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Archived News from December 2020

23rd December 2020 23:19

An opportunity missed, says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 19th December 2020

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has cited his side’s below-par first-half display as the reason for not securing victory against Southend United this afternoon.

James Olayinka fired the Shrimpers in front during the first period, but the Stags emerged with renewed vigour in the second-half and notched a deserved equaliser through frontman Jordan Bowery.

The Stags’ manager says that due to his side’s performance in the opening 45 minutes, they have missed a ‘massive opportunity’ to earn three points this afternoon.

“It was a massive opportunity missed to get three points and our first home win in the league,” he told iFollow Stags.

“We didn’t change the team as we haven’t had many performances that were below par - that was before the first 45 minutes today.


“That was by far the worst [half] we’ve had since we’ve been here and we were unbelievably disappointed.

“From what we’ve said to people who have been here before, that was the sort of first-half that would be seen earlier in the season, and for us, that is completely and utterly unacceptable.

“The second we played properly in the second-half and did our jobs properly, we were camped in their half and got the goal. We had situations to get two or three more.

“But we wasted 45 minutes of the game, and that’s what has cost us the three points today.

"The pitch isn't conducive to knocking the ball about.

“I thought we played some good football in the second-half, despite the conditions. That’s all we ask of the players. What you saw in the second-half is all we ask, and all we’ve asked from day one.

“If we’d have got the equaliser a little earlier [we might have won]. But we had enough situations and chances there to score more than the one goal.

“We just need to hammer the message home, which will be backed up by the analysis and the clips that we’ll show from the game, and why it was so lacklustre [in the first-half].”

Nigel Clough made a change at half-time, replacing midfielder George Maris with striker Andy Cook.

The boss explained this alteration and subsequent change in shape, adding: “We needed presence up front in the second-half. We had the three in midfield to try and control the game, but we didn’t.

“So we thought we might as well have two in there and have the advantage elsewhere on the pitch.

“I think Cooky made a difference again when he came on. He won us a few headers, got us up the pitch, and we were camped in their half because of it.”

There was also an injury update on frontman Nicky Maynard, who was expected to return to the squad this afternoon.

“He [Maynard] started to train yesterday, and he slipped at the end of the warm-up and felt his hamstring a little bit.

“It sort of cramped up, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. He might be available for next week.

“Hopefully, yes [he’ll be available for Boxing Day]. Certainly sometime over the Christmas period, but we hope for next week.

“He was all ready to train, the dead leg was fine. So it’s unfortunately just one of those things in training.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Nigel Clough’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later this evening.


Goalscorer shows mixed emotions after draw
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 19th December 2020

‘Highs and lows’ was striker Jordan Bowery’s assessment of Mansfield Town’s 1-1 draw against Southend United on Saturday afternoon.

The Stags were forced to dig out an equaliser after Arsenal loanee, James Olayinka, curled a superb first-half effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Marek Stech.

And despite Mansfield’s No. 9 being able to restore parity with a powerful drive, he was left with mixed emotions at full-time.

“There were highs and lows in it,” Bowery explained to iFollow Stags. “It was good to get the goal back and make it a draw but still disappointing how we played first-half.


“Not to be getting the three points, obviously, we’re down there so we need to be getting as many points as we can. In a way, it’s a bit of a disappointment.

“It was disappointing. We came in at half-time and we knew it, the gaffer knew it, and as soon as they got their goal it gave them a lot of confidence.

“We came out second-half and it was a completely different story. If we can play like that for both halves we’ll be cruising and we should be putting a few [goals] past them. It just didn’t go to plan.”

The 29-year-old, whose goal ultimately sealed the draw, believes his second goal in amber and blue helps his self-confidence heading forward.

“It does a lot for a striker because you want to score goals. I’ve said in the past it’s a little disappointing I haven’t scored more than two but I’m just going to keep going.

“I can’t let my head drop. Credit to the staff, they’re still picking me regardless of how many goals I’ve got so I just have to repay them and try to get more goals.

“I’m not going to give up - I’ll keep going whether it’s assists or whatever - I’ll do my best to help the team."

However, the former MK Dons frontman was left to rue an underwhelming first-half performance that perhaps split the difference between one point and three.

“We’ve gone in there [changing rooms] disappointed knowing it was a very low performance and the gaffer came in. [He] gave us a good telling off and we deserved it,” the goalscorer continued.

“We’ve gone out there, changed formation and it’s made a difference so hopefully we can go out next game and have a good two halves.

“We couldn’t get the ball down and be effective, so it was disappointing. I don’t think we had many shots and at the end of the day we’ve got that point but we can still do better.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Jordan's interview by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


southendunited.co.uk, Saturday 19th December 2020

Southend boss Mark Molesley said he hopes to look back at this afternoon’s 1-1 draw as a good point as Blues extended their unbeaten run to four matches against Mansfield Town.

The visitors had a stonewall penalty appeal turned down early in the first-half but didn’t let that affect them as James Olayinka fired Southend in front with a superb left-footed strike that found the top corner of Marek Stech’s goal.

Mansfield though would grab a leveller with 11 minutes remaining through Jordan Bowery as The Stags prevented Blues from picking up a third straight win, and after the full-time whistle had gone at the One Call Stadium, Molesley gave us his thoughts on the draw.


On a point at Mansfield

“It’s a tough one really as we were 1-0 up and we’ve defended so well for large periods of the game. We can try and call it football but you can see the conditions out there, there wasn’t much football being played. It was about being organised, resolute, doing the dirtier side of the game all day.

“We went a little bit sloppy in one area, a free-kick against Greg Halford for I don’t know what, they’ve delivered in our box and we’ve not recovered well on that one and it’s ricocheted and fell to their guy.

“It was a tough, battling performance and again, I have to praise the boys who’ve shown all the credentials we need for this fight in really tough conditions. If we had any rain it would have got called off straight away, it was wet, soddy, muddy, it was like a cabbage patch out there. I thought the boys showed that resilience.”

On Olayinka’s goal and not being able to hold on

“I thought it was a well-worked goal from us and we got our lead.

“Away from home, a tough place to come in tough conditions, we couldn’t be as free-flowing as we liked [after the goal] - the pitch wouldn’t allow that - so we had to be strong and resolute which I thought we were for large periods of the game.

“Like I said, one sloppy moment cost us which is bitterly disappointing, but it’s a point. It’s not a loss and we’re still building on what we’re doing here. I was pleased with the lads’ attitude and endeavour, and they’ve shown they’re up for the fight.”

On the penalty shout

“[It was] more than a shout. It’s the biggest stonewaller you’ll ever see.

“I’m going to have to laugh otherwise you might cry because I’ve seen it back again and the referee today…it’s probably not worth me speaking about because I don’t want to get in any trouble.

“We’ve all have bad games and the referee I’m sure won’t think this is his finest one.”

On injuries and those close to coming back

“McCormack’s calf went a little bit and we hope that’s not too serious. We know with Simeon [Akinola] the pitch was energy-sapping, and it showed we had a lot more on the bench so we used all five subs. Everyone’s played their part one what we’ll hopefully look back on as a good point.

“[Clifford’s] was a bit of a nasty one. He’s almost trod down the back of his ankle and he’s hit a nerve. He’s in a boot as a precaution and we’ll have to assess that a bit further after the weekend once it’s settled down.


Southend United boss Mark Molesley praises fighting spirit in draw at Mansfield Town
Southend Echo, By Chris Phillips, Saturday 19th December 2020

SOUTHEND United manager Mark Molesley was pleased with the battling characteristics shown by his side in this afternoon’s 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town.

The Shrimpers dug deep to secure a share of the spoils at Field Mill.

But Molesley was also slightly disappointed Blues could not pick up all three points after a 79th minute equaliser from the Stags’ Jordan Bowery saw the game end all square.

“It’s a tough one as we were 1-0 up and we’ve defended so well for large periods of the game,” said the Shrimpers boss.


“But it was about being organised.

“It was a tough, battling performance and the boys showed exactly what we need in this fight.

“It was a really tough pitch and if it had rained it was going to be called off straight away.

“It was soggy and muddy and like a cabbage patch really.

“One sloppy moment cost us and that’s disappointing but it’s a point and we’re still building.

“I’m pleased with the endeavour and the boys have shown they’re up for the fight.”


Mark Molesley staggered Southend United did not get penalty against Mansfield Town
Southend Echo, By Chris Phillips, Saturday 19th December 2020

SOUTHEND United manager Mark Molesley was staggered the Shrimpers were not awarded a penalty during this afternoon's 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town.

Referee Brett Huxtable bizarrely awarded a free-kick against Simeon Akinola after the Shrimpers striker appeared to be clattered into in the box.

And Molesley could not believe the decision did not go Blues' way.

"It’s the biggest stonewall penalty you will ever see," said Molesley.


"I’m going to have to laugh otherwise I might cry.

"The referee isn’t worth me speaking about because I don’t want to get in trouble.

"We all have bad games and this wasn’t one of his finest."



Latest | December 2020