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Archived News from November 2017

7th November 2017 19:16

Gaffer calls on professionalism ahead of cup tie
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 02 November 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans wants his players to approach Saturday's Emirates FA Cup First Round tie against Evo-Stik Premier side Shaw Lane with the utmost professionalism to secure safe passage through to the second round.

We travel to South Yorkshire on Saturday to face the Ducks in the first round of this year's competition and the match will be shown live on BT Sport 1 (12.30pm kick-off).

And the gaffer - who has previously knocked EFL clubs out of the competition when manager of non-league sides - has warned his players that one lapse of professionalism could cost them a place in the Second Round.

"My word of warning to my players is they need to be very professional on the day - one lapse of professionalism and we'll go out, it's as simple as that," the Stags' chief said.


"Our ambition as we travel is to be in the next round and to be in the draw. If we're in the draw then it means, as a minimum, we're coming back here [to One Call Stadium for a replay]. It doesn't make it any easier, but normally over two games you'd expect to be dealing with it.

"We have to go there and the word is 'professional' on Saturday, from start to finish. I'll be reiterating it to the players today and tomorrow: we [can't] go down one notch with the quality this Shaw Lane side have got."

The Ducks have a number of players who have previously plied their trade in the EFL and the manager is under no illusions about the quality which Craig Elliott's side have in their ranks.

"It's certainly going to be a test. You look at the success they've had, then you look at the players they've got. Eight or nine of these players that will start the game against us on Saturday have played in League Two, League One or the Championship.

"These are good players where you either get to an age where you step back, or it gets to the situation where your manager or your coaching team don't think you're quite right for them and you can easily slip away in this game.

"One thing the gaffer's done up there is he's recruited some top class players and the results speak for themselves."

The match will be screened live to the nation on BT Sport and although the gaffer knows the broadcasters will be hoping for an upset, he's hoping Saturday's match is the beginning of a run in 'the best cup competition in the world' for the Stags.

"They'll be as strong as they can be, as you'd expect, and we'll go and handle what is a real difficult cup tie and that's why the television cameras are there.

"They're there because they believe there could be an upset, they obviously want an upset because that's the thrills and spills of the best cup competition in the world, the FA Cup.

"There will be five or six, maybe more, upsets on the day, so there will be some non-league clubs left in this competition when we go into the draw and we've got to make sure that we're in that draw.

"For us, we have the same prize as them. I've been to the fifth round on a couple of occasions and played Premier League clubs and having all focus in the world with all the media attention.

"It's fantastic for the town that you represent, it's fantastic for the people in it, it's fantastic for the business and fantastic for the fans; everyone gets the buzz of an FA Cup run."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's news conference in full later today.


Evans expects to make several changes for Shaw Lane tie
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Thursday 02 November 2017

Steve Evans says he expects to make several changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Exeter last weekend when the Stags head to non-league Shaw Lane in the FA Cup on Saturday. The match will be live on television at the home of the Evo-Stik Premier Division frontrunners, with Evans well aware of the dangers the Barnsley-based side will pose.

But he still anticipates shaking up his squad to include a mixture of those who started against Exeter and those who played in the match with Everton under-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy onTuesday night.

He said: “We’re considering making changes from the Exeter game, potentially five or six. As always we’ll have a look at two or three different options in training and advise the lads on the day of the game.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-expects-to-make-several-changes-for-shaw-lane-tie-1-8837105

“Some of the lads that played on Tuesday gave themselves a real chance of being included at Shaw Lane. “The only player we know will definitely be missing is David Mirfin. I could rush him back if I wanted to but there’s no need to risk him so we’ll give him a bit more rest.”

Shaw Lane sit second in the league having won several promotions through the divisions in recent years. The club is well backed financially and includes several players with Football League experience including ex-Barnsley defender Neil Austin and former Portsmouth and Leeds midfielder David Norris.

Evans said: “Eight or nine of the players that will start on Saturday have played in the levels right up to the Championship, so we’re in for a tough test.

“Sometimes players drop down the levels with age, or sometimes they fall out of favour and struggle to get with a team in the higher leagues so go and get some football lower down.

“Rather than preparing for a game against a side three levels below us, really we need to treat them like a side from the National League as I think they’d fit in quite comfortably there.

“The TV cameras are there for a reason - everyone wants to see a shock and it’s felt that Shaw Lane can provide it.

“There will be several non-league clubs left in the draw and some will probably get as far as the fourth or fifth round, so we have to make sure we’re in there with them. The absolute minimum is that we get them back to the One Call Stadium for a replay.”

Evans believes complacency is something his players can not afford to suffer from, adding: “One lapse and we could be out, and the players know that.

“Professionalism is key and failure to apply that could leave us embarrassed.”


Mellis excited for Shaw Lane test
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 02 November 2017

Creative midfielder Jacob Mellis is looking forward to Saturday's Emirates FA Cup First Round tie against Shaw Lane, but warns the Evo-Stik side deserve respect for their good run of form in 2017/18.

After providing the assist for striker Kane Hemmings to score Stags' goal against Exeter last week, former Chelsea man Mellis will be hoping to claim a place in manager Steve Evans' starting XI on Saturday.

And the 26-year-old is excited for Saturday's clash with the Ducks in what will be, if selected, Mellis' first cup tie against non-league opposition.

"I'm excited for it. I've never had a tie like this before. I normally just get teams in the same league or whatever, so I'm looking forward to this tie," the ex-Bury man said.


"We've got to respect them, they'll respect us and it'll be a good cup tie, I think.

"They're winning most games so it's a good test for us and you know with the FA Cup, anyone can win, so we've got to respect them.

"We'll prepare the same way [as a league game], exactly the same. They're going to have some good players and on the day anyone can win, so we'll have to be on our toes.

"I'm sure they'll think they can beat us, which is fair enough. We've got to be professional and play our football."

The ex-Barnsley midfield maestro has been used intermittently by manager Steve Evans so far this season and although he admits he'd like an extended run in the Stags' side, Mellis understands why the gaffer opts for different personnel in certain matches.

"I respect the gaffer; whatever team he picks, we do well. We played away at Newport, it's a difficult place to go and got a point and then I came in for the home games.

"I'm just happy when called upon. Obviously I want to be playing more but that's down to me. It's down to my form to show I should be [in the team].

"Like the gaffer says, it's not personal. You pick a team to win, to go out and perform. It's whoever can get the job done and if the players who are playing get the job done then everyone's happy."

Mellis played a starring role in last week's 1-1 draw at home to Exeter City, a match which Stags dominated for large spells, and the former England U19 international hopes he can contribute to more eye-catching performances heading forward.

"If you look at the game against Luton and the game on Saturday, we've just got to produce more performances like that. Exeter are a good team and we made them look average, so if we put in those kinds of performances then I'm sure we'll climb the table.

"In any competition, whether it's the Checkatrade [Trophy] or the FA Cup, we just want to win games.

"I think you can see this team is bubbling under something now. We've got to stop talking now and just do it really."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Jacob Mellis' full news conference.


Mellis relishing FA Cup challenge
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Thursday 02 November 2017

Mansfield Town midfielder Jacob Mellis says he is looking forward to the challenge of going up against non-league side Shaw Lane in the FA Cup on Saturday. With the ingredients for a cup upset all ready to be thrown into the mix, Stags know they will have to be on their guard for the whole 90 minutes, with boss Steve Evans calling for professionalism from his side.

And Mellis, who supplied the assist for Kane Hemmings’ goal against Exeter last weekend, is well aware of what is required to avoid egg being left on Mansfield faces.

He said: “I’ve never been involved in a cup tie quite like this before, where the side I’ve played for is the strong favourite against a non-league team. Normally it’s against teams from the same division or from the divisions around us.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mellis-relishing-fa-cup-challenge-1-8837281

“But I’m looking forward to it. We have to respect them and I’m sure they’ll respect us, and I think it’ll be a good cup tie.

“They’re on a good run so it will be a good test for us. It’s the FA Cup and anything can happen.

“We’ll prepare the same as we do for any other game - we need to be on our toes as they’ll be looking to use the pitch and surroundings to their advantage.”


Mellis: We need to turn draws into wins
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Thursday 02 November 2017

Jacob Mellis believes Mansfield Town are on the verge of an impressive run of form - if they can turn their recent trend of drawing games into winning them. Mansfield have drawn their last three games 1-1 and are five games unbeaten in all competitions, but need some wins to keep them in touch with the top sides.

And Mellis is acutely aware that if one win arrives, more are likely to follow. He said: “The 1-1 draws were frustrating in the sense that we took the lead in all of them so we’re disappointed not to have picked up more wins.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mellis-we-need-to-turn-draws-into-wins-1-8837381

“When you look at the side I think something is just bubbling underneath now and if we can get a win then it could set us off on a really good run as the football we’ve played has been good.

“But we’ve got to stop talking about it and do the job.” Having been in and out of the side this season, Mellis is keen to make a starting berth his own as the Stags push for a promotion spot. He said: “I respect whatever team the gaffer picks and am happy to play a part whenever called upon.

“I want to be playing more but it’s down to me and my form to ensure that happens. The gaffer picks a team to win the game, it’s never personal if you’re left out.”

Mellis was in attendance as Stags beat a young Everton side 1-0 on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy. He said: ““It was a good win for the lads on Tuesday and great to see Zander Diamond back in the fold too.

“A lot of people have negative things to say about the competition but it’s been good for players who haven’t had as much game time, like Zander and also Joel Byrom and I who got to play against Notts County and then earned a start against Exeter.”


FA CUP PROFILE: Shaw Lane excited by prospect of Stags clash
chad.co.uk, by MARK DUFFY, Thursday 02 November 2017

All eyes will be on Barnsley this weekend as Shaw Lane host Mansfield Town in the FA Cup first round in front of the live TV cameras. Here, we look at how the excitement is building ahead of the game.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/fa-cup-profile-shaw-lane-excited-by-prospect-of-stags-clash-1-8837875

There will be understandable excitement in one corner of Barnsley this weekend as Mansfield Town - and the live television cameras - arrive to see if Shaw Lane AFC can pull off a considerable FA Cup shock.
The Yorkshire side are enjoying a good campaign in the Evo-Stik Premier Division having been promoted last season, with a highly-experienced team having only lost four league games as they sit second in the league behind Altrincham.
In the last round, they overcame National League side Barrow 2-1 to set up the clash with Mansfield.

Among their ranks are defender Neil Austin, who played over 400 league games for Barnsley and Hartlepool United, David Norris, who lists Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Leeds United among his former clubs, and strikers Paul Clayton and Damian Reeves, who have both been prolific goalscorers at National League level.

Former Leeds star David Norris is part of the Shaw Lane squad.
For chairman and club founder Craig Wood, who has overseen five promotions since the club was in the South Yorkshire Amateur League, Saturday’s game can’t come soon enough.
He said: “Being handed a home tie against Mansfield was my second shock in 24 hours. First, we beat Barrow and then this.
“When we set out just a few years ago, we wanted to be knocking on the door of the National League and in the draw for the FA Cup first round against a Football League team. And here we are.
“It shows dreams really do come true in football.”

Shaw Lane moved to the 2,000 capacity Sheerien Park, which it shares with landlord Athersley Recreation, during the summer. The switch of home was made necessary by the swift rise that has fully justified Wood’s decision to set the club up.
Striker Clayton, who has come up against Stags before in his Alfreton Town days, says he is now looking forward to doing battle with them again.
He said: “It’s a good draw for the club with Mansfield having a good following so it should be a full house at our place, but on a personal level, I was at Alfreton for a long time so there is a rivalry there.

“I know that over the years of playing against Mansfield I was a bit of a thorn in the sides for them. I remember playing there on New Year’s Day for Alfreton, a local derby. I scored and we won 2-1, I know the Alfreton fans will remind them of that for years to come.
“If Mansfield come in a frame of mind where they think this is just turn up and the second round awaits then there’s no question that they’ll be in for a difficult afternoon.
“Obviously it’s going to be a tough tie for us but we fully believe that we can win.”


FA Cup: Barnsley minnows Shaw Lane prepare for their date with destiny
yorkshirepost.co.uk, by RICHARD SUTCLIFFE, Friday 03 November 2017

SHAW LANE AFC, FA Cup first-round debutants tomorrow, have packed more into their short life than most clubs manage in a quarter of a century. The five promotions that have taken the Barnsley minnows to the Evo-Stik Premier League, where they sit second, tell only a fraction of a remarkable adventure that began just seven years ago. Along the way there has been an enforced name change that unexpectedly upset the local professional club, a trip to the Football Association’s headquarters at Wembley to overturn a denied promotion and now the tantalising prospect of a live date with BT Sport in the world’s oldest knockout competition. There has also been heartache, with Daniel Wilkinson passing away at the age of just 24 after collapsing on the pitch during a game in 2016. Wilkinson will very much be in the thoughts of those behind Shaw Lane’s rise when Mansfield Town head to Sheerien Park for a lunchtime tie that is the epitome of the magic that makes the Cup so special. Craig Wood, the founder and chairman of the Ducks, admits tomorrow will be an emotional day for everyone at the club. “Our first ambition when we started was just to be competitive,” the 45-year-old told The Yorkshire Post. “We started right at the bottom and that was our only target, to be competitive. “This changed gradually and it was only when we reached the Northern Counties East League that we set out a five-year plan. “By then end of it, we wanted to be knocking on the door of the Conference and to have played a Football League side at home in the FA Cup. Both are happening and we are only in the fourth year of that plan.” Shaw Lane Aquaforce, named after the plumbing solutions firm Wood set up in 2003, seemed a club in a hurry from the very beginning. Starting life in the South Yorkshire Amateur League, the Ducks’ first season brought a merger with Worsbrough Common that saw the Shaw Lane first team take over the latter’s fixtures in a higher division. “We went from the bottom of the division to being promoted and won the League Cup,” recalls Wood. “We were on our way.” Four further promotions have followed, including one to the Northern Counties East in 2013 that had initially been blocked over concerns about the club’s ground only to be overturned on appeal by the FA. Shaw Lane would again show up on the FA’s radar following promotion to the Northern Premier League, a level at which the governing body forbid sponsors being included in club names. The inclusion of the word ‘Aquaforce’ had to end. “We got together among ourselves and thought,‘We are all from Barnsley and it would be good to reflect that’,” said Wood. “So, we came up with Barnsley Town and eventually I told the press. “Almost straight away, I got a call from the then Barnsley FC chief executive saying we couldn’t do it. I was a bit surprised at their attitude, but what can you do? “Being in their shadow like we are I didn’t want to rock the boat so we stepped away from it. We weren’t trying to muscle in on them or anything like that, we just wanted to have Barnsley in our name. “The name is something we might revisit. We don’t play at Shaw Lane any more or have any connection with them, but we are in the FA Cup first round under that name, which has really raised our profile. It is a difficult one.” Shaw Lane AFC was the eventual choice and, come the end of last season, the new name was sitting proudly atop the Evo-Stik-sponsored Division One South with 102 points. Amid the celebrations, however, there was also sadness following the untimely death of former Hull City junior Wilkinson the previous September in a League Cup tie at Brighouse Town. “I remember it like yesterday,” said an emotional Wood, who is a trustee of the Dan Wilkinson Foundation set up in the footballer’s memory to raise funds to screen players for heart problems. “The game was into the second half and we were 2-0 up, and playing really well. They were on the attack, but we cleared the ball. Like everyone else, I followed play and it was only when I turned back towards our half that I saw Dan was on the floor. “The game was abandoned and we all followed the ambulance to the hospital in our own cars. We were all sitting around when the doctors told us he had passed away. It is one of those horrible moments in life you will never forget.” Wilkinson’s parents, Gillian and Barry, plan to be at tomorrow’s match as Craig Elliott’s side look to spring a major upset against Steve Evans’s League Two side. “It is going to be a culture shock for Mansfield,” said Wood, whose financial backing has helped bring former professionals David Norris, Neil Austin and Nicky Walker to Shaw Lane. “The changing rooms are basically temporary buildings and a bit cramped. If they turn up with loads of boxes and equipment, it could be a bit of a squeeze in there. “This is what the FA Cup is all about, a fairytale and dreams hopefully coming true. One thing for sure is Mansfield will know they are in a cup tie.”

Read more at: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/football/non-league/fa-cup-barnsley-minnows-shaw-lane-prepare-for-their-date-with-destiny-1-8838318



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