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Stags beaten at home

Posted onPosted on 2nd Jan
Stags beaten at home

Mansfield Town’s poor home continued in a 3-2 home defeat to promotion play-off rivals Accrington Stanley.

Stanley used their pacy counter-attacks to good effect to grab an eighth away win thanks to two late goals – and end the Stags’ four-match unbeaten run to leave them with just three home wins all season.

Manager Adam Murray brought in Nathan and Jack Thomas for unexpected starts, but they were unable to make an impact.

The Stags conceded after just three minutes – the 10th goal they have let in during the first 15 minutes of a game this season – when stand-in full back Mitchell Rose was unable to prevent a cross and Piero Mingoia prodded in.

Two fine saves from point-blank range by Brian Jensen kept the Stags in the game and they cashed in when Matt Green took advantage of a defensive error to race clear and fire in off the post – his 27th minute equaliser coming on his 29th birthday.

The Stags then had the better of the next 40 minutes, but failed to find a second goal or a killer touch.

They were made to pay when former Mansfield striker Billy Key lashed in from 14 yards after a fortunate ricochet fell to him. Eight minutes from time substitute Terry Gornell’s header was palmed on to the post by Jensen, but the striker reacted quickest to convert the rebound.

A fine Chris Clements’ long-range free-kick two minutes from time was nothing more than a consolation for the home side.

To make matters worse the Stags lost Green to injury after he was cynically fouled in an incident not punished by the referee.

Manager Adam Murray said: “That game was like putting a gun to your head and shooting yourself.

““We have conceded three awful goals and then we are nowhere near as clinical as we need to be at the other end.

“It was an awful start again, which people have got to take responsibility for now as it’s becoming a joke.

“Then we get back to 1-1 and for me there was only one team in it and we had two great chances where, if we are clinical, ruthless and have a little bit more X-factor, we are 3-1 up and we go in at half-time having turned it around.

“We were on the front foot and finally kicked into gear, then you lose Matt Green (to injury) and you are on the back foot again.

“He is struggling and this is the frustrating thing as the ref said he’d not seen it but the linesman was only 10 yards away and he’s not seen it.

“It could have finished Greeny, he’s gone straight through him. At half-time he said he didn’t think he could carry on. He couldn’t run. He couldn’t move.

“We had a game plan, but that’s no good if people are going to go off doing their own thing. “When we play with energy, zest and confidence we are a very good team, but we have this habit of going through the motions in games and
it’s killing us. We should have been out of sight at half-time after that initial period.

“They are a very good side, you’ve got to give them credit and they are where they are as they are a very good team.
“For half an hour we made them look ordinary. But we conceded a poor second goal, then you’re chasing it. Then they get the third and it’s game over.

“You can’t concede goals like we do at the moment and expect to be fighting at the right end of the table.

“When we have a large number of kids in the team we can look naïve like we did today, for all their ability.

“It is what it is. We are where we are as a football club. We don’t have the privilege of going out and signing three or four X-Factor players. We have to scrap for everything we can do.

“If these boys have an off day it’s not for want of trying. They work hard and that’s all we can ask of them.

“We are going to lack in certain areas as we’re not paying them £2-3,000 a week. They will keep giving their all and I will keep giving my all.