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Archived News from December 2012

18th December 2012 22:45

video interviews with Paul Cox, Louis Briscoe and John Dempster


Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth told BBC Radio Lincolnshire:

"I'm really disappointed for the players and our supporters. We've been the better side for the majority of the game. They had the first half-hour when we were a little nice at times but after that there was only one team in it.

"I'm pleased for Adam Smith, who scored his first goal for the club, but half-time really came too soon because we were fully in control of the game. We asked for more of the same at half-time and we got that, the chances came along and we've been punished for not taking them.

"We've given our all and done everything we can to try and be victorious but sadly it wasn't to be tonight. We've got to get the players' heads back up and have that fighting spirit again.

"We've got character, honesty, integrity and desire and I'm proud of them. Not one of them's given anything other than 100% and that's all we can ask."


More comments from David Holdsworth from the BBC interview, transcribed by Martin Shaw:
"These people here ... I've been very dignified since I've been back here ... and tonight just showed for what they are. Our fans were amazing and outsung whatever they are in the Jeremy Kyle stand there."


twitter.com/LeighCurtis_LE (Lincs Echo)

David Holdsworth receives nice round of applause as he takes to floor for Lincoln fans' forum.

Holdsworth: "Over the two games against Mansfield we were the better side. The way Mansfield lorded it after the game was disrespectful."

Holdsworth on Mansfield fixture in Feb: "There is no vendetta among the players, but there is with me. We want to smash them."


Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"It's just out of this world, it's quite a surreal moment. At 1-1, especially in the first half I thought Lincoln were the better side but we made a couple of changes and it tipped in our favour.

"It's just a great strike from Louis Briscoe that's taken us through, so out of this world. I thought the lads were excellent and the support was absolutely immense."


Liverpool dream FA Cup tie will be a happy birthday present for Stags boss Paul Cox

MANSFIELD Town manager Paul Cox will now mark his birthday on Sunday, 6th January with a home FA Cup clash with Liverpool that he hopes will go down as one of the best days of the club's history.


Louis Briscoe's winner saw Stags beat Lincoln City 2-1 in tonight's second round replay to set up the dream clash with the seven-times winners and Cox said: “It is a great birthday present for me and now I hope the whole town enjoys Christmas and gets ready for one of the biggest games in the club's history.

“We want to become a part of that history.

“We want to have a right good go at Liverpool and enjoy it at the same time.

“The players, chairman and supporters all deserve this and it is a great time to be at this football club.

“But we don't want the season to end on 6th January. We have lots of league games to go and want the season to finish with a bang.

“This will be a massive game. The players deserve it as they have been excellent, the supporters deserve it as they have been excellent.”

He added: “I was a bit worried near the end when we had players going forward looking for a third instead of shutting up shop.

“We looked a bit nervous in the first half, but they are only human. The goal steadied us down a bit.

“Then we gave a sloppy goal away which gave Lincoln the impetus in the second half and for the first 20 minutes I thought they were excellent and put us on the back foot.

“I had to put the big man (Matt Rhead) on and I thought he changed the game.

“You should see our players celebrations at the end. It meant the world to them.”

Goal hero Briscoe said: “That was amazing – I can't even put it into words.

“To do that for your team mates when we've all stuck together and to get to the third round – just amazing.

“It was definitely the highlight of my career. I scored a big goal to take us to the Trophy final, but to get to play against Liverpool is something else.”

Skipper John Dempster scored the first goal with a looping header that took an eternity to find the net.

But he smiled: “There is no doubt in my mind that I meant it.

“We work on it in training. It was a great ball from Chris Clements to the back stick and fortunately I managed to get my nugget on it and it went in the right direction.

“I felt we dominated the first half. But Lincoln the put us under some serious pressure which we managed to weather. All credit to them.

“I am a Liverpool fan, though I've not taken as much interest since I turned professional.”

He added: “I lost a good friend a couple of weeks ago and he was the first person I thought of when I scored the goal.”

Imps boss David Holdsworth ended his return to his former club on the losing side and said: “I don't think anyone could argue we deserved a lot more from the game than we've got.

“I thought we played extremely well and certainly deserved to take one or two more of our chances. It is a bitter pill for my lads but I am proud of them tonight.

“Mansfield won more first and second balls in the first half-hour. After that there was only one team in it. We were a bit sad that half-time came too soon.

“There was only one team in it in the second half and my boys have acquitted themselves fantastically well in this cup run.

“The supporters were fantastic tonight too. We are down but not too disappointed with how we played.”


Mansfield Town boss so happy after sealing FA Cup clash with Liverpool
Post Sport

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox said victory to set up a third round FA Cup clash with Liverpool will live long in his memory.


The Stags knew before tonight's second round replay with Lincoln at the One Call Stadium that a win would seal a dream home clash with the five-time European champions.

And they held their nerve to seal a 2-1 win thanks to goals from John Dempster and Louis Briscoe, sandwiched between Adam Smith's equaliser.

They will now take on Liverpool at home on Sunday January 6 in front of the ESPN cameras.

And Cox said: "The FA Cup has something special about it and tonight will stick in my mind for a long, long time. It is what dreams are made of. The support we got from the crowd and the way the players played was amazing and to get Liverpool is a dream for the club.

"I am pleased for the supporters and for them to be able to enjoy the third round. I am delighted for the players and the chairman. The three sets deserve what come their way because they have done so much for this football club.

"These boys seem to embrace the big games and I am so happy for them."


David Holdsworth says Lincoln City are down but not out after Mansfield cup defeat
by Leigh Curtis

David Holdsworth insisted he was immensely proud of his Lincoln City players tonight after their hopes of a dream tie with Liverpool in the FA Cup were crushed by Mansfield.

The Imps slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Field Mill where Louis Briscoe's clinical finish in the 76th minute booked a date with the five-time European champions next month.

Up until that point, City had bossed the second half having seen Adam Smith cancel out a Paul Farman own goal just before half-time.

Holdsworth said he could not have asked for any more of his players who caused an upset in the last round by beating League One Walsall in a replay.

"I am hugely disappointed for the players and the fantastic supporters we had here tonight," he said.

"But I am proud of my football club and while we are down we are certainly not out.

"The players have given me absolutely everything and it has been a good cup run for us.

"We have given our all to be victorious and every single one of them has given 100 per cent.

"There are 20-odd people with their heads down at the minute, but they have no reason to be.

"They are a tremendous bunch of lads and they have great spirit and we will be back."


Mansfield Town chairman John Radford looking to put on a show against Liverpool in FA Cup
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Thursday 13 December 2012

DELIGHTED Mansfield Town chairman John Radford says he is looking forward to showing off Mansfield Town to the watching football world.


Stags will go before a global tv audience on 6th January when they host world-famous Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.

The dream tie was made possible after Paul Cox's men defeated Lincoln City 2-1 in front of a crowd of more than 5,000 at the One Call Stadium.

The money-spinning tie is expected to earn Mansfield in excess of £180,000 through television money and gate receipts, with the fans hoping the windfall will give the club a platform for future succees.

Speaking after the game a beaming John Radford said: “This is fantastic for the club. It's a chance for us to show off Mansfield and the squad we are getting together in front of a national tv audience.

“We are Mansfield playing the mighty Liverpool, it is fantastic and hopefully we can give them a game. We will be flying the flag for the Blue Square Premier.

“The atmosphere was great tonight and that is credit to both sets of fans, who behaved themselves to their credit

“Paul Cox has got a reputation as a manager whose teams get stronger as the season goes on and get a better and better team spirit and that is what is happening now.

“This is a great reward for Paul Cox and the players. Paul has taken criticism during the season, just like I have as a chairman, it is part of the job. I will always try to do my best for the club that I love.”

Tickets for the Liverpool game will go on sale to season ticket holders on Friday


ESPN commentator Jon Champion believes Mansfield Town deserved win and Liverpool FA Cup tie
chad.co.uk, By Stephen Thirkill, Thursday 13 December 2012

ESPN commentaor Jon Champion says Mansfield's mouth-watering FA Cup third round tie with Liverpool will help the club reconnect with the town.


The One Call Stadium will be sold out on 6th January when Mansfield take on the Premier League giants as fans rush to get their hands on tickets.

More than 5,300 fans roared Paul Cox's men to victory in their second round replay over Lincoln on Wednesday night, with huge interest already building ahead of the third round glamour tie.

Champion, who commentated on the game, said Mansfield had deserved their victory and the chance to lock horns with Liverpool.

“Mansfield stuck to their task well today and deserved the win,” he said. “I felt they had that extra bit of quality and that Lincoln were holding on a bit at times.

“Home advantage was a telling factor for Mansfield. It is great for Mansfield and for the town of Mansfield,” he said.

“Playing Liverpool is the type of match that is a defining moment for fans of teams like Mansfield and a game that they will always remember.

“This gives Mansfield a chance to reconnect with fans who have been lost during the last few years. The club has gone through some tough times recently.”

And altough there are four divisions and a whole football world dividing the two clubs, Champion believes it is still possible for Stags to cause one of the greatest ever FA Cup upsets.

“Manchester United were taking to replays against Burton and Crawley,” he said. “Sutton beat Coventry who were the cup holders so it can be done.

“At some point a non-leauge side will beat a Premier League side and there is no reason why it cannot be Mansfield.”

Tickets go on sale to season ticket holders on Friday


Nearly-man Marriott jumps the final hurdle . . . at last
Monday, December 17, 2012 Nottingham Post

BEING the 'nearly man' has been a bugbear of Alan Marriott throughout his career.


Five play-off campaigns with Lincoln City, twice reaching the final, he still never won promotion.

Then he reached the FA Trophy final with Mansfield in 2011 at Wembley – but was on the losing side.

Add to that last season's play-off semi-final heartache with Stags against York, it was another nearly moment.

He could taste the prize, but the 34-year-old just couldn't quite get his hands on it.

So when Mansfield forced a replay against his former club Lincoln in the second round of the FA Cup thanks to Matt Rhead's last-gasp strike, he watched the draw with anticipation.

He has been out for ten weeks with a shoulder injury but knew he was about to return for the replay.

And when ball 23 came out of the velvet bag at Wembley and the name Liverpool was read out, once again he had a chance to achieve something big.

A third round tie against the five-time European champions.

Marriott has never been to the third round before as a player, let alone meet a Premier League big gun in it.

One match stood between him, the Stags and that prize.

And as he ran out at the One Call Stadium last Wednesday on a freezing night in north Nottinghamshire, in just his second match back, he just did not want to be the 'nearly man' again.

Finally, thanks to Louis Briscoe's late strike, Marriott managed to get over that final hurdle.

It might not be a cup final or a promotion, but to land that prize of Liverpool was the goal and it is something he will treasure forever.

"I have had a lot of games in my career and a lot of big games but that is definitely right up there," said the goalkeeper.

"The atmosphere was great, it was so tense as well because there was so much to play for.

"It would not have been so tense had we not known the prize going into it but for once I have come out on the winning side to get the prize at the end of it so I am over the moon.

"I have had a lot of heartbreak. For five years I had two play-off finals, three semis. Then I missed out last year in the semis of the play-offs and I have never been in the third round as a player.

"To now get Liverpool is fantastic and it is something I wanted so much before the game, as well."

Another bonus for Marriott is that he will be able to lead his two boys out onto the pitch as mascots for the game, which will be shown live on ESPN on Sunday, January 6 at 4pm.

Not only will he be charged with keeping out the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, his sons will get the opportunity to rub shoulders with them too.

And for a man who is entering the twilight of his long career, that will be a special moment.

But beating the team he played almost a decade for, becoming a legend at Lincoln, did make last week's victory a little bittersweet.

For he still lives in Lincoln, his family are supporters of the Imps.

But that could not take the smile off his face as the victory was met with a few days off for the players, who had no game at the weekend due to being out of the FA Trophy.

They are next in action in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday, when they travel to Hyde.

That could not be any different to what the FA Cup is about to bring but while the league is the main focus, Marriott cannot stop himself from thinking to what the first week of the new year will bring.

"I wanted to get through so that I could take my little boys out as mascots in a game that means something, not just a friendly," said Marriott.

"To do that against Liverpool will be nice and an emotional occasion to share with my two boys.

"They are five and two so the little one is probably a little too young but the five-year-old is really into his football now and in his school assembly they were talking about this game and how if Lincoln win, they could play Liverpool.

"Obviously he sees it from the Mansfield perspective but I am just chuffed for myself to have reached the third round.

"During the game you could not lose focus because it is such a big game financially and the chairman has put a lot of money into it so to have a nice day out and get rewarded is great. The same goes for the fans as well who have been through a lot of heartbreak.

"Obviously, I am gutted for Lincoln because I had a long time there, know a lot of people there and have a lot of friends there so I am sickened in one way. But I am pleased to be on the winning team."

As for his shoulder, which he dislocated back at the end of September, it is still on the mend.

But Marriott is just delighted to be back playing at such a crucial moment in his career.

"I am pleased to be back and it seems to have been a long, old road," he said. "The injury has niggled and I am still not 100 per cent but sometimes you have to go with it.

"I am still three weeks ahead of schedule so great credit goes to the physio and the manager, who has pushed me at times when I thought I was not ready to go back in."

One thing that had to be cancelled because of the replay was the players' Christmas bash.

It has still to be rescheduled, as chairman John Radford hosted a Christmas party of his own yesterday.

But Marriott said that their festive fun being axed was not something they were too worried about.

"We have lost our Christmas 'do' but we can go out anytime," said Marriott.

"It's not every day you get to play Liverpool."



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