Murray’s midweek woe gets a reaction
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.”
STAR MAN REGGIE LAMBE Mansfield