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Archived News from February 2003

5th February 2003 9:32

WALLY DOWNES: 'I think we should have won the game'
Brentford manager Wally Downes came away with a clean sheet and a valuable point from Field Mill on Tuesday.

“I'm happy with those two things”, he said. “But I think we should have won the game. We applied ourselves really well and played against the conditions, which were difficult. I think we did enough to win the game but we needed to put a couple of chances away”.

The freezing conditions could have been detrimental to both sides but the game was a credit to the two teams.

He said: “I enjoy games like that because it can't all be played on a pretty surface, as it's the same for both teams. It is all about who applies themselves best on the night. I thought Mansfield's attitude was excellent and I think we more than matched them but there will be teams coming here this season on Tuesday nights who are going to get turned over now but they are fighting for there lives but we matched them tonight and I was really please the way we went about our job”.

“Nice to see them stay on the pitch for a change as well!” deadpanned Wally, after commenting on Jamie Fullarton and Stephen Evans' re-introduction to the first-team after suspension.

“They got through the ninety minutes. Jamie did a little bit better than Stephen, who looked a bit rusty to me. It gave me the opportunity to put Martin [Rowlands] on for fifteen minutes, which was always a bonus for us, but as I said, we created enough chances in the second half to have won the game”.

Leon Constantine got his first run-out for a few months with Eddie Hutchinson also fit after recovering from a groin strain picked up in November.

“[I have] Finally got which is a full squad to pick from. I said to the players we can look at it and say the season starts here because we are in a reasonable position in the table, albeit with games in hand. If we get a run together that could boost their confidence. So the next ten games, if we can chip away and get points here and there we'll see where wer're going for the final ten games”.

Wally was bullish about the prospect of so many games coming up, saying “If you win them they don't come quick enough”.

“I'm not bothered about that. They are young enough and fit enough. All I've got to do is work the training around them so I don't take too much out of their legs and get a bit of confidence, but they've got to give themselves a bit of confidence of a couple of victories and they'll be looking for games to come thick and fast”.


Brentford and Mansfield shared the spoils at freezing Field Mill ground, with Wally Downes perhaps the happier of the two managers.

Both teams on the night were guilty of poor finishing but perhaps could be pardoned, considering the biting weather and the layer of snow across the pitch. Despite this impediment, it was a free flowing game with both sides willing to attack at every opportunity.

Jamie Fullarton and Stephen Evans returned to their midfield berths, with Rowlands, Constantine and Hutchinson back on the bench after their respective injuries.

Brentford had two scares within the first five minutes, Liam Lawrence and then Lee Williamson guilty of missing simple chances. The Bees responded with shots from Vine and Evans, but neither seriously tested Pilkington in the Mansfield goal.

In the eighteenth minute, Pilkington himself was nearly caught napping from a Stephen Hunt direct free-kick, who noticed the custodian way out of goal. However, he recovered his position well to make a fine save.

Two minutes later, Mansfield had their best chance of the half. With Paul Smith committed, Wayne Corden chipped the ball towards goal but Stephen Evans headed the off the line and to safety.

Early in the second half, Stephen Hunt had a golden opportunity to open the scoring, but in his attempt to lob Pilkington from a Dobson header, the Irishman fired tamely at the keeper. Moments later, Kevin O'Connor fed Rowan Vine but he shot wide from ten yards out. Shortly afterwards O'Connor was booked for diving when Pilkington raced out to collect.

Martin Rowlands and Leon Constantine were both brought into the fray, but neither could make an impact on proceedings, as the game ended goalless.

Bees line-up: Smith (P), Dobson, Somner, Marshall, Sonko, Evans (Rowlands 68 mins), Fullarton, Smith (J), O'Connor, Vine (Constantine 84 mins), Hunt.

Subs not used: Julian, Hutchinson and Frampton.

Attendance: 3,735 (Bees fans: 129).


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