It was a classic cup tie, says Stags boss after derby draw

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STAGS face a tricky replay at the Impact Arena on Tuesday night after Saturday’s thrilling 1-1 home FA Trophy draw with neighbours Alfreton Town, reports John Lomas.

Impact Arena will be a ‘pay on the night’ at the turnstiles and Stags’ supporters will be admitted into the stadium on a first-come first-served basis and should enter

Just 100 seats have been allocated to Mansfield fans along with approximately 800 admitted for standing.

Admission prices are £10 adults, £5 concessions. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

After today’s 1-1 draw, Stags boss Duncan Russell said: “It had everything didn’t it? It was cold, it was windy, it was raining, the pitch was a nightmare – it was a classic cup tie.

“We were a goal down at half-time when I thought we should have been 2-0 up, as Paul Connor and Louis Moult had good opportunities.

“But Paul equalised and overall I think we deserved to win it.

“Alfreton did have a 15-minute spell in the second half where we started defending deep like we did against Wrexham last week and inviting them on to us so we shouted at them to keep a high line.

“I thought Louis Moult had an excellent debut and Paul Connor said afterwards that that was the best link-up he’s had with any other striker here this season which bodes well for a strike partnership.

“I was really impressed with the die-hard attitude of Steve Foster as well as he was ill before the game. He looked white as a ghost, his temperature was up and was shivering. I thought about leaving him out, but he insisted he wanted to play.

“I can imagine they are looking forward to having us back at their place for the replay but we are a fit side with other fit players in the wings.

“I hope their surface is better than today as better conditions today would have favoured us. But we are not fearful about going to Alfreton.”

Debutant Louis Moult added: “I have played on worse pitches than that so it wasn’t new to me.

“I thought we were probably the best team though anyone could have nicked the game.

“Now we will have to go to Alfreton on Tuesday and do them at their place.

“I should have scored. I saw the keeper off his line and tried to lob him but it didn’t go in. Hopefully next time it will.

“Paul Connor just told me he was pleased with how we linked up with each other. He was always talking to me and helping me and always there for me which was great.

“I was really pleased to be given the chance to start today and I hope I did enough to possibly start the next game as well.”

Reds manager Nicky Law said: “I thought that was a good game in conditions that were nothing short of atrocious. To be fait the pitch looked very good at the start but soon deteriorated.

“I was pleased with our performance and disappointed with the goal we gave away.

“I told them at half-time we needed to keep Mansfield quiet for the first 10 minutes after the break but we didn’t do that.

“Mansfield are a good side – you only have to look at the names of their players that didn’t play today to see how good their squad is.

“We have had a horrendous week with injuries. We also had other players unavailable for different reasons today and, with Paddy Gamble away for personal reasons, we had to bring in Ross Turner as keeper today after Sheffield Wednesday recalled Richard O’Donnell on Friday morning.

“But it just shows the spirit we have throughout this club.

“If I am honest I would rather have got this match out the way today as we are ridiculously behind with fixtures and, after Monday, will have eight games in hand on Nuneaton.

“I will have to increase the size of the squad and, to be fair to him, the chairman is backing me and will give me some of the Aiden Flint money.

“I thought both the sendings-off were correct and I thought in those conditions the referee did well today.”