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Manager’s rallying call to fans as Stags win

Posted onPosted on 9th Jan
Manager’s rallying call to fans as Stags win

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray issued a rallying call for fans to get behind the team in a tannoy address before kick-off against Stevenage on Saturday.

The passionate Murray, dismayed by some boos after the previous week’s defeat at home to Accrington, urged people to make One Call Stadium a place the Stags players would love to play and a place the opposition would fear to come to.

He said the town had showed character to fight back from pit closures and urged supporters to show the same spirit in adversity and back the team.

His words drew loud applause around the ground and lifted the atmosphere during the game as the Stags claimed their first win in five matches and only their fourth at home, winning 2-1.

Loan signing James Baxendale, unveiled by the club just 90 minutes before kick-off, was named man of the match for a terrific livewire performance and crucial goal that proved to be the winner.

The midfielder, who is at League One Walsall, curled a terrific low shot into the bottom corner in the second half, when he was instrumental in several good attacks as the home side dominated after surviving early scares.

Stevenage claimed three early penalties and Michael Tonge hit the post with a curling free kick.

From then the Stags got on top, playing a different 4-2-3-1 formation. Clements’ header was tipped over and Matt Green had a shot saved before Clements’ burst into the area won a free kick.

The midfielder got up and curled a terrific shot into the top corner to mirror his goal in the defeat by Accrington a week earlier.

The goal, three minutes before half-time, gave the home side a lift. In the second half Matt Green’s header was cleared off the line and Craig Westcarr twice went close before Baxendale doubled their advantage.

Substitute Mitchell Rose was denied by a fine save and hit the rebound against the woodwork before Stevenage substitute Armand Gnanduillet netted a consolation in the fifth minute of injury time.

After the game Murray chose not to speak to the media, instead sending out first team coach Mickey Moore.

Moore said: Our performances have been OK but we just havn’t managed to get that win. But we have won today and we lost just one in the last six. We knew if we maintained our level of performances a result would come.

“We signed James Baxendale and knew if we could get him into the pockets he would add something to us and that we could cause them a few problems with our movement.

“The good thing is we have a lot of permutations with the players available to us. We can change systems and formations to suit ourselves and who we are playing.

“Our intensity was good today. We started a lot better than we have in recent weeks. With the ball we passed and moved a lot better and created a fair few good chances. We got on the front foot more than we have in previous games.

“It was a wonderful free kick by Chris Clements. He showed it last week against Accrington (when he also scored direct from a free kick). He has that ability to score like that. It gave everyone a lift. Scoring the first goal is always important and in the second half we were able to take the game to them.

“Baxendale’s goal was a great finish. He is a League One footballer and has played over 100 league games at that level. He is at a club (Walsall) that is flying high and he found his time on the pitch limited.

“We feel we have captured a good loan signing who will have that little bit of quality in the final third and help us.”