ON-LOAN TOM BURIES STAGS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tim Mor­riss

IT DIDN’T take long for Tom Eaves to make an im­pact at Bury and boss David Fl­itcroft was left beam­ing at his debu­tant’s dis­play.

The on-loan Bolton for­ward’s pos­i­tive run­ning won the Shak­ers’ 21st minute free-kick that led to the win­ner, which was enough to ex­tend their un­beaten run at Mans­field to six games.

It also stretched pro­mo­tion­chas­ing Bury’s win­ning run on the road to three and pre­vented Mans­field from putting fur­ther day­light be­tween them­selves and the drop zone.

Fl­itcroft said: “Tom Eaves car­ried us here and gave us some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent. He had a fab­u­lous de­but. I was de­lighted with his per­for­mance and with get­ting him here.

“We have got a fan­tas­tic ar­ray of strik­ers but he is def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent.

“We wanted a big, mo­bile tar­get man, but he is more than just ro­bust. He has got a good touch, is com­fort­able on the ball and re­tains it.

“It was an im­mac­u­late, pro­fes­sional per­for­mance by the whole squad in terms of go­ing 1-0 up and then be­ing dis­ci­plined, or­gan­ised and pro­fes­sional. We locked the game down.”

The de­ci­sive goal came from Chris Hussey’s cross at the free­kick won by Eaves. Mans­field de­fender Ryan Tafa­zolli tried to clear to safety but couldn’t pre­vent Nathan Cameron pok­ing home.

Eaves al­most added a sec­ond nine min­utes be­fore half-time with a ter­rific volleyed fin­ish from a sweep­ing cross-field move, but the livewire striker was ruled off­side as he met Nicky Adams’ teas­ing cross.

Mans­field pressed hard to deny Bury space for their fluid, pass­ing style but they couldn’t cre­ate any clear-cut chances at the other end.

The clos­est Mans­field came to an equaliser in the first half was Lee Beev­ers’ surg­ing run and drive over the bar and Jack Thomas’ in­jury-time de­flected shot that was tipped over by Nick Pope.

They went closer in the 65th minute when Reg­gie Lambe’s side-footed close range fin­ish was blocked by the keeper af­ter a clever back heel from Vadaine Oliver, but failed to test Pope.

Stags boss Adam Mur­ray said: “That was very dis­ap­point­ing. I will ac­cept bad games and I ac­cept play­ers hav­ing off days. What I won't ac­cept is a lack of ap­pli­ca­tion and de­sire.

“The ma­jor­ity of those play­ers went through the mo­tions and it wasn’t good enough.We gave the game to them and con­ceded a poor goal.

“It was an aw­ful game and that goal prob­a­bly summed it up tp be hon­est.

“It hurts be­cause for the ma­jor­ity of time I have been in charge, th­ese play­ers have given ev­ery­thing for me and the club.

“They now have to pick them­selves up and go again on Tues­day against play-off chas­ing Wim­ble­don.

“We have ten games to go and need to get our fo­cus back. We have to take care of our own busi­ness and not be look­ing over our shoul­ders at what ev­ery­one else is do­ing.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

STAR MAN TOM EAVES

Bury TUS­SLE: Mans­field’s Ryan Tafa­zolli tries to stop Bury’s Tom Eaves. Inset: Nathan Cameron watches as his header gives Bury a 1-0 lead

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