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COUGHLAN, TOMLINSON, CURLE REACTION
12th March 2020 21:40


Boss proud of battling display
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 7th March 2020

‘Immense’ and ‘magnificent’ were the phrases utilised by manager Graham Coughlan to describe his players’ battling 2-1 win away at Northampton Town this afternoon.

A spot-kick by Danny Rose put the Stags into the lead on 12 minutes, following a red card to Cobblers’ winger Sam Hoskins for the challenge that resulted in the penalty.

Midfielder Willem Tomlinson notched his first goal of the season in the second-half to put the game beyond any reasonable doubt, despite the hosts pulling a goal back late on through Harry Smith.

The Stags’ boss says it was ‘a true Mansfield Town performance’ from his charges.

“I don’t think that was football today - I think it was rugby to be quite honest with you,” he told iFollow Stags. “It wasn’t a spectacle, but our players were absolutely magnificent.

“They wore their heart on their sleeves and headed everything. I don’t think there was a Northampton player under six foot and they played for set pieces.

“Our lads were absolutely immense. That was a true Mansfield Town performance - true grit with their hearts on their sleeves.

“If anyone accuses the players of not playing for the badge, just take a look at what those lads did today. They stuck their bodies on the line for this football club today.

“The lads knew what was coming as we’ve played Northampton twice now under my reign. And we were the better team on both occasions.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2020/march/gaffer-post-northampton/

“I think that was a textbook way to play against Northampton. We had to stand up to it and we were absolutely brilliant today.”

The manager was also highly complementary of his midfield this afternoon - comprised of Tomlinson, Harry Charsley and Neal Bishop.

There were also kind words for the Stags’ defensive line, who were set the challenge of dealing with a highly physical affair.

“Will [Tomlinson] has been immense - him and Harry Charsley - and I must say Neal Bishop as well, as his game has gone to another level,” added the boss.

“I thought the three in midfield were different class. I don’t like singling people out when the team wins, but the three in midfield were brilliant.

“The back-line as well, they stuck their head on everything. It was a really determined display.”

Speaking of the red card shown to Hoskins in the first-half - following his push on Charsley as the midfielder raced through on goal - Graham Coughlan believes that the game may have benefited if the winger were allowed to stay on the pitch.

“It [Hoskins challenge] was a push in the back, therefore it was a penalty. I personally wouldn’t have sent the lad off, but hey ho, I’m a football manager.

“I don’t think the lad deserved to be sent off and I wish he hadn’t have been sent off, because after it, the game just became a farce.

“I didn’t think it was nice to watch, to be quite honest. We did have a degree of control [after the sending off] but we had numerous occasions where we should have put the ball away.

“But I said to the lads inside, if that game had been 1-0 and we conceded late on, we’d be kicking ourselves.

“We have to find a bit of a ruthless streak and a bit of conviction about our play.”

The boss also highlighted his aim to achieve back-to-back wins before the season’s close, with high-flying Crewe the visitors to One Call Stadium next weekend.

“We’ve been here before. I’ve been looking for back-to-back wins and I haven’t got it. I’ve been here before so I won’t get too excited.

“I look forward to next week - next week will be a different challenge. Today was a physical challenge, next week will be a technical challenge [against Crewe].

“It’s one of the top teams in the division, but we enjoy playing against the top teams.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the boss’ interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Mansfield boss Coughlan accuses Cobblers players of 'chucking themselves to the ground' after red card
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan didn't think Sam Hoskins should have been sent off against his side on Saturday but felt the game descended into a 'farce' after it, accusing Northampton players of 'chucking themselves on the ground' to win free-kicks.

Hoskins brought down Harry Charsley as the last defender and was deemed not to be making a genuine attempt to win the ball, leaving referee Peter Wright no choice but to brandish a straight red card.

Wright also felt the challenge happened inside the box so awarded a penalty, which was confidently converted by Danny Rose and that paved the way for a surprise away victory.

"It was a push in the back so therefore it's a penalty but personally I wouldn't have sent the lad off," said Coughlan.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-boss-coughlan-accuses-cobblers-players-chucking-themselves-ground-after-red-card-2440844

"I'd have left him on the pitch but I'm a football manager and let's be honest, I don't even know the rules of the game anymore.

"I couldn't tell you what's offside and what's not offside and I couldn't tell you what's handball and what's not handball and what's a sending off and what's not a sending off.

"But I didn't think he deserved to be sent off to be honest."

However, whilst he felt Hoskins should have stayed on the pitch, Coughlan was then critical of Town's apparent gamesmanship in the remaining 80 minutes, hitting back at opposite number Keith Curle who was equally as frustrated by some of Mansfield's antics.

"In a way I wish he wasn't sent off because afterwards the game became a farce," added Coughlan. "Every contest and every 50-50 ball, they chucked themselves on the ground and they got free-kicks, they got corners and they got throw-ins.

"I didn't think it was nice to watch to be quite honest with you."

Coughlan was also disappointed with his side's defending when Harry Smith headed home a consolation deep into stoppage-time.

"If we had only been 1-0 up and conceded a goal like that, a free header, we'd have walked away with a 1-1 draw and we'd be kicking ourselves," he added.

"That would have been unjust so we have to find a bit of a ruthless streak and a bit of conviction about our play because that should have been a clean sheet and that's what I'm fuming about."

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'It was rugby, not football' - Stags boss Coughlan 'didn't enjoy' win and attacks Northampton's 'awful' style
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Mansfield Town manager Graham Coughlan launched an extraordinary outburst at Northampton's 'awful' style of play and likened his side's 2-1 win at the PTS on Saturday to a game of 'rugby, not football'.

The Stags won their first away game in over two months thanks to goals from Danny Rose and Willem Tomlinson as they took advantage of Sam Hoskins' early red card.

But despite a rare win for his struggling side, Coughlan felt he 'couldn't enjoy' the victory because of how the game unfolded and the type of football they came up against, though he did hail his 'magnificent players'.

"I didn't think that was football today to be honest, it was rugby and I didn't enjoy it," said Coughlan.

"It's not what the game is about and it wasn't a spectacle but our players were absolutely magnificent. They wore heart on sleeves and they headed everything

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/opposition-view-it-was-rugby-not-football-stags-boss-coughlan-didnt-enjoy-win-and-attacks-northamptons-awful-style-2440633

"I don't think there was a Northampton player under six foot and they just got bigger and bigger off the bench.

"They loaded up the box, they play for set-pieces, corners, throw-ins but our lads were immense and that was a true Mansfield Town performance with real grit and determination."

Asked how he prepared to face Northampton, Coughlan added: "I emphasise the word rugby because that was awful to watch, awful, terrible. I wouldn't like to be looking at that week in, week out.

"How do you prepare for something like that? You would have had blood all over the training ground if we tried to replicate what was coming.

"The lads knew what was coming and we've played Northampton twice now under me and we were by far the better team on both occasions.

"I think that was a textbook way to play against Northampton, let alone 10 men. I know they might use the excuse of having 10 men but I didn't think it really mattered if they had 9, 10, 11 or even 12 men on the pitch.

"They play that way and we just had to stand up to it and we were absolutely brilliant today."

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Leaders Crewe Alexandra stand in the way of first back-to-back double for Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan
chad.co.uk

Graham Coughlan is hoping to finally achieve his first back-to-back wins as Mansfield Town manager the hard way when table-topping Crewe Alexandra visit this Saturday.

Stags secured a much-needed 2-1 win away at Northampton Town on Saturday to give them much more breathing space at the wrong end of the table.

But Coughlan is well aware of the bigger challenge posed by the in-form Railwaymen this weekend.

“We’ve been here before,” he said. “I’ve been looking for back-to-back wins and I haven’t got it.

“I’ve been here before so I won’t get too excited.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/leaders-crewe-alexandra-stand-way-first-back-back-double-mansfield-town-boss-graham-coughlan-2442710

“I look forward to next weekend which will be a different challenge. “Northampton was a physical challenge, but next week will be a technical challenge against Crewe.

“It’s one of the top teams in the division, but we enjoy playing against the top teams.”

Coughlan was delighted to see his team come out on top in a bruising encounter against 10-men Northampton on Saturday.

Stags led from the 12th minute when Danny Rose netted a penalty after Sam Hoskins had been red-carded with Willem Tomlinson securing the points on 74 minutes before Harry Smith's late consolation.

“I don’t think that was football today - I think it was rugby to be quite honest with you,” he said.

“It wasn’t a spectacle, but our players were absolutely magnificent.

“They wore their heart on their sleeves and headed everything. I don’t think there was a Northampton player under six foot and they played for set pieces.

“Our lads were absolutely immense. That was a true Mansfield Town performance - true grit with their hearts on their sleeves.

“If anyone accuses the players of not playing for the badge, just take a look at what those lads did today. They stuck their bodies on the line for this football club today.

“The lads knew what was coming as we’ve played Northampton twice now under my reign. And we were the better team on both occasions.

“I think that was a textbook way to play against Northampton. We had to stand up to it and we were absolutely brilliant today.”

He added: “I thought the three in midfield were different class. I don’t like singling people out when the team wins, but the three in midfield were brilliant.

“The back line as well, they stuck their head on everything. It was a really determined display.”

Coughlan believed Hoskins was unlucky to be sent off and the game might have been a better one had it stayed 11 v 11.

“It was a push in the back, therefore it was a penalty. I personally wouldn’t have sent the lad off, but hey ho, I’m a football manager,” he said.

“I don’t think the lad deserved to be sent off and I wish he hadn’t have been sent off because after it the game just became a farce.

“I didn’t think it was nice to watch, to be quite honest. We did have a degree of control after the sending-off and numerous occasions where we should have put the ball away.

“But I said to the lads inside, if that game had been 1-0 and we conceded late on, we’d be kicking ourselves.

“We have to find a bit of a ruthless streak and a bit of conviction about our play.”

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Midfielder delighted after netting first goal
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 7th March 2020

Midfielder Will Tomlinson revelled in delight after scoring his first Mansfield Town goal to clinch a 2-1 victory over Northampton Town at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Following Danny Rose’s early spot-kick that proceeded a straight red card for wideman Sam Hoskins, the Stags extended their lead further in the second period.

Mansfield’s No. 16 raced clear after finding himself alone inside the centre circle and duly slid the ball beyond goalkeeper Steve Arnold to rubber stamp all three points.

And Tomlinson subsequently shared his excitement at scoring his first-ever goal in the English Football League.

“I was on a yellow so I went to celebrate with them [the fans] then had to check my run,” he joked to iFollow Stags.

“I thought I can’t get booked again before Sweens [Ryan Sweeney] picked me up and tried to carry me in!

“I’ve never seen the lads so excited for a player to score a goal, to be fair - I’m delighted. I’ve been waiting a long time. The gaffer’s been playing me further forward, picking up seconds and driving forward so I knew I’d get chances.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2020/march/tomlinson-post-northampton/

“I had the same chance against Cheltenham two weeks ago. I was away and it hurt me because I wanted that first goal, so I came in on Monday, had a look at it and thought about what I could do better.

“Luckily, I got another one today and took my chance.”

Six yellows and one red card were brandished on an afternoon of high-tempered Sky Bet League Two action, yet it was an outcome that Tomlinson and his side were prepared for.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game when we came here.

“They’re a long ball, pick up the seconds, fighting team and I think we had enough quality to match that and then go and win the game by being more technical - I think it showed.

“I think I’ve just had my first head injury after 50-something games, a few of the boys have cuts and bruises so we knew what we were getting into. But we’re delighted to get the win.”

The former Blackburn Rovers man also detailed the Stags’ half-time discussions that helped steer the amber and blue towards victory over Keith Curle’s charges.

“The plan was to come out and get a second," Tomlinson added. "The gaffer told us what to do in the second half, where their weaknesses were and I think we played on them.

“I think we dominated most of the game up until the 92nd minute and we’re all disappointed because we’ve conceded a goal when we should have seen the game out.

“We shouldn’t have been on the back foot in the last five minutes but I can’t complain because we’ve got the win."

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Will's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.

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Mansfield Town midfielder Willem Tomlinson careful over celebrations for first ever EFL goal
chad.co.uk

Willem Tomlinson was delighted to finally score his first ever EFL goal when he netted Mansfield Town's winner in the 2-1 win at Northampton Town on Saturday.

But he admitted he had to be careful not to over-celebrate.

“I was on a yellow so I went to celebrate with the fans then had to check my run,” he said.

“I thought I can’t get booked again before Sweens (Ryan Sweeney) picked me up and tried to carry me in!

“I’ve never seen the lads so excited for a player to score a goal, to be fair - I’m delighted.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-midfielder-willem-tomlinson-careful-over-celebrations-first-ever-efl-goal-2442668

“I’ve been waiting a long time. The gaffer’s been playing me further forward, picking up seconds and driving forward so I knew I’d get chances.

“I had the same chance against Cheltenham two weeks ago. I was away and it hurt me because I wanted that first goal, so I came in on Monday, had a look at it and thought about what I could do better.

“Luckily, I got another one today and took my chance.”

As expected the game was a physical affair and ill-tempered at times as one red card and six yellows were shown.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game when we came here,” said Tomlinson.

“They’re a long ball, pick up the seconds, fighting team and I think we had enough quality to match that and then go and win the game by being more technical - I think it showed.

“I think I’ve just had my first head injury after 50-something games, a few of the boys have cuts and bruises so we knew what we were getting into. But we’re delighted to get the win.”

Stags led 1-0 at the break and Tomlinson said: “The plan was to come out and get a second.

“The gaffer told us what to do in the second half, where their weaknesses were and I think we played on them.

“I think we dominated most of the game up until the 92nd minute and we’re all disappointed because we’ve conceded a goal when we should have seen the game out.

“We shouldn’t have been on the back foot in the last five minutes but I can’t complain because we’ve got the win.”

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twitter
Maison Campbell @MaisonCampbell
Great experience being on the bench for the first teamYellow heartBlue heart

facebook
John Radford
An excellent battling display today in a challenging fixture.
Well done to Graham and the boys.
Here’s to finishing the season strongly.
COYS!!!

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Hoskins' early red 'frustrated the life' out of Curle
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Cobblers boss Keith Curle was left hugely frustrated by Sam Hoskins' decision-making after his red card just 10 minutes into Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town.

It was the game's key moment and ultimately cost Town defeat and therefore a blow to their play-off hopes.

The hosts began well but Hoskins' clearance was charged down and he compounded that error when pushing Harry Charsley inside the penalty box. Hoskins had made no attempt to play the ball and was the last defender so therefore saw red.

Danny Rose converted from the spot and despite responding admirably, 10-man Cobblers missed several chances to equalise before Willem Tomlinson rolled in a second 16 minutes from time.

Harry Smith's stoppage-time header was merely a consolation and Curle was left to rue on Hoskins' fatal early mistake.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/hoskins-early-red-frustrated-life-out-curle-2440609

"I thought we started the game really well and we were in the ascendancy but decisions that players make frustrate the life out of me," said Curle.

"If you land on the ball, look for a forward pass and if it's not on, turn around and give the ball back to the goalkeeper and he's got 40 yards to control the ball and allow us to get in shape and he can clear the ball.

"If you do that, we've still got a level playing field after 10 minutes but then, after that, when you're chasing somebody down over 30 yards, the worst thing you allow to happen is for him score because you keep 11 men on the pitch and we win the game.

"The first contact is made outside the box and their lad overruns it but the referee gives a penalty because his fall takes him past the penalty spot from the edge of the box.

"That's a decision we have to live with but I felt there was lot of positives because effort, desire, willingness and application were all there."

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Curle frustrated by Mansfield's antics and calls for refs to 'understand the game' better
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Town boss exasperated by players 'rolling around holding their heads' during Stags defeat

Cobblers boss Keith Curle believes referees need to have a better 'understanding of the game' after being frustrated by the antics of some Mansfield Town players during Saturday's 2-1 defeat.

Town were beaten for the sixth time in eight games after a bad-tempered and feisty contest at the PTS as the struggling Stags took advantage of Sam Hoskins' early red card.

Danny Rose scored from the spot and Willem Tomlinson netted in the second-half before Harry Smith scored a late consolation.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/curle-frustrated-mansfields-antics-and-calls-refs-understand-game-better-2440795

Curle tends not to speak about referees in post-match interviews but he couldn't help himself on Saturday after emotions boiled over on more than one occasion.

He referenced one incident in particular when Mansfield goalkeeper Aidan Stone went down holding his head. Referee Peter Wright stopped play with Town on the attack, only for Stone to shoot back to his feet when hit by the ball.

"We've found a new miracle cure for their goalkeeper at least," quipped Curle. "The ball comes into the box, he goes down and he's absolutely poleaxed, the ball gets fired at him and he jumps up like a spring chicken!

"Excellent - we've found a miracle for a knock!"

It wasn't the only example of a Mansfield player going down holding his head while Cobblers were on the attack.

"It seems like every time they went down they were clutching their heads," added Curle.

"It gives the referee a decision to make - does he stop play? Does he not stop play? That's where you need a good understanding of the game.

"You should be able to see if there's contact with somebody's head and when someone just goes down and then rolls around holding their head.

"Teams are going to come away from home and they want to break play up, they want to stop play, they want there to be not passages of us having dominance and having ascendancy.

"The best way to stop that is by falling over and holding your head and breaking the game up, breaking the play and stopping us to getting on the front foot."

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West Brom's Morton taken off with 'sore hamstring' during Mansfield defeat
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Striker Callum Morton was forced off with a 'sore hamstring' during Saturday's defeat to Mansfield Town.

The 20-year-old, who has five goals for the Cobblers since signing on loan last month, was making his fifth straight start but only made it to 68 minutes.

He initially seemed to be struggling with cramp but was unable to continue after receiving treatment from the physio.

"He's got a sore hamstring," said manager Keith Curle afterwards.

"He had a sore groin during last week and I think it's probably a case of the hamstring working a bit extra to protect the groin.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/west-broms-morton-taken-sore-hamstring-during-mansfield-defeat-2441253

"But if you speak to him Callum will tell you he's a quick healer."

Meanwhile, Curle came away with 'a lot of positives' despite the defeat, however he was disappointed with the two goals his side conceded.

He was critical of Sam Hoskins' decision-making after the forward's early red card before Cobblers were caught in possession on halfway, allowing Mansfield to break away for the second goal.

"Coming out of the game, the effort, commitment, desire, willingness and application were all pluses for us," said Curle.

"We had a never say die attitude and we kept trying to get something out of the game, which was excellent.

"But if I look at their two goals in isolation, both are disappointing.

"The second is frustrating because if you have a look at when the ball goes up to their centre-forward, we're in front of their men and getting back into shape.

"But there's indecision on the ball in the middle, there's a toe-poke through and they have four against one. That's disappointing."

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Boss Curle 'doesn't listen' to other managers after Coughlan's 'rugby' comments
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Tuesday, 10th March 2020

Keith Curle will not be drawn into a war of words with Graham Coughlan following the Mansfield manager's post-match comments after Saturday's game at the PTS Stadium.

Despite winning 2-1, the Stags boss launched a remarkable outburst at Northampton's style of play and was so unimpressed that he said he couldn't even 'enjoy' his side's first away win in over two months.

"I didn't think that was football today to be honest, it was rugby and I didn't enjoy it," said Coughlan during his post-match interview. "It's not what the game is about."

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/boss-curle-doesnt-listen-other-managers-after-coughlans-rugby-comments-2445821

The former Bristol Rovers manager went on to say that he felt he wasn't able to fully prepare to face Northampton's style of play because 'you would have blood all over the training ground' if they did.

Coughlan's comments caused a degree of bewilderment among Cobblers fans, particularly given their side had competed well with 10 men for 80 minutes following Sam Hoskins' early red card.

A couple of days on though and Curle refused to be drawn on Coughlan's comments, instead taking a more diplomatic approach.

"I don't listen to what other managers have to say, it's as simple as that," said the Town boss.

"Every manager has got their opinion and they're entitled to that opinion.

"They're able to voice what their thoughts are and good luck to them."

Curle did, however, reiterate his view that Cobblers were arguably the better team on Saturday, even with their numerical disadvantage.

"You can't plan for such an early red card but it's history now and we can take the positives out of it because for that 70-80 minutes it didn't look like we were a man down," he said.

"That was very pleasing and we had the effort and the commitment to get about the pitch and cover every blade of grass and do more than the opposition.

"You know, at times, you'll be stretched with 10 men but I didn't think it looked like they had an extra man and that's pleasing for us."

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Cobblers 'won't blame Hoskins' for Stags loss
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Striker Harry Smith insists the Cobblers are not 'pointing fingers' at Sam Hoskins for Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town.

Town started well against the struggling Stags but were stopped in their tracks on 10 minutes when Hoskins, the last line of defence, made the fatal decision to clear downfield.

Harry Charsley blocked his clearance and then raced through on goal before being nudged to ground. With the challenge deemed to be inside the box, referee Peter Wright pointed to the spot and sent off Hoskins for good measure.

Danny Rose converted from 12 yards and it was always going to be a long way back for the Cobblers, and so it proved as they were beaten 2-1.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/cobblers-wont-blame-hoskins-stags-loss-2441985

"It's very disappointing," said Smith, who headed home a consolation goal in stoppage-time. "Obviously the sending off didn't help but, listen, no-one is in the changing room is pointing fingers at Sam Hoskins.

"He's been one of our best players this season and make no mistake, we won't be blaming him for this defeat at all."

Smith also revealed the Cobblers felt aggrieved by the decision, adding: "Sammy's saying he didn't touch him and if he did, it was minor. From where I was sitting, it didn't even look like he was in the box.

"Apparently there's a picture on social media that shows it's just outside the box, but the referee had a decision to make and unfortunately it went against us this time."

Hoskins had to sit in the changing room for the remaining 80 minutes and hope his team-mates would bail him out, but it wasn't to be.

Asked if he had spoken to Hoskins afterwards, manager Keith Curle said: "I said to Sam I was disappointed and I told him he needs to select his options better.

"He probably had about 18 options of what he could do with the football in that situation and he's picked the wrong one, trying to smash it through someone.

"If you have a look at physics, it's very difficult to get a football through a solid object!"

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McCormack has begrudging respect for Mansfield's 'gamesmanship'
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan, Saturday 7th March 2020

Sam Hoskins was sent off after just 10 minutes and that set the tone for an ill-tempered affair, particularly during the first 45 minutes.

Players from both sides almost came to blows on several occasions as Cobblers grew increasingly frustrated by Mansfield players going to ground and holding their heads, forcing referee Peter Wright to stop play.

Town manager Keith Curle expressed his frustration afterwards and called on the referee to 'understand the game' better, however McCormack admitted he would have done the same thing in Mansfield's situation.

The Stags emerged 2-1 winners after Willem Tomlinson scored a second goal with 16 minutes to go, putting the game out of sight despite Harry Smith heading home in stoppage-time.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/mccormack-has-begrudging-respect-mansfields-gamesmanship-2441680

"You know what? Fair play to them," said McCormack when asked about Mansfield's gamesmanship. "I'd do the same thing and I have done the same thing in the past.

"I've been on the other side of it when you're a man and a goal up away from home and you're struggling at the bottom of the league and you're desperate for the points.

"Your performances are of desperation for three points. They were 1-0 up and I would do the exact same thing so fair play to them and the referee gave it to them.

"We got a couple of dubious ones that might have been free-kicks or might not have been, but I thought they got a hell of a lot more than we did.

"We just had to keep our heads and stay patient and create chances. Smudge came on and was excellent in the second-half and got his goal but unfortunately it was too little too late."

Smith was a little less accepting than his team-mate, saying: "No one likes to see that and their lad up top, any chance he got given he threw himself onto the floor.

"The referee bought it quite a bit but I'm not going to go into that too much right now because we have to move on."

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Cobblers left 'angry' but 'proud' after feeling a sense of injustice following Stags loss
northamptonchron.co.uk, By James Heneghan

Midfielder Alan McCormack revealed an 'angry' Cobblers changing room was left feeling a sense of injustice after Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town.

Northampton not only felt aggrieved by the decision to send off Sam Hoskins and award Mansfield a 10th minute penalty, they also believed they did enough to get something out of the game.

Vadaine Oliver was close with an bicycle kick and Harry Smith threatened a couple of times in the second-half but the visitors won out as Willem Tomlinson added to Danny Rose's early spot-kick.

"I thought we reacted extremely well given we were down to 10 men," said McCormack. "We created the much better chances and we fought with everything we had and that shows the spirit of this group of players here.

"We can't take the defeat too hard. We're more angry than anything else because we knew we were the better side and created the better chances and probably deserved at least a point.

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/cobblers-left-angry-proud-after-feeling-sense-injustice-following-stags-loss-2446406

"But it wasn't to be. They got the penalty and then caught us on the counter-attack but we're proud of how we showed our belief and our spirit as a unit."

McCormack also revealed the Cobblers were spurred on by the motivation of bailing out their team-mate, especially as they felt Hoskins was hard done to by referee Peter Wright.

"I think the red card ruined the game," he added. "We've had a look at it back and it's outside the box and I don't think it's a foul either.

"But there are times in games when decisions go against you and you've just got to get on with it.

"As a group of players we wanted to do it for Sammy because we felt it wasn't a red card, but the ref made the decision and that was it and we have to get on with it and move on."

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