‘Spine­less’ Mans­field frus­trate Mur­ray

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

AN­GRY manager Adam Mur­ray la­belled his play­ers spine­less and apol­o­gised to the home fans af­ter ten-man York’s first win in five matches moved them away from the drop zone and dragged Mans­field back into the rel­e­ga­tion battle.

York played for an hour with ten men, but when keeper Bobby Ole­jnik was red carded the Min­ster­men were al­ready ahead through Keith Lowe and Shaq Coulthirst goals.

Mur­ray blasted: “That was sham­bolic and the low­est point of my 20-odd games in charge.We were gut­less and spine­less. I am ashamed to rep­re­sent that per­for­mance.

“We didn’t do the ba­sics.We didn’t de­fend set pieces, we lacked brav­ery in pos­ses­sion and we didn’t win any bat­tles. The ball be­came a hot potato.

“Ev­ery per­son that came to the game de­serves an apol­ogy. That was not ac­cept­able.

“This will go to the wire.We had a few wins re­cently, but we are not good enough to pull our­selves out of it and go through a time when we don’t need the points.”

Mans­field rarely threat­ened a come­back, de­spite the man ad­van­tage, and sub­sti­tute Matt Rhead’s 77th-minute close-range fin­ish, came ei­ther side of fur­ther City goals from Jak Hyde and Coulthirst.

York boss Russ Wil­cox praised the in­flu­ence of Spurs loan striker Coulthirst and his deci- sion to play with two for­wards af­ter the red card.

Wil­cox said: “It was the best per­for­mance since I took over be­cause of play­ing for so long with ten men af­ter a crazy de­ci­sion by the keeper.

“It would have been easy to take a striker off and try to see it through, but I wanted to keep two up top and they caused prob­lems all af­ter­noon.

“Shaq Coulthirst is ter­rific and wants to im­prove. There is no edge to him. He has come with the right ap­proach into a rel­e­ga­tion battle.”

City started on the front foot and home keeper Lenny Pidge­ley made two ter­rific early saves to deny Hyde and Josh Car­son.

But he was beaten when the un­marked Lowe headed in Car­son’s ninth-minute cor­ner. The hes­i­tant Stags were pun­ished again eight min­utes later as Coulthirst beat the off­side trap to score.

The home side’s hopes were boosted when Ole­jnik was dis­missed for tip­ping Bing­ham’s shot wide when out­side his area.

But the ten men se­cured victory in the 53rd minute when Hyde ran in un­chal­lenged.

Rhead’s goal briefly gave the home side hope, but re­place­ment keeper Michael Ing­ham didn’t have an­other shot to save be­fore Coulthirst added his sec­ond, shrug­ging off two chal­lenges to score.

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