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Archived News from March 2024

6th March 2024 22:19

Gaffer pleased with ‘professional performance’ in Newport win
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 2 March 2024

Boss Nigel Clough described his side’s display as ‘a good, professional performance’ after Stags battled to beat Newport at Rodney Parade.

The win sees Mansfield increase their lead at the top of the table to three points ahead of second placed Stockport, with 12 games of the season remaining.

George Maris’ strike five minutes after half-time was the ultimate difference in a contest which Stags should have won by a greater margin.

At the other end, the hosts failed to register a shot on target, such was the defiance of the Mansfield defence.

“The way the results have gone and a couple of other games being off, it was absolutely vital that we got the three points, which we did,” said Nigel.


“It was a very good, professional performance.

“I was a bit disappointed with the way we played in the first-half. I thought we had enough situations and space and time to create. It was just poor decision-making in that final third.”

As much as anything, the manager was pleased with his men keeping a clean sheet.

“I was disappointed we only got the one goal in some ways but the most important stat today was the clean sheet. We haven’t had one for a few games.

“We always say, ‘we know we’ll create chances and score goals, let’s make sure we’re solid’. That was the most important thing today.

“I thought the back four and Reedy were very good indeed, especially with [Will] Evans, who’s a handful. I thought Lewis Brunt dealt with him very well and I thought some of Flinty’s clearances in the second-half were exactly what we needed to make a statement. He put one out of the ground, over the stand [as if to say] ‘we’re not conceding today’, and that’s great experience. “

Stags may have been ahead two minutes earlier when Hiram Boateng narrowly headed off target from George Williams’ cross.

“He was arriving at pace. There’s pace on the ball so it’s difficult to direct it sometimes,” said the manager. “I think it was only about a yard over. But that set the tone for us to go on and get a goal.”

On the decisive goal by Maris, Nigel said: “I think they broke away and Flinty got a good tackle in and all of a sudden there’s a nice bit of play and Baily puts in a cross and George is in there from six or seven yards.

“It was a good finish on his left foot and he has scored some important goals at important times for us this season.”

Stags are now entering what could be a season-defining period and the manager said: “We said to the lads that the five games in the fifteen days are going to be absolutely pivotal to what we do. We’ve got off to a good start [at Newport]. We have two home games coming up, let’s just keep churning them out, keep getting those points on the board which just puts pressure on everybody below.”

Leaving the last word for the 615 Stags’ supporters, he said: “I was glad it stopped raining for the ones that were in the open. It is a little exposed there. Around kick-off time it did stop [raining] so hopefully they didn’t get too wet and have gone home happy with another three points.”


We need to play better than that to clinch promotion says Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough after narrow win at Newport County
chad.co.uk, Sat 2 March 2024

Mansfield Town extended their lead at the top of League Two with today's 1-0 win at Newport County - but boss Nigel Clough said they need to play better if they want to get their promotion bid over the line.

George Maris netted the winner on 50 minutes, but dominant Stags wasted a string of other chances to win more convincingly with keeper Christy Pym untroubled at the other end.

Mansfield are now three points clear at the top ahead of Tuesday night's home showdown with promotion rivals MK Dons and Clough said: “As pleased as we are with the result today, we're not getting carried away.


“We are under no illusions that if we don't play better on Tuesday, or next Saturday or in the forthcoming games, then we will lose one or two.

“We did just enough today but I want us to be better in the next 12 games.

“I do think we've got more as well - we can play better than that.

“We controlled the game for long periods but we weren't very good in the final third, especially in the first half.

“Then when you do get that goal ahead you're looking to build on it. We has numerous situations and chances to do that but couldn't quite get it.

“So therefore the clean sheet was by far the most important thing today. It is all about the result.”

He added: “It is unusual for us to only score one. But the situations were there again. We just needing them finishing.

“I was a bit frustrated in the first half as, with Stockport being off today and Wimbledon beating MK Dons in the 94th minute before we kicked off, I thought it was a good incentive for us and we would have been a bit brighter and have a bit more intent to go and win the game early on. Teams are a bit wary of us.”

Stags achieved a 13th clean sheet of the season and Clough said: “The back four were very good indeed with Reedy (Louis Reed) protecting them and I don't think Christy has had a shot to save today, which is some going coming here. They put a lot of balls into the penalty area.

“Aden Flint showed his experience today and just played his position and stayed in the middle. He cleared the ball when he needed to, headed the ball when he needed to, no frills or fuss, just do your job.

“We made them work very hard to get anything at all, and they didn't really.”

Striker Will Swan missed the game with a 'small muscle injury' from training but Stags hope he will be fit enough to return to the squad on Tuesday.


Nigel Clough: Mansfield Town boss wants more after 'no-frills' win v Newport

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has demanded more than their "no-frills, no-fuss" win at Newport County.

Saturday's 1-0 win sent the Stags three points clear at the top of League Two with 12 games remaining.

Mansfield next host fellow promotion hopefuls MK Dons - a side they face twice in six weeks - on Tuesday.

"We have done enough today, but just enough. I want us to be better in the next 12 games," Clough told BBC Radio Nottingham.


"As pleased as we are with the result, we are not getting carried away and we are under no illusions that if we don't play better on Tuesday and Saturday [against Swindon] and the rest of the forthcoming games, then we will lose one or two.

"We have got more as well, we can play better than that. Certainly at the start of the game, and if chances are there in the first 15 minutes, then it's in the first 15 minutes that you go win the game - don't wait.

"It's a good lesson, but great to get the three points while having that lesson."

After going top of the table for the first time a week earlier, Clough said the Stags would "need to work harder" than ever to maintain their place at the summit.

George Maris' early second-half goal was enough to seal three points for Mansfield, with Newport failing to register a shot on target.

"The back four were very good indeed, Christy [Pym] didn't have a shot to save," Clough added.

"I'm very pleased and Aden Flint just showed his experience and everything. He played his position, stayed in the middle, cleared the ball when he had to and headed it when he needed to.

"No-frills, no-fuss, it was just do your job. We made them work very hard to get anything at all."


‘Perfect away day’ says match-winner
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 2 March 2024

Midfielder George Maris labelled today’s well-fought win at Newport as ‘the perfect away day’.

Stags battled to a 1-0 victory thanks to Maris’ left-footed strike five minutes into the second-half.

At the other end, Mansfield extinguished any threat to keep out a spirited Newport side.

“I think it’s a perfect away day for us,” said George.


“We did what we had to do first-half. We didn’t played that great but we came out in the second-half, got the goal and defended brilliantly for the rest of it.

“We knew we had to be better [in the second-half]. It was a great chance for us to stay top of the league today, that was our aim.

“Credit to the defensive lads, they kept it tight at the back.

“I never felt like they [Newport] were going to score with how well we were playing defensively.

“We had a few chances where I felt we should have scored but I never felt in trouble at the back and the lads were brilliant back there. I thought Brunty and Flinty won everything. Willo [George Williams] and Baily are solid at what they do.”

On his decisive strike, he said: ““That’s what I’ve been wanting to do; chip in with some goals. I probably should have scored the second [opportunity] when I cut inside, but one goal was enough today.”

The midfielder believes Stags showed a different side of their game to earn the points today: “It shows we have different qualities. I know we’ve won games by a lot of goals recently but to win one-nil is even better for us. We’ve shown qualities that we can grind results out away from home. We’re not always going to win by three or four so these are the ones [wins] that you need to pick up going into the last stages of the season.”

With 12 games left to play, he added: “We just need to carry on doing what we have been doing. I think we’ve been brilliant in recent weeks. It’s a busy month. We just have to keep grinding results out, keep picking the points up and see where it can take us.”


Perfect away day says Mansfield Town matchwinner George Maris after victory at Newport County
chad.co.uk, Sat 2 March 2024

Mansfield Town matchwinner George Maris said today's 1-0 win at Newport County was the perfect away day as Stags stretched their lead at the top of League Two.

Mansfield were not at their free-scoring best, squandering chances to make the result more comfortable, though never looked like allowing the Welsh club to spoil a superb clean sheet.

Maris struck five minutes after the break and said: “It's what we wanted - a perfect away day for us.


“It might not have been the best football we've played in a while, but it's the same three points you get for playing well, so we'll take it and move on to Tuesday night.

“First half we were not at our best and we got a bit of a rollocking in the dressing room just to give us a bit of a boost for the second half.

“I thought we came back out and were the better team, got the goal and could have had more.

“And the defensive lads were brilliant to hold it out and come away with a clean sheet which we have not had in recent weeks.”

Maris was delighted Stags are top with only 12 games to go and he said: “I think we deserve to be top and should have been there in previous months.

“We are in our rightful position and now it's just a case of taking it on, kicking on with 12 games left, get as many points as we can and see what we can do.

“The gaffer is rotating the squad so we have fresh legs. We have lots of options.”

Maris praised the travelling supporters for their part in the result, saying: “The fans travelled in their numbers like they always do and have got us over the line. They have sung their songs and driven us over the line.

“When you face that way you just want to go and get a goal in front of them to make it worthwhile for them, and luckily we did.”

A great ball in from the left by marauding full back Baily Cargill set up Maris for his ninth goal of the season.

“I thought Cargill did unbelievably well,” he said. “ He dinked it and I am always there for the cut-back. That's where I like to be and he's rapped it in and I got a good contact on it and it's snuck in at the near post.

“I have been wanting to score more goals like this for a few seasons but I have been played deeper in previous years.

“Playing further forward this season it's nice to chip in with more goals than previous seasons.”


Graham Coughlan told BBC Wales:
"The foul on Scot Bennett is a foul. They've got a 4 v 2 advantage to us and the referee ... I just don't know how he's turned around and said it's an advantage to us.
"Our free kick and he decided to give the dvnatage to Mansfield."


Newport County boss Coughlan slams ref after Mansfield loss
southwalesargus.co.uk, By Chris Kirwan, @c_kirwan

NEWPORT County AFC manager Graham Coughlan claimed their 1-0 defeat to League Two leaders Mansfield “hinged on a refereeing decision”.

The Stags took the spoils thanks to George Maris’ strike in the 50th minute but Coughlan was angered by the build-up.

The Exiles boss pointed to referee Adam Herczeg playing an advantage for a foul on Scot Bennett in a situation when the hosts would have liked a free-kick.

Played continued and, after Davis Keillor-Dunn stayed on his feet when he could have won a penalty, Baily Cargill crossed for Maris to score.


“It was two really good teams going head-to-head, both cancelled each other out and in these big games you are always going to get those moments,” said Coughlan.

“When it comes to big games you need people in charge who understand and know the game. Unfortunately, the game hinged on a refereeing decision.

“Other than that there wasn’t a lot between the teams, there wasn’t a lot to get excited about to be honest.

“It’s sad after all the hard work that we have put in and you come away from the game talking about decision-making.

“We got beaten 1-0 and the game hinged on a moment that should have been a free-kick but the referee decided to give the advantage to Mansfield.”

County failed to hit the heights of their midweek win at Harrogate but grafted hard against the league pace-setters.

Defeat leaves the Exiles 12th in the table, five points off Gillingham in the final play-off places, while the Stags are in a strong position to win automatic promotion.

“They are top of the table for a reason. They dig deep and grind out results because I don’t think that either goalie worked extremely hard,” said Coughlan.

“Both teams showed their credentials but we just needed that extra bit of quality and composure. Their work rate, attitude and commitment was spot-on, as it has been all season.

“We did compete and gave a really good account of ourselves but that incident overshadows the performance and the hard work that has gone in.

“You just can’t have refereeing decisions deciding outcomes of games, because 99 per cent of the time they are wrong.”

County will assess an injury to James Clarke after the central defender limped off on the hour.


John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
A brilliant battling performance by our boys.
Well done on a hard-fought victory.
Now on to Tuesday at home!



Latest | March 2024