances to increase the lead but Steven Gregory, Luke Moore and Kedwell were all denied by man of the match Andy Marriott. At the other end Mansfield's long throws were causing some discomfort in the visitor's penalty area but other than a full length save and some vital punches Brown was secure.
Duncan's dismissal after 58 minutes for an alleged elbow leaving the team to play out the last half hour with just 10 men was the last thing they needed after their recent hectic fixture schedule. Terry Brown made full use of his substitutes and although under the cosh for a lot of the time the team defended with strength and resolution.
Five minutes of added on time saw great excitement as the home team were awarded two penalties both of which were well saved by Seb Brown diving to his right on the first occasion and to his left on the second. There was still time between the penalties for Hatton to break into the penalty area but with the chance to shoot the ball was squared to Ricky Wellard and the chance was lost.
Terry Brown was in a jubilant mood as the team made its way back to Kingsmeadow. “I am delighted to start the weekend with a win and see the back of a really hard, dire week. Stuart and I set the team up today with the sole purpose of keeping a clean sheet so that we could rebuild from the wreckage of the York result.
“It was important we defended as a team today and although some of the defending was desperate to say the least, the team showed its character and backbone to bounce back from a bad setback on Wednesday. We started the game off with two holding midfielders and a solid back four and used it as a springboard to counter attack. With a little luck we could have gone in at half time three goals up but for some great saves by their goalkeeper who was later named as Mansfield's man of the match.
“We started the second half in similar fashion and soaked up some early pressure. However, after 58 minutes we had to readjust following the dismissal of Derek Duncan. I will be looking at the video evidence before making any further comment on the incident. With most of the boys having played a great deal of football in the last week we needed to get some fresh legs on replacing Will Hendry with Ricky Wellard, Luke Moore with Jay Conroy and finally Danny Kedwell with Nathan Elder. Danny had not only scored the winning goal but also had worked tirelessly up front.
“This put us in a fantastic position going into added on time until award of two dubious penalties. Thankfully, our hero of the day Seb Brown two remarkable saves to earn us a well deserved battling three points.
“Next week sees us play two important games. On Tuesday we tackle Grays Athletic when we will be going all out to consolidate our position in the league. On Thursday we entertain Croydon Athletic in the semi final of the London Senior Cup. This is the last competition where we can win some silverware and again we will be aiming to progress to the final. I will have to juggle the side around taking into account the amount of football played by some of the players but it will be a strong team as there is no game on Saturday they will have an opportunity to recover before playing Tamworth a week on Tuesday.”
Seb Brown was in a modest mode as he explained that he had never saved two penalties before in the same game. “Although I had saved from the spot in a penalty shoot out while I was at Brentford and of course for the Dons earlier in the season at Tooting and Mitcham I had not saved a penalty in open play.
“Although the penalties were well struck both penalty takers gave me the chance to reach them and I was relieved to guess the right way and see the rebounds cleared by my defence.”
Seb the star as Wimbledon get back on winning road
By Richard Brown »
Mansfield Town 0-1 AFC Wimbledon
Terry Brown lavished praise on namesake keeper Seb after his penalty heroics at Field Mill ended Wimbledon's recent rut.
The Dons have not been at the races for some time – and on Wednesday night were humiliated 5-0 at York City.
But they held firm this afternoon with Brown, in for usual number one James Pullen, the hero.
He kept out two spot kicks, one from Jake Speight and another in injury time from the right foot of big striker Kyle Perry.
It preserved the lead given to the visitors by Danny Kedwell inside ten minutes. He got on the end of Will Hendry's ball to add to his great goals tally after an error from Town star Luke Foster.
And Wimbledon's win was even more remarkable considering they had ten men for most of the second half after Derek Duncan was red carded.
Manager Brown was delighted with the win, and paid tribute to his keeper – a lifelong Wimbledon fan – after his late penalty saves.
He said: “Seb was first class today, he is a very good goalkeeper and someone who can win you games.
“He was fantastic and the hero of the day for us. We needed this win to raise spirits as it's been a horrible week for everyone.
“The result up at York was not what we wanted and we defended as a team here and we showed fantastic character. This is a difficult place to come.
“We may not be able to reach the play-offs but there's still a lot for the players to play for. We have clawed back a bit of pride.”
Stags manager David Holdsworth, twin bother of former Don Dean, also sung the praises of the custodian.
Holdsworth said: “I must congratulate their goalkeeper for an excellent performance. He has made two excellent saves and they have cost us.
“We had about 20 opportunities to finish them off and just needed to take one or two of them. You just come out of it rueing your luck but I understand our crowd's reaction.
“We have dominated the game and came away with nothing. You are left scratching your head.”
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