HOLLAND AND FAIRCLOUGH REACTION
Bees restore pride at Mansfield
By Paul Wreyford
Mansfield Town 2 Barnet 1 . . .
Barnet manager Paul Fairclough praised his players for bouncing back after last week's mauling, but they were still unable to claim the points at Field Mill this afternoon.
The Bees dominated most of the match, but could not convert their superiority into chances.
Fairclough said: "That was a game we should have won, but I'm pleased we've restored our pride and dignity."
Barnet started well and almost took the lead on nine minutes, when Jason Puncheon was set up by Liam Hatch, but his shot came off the keeper's legs. At the other end, Simon Brown blazed over within a minute.
But it was the visitors who were dictating play and Nicky Bailey saw a dipping volley go just over on 35 minutes.
The Stags took the lead against the run of play in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage time, Barry Conlon bundling in a deep cross to stun the Bees.
And Mansfield made it two on 66 minutes, Simon Brown beating the offside trap and placing the ball past Lee Harrison.
Within a minute, Barnet were back in the game, Adam Birchall netting against his former club, the striker blasting home from close range after Barry Cogan and Dean Sinclair had hit both posts during a goalmouth scramble.
Mansfield offered little until Harrison pulled off a fine save to push away a Danny Sleath volley 15 minutes from time.
Barnet pushed on looking for the equaliser, with Cogan forcing the keeper to make another save and sub Giuliano Grazioli just failing to reach a Cogan cross in the closing stages.
Fairclough added: "That was a game Mansfield won't understand how they won. We were by far the superior team."
Relief for happy Holland
By John Lomas
MANSFIELD Town assistant manager Paul Holland was a happy man after the injury-ravaged Stags finally made themselves safe with this first win in nine games.
"It is a relief," he said. "You look at other results and have seen teams go down in the past and it is a horrible situation to be in.
"But we knew if we got our own ship in order and got a point or a win then we'd be safe.
"It could have gone better performance wise. We showed a lot of nerves in the first half. But the goal just before half time settled us down.
"The injuries are just unbelievable and, with six out already, we lost Callum Lloyd, and John Mullins did well to finish the game as his eye had completely closed through the second half.
"The quality is not there at the moment. We were just delighted to get a result. But we know as a football club we have to be better."
Audio interview with Paul Holland from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed) http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2007/stags_barnet_home_manager.ram
Latest | April 2007