Cox tips new­boy Palmer to reach top

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ge­orge Newley

MANS­FIELD Town man­ager Paul Cox tipped Ol­lie Palmer for the top af­ter the striker notched his side’s first goal since their Football League re­turn in the win over Wy­combe.

Palmer struck 25 times for Ha­vant & Water­looville in the Con­fer­ence South last sea­son and scored nine min­utes af­ter com­ing off the bench when he tapped in af­ter Chris Cle­ments’ free-kick was de­flected against the post.

It was Palmer’s first goal for the club and came 12 min­utes from time to leave Cox in no doubt as to the 21-year-old’s po­ten­tial.

“I don't want to put too much pres­sure on the kid as he's got to get up to full fit­ness and he has a lot of learn­ing to do,” said Cox.

“But if he car­ries on the way he has started he has an ex­cel­lent fu­ture ahead of him and not just with Mans­field Town but a ca­reer in football.

“He is an ab­so­lute dream to work with, as hon­est as the day is long and more im­por­tantly wants to be a top pro­fes­sional foot­baller.

“We had this mon­key on our back where we hadn't scored a goal, but you saw what it meant to the play­ers and more im­por­tantly to the fans and I'm glad that one is out the way.”

James Jen­nings came close early on for the Stags with a beau­ti­fully struck vol­ley, forc­ing In­gram into a fine save.

Paris Cowan-Hall fi­nal- ly pro­duced some class for Wy­combe by first set­ting up mid­fielder Josh Scowen and then blast­ing a shot from long range but both were su­perbly saved by Mans­field keeper Alan Mar­riott.

Cowan-Hall was stretchered off on 65 min­utes from a miss-timed late tackle from mid­fielder Jamie McGuire who was booked for the chal­lenge be­fore In­gram saved from Jen­nings.

How­ever, Mans­field took the lead their play de­served when sub­sti­tute Palmer poked in from close range af­ter Martin Ri­ley's header re­bounded off the post with Jo Kuf­four head­ing wide at the death for Wy­combe.

And man­ager Gareth Ainsworth claimed there were few pos­i­tives to take from the game. “We were un­recog­nis­able, I didn't recog­nise a few of my play­ers which is not nice,” he said.

“We didn’t start play­ing un­til Mans­field scored.We weren’t good enough with the ball on the ground, we went long too many times and they have some big lads.

“We didn’t de­serve any­thing and we didn’t get any­thing.We move on next week but be­lieve me that per­for­mance isn’t good enough for me and I’ll be mak­ing sure that doesn’t hap­pen again this sea­son.”

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