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Archived News from March 2024

18th March 2024 18:26

Manager on Tranmere loss
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 12 Mar 2024

Manager Nigel Clough says Stags had more than enough opportunities to add to their points tally at Prenton Park this evening.

Instead, Mansfield were made to rue missed chances as they left Tranmere on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

Stags, however, should have converted more of their opportunities in front of goal, and summing up the game, Nigel said: “The performance I thought was alright tonight in general.

“Again, we created numerous situations and chances throughout the game. We’ve been defeated by a deflected goal, twenty yards out, similar to MK Dons.


“There are nothing in these games; sometimes it’s a bit of luck, sometimes it’s a good finish. Tonight, again, it’s gone against us, the second time in two weeks with those deflected goals.”

Stags fell behind to Regan Hendry’s 12th minute strike before Will Swan levelled the contest with a delightful finish on 39 minutes.

“It was a brilliant goal,” said Nigel, speaking about Swan’s strike.

“[It was] A great throughball from Reedy and Swanny’s tucked it away.

“From that point you come in at half-time and think come on, let’s take it on.

“[But] I didn’t think we started the second-half so well. I thought we made a few bad decisions in the first ten or fifteen minutes, but the deflected goal is difficult to take.”

Rob Apter then restored Tranmere’s lead in the second period but Stags still had chances to again level.

“I was surprised how many we had. Sometimes teams can really shut up shop and make it difficult for you, but we got in numerous times. Swanny had a one-on-one, Davis had a one-on-one, hit the goalkeeper. Quinny had one at the far post, so we had enough situations.

“We just needed somebody with that bit of quality.

“I thought Hiram was unlucky a couple of times in and around the penalty area. And that’s the difference, just whether someone can get you a goal or not.

“We’re not quite getting a break. All the defeats this season have been so close. There’s an argument to say in every one of them we could have had a draw, at least, in those games. “

Despite the loss, Nigel was encouraged by results elsewhere in the division this evening, adding: “The brilliant news when we’ve come in [to the dressing room] is Grimsby have done us a favour [by winning against MK Dons] and the gap between us and fourth place has stayed the same, so it’s another game ticked off.

“We’re still five points clear of fourth, with a good goal difference.”


Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough bemoans another deflected winner against his side in Tranmere Rovers defeat
chad.co.uk, Tues 12 Mar 2024

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough bemoaned another deflected winner against his table-topping side in tonight's disappointing 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers.

Rob Apter's second half winner deflected between keeper Christy Pym and his post to shoot down the Stags, but results elsewhere were not much better for Mansfield's rivals.

That was at least some consolation on a night when Stags again created enough to have won the game.

“We suffered a bit of misfortune again,” said Clough.


“We lost 2-1 at home to MK Dons with a deflected strike last week and we lost again tonight to another deflected strike from the edge of the box.

“I think we had enough situations and chances and we could do with a deflection going in our way.

“Our general performance was absolutely fine and we started well and controlled the game.

“But the first time they went into our penalty area their lad put an absolutely brilliant finish in from the edge of the box.”

He continued: “We were right behind it and as soon as he hit it we knew it was in.

“They took a quick throw in and I think George Maris sold himself. He just came inside and hit it so quick there was no chance for anybody.

“Our equaliser was a brilliant goal. It was a lovely run from Will Swan and a great ball from Louis Reed and he's tucked it away - a great finish.

“Similar to other games we've lost, we should not be losing from that point.

“Apter is a very dangerous player, Baily (Cargill) has tracked him but when he gets the strike off I think Christy is dealing comfortably with it until it gets deflected.

“Christy said it deflected two or three yards out and there's nothing you can do about that.

“But Tranmere are a good footballing side and they beat Stockport here 4-0 a couple of weeks ago and have a very good home record.

“So you have to put your chances away. That's the difference in the defeats we've had. We should score more than one goal with what we are creating.”

However, Clough and his squad remain positive with just nine games left to go and Stags five points clear of fourth place.

“The other results have gone reasonably our way tonight,” said Clough.

“We are still top of the league with another game ticked off.

“The gap between us and fourth place hasn't altered, which is fantastic with another game out of the way.

“So we now just need to get ready for Bradford City on Saturday - and we can't wait.”


Adkins hails match-winner Apter as Tranmere extend run

Boss Nigel Adkins was delighted with the performance of Rob Apter after Tranmere extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 2-1 win over Mansfield at Prenton Park.

Apter, on loan from Blackpool, scored his 10th goal of the season to inflict a second defeat in three games on Nigel Clough's Stags, who remain top of Sky Bet League Two by two points from Wrexham.

Adkins' side took the lead when Regan Hendry fired past Christy Pym from the corner of the area after 12 minutes.

And they could have doubled their advantage with Brad Walker and Kieron Morris both coming close.

Mansfield made them pay just before half-time when Will Swan latched onto a Louis Reed through-ball to prod the ball home from close range.

But Rovers restored their lead 12 minutes after the break when Apter fired past Pym from the edge of the box after evading the efforts of the Town defenders.

Tranmere boss Adkins said: “The lads have consistently been putting in good performances and tonight we were playing the league leaders and we scored two really good goals and passed the ball well.


“We also defended resolutely when we needed to and the players have been doing that on a consistent basis and have been rewarded tonight with that win.

“Rob Apter has been producing the goods regularly. You give him the ball and he gives you that bit of flair out wide, he can take somebody on, link with a team-mate, he can use both feet and he scores goals.

“That's 10 goals now since we changed things around in November and we would have been third in the league in terms of our form since then and you can see that by the team spirit and I thought we looked a really good footballing side tonight.

“The lads have been magnificent and we've got to keep doing that and keep building.”

Mansfield manager Nigel Clough said: “I thought we were a bit unfortunate as we had the situations and the chances in the game to take all three points.

“That's the second time in a week that we've been beaten by a deflected goal as well, which is disappointing.

“It's been the case in a few of our away games this season that we've been getting the chances but have not been able to convert them. When you get chances you have to make the most of them, as you saw tonight.

“We're still top of the league and five points clear of the team in fourth place with nine games to go.

“We've got Bradford away at the weekend, which won't be easy as at this time of the year when you're top of the league you see teams raise their game against you.

“We're still there at the top and we're going to try and stay there.”



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