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Archived News from February 2018

1st February 2018 21:40

Shrimps win ignited at half-time - boss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 27 January 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans says he had to 'smash it up a bit' at today's half-time interval, before witnessing his troops stage a dramatic second-half fightback to earn a fine 2-1 win at the Globe Arena, Morecambe.

A below-par first half performance from the Stags saw the hosts go into the break in front after forward Callum Lang pounced on a short back-pass from centre-half Krystian Pearce and rounded goalkeeper Conrad Logan before rolling the ball into an empty net.

However, a rejuvenated Stags' side emerged for the second half and looked determined to extend their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two to eight games.

Steve Evans' men got back onto level terms in the 70th minute when top scorer Danny Rose converted winger CJ Hamilton's square ball, before left-back Mal Benning popped up in the fourth minute of stoppage time to strike a last-gasp winner.

And after admitting to losing his temper during the half-time interval, the gaffer believes his side deserved to leave Lancashire with maximum points after a dominant second half display.

"It's a game of two halves, there's chalk and cheese, black and white, there's Celtic and Rangers; there's massive differences," the Stags' chief said.


"In the first half, we were poor. We had to make the two substitutions - Zander [Diamond] was on a caution, he was no worse than anyone else on the pitch, Alfie Potter because he wasn't in the game but no worse than anyone else on the pitch.

"I don't think we had any players that we were pleased with at half-time, so if I'm being honest, I had to 'smash it up a bit' at half-time. I said I wanted to give players an opportunity to come on early enough in the game who had really worked hard in training all week and Paul Anderson and Will Atkinson came on at half-time.

"I thought the second half was, apart from the odd breakaway or counter attack, I thought it was one-way traffic. I think maybe based on the two halves, we deserved to win."

The Morecambe opener came after Callum Lang had latched onto Pearce's short back-pass from an offside position and the gaffer believes the goal should not have stood, whilst also commenting that the players insist that frontman Jimmy Spencer got the final touch on Mal Benning's late winner.

"I asked Seb [Stockbridge], the referee, at half-time - who I thought had a good game, by the way, it was a tough, physical match to referee - but I asked him for an explanation and he obviously gets aided by his assistant.

"It's the same phase of play, but the linesman decided no. I'll get a further explanation when I go in but if Krystian just clears his lines and does his job, they don't get the chance.

"I thought it was Mal but the players in the penalty box say Jimmy just got a nick on it. People, like me, will watch it on television and I'll make a decision.

"They say it's Jimmy and I couldn't wish a better guy to come on and help us. It was a big call whether we brought him or Lee [Angol] on but we wanted a physical presence and Jimmy gives us that."

The Stags' late winner sparked a dash down the touchline from the manager who went to celebrate in front of the travelling support and the boss gave an insight into the dressing room by saying there is a 'buzz' among the squad following the win.

"It was just natural elation (the celebration). We were asking the fourth [official] how long there is to go, we know there's less than 30 seconds when Mal picks it up and you know that unless you do something crazy, the game is over.

"The dressing room is obviously delighted and there's a real buzz about it but we just said let's travel home quietly this evening and have a little bit of remembrance about that first half, it was tough.

"They (the players) looked for the reaction of the staff and we said 'enjoy these nights'. We've been on the wrong end of late goals and being in front and it's gone against us."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full post-match interview.


Stags seal deal for Premier League youngster
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 27 January 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has revealed that Stags have signed a player from a Premier League club on loan, whose identity will be revealed in the next 48 hours.

Although the gaffer didn't name the player in question, he did confirm that a deal has been completed, the player has signed and the relevant forms have been registered.

The club will reveal the identity of the un-named man in the next 48 hours, however the gaffer revealed that the Stags' newest recruit will arrive from a Premier League club and is in a similar mould to Ben Whiteman, who enjoyed a stand-out loan spell at One Call Stadium last season.

"There will be a new signing announced tomorrow [or Monday]. He'd signed after we travelled and I'm forbidden by another club to say anymore than that.


"The kid signed yesterday. iI's all done. The registration has been processed by our secretary [Diane Ceney], who has done a fantastic job after we left yesterday.

"How can I describe him without giving much away? He's from the Premier League, he's a young man, he's had a couple of loan spells in League One.

"People will be searching the records now! He's not, and he's got different attributes, but remember Ben Whiteman? He's not dissimilar to Ben Whiteman.

"No Stags' fans will recognise his name until they look at him and then they'll say 'he can play a bit, can't he?'"

The boss says he 'couldn't be happier' to secure his latest signing's signature and revealed he will only play on merit, as agreed by the player's parent club.

"He's coming in with no promises to play, we're not going down that road. I'm listening to Premier League managers and Championship managers telling me that they have to play.

"I got the most polite call from their manager last night and he said to me: 'if he doesn't deserve to play with what he demonstrates in training or games, don't play him, Steve'. And that's exactly what I would say if they go down the levels from here or when I was at Leeds and they go down to League One or Two I said the same thing.

"You have to earn your place on merit. He's a young man that the dressing room will embrace, some of them have played against him and he's still young.

"He's hungry and he wants to be here. I couldn't be any happier; he's turned down three or four League One clubs to come to us.

"I spent a long time talking to him and some of the nonsense I said to him must have sunk in."

To watch the manager's full post-match interview from today's 2-1 win over Morecambe, head to iFollow Stags.


Stags seal loan deal for Premier League youngster, reveals Evans
chad.co.uk, Saturday 27 January 2018

Mansfield Town have sealed a loan deal for a Premier League youngster, revealed boss Steve Evans. The Stags manager confirmed the switch for an unnamed player was completed after watching his side clinch a 2-1 win over Morecambe on Saturday.

Danny Rose levelled matters for Mansfield to cancel out Callum Lang’s opener before Jimmy Spencer got the final touch to complete the aways side’s comeback. And Evans was clearly excited at the prospect of working with his new addition as the Stags creep into the League Two automatic promotion spots with the win.

“He’s another addition we look forward to working with,” said Evans. “He’s not going to be one who catches people’s minds. He’s young and coming from a Premier League club on loan.

“He reminds me so much of Ben Whiteman. We tried to get him at the start of the window and their sporting director told me ‘we’re not ready yet’. “Things change and bingo, we got the call yesterday morning. The kid had four or five options, all of which were in League One apart from us.

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/stags-seal-loan-deal-for-premier-league-youngster-reveals-evans-1-8984457

“I spoke to the kid for about half an hour on the phone and I was buzzing when he phones me back about half an hour later and said ‘I’d love to come to you guys’.

And added: “Ben Whiteman’s a young man who, had we gone up, he would have stayed here. He’s that type of player who can play, he’s intelligent, he can get a goal.

“He’s a young man who is continuing his education in football and he’s chosen Mansfield Town. Mrs Radford, who made the call to their sporting director, thank you; enjoy your glass of wine tonight.”

Mansfield trailed at the break when Lang pounced on Krystian Pearce’s back pass to goalkeeper Conrad Logan. Lang rounded the keeper and slotted into an empty net on 31 minutes.

Evans said: “It was a poor first half from our point of view. It was a scrappy game. I though Morecambe were better than us, not by much. Was it offside? I think a lot of Morecambe on the bench had some sympathy with us.

“Krystian makes a mistake and they score. I wasn’t happy at half time. I had a few strong words with all of them, not just some of them, all of them. And we made the changes.

“It was the worst pitch of the season. It’s so heavy and sodden. I wouldn’t describe it as an Alfie Potter type of surface, and Alfie has been brilliant for us.

“We brought two lads on who have been great in training. Paul Anderson probably shaking his head why he’s not been in the team and Will Atkinson, we’ve had seven, eight, nine League One managers ring me up about taking him on loan.

“Will’s been adament ‘I want to stay, I want to fight, I want to get back in’. I said to both him and Ando at the end there that performances talk at this football club, not words of mouth.”

Stags were rewarded for a much-improved second half display with goals from Rose on 70 minutes before Spencer stole all three points for the visitors four minutes into injury time.

“We suddenly had some energy,” said Evans on the second half performance. “We got on the front foot. We had some cohesion. It’s a bog of a pitch but you can still play football.

“I thought some of the passages of play in midfield from one side to the other, Mal Benning overlapping, CJ Hamilton giving them a problem. I though MacDonald and Anderson were terrific, we controlled the middle, Joe Byrom started passing it, from lumping it first half, to doing what Byrom does better than anyone in the league.

“The front two worked incredibly hard. They workedd hard in the first half but did they work smart, no, did they work hard and smart second half, yes. We introduced Jimmy at the right time and it’s wonderful he gets the goal.”


Match-winning goal belongs to me - Benning
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 27 January 2018

Stags' left-back Mal Benning insists he will claim this afternoon's last-minute winner in our 2-1 victory over Morecambe, despite the over-whelming majority of his teammates believing the goal belongs to striker Jimmy Spencer.

After falling behind to Shrimps' frontman Callum Lang's first half opener, a reinvigorated Stags' side staged a dramatic turnaround in the second period as top scorer Danny Rose made it 1-1, before Benning's strike beat Barry Roche in the 94th minute to move Stags into the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion places.

And Benning is adamant that his late effort will be credited as his first goal of the season, despite former Plymouth Argyle man Spencer's claims that he got the vital touch.

"Jim said he got my touch but [it's] definitely my goal," said the attacking full-back.


"I think he's claiming it in his head and most of the changing room voted for him but I'm taking it. You can take my word on that, it's my goal.

"I was trying to get on the edge [of the box] every time Macca [Alex MacDonald] crossed the ball because I had a feeling it would drop to me. It dropped to me in the last minute and I shanked it but those ones go in!

"I pictured in my head hitting it differently, hitting it sweet, but to be fair Jimmy, whether he got a touch or not, he distracted the defender and it rolled through his legs and into the goal.

"It's a winner in the last minute of a game. CJ [Hamilton] did it last week and I did it this week but a goal's a goal and it's nice to get a win."

Stags displayed what is becoming an epitomical never-say-die spirit to come from behind to propel themselves into the top three and Benning believes the focus will remain on staying grounded and concentrating on the next game.

"In the first half we were horrendous but with the quality we've got, you know you're going to get chances so it's basically just [turning] those chances into goals and we did that.

"We got a little rollicking at half-time. [In the] second half we kicked on and we controlled the game. We gave it a good go and Rosie got a goal and we were on top for most of the second half.

"We got our foot on the ball a bit more. Joel [Byrom]'s dictated midfield with Macca and Paul [Anderson] and Will [Atkinson] made a very good impact. It's just that bit of composure in the second half, we actually played a bit of football.

"A last-minute winner is a good feeling but we've got to keep concentrated and just focus on the next game, Barnet next Saturday. Let's not get too high, let's keep going."

Supporters can view Mal Benning's full post-match interview on iFollow Stags.


Jim Bentley post match audio --->


Jim Bentley told the Morecambe Visitor:

“I don’t know what to say. I’m properly feeling it because we got beaten in the last minute there and beaten in the last minute today so something isn’t right in that regard.

I don’t think we’ve been helped by a foul on Vadaine Oliver in the build-up to their first goal.

Mansfield are a top side and they are going to have spells but they didn’t have one in the first half. We’ve got our goal, there’s been Alex Kenyon’s effort, and other bits but we deserved out lead.

The second half was poor game management; alright it’s a bobbly pitch but we lose a header, a tackle and we gave away a corner in the first minute.

We had opportunities to get the second but then they have got on top and a good side like Mansfield will have a go.

There was a foul in the build-up to their first goal and that didn’t go our way. That would have taken the sting out of the situation.

With the winner, you’ll see that goal on a field somewhere on Sunday. The shape was poor, the recovery runs were poor, we didn’t stop the cross, the header was poor, it’s miskicked and the ball trickles in.”



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