STAGS DRAW AT STEVENAGE BUT NEED WINS
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Stevenage 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Newton 15. Atkinson 51
Attendance: 2294 (274 from Mansfield)
Date: 10 April 2018
Martin Shaw at Broadhall Way
Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at Stevenage last night. This was a not a bad performance from Mansfield and at any other stage of the season would have been a reasonable result coming to a side that played quite well and played with confidence having won successive games. Unfortunately Mansfield are at the stage where wins are required and a draw wasn’t really enough. Stevenage took the lead after 15 minutes and it was well-worked by the home side but sleepy defending from the Stags. Left back Joe Martin took a corner from the left and rolled it along the ground to the near post where Danny Newton escaped from his marker Hayden White to attack the ball and slam it into the net from 11 yards through a crowd of players. Just the start Mansfield didn’t want after the shock defending on Saturday where they conceded four times in 27 minutes. Five minutes later, Alex Revell’s cross from the right was laid off by Matt Godden to Newton whose shot was going wide before deflecting off Rhys Bennett and hitting the outside of the right post. In between, on 19 minutes, a great chance for Mansfield as White put in a fine cross from the right and Kane Hemmings headed wide of the left post. Then on 26 minutes, Johnny Hunt played a good “1-2-3” to get into the box on the left and had a good sight of goal, but could only toe-poke his shot straight at the keeper. Stevenage one up at the break and deservedly so. Too often, Mansfield’s crossing and final ball had been poor when in good positions. The Stags needed a boost and they got it with the equaliser on 51 minutes. Hunt played a fine 1-2 with CJ Hamilton on the left, got to the byline, and sent in a super cross to the edge of the six-yard box where Will Atkinson arrived late to fire into the net. It was Atkinson’s second goal for Mansfield. Hemmings fired a good chance over the bar on 57 minutes after White’s free kick was knocked down and seemed to strike Atkinson’s hand but the referee was happy to let play continue. Straight to the other end from the goal kick and Logan made a great save turning away a shot from Luke Amos. Controversy on 63 minutes as Mansfield were denied a penalty. Hayden White made a great run more than half the length of the pitch on the right into the Stevenage area and went down. White was booked for diving by the referee. In real time I wasn’t sure if it was a foul and I thought White might have lost his footing. However the video from both the main camera and our pitchside camera shows that sub Tom Conlon dived in to get the ball, didn’t get it, and took White down. It should therefore have been a nailed-on penalty. Logan had to make a good save from another shot from the outstanding Danny Newton, pushing wide on 74 minutes. However it was the Stags who were right on top. There were several good moments but the Stags were too often trying to walk the ball into the net rather than take a shot. However there were chances. Great play from Alfie Potter who broke into the area, but just overran the ball to the keeper. Then MacDonald shot low at the keeper. On 84 minutes, a great effort from Hemmings as the keeper parried away his powerful shot. The Stags looked the more likely winners but it was Stevenage who nearly won it in stoppage time. On 90+3 minutes, sub Dale Gorman fired a low shot just wide of the right post from fully 30 yards following a free kick. Then with what turned out to be the last kick of the game, Danny Newton turned and fired just over the bar from the edge of the area. So a draw for the Stags, which does at least break the sequence of four defeats. After the game, boss Flitcroft and scorer Atkinson both said they thought Mansfield deserved to win. I don’t agree with that, I think a draw was a fair result for both sides. Draws are not enough for Mansfield though at this stage. Mansfield are one point behind Coventry who are in the final play-off position. Coventry have a game in hand. Swindon who also drew last night, are level with Mansfield. Mansfield have four games left. We probably need to win all four to get into the play-offs, though if Coventry and Swindon continue to falter, three wins could possibly be enough. On to the huge local derby with Chesterfield on Saturday. Chesterfield are bottom and a win for Mansfield could put a nail into their coffin. It’s massive. The Stags must go there and win.
This was the ninth game (20% of the season) without a win in this disastrous run. And that is just four points from the eight games played under new manager David Flitcroft. Up until now, no manager in Mansfield’s history had failed to win any of their first 8 games. But now is not the time to dwell on that. Everyone involved with the club, including the staff and the 2700 fans who will be at Chesterfield have to create a great atmosphere to cheer the team onto a much-needed win.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Flitcroft still waiting for first win as Atkinson rescues a point
chad.co.uk, by Agency Reporter, Tuesday 10 April 2018
That elusive first win still won’t come for David Flitcroft, as the Mansfield Town manager’s winless run was extended to eight games after the Stags salvaged a 1-1 draw at Stevenage tonight. A Will Atkinson equaliser rewarded an improved second-half display from the Stags, but they couldn’t find the second goal that would have given their ailing promotion hopes a timely boost after nine games without a victory. Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Stevenage v Mansfield Town; 10/18 KO 19.45; The Lamex Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stags' Alex McDonald forces his way past Stevenage's Ben Sheaf However, thanks to Swindon conceding a late goal to draw at Yeovil, the gap between them and the top seven is down to just one point with four games left. Kane Hemmings had Mansfield’s first chance of the night, with his attempted lob over Tom King from a narrow angle coming off the Stevenage goalkeeper. But the Stags were hopelessly caught napping after 15 minutes when Joe Martin snuck in a low corner to Danny Newton at the near post, and his first-time effort flashed past Conrad Logan. It was proving to be an open game, with Hemmings heading Hayden White’s cross over before Newton had an effort blocked at the other end, following some more questionable defending. Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Stevenage v Mansfield Town; 10/18 KO 19.45; The Lamex Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Stevenage's corner routines caused problems for Stags in the first half Newton again threatened just before half-time when his low strike from outside the area forced Logan into a good save, turning the ball around the post. The Stags had the perfect start to the second half when White did well to cross on the stretch from on the left, with Hemmings leaving the ball for Atkinson to finish superbly past King. But they almost fell behind again after Luke Amos burst through the middle for Stevenage, only for Logan to stand strong against his powerful effort. The Stags ‘keeper was called upon again when he did just enough to claw away a shot from Tom Conlon that was deflected awkwardly into the air. A mistake by Dale Gorman gave Hemmings the chance to snatch the points with six minutes left, only for King to deny him with a flying save.
STEVENAGE (4-3-3): T. King, Henry, J. King, Wilkinson, Martin, Amos, Sheaf (Gorman 54), Whelpdale (Conlon 58), Godden (Goddard 77), Revell, Newton Subs not used: Fryer, Franks, Wakefield, Vancooten.
MANSFIELD TOWN (3-5-2): Logan, Bennett, Pearce, Hunt, White, MacDonald, Byrom (Mellis 52), Atkinson, Hamilton (Potter 58), Rose, Hemmings Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Diamond, Angol, King. Attendance: 2,294. Referee: Seb Stockbridge.
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/match-report-flitcroft-still-waiting-for-first-win-as-atkinson-rescues-a-point-1-9108877
Stevenage 1-1 Mansfield Town: PLAYER RATINGS
10 April 2018, by Layth Yousif at the Lamex
Tom King: 7 - A class act and a top guy. Just a shame he won’t be at the Lamex next season. Boro’s loss is Millwall’s gain.
Joe Martin: 7 - Worked hard and put in a shift, as befits a player with his DNA and pedigree.
Jack King: 7 - A colossus whose ‘thou shalt not pass’ attitude is exactly what is required in League Two against teams such as Mansfield, even if he and his defensive partners will be disappointed at the goal they conceded.
Luke Wilkinson: 7 - Solid as always this giant of a defender is a reliable team man who certainly deserves his place in the side.
Chris Whelpdale 6.5 - A shy man off the pitch after declining to talk to the press following his excellent winner at Newport, this hard working midfielder does his talking on the pitch, even if he wasn’t as influential as he would have liked
Ben Sheaf: 7 - Oozes class. Has become more of a rounded player since joining Stevenage on loan from Arsenal. Has gained strength and physicality which allied with his natural ability will make him a real prospect.
Alex Revell: 7 - Vastly underrated striker who is another positive influence on the team and leads the line well. No-one better at this level than playing with his back to goal. Excellent hold up play and is an expert at winning crucial flick-ons.
Luke Amos: 7 - Another Premier League loanee who has improved during his time at the Lamex - while also improving the side with his flair, commitment and those quick feet of his. Not his best game but not through want of trying.
Danny Newton: 8 - Spectacular goal from the hardest working striker in League Two which had the fans deservedly singing his name on the East Terrace. Surely a shoo-in for the club’s player of the year
Matt Godden: 7 - Good to see this popular striker return to the starting line up in place of Ben Kennedy who picked up a dead thigh. Deserved his ovation after being replaced by John Goddard late on.
Ronnie Henry: 7 - Mr Consistency as ever. A model pro and one whose legacy will last at this club for as long as they play football in this town.
Dale Gorman (6.5) on for Ben Sheaf
Tom Conlon (6) on for Chris Whelpdale
John Goddard: (N/A) On for Godden late on