RUSSELL, MOULT, NICKY LAW REACTION
video interviews with Duncan Russell and Louis Moult
It was a classic cup tie, says Stags boss after derby draw
STAGS face a tricky replay at the Impact Arena on Tuesday night after Saturday's thrilling 1-1 home FA Trophy draw with neighbours Alfreton Town, reports John Lomas.
Impact Arena will be a 'pay on the night' at the turnstiles and Stags' supporters will be admitted into the stadium on a first-come first-served basis and should enter
Just 100 seats have been allocated to Mansfield fans along with approximately 800 admitted for standing.
Admission prices are £10 adults, £5 concessions. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
After today's 1-1 draw, Stags boss Duncan Russell said: “It had everything didn't it? It was cold, it was windy, it was raining, the pitch was a nightmare – it was a classic cup tie.
“We were a goal down at half-time when I thought we should have been 2-0 up, as Paul Connor and Louis Moult had good opportunities.
“But Paul equalised and overall I think we deserved to win it.
“Alfreton did have a 15-minute spell in the second half where we started defending deep like we did against Wrexham last week and inviting them on to us so we shouted at them to keep a high line.
“I thought Louis Moult had an excellent debut and Paul Connor said afterwards that that was the best link-up he's had with any other striker here this season which bodes well for a strike partnership.
“I was really impressed with the die-hard attitude of Steve Foster as well as he was ill before the game. He looked white as a ghost, his temperature was up and was shivering. I thought about leaving him out, but he insisted he wanted to play.
“I can imagine they are looking forward to having us back at their place for the replay but we are a fit side with other fit players in the wings.
“I hope their surface is better than today as better conditions today would have favoured us. But we are not fearful about going to Alfreton.”
Debutant Louis Moult added: “I have played on worse pitches than that so it wasn't new to me.
“I thought we were probably the best team though anyone could have nicked the game.
“Now we will have to go to Alfreton on Tuesday and do them at their place.
“I should have scored. I saw the keeper off his line and tried to lob him but it didn't go in. Hopefully next time it will.
“Paul Connor just told me he was pleased with how we linked up with each other. He was always talking to me and helping me and always there for me which was great.
“I was really pleased to be given the chance to start today and I hope I did enough to possibly start the next game as well.”
Reds manager Nicky Law said: “I thought that was a good game in conditions that were nothing short of atrocious. To be fait the pitch looked very good at the start but soon deteriorated.
“I was pleased with our performance and disappointed with the goal we gave away.
“I told them at half-time we needed to keep Mansfield quiet for the first 10 minutes after the break but we didn't do that.
“Mansfield are a good side – you only have to look at the names of their players that didn't play today to see how good their squad is.
“We have had a horrendous week with injuries. We also had other players unavailable for different reasons today and, with Paddy Gamble away for personal reasons, we had to bring in Ross Turner as keeper today after Sheffield Wednesday recalled Richard O'Donnell on Friday morning.
“But it just shows the spirit we have throughout this club.
“If I am honest I would rather have got this match out the way today as we are ridiculously behind with fixtures and, after Monday, will have eight games in hand on Nuneaton.
“I will have to increase the size of the squad and, to be fair to him, the chairman is backing me and will give me some of the Aiden Flint money.
“I thought both the sendings-off were correct and I thought in those conditions the referee did well today.”
Stags boss happy cheered by efforts of central defenders
DUNCAN Russell was cheered by the efforts of two of his central defenders for contrasting reasons in Mansfield Town's 1-1 FA Trophy third round draw with derby rivals Alfreton Town yesterday.
Steve Foster battled on through illness to help keep out the dangerous Reds front pairing of Liam Hearn and Paul Clayton.
And Tom Naylor came off the bench to fill in admirably for the sent off Kevin Sandwith after winger Louis Briscoe had been sacrificed.
"Fozzie was in with the doctor at half-time and turned as white as a sheet. His temperature was up," said Russell.
"He said give me five minutes even though he was shivering quite badly so I let him go out.
"He was still shivering when we went out and I had another word, but he didn't want to come off.
"I'm really, really pleased with Fozzie's die-hard attitude and you have a chance of winning things if you think like that."
"Nails is really composed – he's just been waiting for his chance to get back in the team.
"It was not the surface to run with it and he did get caught once in the middle, but I think he was nudged."
Russell was not surprised by the fight he saw from Alfreton, who are flying high in the Blue Square North.
He said: "You can see why they are doing so well, they work really hard for each other and you have to take your hat off to them.
"They have two lively boys up front and I expect them to give us another hard game in the replay."
That game will take place on Tuesday at the Impact Arena and will be a 'pay on the night' fixture.
Stags' supporters will be admitted into the stadium on a first-come first-served basis and should enter via Alma Street.
100 seats have been allocated to Mansfield fans along with approximately 800 admitted for standing.
Admission prices are: £10 Adults, £5 Concessions. Kick off is at 7.45pm.
Stags' manager Russell backing his side to beat local rivals in Trophy replay
DUNCAN Russell is backing his Mansfield Town players to put any aches and pains aside and beat Alfreton Town in an FA Trophy third round replay tomorrow night.
The Notts-Derbyshire derby saw the teams – both reduced to ten men – fight out a keenly-contested 1-1 draw at a windswept and rainy Field Mill.
They will square up again at the Impact Arena, with a place in the last eight at stake and within touching distance of a Wembley final.
Manager Russell wants to see his troops finishing the job at the second attempt.
"It is a concern that we have the replay so soon after playing on such a heavy pitch, but it is the same for both sides and they are going to have tired legs as well," he said.
"Alfreton will be looking forward to playing in front of their own fans, but we are a fit side and we have been making sure people who are not in the 16 have stayed fit to come in, which should help.
"I certainly don't feel our best chance has gone. Hopefully, their surface will be a bit better because I think if conditions had been better it would have favoured us.
"We are not fearful of going to Alfreton, we are going there to win it."
Russell saluted the efforts of both sets of players on Saturday in atrocious conditions that made good football difficult.
Former Stag Nathan Arnold's first half strike was cancelled out by Paul Connor's equaliser for the Stags early in the second half.
Russell said: "It had everything – we went down to ten men, then they did. It was cold, wet and windy and the pitch was a nightmare. It was a classic cup tie."
New signing happy with initial impact made at Field Mill
LOUIS Moult was pleased with the impact he made on his Mansfield Town debut – despite spurning the chance to mark it with a goal.
The striker had the Stags' best chance of the first half in the early stages only to lob over the top.
It was the most disappointing part of an otherwise impressive display from the 18-year-old Stoke City loanee.
"I was very pleased with how it went for a first game, I really enjoyed it," said Moult.
"It was very heavy going and not quite the type of pitches I'm used to playing on, although I have played on worse.
"I was out on my feet for the last 20 minutes because of the heavy conditions, but it was all good experience.
"I'm not sure if it was that the chance came too early in the game for me, more that I didn't know whether to take it round him or lob him.
"Hopefully next time I will make the right decision in that situation.
"It was good playing up front with Paul Connor. We seemed to link up quite well together and he makes it a lot easier for you."
It was Moult's pinpoint pass that allowed Ashley Cain to cross for Connor to head in Mansfield's equaliser.
Moult, whose brother Jake came on for Alfreton against the Stags in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Field Mill, said: "I was quite pleased with that – it was a good move and I take being involved in a goal as a positive.
"I'd obviously like to score my first goal for the team sooner rather than later.
"But, as long as I'm helping the team score goals, that's what really matters.
"There are a lot of good strikers at the club. So I was really pleased that the gaffer gave me the nod and hopefully I will start the game tomorrow as well."
Silk delighted to see Mansfield's fighting spirit earn a draw
GARY Silk was delighted to see his Mansfield Town team-mates up for the fight as they eked out a 1-1 draw against Alfreton.
When the Stags went 1-0 down to Nathan Arnold's strike on the stroke of half-time, a possible upset was on the cards.
But Mansfield fought back well to level and had opportunities to win the game, as did their opponents, in the time that remained.
"The pitch didn't help the game and took a lot of the quality out of the play, it was a big leveller," said Silk.
"We felt even when we were down to ten men before they had a man sent off as well that we were holding our own and had a few chances.
"I felt when they scored just before half-time it was a little bit against the run of play at that point.
"But it was good to see us get an equaliser so soon in the second half. If they had come out and kept their lead for 20 to 25 minutes, then it would have made our jobs a lot harder.
"But the way the team responded took the pressure off us a little bit and we might have gone on to win.
"No-one settled for a draw, we were both out to win it, so it should be a good replay and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to it."
Silk felt honours even was the right result, adding: "Both teams had their chances to nick it, but didn't take them.
"Yes we are the team playing at a higher level, but Alfreton showed they could more than compete and their record this season speaks for itself.
"It was always going to be a tough one for us because we know what a good side they have."
Meanwhile, boss Duncan Russell was hugely impressed by the debut of striker Louis Moult, signed on loan from Stoke.
"For a debut Louis was excellent," said the Stags manager.
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