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30th October 2008 0:16

Billy McEwan and Gary Silk reaction from Mansfield 103.2 here

Billy McEwan reaction from Radio Nottingham here

Andy Perry reaction from Mansfield 103.2 and Stagsworld here

Colin Walker reaction from Radio York here

McEwan delighted with FA Cup draw - and praises travelling fans

Billy McEwan at York on Saturday

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24 October 2008
By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS boss Billy McEwan spoke of his delight at being in the hat for the next round of the famous FA Cup following Saturday's goalless draw away to York.

Mansfield Town booked their place in Sunday's first round draw after they played out a stalemate at Kit Kat Crescent - ending a run of four successive defeats.

But despite his side missing a host of first half chances to claim victory, McEwan said he was happy with his side's performance.

York City 0 Mansfield Town 0

The Stags - who also play BSP rivals York in the Setanta Shield in the first week of November - will face the Minstermen five times this season.

And if they do beat York in Tuesday's replay - they will join local side Alfreton Town in the First Round, after the Reds won 3-1 at Retford.

Click here to watch video highlights of the cup tie

McEwan told Chad: "This is a difficult place to come, but we coped with what they threw at us. York are a good team, but we coped well with them and defended well.

"The conditions were not the best, but both sets of players still managed to put on a good show. We had good chances in the first half and I thought we did enough to win the game.

"Nathan Arnold missed a few good chances, but it is important to get into the hat for the next round. The FA Cup is very special and we are happy to be there tomorrow.

"The reply will be a tough game, but hopefully we can get a good draw and do the business on Tuesday and go on to win the replay.

"We have done a lot of work in the past week on the training pitch. One big thing is the clean sheet, we have not had too many this season."

And McEwan also paid tribute to the loyal band of 255 supporters who made the trip north to cheer on their beloved Stags.

"They have driven a long way today and gave us excellent support, which we are really grateful for.

"It's vital that the fans get behind us both here and at Field Mill. We do not need negativity and it is important everyone is positive."

McEwan also revealed that midfielder Michael Blackwood was replaced early in the second half after twisting his ankle and will be doubtful for the midweek replay.

Stags chairman Andy Perry told Mansfield radio station 103.2: "If that was a League game we would have taken a draw away from home.

"The team played well, dug in and showed that spirit Mansfield Town fans have been wanting to see for the last few weeks.

"We have to discuss with York what we can do on prices (for the replay) . . . we are very mindful and proud of the fans.

And full back Gary Silk added: "The conditions did not help, hopefully it will be a better game on Tuesday.

"It was good to get a clean sheet, they are a decent side. We had chances in the first half which we didn't take, but we are happy with the draw."

Evening Post:
Mansfield could have won, says McEwan
Billy McEwan felt his Mansfield side deserved to send former club York out of the FA Cup at the Kit Kat Crescent this afternoon.

The sides fought out a 0-0 draw in front of 1,976 fans to earn a place in tomorrow afternoon's draw for the first round proper. But McEwan felt his side could have guaranteed their place in the next round after seeing his side dominate the first half. They spurned some decent chances but also had goalkeeper Paddy Gamble to thank for smart saves either side of the break. “I'm delighted with the way we played today in very difficult conditions with the wind making it hard,” said McEwan. “Fair credit to both sets of players to put on a decent show, especially from us. “I thought we did enough in the first half to win it by two or three goals, but we have taken them back to Field Mill and I am looking forward to it. “We are in the hat for the draw so we will be able to sit and watch the draw on the television tomorrow. “But it is one thing getting in the hat and another getting through to the next round and we have to do the business on Tuesday.”

Silk wins over the Stags doubters
No One has played better during Mansfield's recent dry run than right back Gary Silk.When he first pulled on a Stags shirt, some fans questioned why the former Notts County man had been recruited at all after a less than auspicious start.

But Silk has slowly flowered at Field Mill, where he has prov- ed a bulwark of consistency in recent matches.

In fact, he has probably been the club's best player in the last month - silencing any doubters he might have had.

The former Portsmouth trainee even had his own fan club at York on Saturday. 'Gary Silk… he's got no hair, but we don't care…Gary Silk' echoed around the terraces behind the goal in a clear show of affection.

At the Kit Kat Crescent, the 24-year-old played his part in Mansfield's first clean sheet for 11 matches, since they beat Grays Athletic 1-0 at Field Mill in late August.

Now he hopes the Stags can produce a repeat performance in the replay against the Minstermen tonight in a bid to set up a tie with Chesterfield.

"We could have won it with the chances we had in the first half at York, but you are always happy when you get a positive result of some kind away from home," said Silk.

"I don't think they troubled us that much at the back, and that's something we have been working on.

"What we did well was to work hard as a team and defend from the front.

"I wouldn't say there was relief at getting the clean sheet, but it is always good to get one."

He added: "When you go out onto the pitch, you can't worry too much about things like that.

"(Onome) Sodje is pretty tricky to play against, a very quick player. But he was not totally fit because it was his first game back and I'm sure he'll be a handful when we play them again."

With such a hectic schedule of Blue Square Premier, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy games, an FA Cup replay is something the Stags could have done without.

But Silk is still relishing the match in a competition he holds very close to his heart.

He said: "I don't think it is a game we can do without because everyone wants to play in the FA Cup and get through to the next round.

"We haven't managed to do that but we managed to get our name in the hat and now we just have to win the replay.

"I think they are a decent team but we showed that we can more than compete with them.

"We might be favourites now, but I think there is only going to be one goal in it."

It has not escaped Silk's attention that Mansfield have lost their last two home matches - 1-0 to Woking and 2-1 to Wrexham.

He is determined that the club will not make it an unwanted hat-trick and instead hopes they can return to the form that saw them win five consecutive Field Mill games at the start of the season.

"Previously, we have had a good home record and we just want to get back to winning ways and on the kind of run we were on before," he said.

"The lads are determined to put it right and the criticism we got from the fans at the last home game is part and parcel of football.

"You just have to be mentally strong as a player. The fans pay their money and it is up to them what they want to shout.

"But we know that most of the fans are on our side and we had good support again up at York. I hope they will get behind us like that for the game at Field Mill."

Somner: Stags were solid throughout
Matt Somner felt Mansfield's formation at York was the foundation to them earning a 0-0 draw and ending their losing streak.The Stags had been beaten in their previous four games before the clash at the Kit Kat Crescent.

But they never looked like being beaten on this occasion and on another day might have won outright.

Somner said that had much to do with the way the Stags lined up to counter their opponents. "I thought we did well in the end," he said.

"We played the 4-3-3 formation with JD [Jonathan D'Laryea] and myself holding and Michael Blackwood playing in the hole in front of us.

"I said to Jon that we had to get stuck in and that's what we did. Their players did the same and it was a game I enjoyed - it was my sort of match.

"Michael went off but I didn't think it was too difficult to reshape because we have played that way in there with Gavin Hurren before.

"The main thing was we were organised."

Midfielder Somner recognised the importance of bouncing back after a difficult last month.

He said: "The fans were disappointed we have been losing games, but no one has been more disappointed than us.

"You don't play this game to lose because when you have won a game there is no better feeling.

"Because of that, it was nice to end that losing run, even if it was with a draw.

"We have only had two clean sheets before this, which is not good enough.

"We were delighted with the way we defended and I think on another day we might have won it because we had the chances."

Mcewan: Clean sheets key for stags
Billy McEwan hopes Mansfield's first clean sheet in 11 games will be the stepping stone to more shut-outs.

The Stags earned an FA Cup replay after drawing 0-0 at York, on a ground where the Minstermen are unbeaten this season.

McEwan felt his side might have won after an excellent first-half display, but he was pleased with Mansfield's defensive solidity.

The teams will meet again in the replay at Field Mill tomorrow.

McEwan said: "We set our stall out to be hard to beat.

"To stop them scoring was very pleasing and a massive confidence boost for the whole team, not just the defenders.

"Defending starts up front. The strikers have to do their bit.

"In the second half they came at us more and we didn't retain the ball as well as we had done.

"Paddy Gamble did well for us but they are a good side with good players. You expect to be under pressure at some point.

"We played with discipline and we didn't get stretched.

"There was the odd time we got caught, but this is not the Premier League.

"We have not conceded a goal and that's the biggest thing. because we have not kept many clean sheets this season."

Mansfield looked dangerous in the first half and McEwan was frustrated Nathan Arnold did not get on the scoresheet.

Jason Lee also had a low shot cleared off the line.

McEwan said: "Nathan had a couple of chances. What a chance it was when he got through on the edge of the area!

"He just had the keeper to beat but probably tried to be a bit too accurate when he should have just belted it.

"We created a lot of chances and if we create as many tomorrow I will be pleased."


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