The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Stephen Thirkill To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

DIS­AP­POINTED Fleet­wood boss Gra­ham Alexan­der says his side need to be more street­wise if they are to clinch pro­mo­tion.

The high-fly­ing Cod Army lost vi­tal ground on their ri­vals af­ter a Matt Rhead header saw them slip to a 1-0 de­feat at strug­gling Mans­field.

Rhead scored the only goal of the game af­ter head­ing home Chris Cle­ments’ cor­ner on 31 min­utes fol­low­ing poor de­fend­ing from the vis­i­tors.

Alexan­der said: “We need to be more street­wise in games like this. We have played against all the top teams and not let our­selves down.

“We have lost against a cou­ple of teams at the bot­tom in scruffy matches. Matches like this are im­por­tant, It is very fine lines that de­cide our suc­cess.

“We were ok for the first 20 min­utes, but we gave away a sloppy goal and it cost us.

“We were bet­ter in the sec­ond half when Matty Hughes came on. We just needed to take some of the chances that we cre­ated.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing that we have not built upon the mo­men­tum we cre­ated by beat­ing Ch­ester­field in mid­week.

“Matty Hughes was our best player when he came on. He had the right at­ti­tude.

“We plugged away in the sec­ond half and cre­ated some chances, we just couldn't take them.”

Bat­tling Mans­field bossed large pe­ri­ods of the first half and nearly dou­bled their lead through Lee Steven­son and John Demp­ster.

Gareth Evans fi­nally reg­is­tered Fleet­wood’s first ef­fort on goal on 57 min­utes with a tame free­kick.

Alan Mar­riott was then at his best a mo­ment later when he tipped over a dip­ping ef­fort from An­toni Sarce­vic as Fleet­wood fi­nally woke up. be­gan to boss the game

Liam Ho­gan saw his pow­er­ful header well saved by Mar­riott on 75 min­utes as the cor­ner count be­gan to mount for the Cod Army.

Jon Parkin smacked an ef­fort against the post for the vis­i­tors on 84 min­utes as Fleet­wood’s saw their hopes fade

The win could have been even more em­phatic for Mans­field had Sam Clu­cas, Matt Rhead or Ritchie Sut­ton con­verted their chances as the game be­came stretched in the clos­ing stages.

The win lifts Mans­field to 17th spot and nine points above the League Two trap­door.

Boss Paul Cox said:“We still need to be more ruth­less and more pos­i­tive on the break.

“But I can't have a go at them to­day. I thought our work rate was im­pres­sive and the way we coped with the con­di­tions was ex­cel­lent.

“But we are not shout­ing from the rooftops as it is only one win and con­sis­tency is the key.

“A nine point gap from bot­tom is noth­ing as there are a mas­sive amount of points to play for.

“They are all big games now and it doesn't mat­ter who we play as long as we stick to our prin­ci­ples. When we ap­ply our­selves we are a force for any­one in this league.

“We now just need to find some con­sis­tency. Per­for­mances have been there for the last four or five games, now we just need to make sure we stay in this league and then have a look back at what it was all about.

“Ev­ery­one looks at the ta­ble. It's hu­man na­ture, But it's all about what we do now.

“We have an­other big game on Tues­day and we need to build on this game.”

MANS­FIELD: (3-5-2): Mar­riott 7, Daniel 8, Sut­ton 7, Demp­ster 7, Tafa­zolli 7, West­lake 6, Steven­son 6 (Hutchin­son 87 N/A), How­ell 7, Cle­ments 7, Clu­cas 8 (Palmer 90 N/A), Rhead 8 Subs not used: Dyer, Beev­ers, Meikle, McGuire, Cain

FLEET­WOOD: (4-1-3-2): Maxwell 6, Jordan 6, Roberts 6 (Tay­lor 69 5), Pond 6, Ho­gan 7, Goodall 6 (Hughes 45 8), Evans 7 (Allen 87 N/A), Mar­row 6, Sarce­vic 7, Man­dron 7, Parkin 8 Subs not used: Davies, Mur­doch, Cress­well, Tay­lor, Cartwright

STEADY: Mans­field star man Colin Daniel keeps his eyes on the ball as he com­petes with An­toni Sarce­vic



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