Mur­ray’s mid­week woe gets a re­ac­tion

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Hash Piperdy

AF­TER ques­tion­ing his play­ers in mid­week, Adam Mur­ray’s Mans­field Town re­grouped with vic­tory at Bar­net and the man­ager re­vealed he had ex­pected noth­ing less.

Reg­gie Lambe and Matty Green put the Stags two up af­ter an hour be­fore John Akinde hit back from the penalty spot.

But a late Michael Nel­son own goal wrapped things up and Mur­ray went home happy, fol­low­ing a muchim­proved dis­play from Tues­day’s home de­feat to Ex­eter.

“They bounced back from Tues­day like I knew they would,” he said.

“I took a lot from the loss. It was the first time I felt I’d been beaten and it in­spired me.

“I think the team took on board what hap­pened and I think you saw some of the real Mans­field Town, and a lot of the play to­day was su­perb.

“Over­all we de­served the win. I wanted to go into this mini-break in the top seven and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve achieved what we set out to do, all credit to the lads.”

Jamie Stephens in the home goal could do lit­tle to pre­vent the opener. Mans­field broke af­ter a Bar­net penalty ap­peal was turned down and Green found Chris Cle­ments, whose ex­cel­lent pass al­lowed Lambe to skil­fully fin­ish.

Bar­net’s half was made worse when Josh Clarke re­ceived a sec­ond yel­low card and they weath­ered the storm un­til half-time.

The hosts came out stronger af­ter the break, but lacked any cut­ting edge and from that, Mans­field took full ad­van­tage. Craig West­carr fed Green and the striker hit his sev­enth of the sea­son.

Akinde’s in­tro­duc­tion changed Bar­net’s game. His pres­ence was felt when he al­most scored from a header on the edge of the area, and he won and con­verted a penalty af­ter be­ing taken down by Jensen to set up a clas­sic fin­ish.

But the game was killed off late af­ter a scram­ble and a shot that hit Nel­son and ric­o­cheted into the Bar­net goal to com­plete the scor­ing, leav­ing man­ager Martin Allen dwelling on the pos­i­tives – in­clud­ing the per­for­mance of Akinde.

“He’s been fan­tas­tic for Bar­net since I got here,” he said. “He needed a lit­tle break and there’s no doubt he’ll be play­ing next Satur­day for sure. He was much stronger and quicker when he came on.

“Th­ese play­ers have been used to win­ning last sea­son, and the step up hasn’t been easy and they’ll be times when it is like this, and you’ve got to be dif­fi­cult to beat, at any level.

“To im­prove it, you have to sup­port, coach, train, help and hug the play­ers, and help them, I will.”


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