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Archived News from February 2017

27th February 2017 21:00

Stags’ fight earns Newport win - Evans
mansfieldtown.net, 25th February 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans says no-one will stop his side’s fight after they continued their pursuit of a play-off spot with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Newport County this afternoon.

On a cold and blustery day in north Nottinghamshire, Stags had to come from behind to secure an excellent three points against a spirited Newport outfit. Exiles’ striker Ryan Bird tapped in the opener after six minutes but centre-half Krystian Pearce popped up with a calm finish to level the contest later in the half.

With both sides fighting for every inch, Stags clinched all three points when striker Shaq Coulthirst converted a second half penalty to keep Stags level on points with Colchester United in eighth position in Sky Bet League Two.

And the manager says his charges showed their character during today’s 2-1 victory as they bounced straight back from their first defeat of the calendar year last week.

“There would have been a big question of our players’ character today after Grimsby and going 1-0 down so early,” the Stags’ chief said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/se-post-newport-3593306.aspx#JvhFlKIYYfajUoZO.99

“You’re looking for character in your group and I thought we showed that in abundance. I thought we had some big players out there today that showed they’re prepared to go the whole way.

“No-one’s going to stop our fight; we’re going to give these supporters - hopefully - something special come the end [of the season].”

After seeing striker Shaq Coulthirst bag his fourth goal for the club with a well-taken penalty, the gaffer commended the performance of the Peterborough United loanee, as well as that of Pat Hoban, who made his first appearance since the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Wycombe Wanderers last month.

“I think Shaq does some marvellous things and at other times he frustrates you but I wouldn’t like to play against him. Certainly when we play opposition teams, the one thing they say is how hard the centre-halves have had to work.

“I thought him and Paddy Hoban covered every blade of grass today. I wanted to get Matt Green on to the pitch - he’s a real asset late on - but he just felt his groin a little bit in the warm-up at half-time.”

The boss revealed that striker Danny Rose should be fit to travel to Yeovil Town on Tuesday and the medical staff are hoping Matt Green’s groin strain isn’t anything serious. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Jake Kean will have a scan this evening to determine the extent of the damage he suffered in the first half challenge which forced him off this afternoon.

“People talk about five strikers but suddenly we’ve got Danny Rose, who should be fit for Tuesday, suddenly not out there today and then we’ve got Greeny telling us at half-time that he would go out there for us [if needed].

“We’re booking him a scan [for Jake Kean], he’ll have a scan this evening. He’s had a block with the boy - think Jake was brave, a lot of people would have pulled out of that - he stuck his leg out and Rhys Bennett has a fantastic block afterwards. Otherwise, they tap it in to an empty net and go 2-1 in front.”

Supporters can view Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.


Evans delighted as Stags return to winning ways
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 25 February 2017

Steve Evans was delighted to see his side roar back from two poor results to see off bottom club Newport County 2-1 in dreadful conditions at One Call Stadium today. The battling visitors had only lost one of their last eight and grabbed an early lead on a cloying pitch in powerful winds.

But Stags fought back to win it with a Shaq Coulthirst penalty, despite losing keeper Jake Kean to injury, after the visitors had Jaanai Gordon red-carded midway through the second half.

“I was delighted with the win after last week, when we let everyone down, and the pitch played a part why they scored a goal today,” said Evans.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-delighted-as-stags-return-to-winning-ways-1-8409862

“I think we should have been three or four one up at half-time and we had to remind the players about winning the contest and they had to be prepared to put their bodies on the line.”

No game against a Graham Westley side is likely to be a pretty one. But Evans had nothing but praise for the opposition’s approach.

“They are fighting for their absolute lives and have the right man in charge,” he said.

“I know some of their players well and Graham has them well-organised and disciplined.

“He has signed players that are prepared to go to the last mile.

“We knew today was going to be tough. We told our players don’t look at league tables.

“It was one of the quietest I’ve ever heard our supporters for the 10 minutes after Newport scored.

“They play one way - direct. They don’t play football. They turn teams and squeeze the game and I can’t condemn that as every team has to find a way to win a game.

“Graham has been doing that successfully though, granted, many of them have been draws in which they’ve been unfortunate not to get a win.

“Teams play how they have to play. The first thing we had to do was earn the right to battle with them today and earn the right to play - and I think we played some wonderful stuff at times. “We just never had the little break you need to get if you are flying and have just had four or five wins.” Stags were shaken by the visitors’ fifth minute opener. “Krytian Pearce should have won the header,” said Evans.

“We know that and Krystian knows it. But it goes wide. It’s a fantastic cross, so there is a bit of credit on most goals.

“But Jake was going to throw his cap on it and it bounced up off a divot - we have re-watched it. He told us that but you don’t always believe goalkeepers.

“It made it really awkward and their striker was where he should be tapping it in from a couple of yards.

“Then you are looking for character in your group and I thought we showed that in abundance.

“We had some big players out there today who showed they are prepared to go the whole way.”

After Pearce had levelled on 17 minutes, it was left to Coulthirst to net the winner from the spot after his powerful shot had been handled by Craig Reid.

“It was a clear penalty - the lad should buy goalie gloves,” smiled Evans.

“Shaq does some marvellous things and sometimes he frustrates you, but I wouldn’t like to play against him.

“One thing opposition teams say who’ve played against him is how hard the centre halves have had to work.

“I thought him and Paddy Hoban covered every blade of grass today.

“I wanted to get Matt Green onto the pitch late on but he just felt his groin a little bit in the warm-up at half-time.

“People talk about us having five strikers but all of a sudden we have no Danny Rose out there today, though he should be fit for Tuesday, and Greeny said he would go out there and play for us, but you have to put your manager’s head on and know you could play him for 20 minutes and lose him for the season.”

On Kean’s injury, which saw him replaced before half-time, he added: “We have booked him a scan tonight.

“He had a block with the boy and I think Jake was brave when he stuck his leg out.

“Then Rhys Bennett made a fantastic block or they go 2-0 up into an empty net.

“It was very difficult conditions out there today.”

Stags then survived a late Newport push as Ryan Bird lobbed onto the roof of the net.

“We lived nervously - it’s why Newport get late goals,” he said.

Stags now prepare for long hauls to Yeovil on Tuesday and Cheltenham on Saturday in eighth place, only outside the top seven on goal difference.


Tough-tackling McGuire revels in Newport battle
mansfieldtown.net, 25th February 2017

Stags’ midfielder Jamie McGuire says today’s battling 2-1 victory over Newport County are the games in which he thrives.

The tenacious central midfielder was handed a start by manager Steve Evans for the first time since the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Wycombe Wanderers last month, with skipper Lee Collins sliding over to right-back in the absence of Hayden White.

And McGuire, 33, says his hard work on the training ground and in the gym prepares him to be ready to step in whenever he’s called upon by the boss.

“I think Beno (Rhys Bennett) said to me ‘how do you do it?’ and I think it’s just mentality - I’m a strong minded person," McGuire said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/mcguire-delighted-with-newport-battle-3594510.aspx#8l34XxOxkfiMQuG2.99

“I haven’t played for probably four or five weeks, that’s just how it is. I’ve been training hard and going to the gym, I’m working hard. I’ve got to keep my body right because when I do get called on, these are the games I like, these are the games I want to be in.

“I feel fit at the moment and I’ve gone in to the game today because of the training. The training’s been high intensity; what Raynes (Paul Raynor) and the gaffer do is make sure you’re right in training because when you get called on, like today, you’ve got to be right.”

The former Fleetwood Town midfielder was caught by a late challenge from Newport County frontman Jaanai Gordon this afternoon, and McGuire believes the Stags moved up a gear following the dismissal.

“He caught me on the side of my knee and I’m not going to go down for nothing because I’ve had that done before. Every time I’ve got someone, I’ve been sent off.

“He caught me on the side of my knee, the referee’s made his decision of the yellow card but it was [a couple] of minutes later that the lad’s caught [Joel Byrom].

“He’s caught Joz [Joel Byrom] on his nose and he’s ended up getting a bloody nose and he’s got sent off.

“I’m not saying it’s deserved because it’s not nice when players get sent off but he’s got sent off and we kicked on then.”

Boss Steve Evans revealed to the club's fans at Monday night’s Q&A evening that he would like to have McGuire involved in his backroom staff when the Liverpudlian finishes his playing career, but McGuire insists his immediate focus is his what happens on the pitch for the rest of the season.

“I think the main thing for Mansfield Town now is to stay in this play-off hunt, because it’s so tight at the moment, and get this club promoted. When it comes to the end of the season, we’ll sit down and talk about that.

“The main thing now is I’m enjoying being in the squad. I’m enjoying being involved in the play-offs and being involved with Mansfield Town.

“You see the fans today, nearly 4,000 again and it’s a club on the up. Everyone’s backing each other; the fans are backing us, the chairman’s backing the manager. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing, as a club and as a town, and keep kicking on.”

Supporters can log in to Stags PlayerHD to view Jamie McGuire’s full post-match interview.


Stags warrior McGuire relished Newport battle
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 25 February 2017

Battling Stags midfielder Jamie McGuire thoroughly enjoyed a rare start in today’s 2-1 home win over Newport County.

McGuire loves to get stuck in and on a poor surface in strong wind against the division’s bottom club, it was tailor-made for him.

He smiled: “They are my games aren’t they? They are what it’s all about for me, those battles in League Two.

“I am here to just get chosen. When he wants me I’m ready to go - that’s what being a squad player is all about.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-warrior-mcguire-relished-newport-battle-1-8409919

“It was always going to be a battle. You know what to expect against Newport. The most important thing for us was three points - you don’t care if it comes in the 90th minute and you win 1-0. “The wind was disgusting. But we won our battles.

“It was the kind of game in which had to be men and stand up.

“You see what Newport bring. They are scrapping for their lives down there at the moment. But we matched them and won the battle.”

McGuire brought a save from the keeper with a long range pot shot and said: “It was a bit of a weak shot. If I’d put my foot right through it I think it would have gone in.”

Newport’s hopes faded when Jaanai Gordon was sent off for two yellow cards in as many minutes.

“It was strange,” said McGuire. “He got me for the yellow card and then, to be fair, I thought he caught Joel (Byrom) as Joel had a bit of blood from his nose.”

Boss Steve Evans said in midweek that he sees McGuire as a future addition to the coaching staff.

“It was nice words from the gaffer,” he said.

“From the first time he opened the door I have got on with him and Paul Raynor and Lee Taylor so well. I have just done the things they want me to do.

“It will be the end of the season before we talk about that.”

He added: “It’s a big week for us and we have two tough away games now. But you’ve seen the squad now and the gaffer can choose what he wants where he wants.”


Newport County boss angered by refereeing decisions after defeat at Mansfield Town
southwalesargus.co.uk, by Andrew Penman

NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Westley believes his side were once again hard done by as they went down to a 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town this afternoon.

History repeated itself for the Exiles as, a week on from the red card for Mitch Rose and late penalty conceded at Cambridge United, they were again reduced to 10 men and were denied a point as a penalty decision went against them.

This time it was Jaanai Gordon who was sent off for two yellow cards in two minutes in the second half before Craig Reid was adjudged to have handled in the box.

Shaquile Coulthirst scored the winner from the spot for the hosts after Krystian Pearce had cancelled out Ryan Bird’s early strike in the first half.

“It’s a difficult result to take,” said Westley. “We faced a fair bit going in with [Mark] O’Brien pulling up in the warm-up and [Michael] Flynn going off so early.


“But the lads settled themselves down, got into the game well and managed to get that early goal.

“The concession was probably a fair reflection of the possession they were having at the time so we went in 1-1.

“We knew we had to be better in the second half and I thought we were.

“But again we have to talk about a turning point in a game where a sending off happens and all the momentum we were building up was halted.

“We were confident and feeling good about the way we were playing at that stage.

“The sending off really was a massive turning point and when you look at the second yellow I’m sure even their manager would say that there was no foul involved.

“For the penalty Reidy is adamant that the ball struck him in the chest.”

The defeat means County are still bottom of the table and still six points from safety ahead of next Saturday’s home clash with 23rd-placed Leyton Orient.

But the manager is still upbeat about his side’s survival hopes with 13 games to go.

“In the last 20 minutes the boys went forward and showed great character,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to have lost but we didn’t throw in the towel and our performance on the whole was fairly strong.”


Newport County manager angered by red card in defeat at Mansfield Town
southwalesargus.co.uk, by Andrew Penman

NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Westley was left “staggered” by the “match-changing decision” that led to another defeat for his side at Mansfield Town.

County led through Ryan Bird’s early strike but that was cancelled out by Krystian Pearce’s leveller before the break.

Exiles striker Jaanai Gordon then picked up two yellow cards in just two minutes midway through the second half before Shaquile Coulthirst earned the Stags all three points from the spot after Craig Reid was penalised for handball.

The defeat means Westley’s men remain six points from safety with 13 games to play.

And the manager believes that the decision by referee Ross Joyce to show Gordon a second yellow after an aerial challenge cost his side at least a point.

“I’ve seen it several times now and their boy clutches his face but his [Gordon’s] arms are down, there’s scarcely any contact,” he said.


“He’s jumped honestly for the ball and nobody in their right mind [thinks it was a foul] - even their analyst said ‘we couldn’t believe it when he gave the sending off.’

“I’m staggered,” he added. “What staggers me most of all is that the referee has sent Jan off and he didn’t consult the fourth official who was standing with me about five yards from the incident.

“I said to the fourth official ‘did you get consulted in that decision?’ and he said no.

“I go along to referee’s meetings and in those meetings they talk about the importance in decision making of different points of view.

“What you think’s happened from one angle, when you look at it from a different angle you see that it’s a completely different scenario.

“And from the distance he was at he could not possibly have seen what we clearly saw and the footage shows - that there was scarcely any contact whatsoever, there definitely wasn’t an arm used and there wasn’t a yellow card offence.

“Had he done his job properly and consulted he could have got that information from the fourth official and he could have made the correct decision and not a match-changing decision.”

Westley feels the referee was influenced by the Mansfield players, management and the home fans at Field Mill.

“Probably the influence of a crowd is the reason why home teams have something called home advantage,” he said.

“But a referee has to be strong enough, wise enough and able enough to referee what’s in front of him and make decisions in a coherent way.

“Not to consult with the fourth official, who is five yards away, is a disregard for decision-making duties in my opinion.”

The Exiles were missing David Pipe due to illness, while Mark O’Brien aggravated an injury in the warm-up and Michael Flynn was forced off with a hamstring problem in the first half.

Next up is a home clash against 23rd-placed Leyton Orient at Rodney Parade next Saturday.

‘Difficult result to take,’ says unhappy Westley
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 25 February 2017

Newport County manager Graham Westley was unhappy with the red card for Jaanai Gordon and penalty award against Craig Reid which ultimately saw his strugglers lose 2-1 at Mansfield Town. The Exiles had only lost one of their previous eight and battled hard after going 1-0 up in five minutes. “It’s a difficult result to take,” he said. “We settled down well and got into the game, managed the game well. “The concession was probably a fair reflection of the pressure they were having at the time. “We knew we had to be better in the second half and I thought we were. “But again we have to talk about a huge turning point where a sending off happens and all the momentum we were building up has gone. We were confident and feeling good about the way we were playing at that stage.” He added: “When you look at the second yellow I am sure even their manager will say there was no foul involved. “I was going to replace him (Gordon)because he had cramp, but he said he could carry on. “What happened, happened. I have seen it several times now. “The ball comes forward, their boy clutches his face, but Gordon’s arms were down. There was scarcely any contact. “He had jumped honestly for a ball and nobody in their right mind would send him off. We couldn’t believe it.” On the penalty that gave Shaq Coulthirst the winner, he said: “He (Reid) is adamant the ball struck his chest. “It is difficult to have a view from the footage. The ball went like a rocket at him.” Newport almost stole a point when Ryan Bird lobbed Scott Shearer in stoppage time, but the ball ended up on top of the net. “In the last 20 minutes we went forward and the boys showed great character and managed to create the late chance,” he said. “If Bird had scored it would have been a fantastic point. “Credit to our players. Bearing in mind the injuries we had and the decisions against us, they never stopped, stayed on the front foot and might have got a precious point.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/difficult-result-to-take-says-unhappy-westley-1-8409936



Shaq Coulthirst @ShaqCoulthirst
Great Comeback, Shows Our Character. On To Tuesday... #Stags

Rhys Bennett @RhysBeno91
Great character from the boys ! The fans were magnificent ! Congrats @ShaqCoulthirst and @kppres #orangejuice roll on Tuesday

CJ Hamilton @CJHamilton11
Great to bounce back with 3 points today, onto another tough game on Tuesday #stags

Ben Whiteman @BenWhiteman17
Hard fought win that! 3 points on the board, onto Tuesday now! #stags



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