Half-time hoodoo is haunt­ing Ed­wards

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

LEY­TON ORI­ENT man­ager Andy Ed­wards ad­mits he is at a loss as to why his side con­tinue to leak goals straight af­ter half-time.

Goals from Ben White­man and Danny Rose shortly af­ter the restart con­demned rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Ori­ent to a fourth suc­ces­sive de­feat as they slipped to sec­ond bot­tom.

It also means a quar­ter of the goals they Ori­ent have con­ceded have come in and around the first ten min­utes of the sec­ond half this sea­son.

Ed­wards said: “It’s in­ex­pli­ca­ble. We have looked at it. The play­ers say the right things at half­time about the mind­set, the fo­cus and what we are go­ing to do in the first few min­utes with the ball – yet we con­tinue to con­cede at that time.

“It is a very dif­fi­cult one to un­der­stand. It must be psy­cho­log­i­cal. We are at the bot­tom for a rea­son. Whether we are con­ced­ing as a re­sult of be­ing at the bot­tom or whether we are not strong enough men­tally is the ques­tion.

“There was a spell where I thought the game might com­pletely run away from us, but the play­ers re­grouped and stuck at it to an ex­tent.”

Fol­low­ing a scrappy first half dom­i­nated by Mans­field, White­man – one of six new Stags sign­ings this month – curled in a 20-yard drive af­ter Ori­ent thought they had cleared a 48thminute Joel By­rom free-kick.

Two min­utes later Shaquile Coulthirst crashed a 25-yard dip­ping drive against the post on his home de­but.

But there was no letoff for the vis­i­tors as Rose squeezed in White­man’s low 56th-minute ball across the face of goal at the far post to dou­ble the Stags lead.

Gavin Massey squan­dered the vis­i­tors’ best op­por­tu­nity, fir­ing across the six-yard area af­ter an in­ci­sive first-half pass by for­mer Mans­field full­back Nicky Hunt.

But de­spite dom­i­nat­ing the game Mans­field man­ager Steve Evans was busy try­ing to fi­nalise more in­com­ing trans­fers im­me­di­ately af­ter his in-form side moved to within two points of the play-off places.

Stags fit­ness and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion coach Lee Tay­lor said: “The gaffer and as­sis­tant man­ager Paul Raynor went straight on the phone. They are go­ing to be on it all night.

“The gaffer wasn’t too happy with the first half and a few things were said. We didn’t come out the start­ing blocks as we should have done.

“But in the sec­ond half it could have been six – there was only one team in it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.