COX AND GRANT BROWN REACTION
Stags hit back to earn point at Lincoln
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox was delighted with the way his side battled back to earn a draw in an end-to-end game at Lincoln City last night.
Despite going close through Lindon Meikle, Matt Green and Ritchie Sutton, the Stags looked to be heading for defeat following Gavin McCallum's 76th-minute strike.
But Green pounced ten minutes later to level matters and ensure Mansfield bounced back from Saturday's defeat to Southport.
Mansfield had won four and drawn two of their previous six away matches in the Blue Square Bet Premier, after losing their first game on their travels, 3-0 at Gateshead.
Cox did not get the three points he wanted but they extended their unbeaten run on the road to seven games and ensured they did not suffer back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.
Cox said: "We gave a sloppy goal away but we responded well. We will take a point and it is something to build on.
"We had chances and you get those nights where things do not go for you but all in all, they worked extremely hard and it was a better performance.
"The fans were magnificent and it would have been nice to give them three points but it is something to build on.
"I asked for a response (to Saturday's defeat) and I thought we got one. Their goalkeeper got the man-of-the-match and one save was Gordon Banks-esque."
Nottingham Post, Thursday, October 20, 2011
Cox had special praise for Mansfield's near 1,000-strong following in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Lincoln. He said: "They were unbelievable. I expected 400, so to take that many for a midweek away game was brilliant."
Mansfield Town boss delighted with response after Lincoln City draw
STAGS boss Paul Cox was delighted with his side's reply to the criticism fired at them in the wake of Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Southport as a late Matt Green equaliser earned them a deserved draw at Lincoln City last night.
Cox was also full of praise for an army of almost 1,000 Mansfield fans who travelled to Sincil Bank.
“I asked for a response after Saturday and I thought I got one,” said Cox.
“I heard at the end their keeper got man of the match, one of he pulled off was Gordon Banks-esque out of the bottom corner.
“But we gave away a sloppy goal away – they've not had to work for that. We had quite a few arguments about that afterwards which I like as they were honest arguments and show the players are passionate.
“The ball travelled 70 yards from their keeper and yet you could have driven bus between our two centre halves – the defending was atrocious.
“It was a mistake by Martin Riley. I know there was a strong wind in that direction, but we have two boys back there who have played in the Football League and if 'Riles' doesn't head it properly then 'Soots' (Ritchie Sutton) should have been in the right place at the right time to cover him.
“I expected a lot more from those two for the goal. But this isn't a witch hunt. We just need to tidy up on things like that if we are going to be successful.”W
He added: “We will take a point as it's something we can build on.
“It was one of those nights at the office and the ball didn't drop for us.
“I thought the lads worked extremely hard. They took some stick on Saturday and rightly so. I told them to go out there and put it right with a better performance. It has been a bit quiet in training since the weekend.
“The fans were absolutely magnificent. They came out in force and I wish we could have got them three points to go home with tonight.
“We could easily have been in front with the chances we had. I thought it was going to be one of those nights when Lincoln scored. It would have been very easy for the players or me then to have sit back and feel sorry for ourselves. But we are made of sterner stuff and got the equaliser.
“Our appetite looked back tonight. I thought Paul Bolland was excellent in midfield and Paul Connor deserved a goal. He got into great positions and worked hard.”
Stags now face another local derby with struggling Alfreton on Saturday, looking to end a poor run of form at Field Mill.
“Now we need to start performing at home – that's the big one,” said Cox.
“I can't put my finger on why we haven't been. We are like a Jeckyl and Hyde side. Tonight we passed the ball really well and created some good chances.
“We need a 'Newport performance' on Saturday to get rid of a few demons and the crowd can help us do that.”
Anthony Howell will return from a three-game ban on Saturday and Ben Futcher may also be fit again.
Stags will have to see how Lindon Meikle is after he limped off at Lincoln. It seemed like cramp, but the club are concerned there may be a tweaked muscle too
Lincoln City caretaker boss Grant Brown disappointed not to cling on for crucial win
thisislincolnshire.co.uk, by LeighCurtis
Caretaker boss Grant Brown admitted a draw was a fair result after Lincoln City were held at home by local rivals Mansfield Town.
The Imps thought they had snatched a win in the derby encounter when Gavin McCallum's fabulous volley put them in front midway through the second half.
But up popped Matt Green to salvage a point for the visitors, when he stabbed in a cross by former Lincoln striker Paul Connor.
And Brown said he felt it was the right result.
"It was not really like a local derby," he said. "Early on it was tentative and perhaps that was because both teams lost their last games.
"But there were opportunities and it certainly was not a dull game.
"We had a couple of chances through Karl and Gavin, which came through good attacking play. I thought Karl just got up a bit too early with his header, but it was a good move.
"He started the move, played it out wide, continued his run into the box and, on another day, I think he scores.
"Generally, I was happy with our forward play. We asked a few questions of their defence which I asked the players to do because we have not been doing that enough.
"Unfortunately we just couldn't hold on and they scored late on which was probably a fair reflection of the game."
Not for the first time this season were Lincoln indebted to goalkeeper Joe Anyon who clinched the man of the match award with a series of fine saves.
The pick of the bunch was a one-handed stop to deny Martin Riley's header which Mansfield boss Paul Cox admitted was like Gordon Banks' brilliant save from Pele in the 1970 World Cup.
Brown could not but admire the former Port Vale stopper's performance.
"He made some fantastic saves even from ones that were offside," he said.
"Joe has pulled off a great double save, but it was great goalkeeping from him.
"They had some good delivery from wide areas and Joe's reactions were very good."
Brown said he was also pleased for youngster Jordan Thomas who became Lincoln's youngest ever player.
He eclipses Jack Hobbs having made his debut aged just 16 and 71 days.
Brown, who is the head of youth, was delighted to see one of his fledglings make it into the first team.
"I was thrilled with him," he said.
"He works his socks off and he is a pleasure to work with.
"There's more to come from him."
Mansfield performance shows Imps have capacity to challenge the division
Since being handed the keys to football's equivalent of a car competing in a demolition derby, it is a testament to Grant Brown that he has avoided incurring further damage to Lincoln City's bodywork.
. . .
But it was impossible not to notice that Lincoln are slowly finding their swagger which, as Joe Anyon testified, was a result of Brown's quality on the training pitch.
"It's a lot more professional," was the goalkeeper's assessment of the caretaker manager's day to day activities.
"We were in yesterday for a proper cool down and everything is being done properly which, hopefully, will put points on the board.
"It is not going to happen overnight, but if we stick at it and work hard, then it should not be too long before we start climbing the table.
"He has us in earlier, we are training longer and I am certainly not going to grumble about it. We need to be doing these things to get fitter and stronger.
"Once that happens, you concentrate longer which, in turn, helps you to see out games. Okay it did not happen here, but I'm sure it will come."
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Imps caretaker manager Grant Brown told BBC Lincolnshire:
"A point's always good but, when you get as close as we did tonight, it's tinged with a bit of disappointment that we didn't see the game out.
"It wasn't really like a local derby. It seemed a bit tentative. Both sides had lost their last game and were feeling each other out, but there were opportunities.
"It certainly wasn't a dull game but we're disappointed not to get three points."
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"We played some really good stuff and created quite a few chances - especially in the second half. But we conceded a really sloppy goal which is something we have to put right.
"We came in for some criticism at the weekend and rightly so and we put it right. We were probably a little bit unlucky we didn't get three points.
"Our appetite looked back. All the fundamentals that I said weren't there on Saturday were there tonight and we played some good stuff as well."
Latest | October 2011