{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from October 2021

28th October 2021 11:31

Boss assesses Exeter loss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 23rd October 2021

Manager Nigel Clough has delivered his post-match assessment following this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat away at Exeter City.

The Stags took the lead through a brilliant Oli Hawkins header, but the in-form hosts responded via Timothee Dieng and Matt Jay to take the points.

The boss says that, although there was ‘an awful lot of effort’ from his players, he says the Stags made ‘disappointing decisions’ on the ball.

“I thought we did enough to get at least a point out of the game,” he told iFollow Stags. “Having gone 1-0 up just after half-time, I thought we defended well enough in that period [after that].


“We couldn’t quite see it out. I thought over the whole game - forget the last five minutes when we’re pushing forward - they didn’t cause us too many problems.

“Through the whole game, we wanted to be solid. With Oatesy [Rhys Oates] up top, we caused them problems on the break.

“I thought we were pretty comfortable as the centre-halves played well today.

“[For our goal], it’s just what we’ve been asking for; put the ball in the right area and attack it in a goalscoring position.

“We did both of those things and got the goal. You’re looking then for it to really energise everyone.

“I think we get our win when we get our senior players back. We’ve been very close to it in the past four or five days.

“I think today there was an awful lot of effort out there. [There were] disappointing decisions on the ball at times but I thought there was a lot of effort.

“It [Exeter] is a team that has lost just once all season, but it was still very, very disappointing [to lose].”

Stags were without more senior figures in their squad this afternoon, as defenders Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin missed out due to injuries suffered in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Port Vale.

“Both [Hewitt and McLaughlin] got injured the other night in the draw with Port Vale,” added the boss.

“We’re hoping [after] another week they’ll both be okay for next week [against Tranmere].”

Ahead of kick-off, it was announced that the experienced John-Joe O’Toole, formerly of Watford, Northampton Town and Burton Albion, had signed for the Stags.

Nigel Clough says the midfielder - who can also operate in defence - could feature next time out against Tranmere Rovers.

“We might give him [O’Toole] a game depending on what night this game at Wigan is [in the Premier League Cup].

“He has played a couple of games and he has been training over the last eight weeks with Walsall and then with Stevenage.

“He’s relatively up to speed, as that’s why he was in the 18 today. We’ll see how he goes this week.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I thought we were a bit unlucky with the first goal. Oli Hawkins has headed it on to Faz Rawson and they've both ended up on the floor momentarily. We thought it was going to go out for a corner, and the lad's just chipped it back in and he's headed it in to an empty net. A bit unfortunate that ball could have rebounded anywhere, we won the first header."


Nigel Clough believes beleaguered Mansfield Town deserved something from Exeter City defeat
chad.co.uk, Saturday 23rd October 2021

Nigel Clough felt beleagured Mansfield Town deserved something out of today's 2-1 defeat at Exeter City.

Depleted Stags took the lead and should have been 2-0 up before high-flying Exeter hit back with two goals to leave Clough's men without a win in 14 games.

“I though we did enough to get at least a point out of the game, with seven defenders missing against a team that has only lost once all season,” said the manager.

“Having gone 1-0 up just after half-time I thought we defended well enough at that period.


“It's just the one ricochet into our box where both our centre halves have ended up on the floor and they've chipped it back in and got the equaliser.

“The longer it goes at 1-0 the more the game opens up and we didn't feel under great pressure at that point. Nathan Bishop had had few saves to make in that period of the game.

“It's tough to take.

“The winner unfortunately comes from the two young full backs. One cross from the left and James Clarke has gone under it at the other end and it's actually gone under Nathan Bishop. He's said it almost ran down his shins, so there's an element of misfortune about that one.

“We couldn't quite see it out.”

Oli Hawkins gave Stags the lead with a superb header from Stephen Quinn's free kick.

“It was just what we'd been asking for - put the ball in the right area and attack it in a goalscoring position. We did both things and got the goal,” said Clough.

“You're then looking for that to energise everyone and say come on we have 40 minutes, let's give it everything we can. Some players did that, some players didn't.

“Forget the last five-10 minutes when we were pushing forward, over the 90 minutes they didn't cause us too many problems.”

The turning point was when Jordan Bowery had clear sight of goal to double the lead at 1-0 and didn't get a shot away.

“We just need people to get up to speed a bit more,” said Clough.

“We had to bring Jordan Bowery off as he looked absolutely shattered.

“He missed a couple of weeks of pre-season, so he really needs to do some physical work so he's in good enough shape to be able to play Saturday/Tuesday at the level required in League Two, which he didn't look to be able to do today.

“When you get sent half clear, as he was, and end up with no shot of any kind it's very frustrating.

“He didn't try to get a shot away which is the disappointing thing.

“When you are in that position, whatever you do whether you take a touch or take him on, you get your shot off - that is the rule in the penalty area.

“It was good to get George Maris back on but he didn't look right and we need to get both our first choice full backs back to be able to compete.

“They are two young lads and we had to play them but I think if we'd had our two first choice full backs out there today, we'd have got a result.”

Stags' injury misery continues with Elliott Hewitt and Stephen McLaughlin both missing today.

“They both got injured the other night. We are hoping they will both be okay for next week,” said Clough.

“But I don't think we'll be getting anyone else back and George Lapslie will be suspended as I think that was his fifth booking.

“When you're on four bookings the last thing you do is stop a quick free kick being taken and now we've lost a very important player. That is a lack of thought and clarity as a player. It was a poor decision.”

However, new signing John-Joe O'Toole could figure next weekend.

“He has played a couple of games and been training the last eight weeks at Walsall and then with Stevenage so he is relatively up to speed,” said Clough.

“That was why he was in the 18 today and we will see how he goes this week.

“We will get a win when we get our senior players back. We've been very close to it in the last four or five days. The two go hand in hand.”


Best performance of the season as Exeter City come from behind to beat Mansfield Town
devonlive.com, By Daniel Clark, 23 OCT 2021

"As a blueprint of how we should win games of football at home, that wasn’t far off it," as Exeter City extend unbeaten run to 14

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor felt his side’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Mansfield Town was the best performance of the season.

Oli Hawkins had put the Stags ahead against the run of play early in the second half at St James Park, but goals from Tim Dieng and a late Matt Jay winner ensured the Grecians claimed all three points.

It took them up to fourth in the table, and extended the club record unbeaten run to 14 in all competitions - and their unbeaten run at home to 15, the longest current streak in English football - and dating back to last season, it is just one loss in the last 23 games.

Following the 3-1 win at Crawley Town on Tuesday, it is now back-to-back wins for the Grecians, and while for the second game running they had to turn it around after conceding first, Taylor felt that it was a relatively convincing triumph of Nigel Clough’s side who are now without a win in 14.


“The reports will say a comeback but I thought we were convincing today,” he said. “Take away their goal, I was really pleased, and it was the best home display of the season as we controlled the game and the ball and limited them to very little and just a set piece that shouldn’t have happened.

“We showed resilience and character to come from 1-0 down and it shows we have quality as well. It was hard to be behind as they didn’t threaten our goal or have a shot in anger, and a poor moment in relation to a set piece.

“We needed a goal to match the performance, we went more aggressive, and it paid dividends. When we want to be a top team, that goal doesn’t happen, as we didn’t deserve to be behind, but I was really pleased when we chased the game we did it in a sensible manner.

“That was probably the best performance of the season in terms of a whole team performance. They give everything today and that is how we need to win games of football at home and earn the space on the pitch and we nullified their threat, and we are in and around it in the table and not too far away.”

The Grecians were the better side in the first half, and should have gone ahead before the break, only for Owura Edwards to slip at the crucial moment, which was costly when Hawkins headed Mansfield ahead.

Get the best stories about the things you love most curated by us and delivered to your inbox every day. Choose what you love here

But within seven minutes, City were level when Dieng nodded home from close range after good work from substitute Padraig Amond for a fourth goal of the season, and with just seven minutes to go, Jay arrived late at the back post to head home an Archie Collins cross to make it 2-1.

It was the striker's fourth goal in four, and a ninth of the season, while Sam Nombe missed three good chances late on to make it 3-1 as the 23-year-old couldn’t equal David Wheeler’s record and score for the seventh successive game running.

Taylor was delighted with the manner of both the goals scored, with the tactical plans having paid off, and praised the impact the on-loan Newport County made off the bench.

“Tim he has a licence to get in the box late and there is no one better attacking the ball in the air and he was in the right position at the right time,” he added.

“We have to find different ways to win games of football and I felt we played pretty well for the first hour and were 1-0 down but the reaction off the back of it showed where the squad is.

“I took MJ out the central area to free him out of the bodies and I didn’t have him down for a back post header, but he headed it down, and that was the feel about the performance.

“Podge’s understanding of where the ball would land was excellent and he created the first goal and played a part in the second, and to make the changes and affect the game in that matter was pleasing.”

He added: “That was a big week with three games and started with a draw, then a really good second half on Tuesday, and three points today. Things can quickly turn around and we are in a good position, and are working to be what we want to be.

“We didn’t deserve to go behind as they weren’t threatening and a poor moment, but the fans were excellent, and I am pleased they have seen a win. As a blueprint of how we should win games of football at home, that wasn’t far off it, it was a proper performance, and we were good today.”


Matt Taylor reacts to win over Mansfield Town

Matt Taylor has given his assessment as the Grecians came from a Goa, behind to beat Mansfield Town at St James Park.

After going a goal down to Oli Hawkins second half header, City responded with two headers of their own, first through Tim Dieng before Matt Jay fired in the winner, and the manager was pleased with the result.

"That game was a hard one to be behind in as we weren't really threatened, and Cam hasn't had a lot to do," he said.


"We rejigged it in the second half and went more aggressive and that started to pay dividends. We had to chase the game and we did it sensibly, and I really think Podge's introduction changed the game.

"We have to find different ways to win games of football. We played pretty well for the first 60 minutes of that game, but we found ourselves behind, yet we managed to find the right way to win.

"It sounds strange to say, but I think that was our best performance of the season."


Exeter City set more records after Mansfield Town victory

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor says his side have flown under the radar despite a club-record 13-game unbeaten run in League Two.

City's 2-1 win over Mansfield Town was their 14th successive game without a loss at home - also a new club record.

The victory moved the Grecians up to fourth in League Two.

"Little old Exeter City working away in the background with no-one really noticing us apart from the people in the south west," Taylor told BBC Devon.

"They give you everything," he added of his squad, who have not lost since the second round of games in August.

"They'll make mistakes and I can handle that as a manager because I know where we are as a team, but you look at some of the powerhouses of League Two and we're still competing with them."

The win over Mansfield was just Exeter's fifth in the league this season having drawn six of their previous nine matches.

Having gone behind to Oli Hawkins' 50th-minute goal Timothee Dieng equalised 12 minutes later before captain Matt Jay scored for the fourth successive game in the final 10 minutes.

"In any report it'll say 'comeback victory', but I thought we were pretty convincing," added Taylor.

"You take the opposition goal out of that performance, I was really pleased.

"It's probably our best home display of the season because we controlled the game and we controlled the opposition.

"We limited a very good team and a lot of good players to very little.

"I'm pleased with the way that game looked and felt and that we showed resilience and character again to come from 1-0 down shows we've got quality as well."



Latest | October 2021