Mans­field boss aims a swipe at Jur­gen

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By John Brind­ley

STEVE Evans aimed a barb in the di­rec­tion of Liverpool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp, claim­ing that he was a prac­ti­tioner of ‘heavy metal foot­ball’ long be­fore Liverpool’s Ger­man man­ager ar­rived in English foot­ball.

Evans’ League Two pro­mo­tion-favourites raised the tempo af­ter a low-key first 45 min­utes as quick­fire strikes from Danny Rose and Paul An­der­son steered them to a com­fort­able vic­tory over For­est Green Rovers.

Ad­mit­ting he told his side to work harder af­ter the break, Evans said: “Klopp thinks he brought the high-press­ing game to Bri­tain – I’ve been here for ten years.

“My teams have al­ways played that way and we worked so hard af­ter the break that Lee An­gol and Danny Rose were al­ways go­ing to run out of legs.

“We needed to win the first balls, let alone the sec­ond, but when we have the ball, we have got peo­ple who can re­ally play.

“There was a virus go­ing through the club dur­ing the week, which I didn’t talk about. But we’re off and run­ning now with three points and a clean sheet.”

The Stags had it all-too-easy against a side who be­gan by knock­ing the ball around confi-

dently but didn’t have a real shot in anger until the 94th minute.

The ex­plo­sive na­ture of Mans­field’s start to the sec­ond half sug­gests the pre-sea­son hype may have sub­stance to it – al­though they won’t of­ten face such tepid op­po­si­tion.

Mark Cooper’s men made life even harder for them­selves by run­ning up six yel­low cards for a com­bi­na­tion of nig­gly tack­les, time wast­ing and re­tal­i­a­tion.

But it was their lack of pen­e­tra­tion in possession that should worry their man­ager most.

The vis­i­tors opened brightly with, right wing-back Dale Ben­nett find­ing space to drill over a dan­ger­ous early cross that was smug­gled to safety at the near post. But they sur­vived a real scare in the fifth minute when a slip by Lee Collins let in Lee An­gol, who was de­nied as goal­keeper Bradley Collins raced to the edge of his box to smother his fi­nal shot. Collins partly made up for his er­ror af­ter 20 min­utes when his ex­cel­lent last-ditch tackle stopped Rose charg­ing into the area Rovers were again in­debted to their cus­to­dian on the half-hour when he got a good hand to push away a down­ward header by Zan­der Di­a­mond from Joel By­ron’s cor­ner. Mans­field came out of the traps with a much higher tempo af­ter the break and took com­mand with two quick­fire goals.

The lively Rose had al­ready gone close as he stabbed Paul Digby’s cross just wide be­fore he opened the scor­ing af­ter 51 min­utes.

Will Atkin­son clipped a neat cross to the far post, where Rose timed his jump well to steer his header firmly be­yond Collins.

Rose could eas­ily have dou­bled his money within a cou­ple of min­utes, only for Collins to make an­other de­fi­ant save.

But more good play by Rose soon re­leased An­der­son, who rolled his shot into an empty net af­ter Collins saved his ini­tial ef­fort.

More eye-catch­ing work by Rose all but pre­sented An­der­son with a third as Mans­field threat­ened to run riot.

At least Rovers re­fused to crum­ble and they forced a cou­ple of late mo­ments of penalty area panic be­fore Liam Noble be­lated- ly brought a save from Con­rad Lo­gan.

Rovers boss Cooper said: “The les­son we have to learn is not to con­cede soft goals.

“We made a mis­take for the first one by al­low­ing a free header and goals change ev­ery­thing.

“That gave them a lift af­ter they didn’t have the same tempo in the first half.

“Then we lost possession for the sec­ond. Mans­field hugged and puffed but, apart from the goals, I didn’t think there was too much be­tween the teams.”

MANS­FIELD TOWN: (4-4-2): Lo­gan 6, White 7, Pearce 6, Di­a­mond 6, Ben­ning 7, Atkin­son 7 (Pot­ter 89 N/A), Digby 7, By­rom 6, An­der­son 7, Rose 8 (Spencer 71 5), An­gol 7 (Ster­ling-James 60 6) Subs not used: Ole­jnik, Ben­nett, Mel­lis, Hamil­ton

FOR­EST GREEN ROVERS (3-5-1-1): Collins B 7, Fitzwa­ter 6, Collins L, 6, Mon­the 5, Ben­nett 5, Cooper 5, Noble 4, Traore 5 (James 65 ),Laird 4 (Wishart 81 5) Brown 5 (Mullings 55 5) Doidge 5

Subs not used: Rus­sell, Marsh-Brown, Bugiel, Wishart, Evans

PIC­TURES: PSI/Shane Healey

PARTY TIME: Paul An­der­som (cen­tre) cel­e­brates scor­ing Mans­field Town’s sec­ond goal

PEP­PERED: Mans­field Town’s Danny Rose heads home while, right, For­est Green keeper Bradley Collins makes a save STAR MAN DANNY ROSE Mans­field

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