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8th November 2023 19:04

Quality of finish was difference in cup tie - gaffer
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 4 Nov 2023

Manager Nigel Clough felt the quality of finishing was the difference between the two sides as Mansfield were edged out 2-1 at home to Wrexham in the Emirates FA Cup first round.

The visitors took a first-half lead on 23 minutes through striker Sam Dalby. Paul Mullin doubled their lead shortly before the hour mark.

Stags were boosted by the return of forward Rhys Oates to the starting lineup, who netted an excellent strike for the Stags on the hour.

The gaffer felt the two outfits were evenly matched over the contest, but Wrexham clinically finished
their opportunities in front of goal.

Speaking to iFollow Stags after the match, he said: “Yeah without a doubt [the finishing was the difference between the teams].

“I thought we had more situations and opportunities [to score] than they did. We didn’t hit the target enough and we certainly didn’t finish [enough of our chances].

“We didn’t make the [opposition] goalkeeper work enough.


“They put two great finishes away. One into the top corner and then Mullin curled another one in. There was an element of misfortune for the second one, certainly.

“I think it’s fair to say we haven’t had a break in the last couple of games in the penalty area. But, we have to be better, we’re creating the chances.”

Nigel was pleased with his side’s effort and general play in the contest.

He said: “I thought we started the second-half brilliantly. I thought they played well in the first-half, they were just a bit fresher than us.

“[The players] Have given absolutely everything, they were absolutely on their knees down there so I can’t ask any more of them.

“They [Wrexham] won’t have had many tougher games than they’ve had tonight.

“We’re just going to totally focus now on the league. No excuses now, [we’ll give] every single league game [our] full attention.”

Nigel opted to move versatile player Jordan Bowery into an attacking position, having previously fielded him at right-back for much of the season.

“We wanted Jordan back up top just because I thought we missed that against Port Vale, so Callum Johnson came in,” he said.

“Rhys [Oates] wasn’t going to play actually. Hiram [Boateng] was going to play but Hiram pulled out.

"He felt it this morning and then tried it in the warm up, but he was no good. So, we thought that Oatesy was going to play on Tuesday against Everton so we might as well get him out tonight. He lasted much longer than we thought, scored a wonderful goal and it’s good to have him back.

“[Ollie Clarke has injured his] Thigh. He just felt it after 35 minutes. You can’t take a chance with things like that. We’ll see how he is in the next few days.”


No excuses now says Mansfield Town boss as he targets promotion after second cup exit of the week
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 4 Nov 2023

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough said his side now had no excuses not now concentrate fully on promotion after two cup exits in five days.

Tuesday's 1-0 home loss to Port Vale in the Carabao Cup was their first in 20 games this season and that was followed tonight by a 2-1 home FA Cup first round loss to Wrexham.

But Stags had as many chances at the visitors and Clough knows they need to be more clinical.

“This was always the danger to have two such big cup games in four days. To go out of both - that's the way it goes sometimes,” he said.


“We will now totally focus on the league - no excuses now. Every single league game - full attention.

“We have given everything in the two games and just needed a break and better finishing.

“I thought we had more opportunities and situations than they did. We just didn't hit the target enough and we didn't finish.

“They have put two great finishes away - one in the top corner and then Mullin has curled one in.

“There was an element of misfortune with the second one as a clearance hit our own man and rebounded straight into his path. I didn't see that sort of break occurring at the other end.

“I think it's fair to say we've not had a break in the last couple of games in the penalty area. But we have to be better.

“Don't forget we are missing our main centre forward as well.”

He contined: “We started the second half brilliantly.

“They played well in the first half and looked a bit fresher than us as they have had a nice clear week whereas we have had that big game against Port Vale here in which we put everything in.

“Tonight we asked the lads to go again and they gave absolutely everything. They are absolutely on their knees down there so I can't ask any more from them.

“I think if we had equalised before they got their second we would probably have gone on to win the game.

“We just needed a bit more thought and quality.”

Rhys Oates made a comeback from injury and scored Stags' reply and Clough said: “Rhys lasted a lot longer than we thought tonight and scored a wonderful goal. It's good to have him back.

“Christy Pym also made three or four magnificent saves to keep us in it. We didn't make their keeper work enough again.”

Stags lost Ollie Clarke with an injury before the break and Clough said: “Ollie felt his thigh after about 35 minutes and you can't take a chance with things like that. Normally if he got a kick you'd try to get through to half-time.

“But we will see how he is in the next few days.”


Striker rues missed chances
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 4 Nov 2023

Goalscorer Rhys Oates rued missed chances as Stags bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup.

The frontman was part of a Mansfield side which registered 24 shots at goal, but exited the first round of the competition following a 2-1 home loss against fellow League Two promotion challengers Wrexham.

The Reds scored in either half to lead 2-0, before Oates reduced the arrears on the hour.

“It was a good game overall,” said Oates. “We just didn’t take our chances and they did. We probably had more efforts on goal than they did but they were more clinical.

“Throughout the squad we’ve all had chances and we just need to put a few more away.


“With the pitch tonight and how wet it’s been, the ball could bounce anywhere and it's just about being relaxed in those moments.

“We gave it everything. We just couldn’t get over the line tonight.”

On his goal to halve the deficit, he said: “I think it was about time in the game. I’d had a few efforts which went way off target and a couple straight at the ‘keeper. It was about time I rifled one in. It’s good to be back with a goal.

“It’s just come off my foot clean and it was good to see it go into the top corner.”

Targeting a run in the team, Oates said:
“I just need to try and get back to what I was doing before the injury. I just need to put it behind me and look at how I was doing beforehand and try and get back to that.”

When asked about his reflections on the season so far, Oates said: “I think it’s been a good season.

“The last two results don’t reflect that but we’re still unbeaten in the league and are in a good position. We need to forget about the last two games and look about what we’ve done in the previous 19 games before this week and just keep going and do what we’ve been doing. We’ve been brilliant.”


Rhys Oates delighted to make scoring return for Mansfield Town, despite defeat
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 4 Nov 2023

Mansfield Town striker Rhys Oates was delighted to make a goalscoring return to action after injury tonight, despite a 2-1 home FA Cup exit to Wrexham.

Oates was a surprise starting name on the team sheet and he said: “I have been champing at the bit to get back out there and do my part for the team. It's been tough.

“I was in a boot for four weeks and then couldn't really run for two weeks after that. I had to do all the strength work and everything.

“I trained once or twice and it's been good to get straight back into the team and play my part.

“It was great to watch the the unbeaten run side went on - the lads have been amazing. And it doesn't look great on me that we have lost the last two when I have come back.


“But it was good being out there again, though we are gutted to be out of the FA Cup so early. We thought we could maybe go on another cup run like we did in the EFL Cup.

“But we can concentrate on the league now and that is our main priority. We are still unbeaten in the league and we need to try to keep that going.”

He added: “We need to remember what we've been doing in the league - I think we've won the last three -and put this last few days behind us.

“I think have shown what we can do in the previous 19 games before these two defeats, even tonight we had spells where we were still creating chances. We just need to be better in front of goal and take more of the chances.

“I think we still had more shots than them tonight. I think Wrexham were just more clinical in front of goal.

“We didn't play badly, we just didn't take our chances. We should be going toe to toe with teams like this. We want to be top three this season.

“We have drawn a few. But we are still unbeaten in the league and it's a massive achievement for the club, players and staff to do that. We just need to keep doing what we have been doing.”


We were immense tonight in FA Cup win at Mansfield Town says Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 4 Nov 2023

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson was delighted with his side's FA Cup success at promotion rivals Mansfield Town tonight.

The Welsh club edged a thrilling game 2-1 to make it nine games unbeaten and he said: “I am immensely delighted. It was a good game in difficult conditions.

“Mansfield have been flying high apart from Tuesday's defeat. Before that they were unbeaten in 19 games, so I thought tonight we were immense.

“They are a very good side and I have enormous respect for what Nigel Clough is doing. They are a good side - but so are we.


“The two goals we scored were really good, particularly the first one and we had other chances in the first half. I know they did too but we had some clinical moments of great football which we didn't quite capitalise on.

“I think our performance warranted us to come in at half-time further ahead.

“But second half we had to dig deep as the are a good side and they threw everything at us.

“We got the second but straight away they scored in response and the crowd were up.

“But the way we stood strong tonight as a group was a really great performance from the boys.”

Parkinson said the club have great affinity with the competition and he was happy his players continued that with their performance.

“I said before the game that it was important we respected the history of Wrexham FC in the FA Cup,” he said.

“We have built up a great relationship with people in Wrexham with how we perform and conduct ourselves. And the FA Cup means a great deal to Wrexham who have a great tradition with it.

“So whether we won, lost or drew tonight it was important we put in a performance that our supporters who made the long trip and the ones back home watching on TV could be very proud of - and I think we've done that.”


Wrexham's James McClean was involved in an argument with Mansfield Town supporters after the Welsh team's FA Cup win.


Wrexham AFC forward James McClean was involved in a heated altercation with Mansfield Town fans after the team's FA Cup win. The altercation came moments after the 2-1 victory which saw Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's team progress to the next round of the prestigious competition.

The incident, which has since been viewed over 1.2million times on Twitter, shows the 34-year-old pointing at Mansfield fans as he made his way off the Field Mill pitch. Opposing fans appeared to take issue with his gestures, causing some supporters to rush towards the player, but remain behind the advertising boards.

Reacting in anger, McClean could be seen gesturing back to the spectators, before being blocked and held back by members of Wrexham's backroom staff. The forward was then escorted down the tunnel. McClean was met with jeers from the home crowd throughout the game, which did little to quell the heated scenes.

The Irishman started the game against Mansfield, which saw Sam Dalby score the opening goal just 23 minutes into the tie. The forward fired a left-footed shot into the roof of the net past goalkeeper Christy Pym.

Wrexham then doubled their lead early into the second half when Paul Mullin cooly passed the ball into the back of the net following a mix-up at the back. Mansfield were able to claw a goal back through Rhys Oates minutes later but were unable to add another.

The win was Wrexham's ninth consecutive game without a defeat, and third victory in a row across all competitions.

Following the win, Wrexham head coach Phil Parkinson heaped praise on the team's performance. "It was a really good game in difficult conditions," Parkinson said via Leader Live. "Mansfield had been flying high and apart from the defeat on Tuesday, hadn't been beaten in something like 20 games. But I thought we were immense.

"The two goals we scored were really good, particularly the first one. We had other chances in the first half and I know they did too but we had some real clinical moments of great football which we didn't quite capitalise on.

"The performance warranted us to come in at half-time further ahead and we had to dig deep because they are a good side, they threw everything at us. We got the second goal and straight away they scored to respond and the crowd were up but the way we stood strong as a group, it was a really great performance from the boys."


'It looked like we were going swimming' - Paul Mullin blasts pitch after Wrexham's win over Mansfield as Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's side progress in FA Cup

Wrexham striker Paul Mullin likened Mansfield Town's pitch to a 'swimming pool' in their 2-1 FA Cup first round win at Field Mill.


WHAT HAPPENED? Sam Dalby and Mullin scored in either half to ensure the Welsh side's passage into round two of the competition on Saturday night. The League Two teams went at it hammer and tong and fashioned 42 shots on goal between them but it was Phil Parkinson's men, who conceded a minute after Mullin's strike through Rhys Oates, who came through in the end. While the Wrexham striker was happy to get through, he wasn't very complimentary about the pitch.

WHAT THEY SAID: He said after the game: "The pitch was really difficult tonight, we knew that going into it it looked a little bit waterlogged, looked like we were going swimming at times. But I thought the football we played tonight was magnificent at times.

"We moved the ball really well and created the space especially for Dalbs' [Dalby] goal and we've had loads of chances in the first half and the game should have been out of sight purely from our fantastic football. I think the pitch made it difficult but we didn't let that affect us tonight."