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Archived News from August 2017

30th August 2017 23:25

Dominant Stags disappointed with Luton draw
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 26 August 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans says he was 'wholly satisfied' by this afternoon's performance in the 2-2 draw at home to Luton Town, but was disappointed with the five-minute spell in which the Hatters scored two goals.

A first half goal from defender Rhys Bennett gave Stags the lead at the break, before striker Lee Angol doubled their advantage in the second half.

However two goals in five minutes from Luton strikers James Collins and Danny Hylton drew the Hatters level, before substitute Jimmy Spencer missed an injury-time penalty for the Stags.

And the gaffer was left disappointed with the result after watching his dominate 'from start to finish'.

"I was wholly satisfied with all of it, apart from two or three minutes when they get two goals. We were just so dominant.


"We played some fantastic football, in spells. We're 2-0 up and we're cruising.

"We've dominated a good side - these are a good side, Luton. We've dominated from start to finish, we had a four or five minute spell when they get a goal and it always happens, you get your tails up and then they get the second one.

"Look at the reaction after that; we're the team that went on the offensive, we're the team that missed a good half chance. It was a great ball in and maybe Jimmy should follow that one in as well - he doesn't.

"Then we get the chance to win it at the end and we certainly go away the most disappointed team."

The former Leeds United manager believes the Hatters should have been down to nine men this afternoon, during a game in which both sides received six bookings each.

"They should have had nine men on the pitch today. The referee's been as lenient with a team, the opposition, as I've seen in a long time but that doesn't excuse us from being 2-0 up with five or six minutes to go and then have a penalty to win it.

"They should be down to nine men in open play. They've handled balls, they've pulled people back, I'm not going to name the two players individually but Nathan Jones, if he doesn't accept there should be nine men on the pitch today, then he's not as honest as I think he is because his team's given him everything late on but he knows they should've got beaten today."

The two late goals which Luton scored were, according to the gaffer, individual errors by the Stags and he believes the Hatters rode their luck as they snatched a point at One Call Stadium.

"You can account for it because you can take them out but those lads played particularly well.

"They've had a bit of a battering here this afternoon and they've rode their luck, but that's what good teams do. They're a good team, they've got good players."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's post-match interview.


Steve Evans says Mansfield Town must bounce back from disappointment
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Saturday 26 August 2017

Frustrated Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans says his side will have to bounce back quickly after chucking away two points against Luton Town.

It looked like Mansfield Town had been cruising to three points following goals from Rhys Bennett and Lee Angol.

But Luton scored two goals in the last five minutes through James Collins and Danny Hylton as they fought back from the dead.

Evans said: “The lads will be disappointed in themselves. We have totally dominated this match and have dropped two points here.

“We have not knocked them down because it was a great performance despite the last five minutes.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/steve-evans-says-mansfield-town-must-bounce-back-from-disappointment-1-8723715

“We are told that Luton are going to be the champions, but we have given them a lesson today in passing football

“We did not take our chances and we have been punished for that. Their keeper made a really good save. We have had a chance with the penalty and not taken it.

“Nathan Jones (Luton boss) will know his side are lucky to escape with a point today. We just made too many individual errors.

“We are a good side and if we are close to Luton then we will go up. Luton got a goal from a counter because we switched off, we took the game back to them but did not take our chances.

“The ref has not had a good game today but it’s not why we did not win. I will not allow the individual errors to sour things.”


Bennett: I'd swap my goal for a win
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 26 August 2017

After scoring the Stags' opening goal on his first start of the season in this afternoon's 2-2 draw with Luton Town, right-back Rhys Bennett admits he would happily swap his goal in exchange for three points.

The former Rochdale man struck midway through the first half to give Stags the lead, before striker Lee Angol's cool second half strike double the Stags' advantage.

Luton's front duo of James Collins and Danny Hylton got the Hatters back on level terms, before striker Jimmy Spencer missed an injury time penalty as Stags had to settle for a draw.

And 25-year-old Bennett admits he is 'bitterly disappointed' not to have defeated the Hatters this afternoon after bossing most of the match.

"I think I'd give you that goal back just to win the game. [We're] bitterly disappointed we didn't win the game.


"We had two chances to win the game; one being 2-0 up with less than 10 minutes to go and the other with the penalty in the last minute.

"We need to kill off teams, basically. If we don't do that, then we're going to see results like this again and again until we do.

"We need to learn from it and we will learn from it and it won't happen again. Obviously we're disappointed."

The former Bolton Wanderers man is in no doubt that Stags should have won this afternoon's match after dominating 'probably the best team in League Two'.

"We feel like we played probably the best team in League Two, other than ourselves, off the park for 85 minutes. We deserved to win the game.

"We're obviously gutted that we didn't win the game but over the season, if we work hard like that and defend better than we didn't in the last five minutes, we'll win games of football.

"We pressed them, we stopped them from playing and we looked like the better team. They're the positives to take but we need to win the game.

"Obviously our performance was great for 85-plus minutes. We showed that we can play the best football."

Bennett was named in the starting XI for the first time this season in Sky Bet League Two and Bennett believes it's important to take his chance to impress when he's given an opportunity.

"The gaffer's put together a great squad of players so when I get the chance to play, I'm obviously grateful and I just need to take my chance. I'm just a bit gutted that I wasn't part of a winning team today."

To view Rhys Bennett's full post-match interview, login to iFollow Stags.


Rhys Bennett says Mansfield Town must learn to kill teams off
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Saturday 26 August 2017

Frustrated defender Rhys Bennett says Mansfield Town must learn to kills teams off. He was speaking after Stags chucked away two points after conceding two goals in the last five minutes at home to Luton Town.

Bennett, who was making his first start of the season, said: “We are really disappointed not to have won the match.

“We had two chances to win the match, one being 2-0 up with 10 mins to go and the second being the penalty.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/rhys-bennett-says-mansfield-town-must-learn-to-kill-teams-off-1-8723750

“We need to kill off teams basically and if we do not do that then we will see results like this again and again.

“We need to learn from this and we will learn from it. It will not happen again.

“We are disappointed and we feel like we played the best team we have played in the league, other than ourselves, off the park.

“I would give my goal back to win the game. We deserved to win the game and are gutted that we did not.”


Jones praises Town's 'superb' reaction in Mansfield draw
by MIKE SIMMONDS, dunstabletoday.co.uk

Luton boss Nathan Jones lauded his side’s ‘superb’ reaction as they fought back from 2-0 down with just 19 minutes to go, to draw 2-2 at Mansfield Town yesterday afternoon.

The Hatters looked like they would come away from the One Call Stadium empty-handed after Lee Angol added to Rhys Bennett’s opener to give the hosts breathing space.

However, Town had other ideas though, as James Collins and Danny Hylton both scored in the final five minutes to make it 2-2, while Marek Stech saved a stoppage time penalty to ensure a point for the visitors.

Jones said: “I thought it was a wonderful advert for League Two football in terms of everything. “It’s a very difficult place to come to, first and foremost, credit to them, they changed shape, matched us up, and were the better side for 45 minutes.

“We didn’t get to grips with it, didn’t get hold of the ball, didn’t play with enough energy, didn’t win the second ball, didn’t win the battle really first half and they were better.

Read more at: http://www.dunstabletoday.co.uk/sport/football/hatters/jones-praises-town-s-superb-reaction-in-mansfield-draw-1-8123022

“They stopped us playing, they’ve gone in our faces and got on second balls and just had a little bit more of a footing in the game.

“Every time we got it down and were brave and played, then we got a foothold in the game, until half time we didn’t.

“I wouldn’t say we were lucky to be 1-0, because all they had was set plays to put in our box, but I thought we reacted superbly well second half and it was a magnificent comeback.”

Jones made three changes in the second period, bringing on Luke Berry for his debut, plus Glen Rea and Harry Cornick too, as he continued: “Second half, we had to change shape, which suited us a little bit more on the day and we caused them a lot more problems.

“We got hit on the counter for one goal, but I thought after that we were excellent.

“The game changers that came on were excellent, Luke Berry looked bright, Glen has fitted in as he does anyway, then H gave us a real impetus and a forward thinking-ness, and a real bit of guile as well.

“So, I was very, very pleased with that, and after being 2-0 down, you’re delighted with 2-2 and especially with right at the end and them getting the penalty and Marek saving it.

“We don’t like chasing the games, but it happens sometimes as we conceded from that set play, and then fair play to them, they countered, they’ve got good quality, we know that and they took it well.

“But the reaction from my players after that was absolutely magnificent, we knew if we got one, we would push and push and push and look for another one and we got that.

“At the end, we probably could have nicked it, but we also could have lost it with the penalty decision.”


Hatters boss felt it was never a penalty
by MIKE SIMMONDS, dunstabletoday.co.uk

Hatters boss Nathan Jones felt it would have been a travesty had Luton been beaten by the penaly he felt never was at Mansfield yesterday afternoon.

With time almost up and the Hatters hauling themselves back from 2-0 down to 2-2, it looked like their hard work would go to waste when referee Ross Joyce adjudged captain Scott Cuthbert had handled a high ball into the area.

The skipper was booked for his protestations afterwards, but keeper Marek Stech was to prove the hero of the hour, saving Jimmy Spencer’s penalty, his second successive stop from 12 yards, while Danny Rose blasted the rebound over too.

Jones said: “It’s not a pen, he’s headed the ball, we’ve looked at it and he’s headed the ball.

Read more at: http://www.dunstabletoday.co.uk/sport/football/hatters/hatters-boss-felt-it-was-never-a-penalty-1-8123083

“It was a difficult game for the referee today, I mean a really difficult game, there’s a lot goes on when you play Mansfield, a lot goes on in the game that is a distraction at times.

“It was all good natured and driving the team forward though, but Marek pulled off a fantastic save as he has done on three occasions now.

"We’re delighted with that as it would have been an absolute travesty if we would have lost the game.

“We’d have felt aggrieved if we had lost it on that penalty, especially after everything that has gone on and it would have been very, very harsh if we had lost the game."

Striker Danny Hylton was also unsure over whether the spotkick should have been awarded, saying: “I don’t quite know if it was a penalty.

“Scotty said it definitely didn’t hit his hand, the referee said it definitely did, so we’ll have to have a watch later.

“Thankfully Stechy’s been brilliant since he’s come in, made some unbelievable saves and he did his job today and got us a point.”


Luton showed character and desire in Mansfield comeback, says manager
By Bedfordshire On Sunday, August 26, 2017, By Tim Street

Manager Nathan Jones praised the character and desire of his Luton Town side following their stunning comeback at Mansfield Town this afternoon.

The Hatters came back from two goals down with strikes from James Collins and Danny Hylton in the last five minutes before Marek Stech's last gasp penalty save preserved the point.

Luton had been second best for much of the game, but somehow found something from deep within to clinch what looked for much of the game an unlikely share of the spoils.

Jones said: "We don't like chasing games but it happens sometimes, and the reaction from my players was absolutely magnificent. We knew if we got one we would push and push for another, and at the end we could have nicked it, but we also could have lost it with the penalty.

"The manner of that comeback. To show that character and those levels of fitness, that desire and a little bit of craft as well - because they weren't just long balls, we carved our way through with some great play.

Read more at http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/luton-showed-character-and-desire-in-mansfield-comeback-says-manager/story-30496045-detail/story.html#cZrlLXcbLb6QsW0h.99

"Both of our full backs turned into wing backs with the change in shape and both provided assists for our centre forwards, who are in excellent form. They were two wonderful balls in - Collo couldn't miss, and Pottsy could have blasted it but clipped it into an area which invited Hylts to get on the end of it.

"To be 2-0 down we're delighted with 2-2, especially with Marek saving the penalty at the end. He pulled off a great save and we were delighted as we would have been aggrieved if we had lost it on that penalty after all that had gone on. It would have been very very harsh.

"It's not a penalty as he's (Scott Cuthbert) headed the ball, but it was a real difficult game for the referee, there was a lot going on. When you play Mansfield a lot goes on in the game which is a distraction at times, but it was all good natured."

For all that, Jones admits his side could have made it easier for themselves had they shown up for a first half dominated by the hosts.

Mansfield could and should have found themselves more than just a goal up at the break and will be kicking themselves for losing their stranglehold on the game.

Jones added: "It's a very diffcult place to come to and they were the better side for 45 minutes. We didn't get to grips with it and didn't get hold of the ball. We didn't play with enough energy, didn't win second balls and didn't win the battles first half.

"Second half we changed shape which suited us more and caused them a lot of problems. We got hit on the counter but after that we were excellent. We could have nicked it, but 2-2 was a fair result as the two sides had a right go.

"They got to the second balls and got in our faces, but once we got it down and were brave and played we got a foothold in the game. Second half was more us but first half we didn't do ourselves justice, and that's what cost us really.

"Man for man they were better than us in the first half. We actually started the second half well and then decided to make the change, and it was a good change in the end because it gave us a real foothold in the game and we created a lot more."


Luton need to stand up and be counted away from home, says Hylton
By Bedfordshire On Sunday, By Tim Street

Danny Hylton insists yesterday's draw at Mansfield will be a lesson for Luton Town in how to front up away from home.

While the Hatters have been irresistable at Kenilworth Road, they followed their drab defeat at Barnet with another poor showing in large parts at Mansfield.

But having helped his side come back from 2-0 down with two strikes in the last five minutes, Hylton hopes it will be the spark for better performances on the road.

"We will learn a lot from today," he said. "A lot of away games will be like that so we will have to stand up and be counted, win the battle first and then hope our quality comes through.

Read more at http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/luton-need-to-stand-up-and-be-counted-away-from-home-says-hylton/story-30496335-detail/story.html#I68PJki95dyWR1Xw.99

"It was a tough game. Mansfield went back to front and made it hard for us, and it was disappointing to find ourselves 2-0 down, but I was pleased to play my part in the comeback.

"They're a big team so we knew they were going to put themselves about and try to make it hard for us. We got sucked into their game a but but they're more used to playing it than us and are probably better at it than us.

"We showed a little bit of quality in our play here and there though, and that's where our goals came from. Harry (Cornick) came on and was really direct, we changed the shape and Mansfield couldn't handle us.

"It goes to show that even at 2-0, games are never over and you can always get back into them. You get a goal back and teams don't know what to do - whether to continue attacking or sit back, and that can invite the pressure.

"We got one back, they didn't really know what to do and thankfully we got another one. We had nothing to lose at 2-0 down, and we were probably a little bit below par, but we got a draw against the favourites for the league."

Even after their stunning comeback, Luton almost threw it away after conceding a penalty in the last minute of stoppage time, but Marek Stech dived to his left to keep out Jimmy Spencer's spot kick.

"Scotty (Cuthbert) said it definitely didn't hit his hand, but referee said it definitely did, so we will have to have watch it back later," Hylton added.

"But Stechy did brilliantly, it was an unbelievable save. He did his job and got us a point today. He's a big boy, and if you take a penalty against Stechy you wouldn't know which way to go.

"We don't want to set those sort of standards though, we would have liked to have come here and won. But it's nice to get a point after going 2-0 down against the so-called favourites in the league, and it could be a very important point."


Preparation pays off for Stech with second penalty save
by MIKE SIMMONDS, dunstabletoday.co.uk

Keeper Marek Stech revealed that it wasn’t just pure guesswork behind his second successive penalty save for Luton at Mansfield on Saturday.

After repelling Otis Khan’s effort for Yeovil from 12 yards on the opening day of the season, Stech again produced heroics with a far, far more important stop at the weekend, denying Jimmy Spencer in stoppage time, to ensure the scores remained 2-2.

The summer signing from Sparta Prague was quick to praise the work done behind the scenes prior to being in that position though, as he said: “We’ve got a regime we’ve been working on, we study some of the players who’ve been taking the pens, not just this season, but the previous season.

“We’ve been working on it with Kev (Dearden) and with Pete (Booker), he’s been putting all the clips together and we’ve got it on a phone, so when we’re on the way up, or before the game, we watch the pens and it’s totally paid off because two penalties and two saves.

Read more at: http://www.dunstabletoday.co.uk/sport/football/hatters/preparation-pays-off-for-stech-with-second-penalty-save-1-8123690

“Obviously I’m happy for myself, but have to say half the work is Kev and Pete, so they’ve done a good job.”

On what was going through his mind when Spencer stepped up to try and win it for Mansfield, Stech continued: “I was just thinking, I normally look how he stands, so thought he was standing too much on the right so he’s going to go left.

“Then the last minute, I’m just bouncing around, shake the bar and then I went right to maybe confuse him if he had the last look and then I went left.

“So I can’t really say, I just did it, was just my instinct. It paid off and I’m really happy with that.”

Although Stech parried the initial effort, the rebound flew out to onrushing striker Danny Rose, who volleyed wastefully, as the keeper said: “It was similar like the one I saved at home, I kind of got both hands to it, it bounced off in front of me and then we cleared it in the end.

“If I do save the pen, it’s very important as well, not just saving the pen, but the second ball as all the players were spot on and they follow in, so it was good.”

Once the ball was out of play, a pumped up Stech tore out of his goal in celebration and made a beeline for referee Ross Joyce, earning a booking from the official.

The keeper admitted he hadn’t been impressed with the award of the penalty in the first place for a supposed handball from skipper Scott Cuthbert, adding: "I was a little bit angry at the referee as just thought when I saw it, there was no way it was a handball.

“All through the game, I’m not sure if the referee, some of the decisions he made. My first instinct when the ref blowed for the pen, I thought there was never handball because Scotty was heading it on the back foot.

"If he left the arm there, I’m not sure, I didn’t see it. I don’t know what the referee saw but in the end, he gave the pen and I saved it.

"It was all good, we came out well and got a point, which is very important and we can crack on next week which is going to be a tough game as well."



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