Ten-man Stags ride their luck in vic­tory

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jake Nor­man

DOWN to ten men after half an hour and with­out a win in De­cem­ber, things were look­ing pretty bleak for Adam Mur­ray’s Mans­field side.

But Vadaine Oliver’s strike and a fine rear­guard de­fen­sive ef­fort saw the Stags claim a hard-fought vic­tory that owed ev­ery­thing to their col­lec­tive spirit.

Robert Tay­lor saw red for the vis­i­tors for a twofooted lunge on Sammy Moore after 33 min­utes but Oliver raced onto a long ball in the sec­ond half to score.

Dan­nie Bul­man had three great chances for the hosts late on but each time was de­nied by Dim­i­tar Ev­ti­mov in the Stags goal or the post and Mans­field held firm. And Mur­ray could scarcely hide his de­light at his side’s fight­ing spirit in the face of ad­ver­sity.

“We knew it would be a tough game and it was made even more dif­fi­cult with ten men. This is a tough place to come and I am over the moon with the re­sult,” he said.“It was a scrappy game but we did what needed to be done to get the re­sult. Wim­ble­don threw ev­ery­thing at us but we held out.

“The per­for­mance of the whole team is equally as pleas­ing as the win.

“I can’t sin­gle out one per­son in par­tic­u­lar as ev­ery­one from the keeper to the cen­tre-for­ward played su­perbly. I am proud of ev­ery sin­gle one of them, even the subs. They were kick­ing ev­ery ball, too.

“The keeper made a num­ber of top saves and the de­fence re­mained strong through­out.

“I haven’t seen the red card yet as I was on the far side. Once we’ve had the chance to re­view it, we will take it from there.

“It’s been event­ful since I took over the job but days like th­ese are those to en­joy.”

Mean­while, Wim­ble­don boss Neal Ard­ley was left to rue what might have been as his side failed to grab an equaliser de­spite late pres­sure. “Nat­u­rally I am dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated as this was a winnable game. But credit to Mans­field, they came here and scrapped and fought for ev­ery­thing,” he said. “It’s too early to say about the in­jury to Bayo [Ak­in­fenwa] but once he had to go off, we car­ried less of a phys­i­cal threat up front.

“I can’t fault my play­ers. Some­times you can say we didn’t give ev­ery­thing but they gave me ev­ery­thing. It’s just one mi­nor er­ror that has cost us the point.

“Some peo­ple be­lieved that they should have been down to nine but I’m not sure.

“The match showed that play­ing against 10 men can be tough.

“We were walk­ing wounded out there. But the play­ers were so brave out there. At the end, we were pep­per­ing their goal but it’s just one of those days.”




Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.