WORKSOP PREVIEWS + 2ND ROUND DRAW
The Stags have been drawn at home to Newport County or Wealdstone in the second round of the FA Trophy, if we can beat Worksop in the first round. The Wealdstone v Newport replay is tonight (Monday).
UPDATE: Newport won 1-0 at Wealdstone.
Second round ties are due to be played on Sat 15 Jan.
Trophy game has 'good chance' for Tuesday
worksopguardian.co.uk, Mon Dec 13 2010
WORKSOP Town may finally get the opportunity to take on Mansfield Town in the FA Trophy, on Tuesday night.
The game was scheduled to be played on Saturday at Ilkeston's New Manor Ground, but a frozen pitch forced its postponement.
But Ilkeston secretary Keith Burnand told the Guardian this morning: “Our chairman was down there this morning and he says there's a good chance of getting the game on tomorrow night.”
“Most of the snow has melted.”
It is believed a local referee will inspect the pitch later today, and again tomorrow, before a decision is made on whether or not it goes ahead.
The game, if played, will kick off at 7.45pm, and it is a 'pay on the day' affair, with no tickets necessary.
Match facts: Worksop Town v Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 14 Dec 2010
Team news: Worksop's top scorer Ben Tomlinson is suspended, while David Graham is cup tied having already played in this season's FA Trophy for Sheffield Club. Former Mansfield and Hucknall Town striker Danny Bacon is expected to start.
Line-up (from): Kennedy, Wharton, Simpkins, Shiels, Wood, Bettney, Bacon, Young, Mallon, Jackson, Knox, Meikle, Ashmore, Billard, Thompson, Hutchinson.
Team news: Mansfield will be without the suspended Steven Istead (five bookings) and Steve Foster (for his red card at Forest Green). Alan Marriott is still injured and the on-loan Kevin Pilkington has been refused permission by Luton because it would leave him cup tied. It means Neil Collett is set to start between the posts for the Stags.
Line-up (from): Collett, Cook, Silk, Grand, Day, Naylor, Sandwith, Stonehouse, Briscoe, Murray, Thompson, Mills, Smith, Williams, Connor, Mitchley, Duffy, Medley, Parker.
Opposition boss: Martin McIntosh. A familiar face to Mansfield Town fans, after he joined the club from Huddersfield in 2007. However, his one season with the Stags was blighted by injury as he made just 11 appearances as Mansfield were relegated from the Football League. Took over as boss of the Tigers earlier this season and has inspired a run of good form.
Medley keen to shed his super-sub tag at Stags
Evening Post, 14 Dec 2010
LUKE Medley is out to make an instant impression on Mansfield Town's soon-to-be-appointed new manager – and shed his super-sub tag.
The winger-striker started just three games under previous boss David Holdsworth but made 13 appearances during that time from the bench.
All of the summer signing's five goals have come as a substitute, his latest in the 3-2 home win over Hayes and Yeading when caretaker boss Duncan Russell was in charge.
But Medley is hoping to prove himself to his new boss and become a regular starter for the first time as Mansfield prepare to face Worksop in their re-arranged FA Trophy clash at the New Manor Ground tonight.
"It will be nice to have a fresh start with the new manager and I will be out to make a good impression, as I'm sure all the players will be," he said.
"You don't have a second chance to make a first impression, so I'll be hoping to get off on the right foot.
"It probably puts a little bit of extra pressure on you knowing you need to do well. It can make you a bit nervous.
"But you have to put that to the back of your mind and I think everyone is excited about the prospect of having a new manager.
"I've been pleased to play a part from the bench but I believe I can do my bit starting games as well and now I have to show whoever comes in I can do that."
When David Holdsworth departed as manager almost three weeks ago, Medley was keen to see a successor appointed quickly.
That did not happen with a decision being delayed by the re-possession of Mansfield's Field Mill ground by their landlord Keith Haslam.
But Medley feels the fact a new man will now soon be in place can only have a positive effect.
He said: "It's a relief and I think it will act to settle everyone down.
"Everyone will know where they stand. All the players have been working hard under Duncan Russell but this will bring extra focus."
Williams is back and ready to fight his way back into first-team picture at Mansfield
Evening Post, 14 Dec 2010
IT would have been easy for Mansfield Town's Ryan Williams to continue his loan spell at Gainsborough Trinity under a high-profile manager in Brian Little who he knows very well.
The diminutive winger spent a successful two months at the Northolme during which time he helped the relegation-threatened Lincolnshire club climb away from the Blue Square North drop zone.
No doubt Little and Gainsborough were keen to hold on to Williams, who, by most accounts, played a significant part in Trinity's upturn in fortunes.
But the 32-year-old has one simple reason for wanting to return to the Stags and fight for his place – his devotion to his home-town club.
When Weymouth hit financial problems in early 2009 and Mansfield came calling, the lure of 'coming home' was too much for the former Stags junior to resist.
Over a decade and more than 250 senior appearances after leaving Field Mill for Tranmere Rovers for £70,000, Williams needed little persuasion to don the amber and blue again.
His return initially went very well as good late season form continued into the start of 2009-2010.
Yet his place in the team became increasingly less secure as David Holdsworth's reign went on.
By the time the current campaign started, Williams was out of favour altogether, with new boy Adam Smith preferred down the left flank.
It was at that point that Williams, understandably, chose to look elsewhere for his football.
However, with Holdsworth having departed and a new manager set to take the reins, the evergreen performer is determined to fight his way back in the Mansfield team.
Whether or not he succeeds depends on the views of his new boss but Williams is certainly going to give it every opportunity as the Stags prepare to take on Worksop Town in the first round of the FA Trophy at the New Manor Ground tonight. The victors will meet Newport County or Wealdstone at home in the second round next month.
"I was in a situation where I was obviously not going to feature at Mansfield at the start of this season, that was clear," said Williams. "Nothing was said and it definitely wasn't a fall out.
"I just had to try to get games under my belt – you don't want to just be sat in the stands at a weekend.
"You spend all week working hard in the gym and in training and you want the reward of playing at the end of it. That is what we are paid to do.
"I didn't want to just settle in a comfort zone and pick up my money.
"I really enjoyed my time at Gainsborough. As a club they try to do things the right way and made me feel really welcome.
"We got quite a few wins under the belt as well, which was nice, as the team started to pick up a little bit.
"Brian Little took me to Hull many years ago, so I know him well and he is a tremendous guy. His record in the past speaks for itself and I have got a lot of time for him.
"But I still want to play for Mansfield more than anything. I have come back now and I'm hoping it's a fresh start.
"I still believe in my own ability and I still think I have got something to offer this club, which I love to bits."
Williams admits the most galling thing about this season is that he was rarely given the chance to prove his worth.
But he does not bear a grudge against his former manager Holdsworth, experience telling him it was nothing personal.
He said: "The most frustrating thing is that the only chance I had was in pre-season and that was only in 20 minute spells here and there.
"I thought I did fairly well but I think it got to the stage that no matter what I did, I wouldn't be playing.
"That's not a problem – and I accepted that. The gaffer brought in quite a lot of new players over the summer who came in and did well.
"But I believe I have still got a good few years left in me because I keep myself right and fitness up."
Mansfield will have to play their home games away from the town for the foreseeable future as they have been kicked out of Field Mill by landlord and former club owner Keith Haslam over a dispute over unpaid rent.
But Williams insists he and the rest of the squad should still be eyeing up a place in the Blue Square Premier play-offs despite the setback.
"When you have not got your own ground you can use that as an excuse. We would love to still be at Field Mill, but that is not meant to be at the moment," he said.
"But you have to put that to the back of your mind. You can use all the excuses you want but matches are still 11 players on each side wherever you are playing and we have to perform.
"It doesn't matter whether we play at Field Mill or down the road somewhere, we have to grind results out.
"I believe we are well capable of doing that."
As a player who is getting towards the latter stages of his playing career, Williams now has one eye on the future.
He said: "I did my first coaching badge in the summer through the PFA and I'm definitely looking at the idea of coaching.
"I think a lot of the appeal is the idea of bringing young lads through and seeing them go on to bigger and better things.
"It would be nice to play even a small part in developing someone who goes on to play at the top domestic level or internationally. That would be very satisfying."
Wait goes on and on for frustrated Mansfield Town midfielder Istead
Evening Post, 13 Dec 2010
EVEN when the bad weather abates, Steven Istead's frustrating wait to get back into action will not come to an immediate end.
The Stags have now had their last two games called off because of snow – at home to Barrow and an away FA Trophy tie against Worksop – meaning they have not seen competitive action since Wrexham on November 27.
Mansfield will hope things warm up enough for a re-arranged game with the Tigers to be played in midweek, or their scheduled Blue Square Bet Premier game next Friday.
But if either of those matches do get the go-ahead, Istead knows he won't be playing in the first of them.
It was last time out in the Stags' 1-1 draw in Wales that he picked up a fifth booking of the season, resulting in a one-match ban.
After fighting his way back into the team under the caretaker-management of Duncan Russell, the suspension comes as a huge frustration to the hard-working midfielder.
Those feelings are intensified because he knows the next match Mansfield play could be their first under a new boss, when each and every player will be out to stake their claims to be part of the club's long-term future.
"I don't like missing any games, whether it's the FA Trophy or in the league, especially because I have just got back in the side for the last two matches," said Istead.
"You want to try to get into a groove with a run of games, as an individual and as a team.
"Knowing I'm suspended for whatever is our next game, I just want it to go as quickly as possible so I can be back available for selection.
"The bad weather is going to make the wait for me even worse. There's no guarantee of me getting back in the team after the game I miss, but I know that I am going to get banned from time to time because of the way I play.
"The bookings are going to come, it's just that with a new gaffer coming in, it hasn't come at an ideal time."
Mansfield look set to play their home games at an alternative venue for the foreseeable future, most likely at Ilkeston Town's New Manor Ground.
Istead said: "When I was at Ilkeston, I thought the pitch there was fantastic and it is a tidy little ground if we play there.
"It's obviously not going to be the same as playing at Field Mill but it will pack all the Mansfield fans together.
"All I would say to the rest of the lads is that there is nothing to worry about playing there – and I'm sure they have all played at a lot of different grounds anyway."
Istead remains convinced the Stags squad, already without a permanent manager for the moment, can cope with this latest adversity.
"It's a hard time for the club with things that are going on off the pitch," he said.
"But we have not gone in to a discussion on it too much as players. We are trying to focus on the games we are getting ready to play instead.
"From a personal point of view, I don't think these kind of things affect me.
"It's different for everyone, but I think the lads are in good spirits."
That can be seen out on the training field, where the losers have to buy the biscuits.
Istead added: "We have little tournaments and then there is a vote for who is the worst player on the losing team.
"I haven't been picked out once yet this season, though I'm not sure I should be saying this as they'll all be voting for me next time now!"
New Stags boss will have to make instant impact, says Williams
Evening Post, 11 Dec 2010
MANSFIELD Town's new manager will need to hit the ground running if the club is to reach this season's Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs, Ryan Williams insisted today.
The Stags are set to unveil their new boss tomorrow after chairman John Radford announced last week he had made up his mind on David Holdsworth's successor after a three-week search.
But there is unlikely to be much of a honeymoon period as the immediate aim will be to secure a top-five finish.
Winger Williams – back from a two-month loan spell with Blue Square Bet North club Gainsborough Trinity to fight for his place – knows just how important the new boss's first few weeks will be.
"The play-offs are still 100 per cent achievable because we are only three points off fifth," he said.
"It's about whoever can put together a run and be consistent – as York did last year.
"Christmas is a very busy period and as long as we stay there or thereabouts during that period we will have a chance.
"I'm sure with the squad of players we have and the possibility of more arriving, we are more than capable."
Latest | December 2010