CLOUGH, STEVE BALL, FRANK NOUBLE REACTION
A good point which should have been three - boss
mansfieldtown.net, Sunday 14th February 2021
Although being left ‘disappointed’ with just a point against Colchester, boss Nigel Clough was pleased to see the unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two stretched to eight games.
An own goal from Tommy Smith and a James Perch effort each preceded equalisers from Callum Harriott and Frank Nouble on a blisteringly cold afternoon in Essex.
The manager says that the Stags perhaps should have taken all three points back to Nottinghamshire after leading twice in the contest.
“We’re disappointed because of the nature of the equaliser - both the timing and the deflection,” he told iFollow Stags. “I thought we played okay today on a very difficult surface.
“We took the lead twice and held it going into the 89th minute. Faz [Farrend Rawson] has thrown himself in for the challenge, it [Nouble shot] has hit the top of his foot and flown in the far top corner.
“First 20 minutes we played well and got the goal, then we sort of lost our way and they get back into the game.
“I thought for the vast majority of the second-half, it was us who were in the ascendancy.
“One of the things we thought we may have missed from Kellan Gordon’s play was the attacking side, but Perchy pops up with a goal.
“He played a little one-two and Reidy has squared it for him, he’s followed it in and ended up with a tap-in. We want to play with our full-backs going forward and getting goals.
“I thought we should have won the game. When you go ahead twice, I think there is always going to be disappointment when you don’t get the three points.
“We’re more disappointed with the first equaliser as we didn’t get out quick enough to the edge of the box - we should’ve dealt with that much better.
“It’s an absolutely brilliant run [unbeaten in eight league games]. It’s now two defeats in 15, and those two defeats are the only games we haven’t scored in.
“I think it’s been an exceptionally good run. When you come here [Colchester] and have a battle like today, yes, we could’ve won it, but it’s still a good point in lots of ways. It’s just the lateness of the equaliser.”
Arctic temperatures had a great effect on the Sky Bet League Two schedule this weekend, with the weather also taking its toll on the Colchester pitch on Sunday afternoon.
The U’s and the Stags battled on a tough, recently-thawed surface, leaving the boss satisfied by his side’s ability to still find the net on two occasions.
“It was very difficult for the players to get the ball down and play [on today’s surface], and I think you have two good footballing sides,” he added.
“There are never going to be clear cut chances in games like this and I suppose we got a little lucky with our first goal, the own goal.
“It’s difficult to get the ball down and play - you could see it bobbling around a lot. The good thing is with the two games we’ve had [Walsall and Colchester], there haven’t been any silly challenges from either team.
“We have two points on the road, which could’ve easily been four after today’s game. But we’ve scored three goals away from home [this week].
“I think we’ll score goals home and away. We’ll look forward to a bit of rain this week and a few more softer pitches now!”
There was also an injury update on defender Kellan Gordon and forward Oli Sarkic, who were both absent from today’s squad through injury.
“He [Gordon] felt his knee in training this week and there was a bit of swelling at the back. I don’t think it’s a major issue, we’ll see how he is [on] Monday [and] Tuesday.
“He [Sarkic] felt his thigh in training this week, on Wednesday. They will probably be similar [lengths of injuries].
“You’re talking later this week, to the absolute maximum being ten days to two weeks.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full on mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later this evening.
Colchester United battled back twice to draw with Mansfield
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron JonWaldron1
COLCHESTER United boss Steve Ball praised his side’s character after they twice battled back to secure a 2-2 draw with Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Goals from Callum Harriott and Frank Nouble secured a point for the U’s against the in-form Stags, who led twice at the JobServe Community Stadium thanks a Tommy Smith own goal and a James Perch strike.
Colchester have now gone 11 matches without a win in League Two but boss Ball was pleased to see his side claim a point, having twice been behind.
He said: “It was a shame we conceded the goals that we did but it’s a really good sign of our character in the group for us to come back.
“I thought if there was any team that was going to win it after Frank’s equaliser it was us and we were in the ascendency in the last four or five minutes.
“There were goalmouth scrambles and we might have nicked it but it was a really good show of character to come back and get a point.”
Nouble scored a superb goal to rescue a point for Colchester, in the 89th minute.
The former West Ham United youngster slammed a shot into the far corner of the net from a tight angle from Aramide Oteh’s assist, to score on his first home appearance since returning to the U’s on loan from Plymouth Argyle.
“It was a fantastic goal from Frank,” said Ball.
“It was good play and a great assist from Reme (Oteh) from Ryan Clampin who played a part in it, so the subs did a really good job there.
“It was a top drawer finish and that’s why we brought Frank back for moments of magic like that - it was just a shame it wasn’t the winner.”
"The pitch was so difficult today. The referee was excellent by the way. The pitch was hard about 1.00 but he was patient after he might have called it off."
Colchester United forward Jevani Brown did not make squad
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron JonWaldron1
JEVANI Brown has been told he must work hard to force his way back into Colchester United’s squad after being left out for their 2-2 draw with Mansfield Town today.
The U’s leading goalscorer, who has hit the net 11 times this season, was not even among the substitutes for the League Two clash, at the JobServe Community Stadium.
Brown has been one of Colchester’s most frequent starters since Steve Ball took over from John McGreal as U’s head coach, last summer.
But the U’s boss has said Brown - and everyone else in the U’s squad - needs to earn his place in the matchday 18.
Ball said: “Every player now knows that in the week, you have to train hard, train properly and show me everything I need to see.
“Obviously off that, there’ll be a process to select the squad and that’s everybody.
“Unfortunately for Jevani, he didn’t get in the 18 today but he’s just got to work hard now and get back in that squad.”
Ball elected to leave regular Noah Chilvers on the bench along with new signing Brendan Wiredu and also left attackers Michael Folivi and Paris Cowan-Hall out of his 18 for the Mansfield game.
But loanee Aramide Oteh came on to supply the assist for Frank Nouble’s excellent late equaliser, which rescued a point for the hosts.
Ball added: “It’s the first time this season that I’ve had the luxury of a really strong bench.
“There were lads who weren’t even in the squad today who have been key parts of it, this season.
“That’s brilliant for me - the players who aren’t playing have got to be patient.
“Rem (Oteh) has been here a few weeks now and he’s really settling in.
“He’s getting to know us and we’re getting to know him and I knew he could impact it.
“He’ll be a part of it, as we go through the season.”
Frank Nouble told BBC Essex:
"We faced a team in a rich vein of form.
"We got the point we deserved in the end.
"Just happy to get on the scoresheet on a personal level.
"It was a great ball in by Rem Oteh. The manager had put him on as a second striker so I felt less isolated at that time. He put an early ball in. I shifted it and get my shot off.
"I enjoyed the battle with the two centre halves. They're two physical lads, they won a fair few and I won a few as well today.
"I knew if I could shift it and get a shot in it could go in hopefully and it did. Yes [it did take a deflection], it took a little nick, but I leathered it and it was goalbound. My first goal back on my second spell here and I'm buzzing with that."