Praise for fans as they help Stags ‘get out of jail’ against Hayes

Paul Cox
Paul Cox

PAUL Cox thanked Stags fans for sticking behind his side on Saturday as they twice had to come from behind against struggling Hayes and Yeading before snatching a 3-2 win with Ben Hutchinson’s last minute penalty.

“I sound like a scratched record but I thought the crowd were really amazing today,” he said.

“At 2-1 down they went a bit quiet but kickstarted themselves again and had an immense effect on our performance, roaring us on late in the game. I am chuffed for them today.

“The conditions were worse than the Forest Green game, especially in the first half, and I didn’t think we did enough with the wind at out backs or had enough shots on target. Then we were hit by a sucker punch.

“It wasn’t the greatest performance, apart from the last 20-25 minutes when we came alive and started to get the ball out wide and get crosses into the box.

“I thought overall we deserved to win it. Like Forest Green it was more about the result than the performance.”

He added: “At half-time I felt we were not at full throttle and one or two minds might have been taken it a bit lightly, which has been our downfall this season. And we missed so many chances.

“Their second goal was a bit of a wake-up call. Then we started playing without any fear.

“Hutchinson’s introduction was a major factor. There might have been a question mark over who took the penalty. But he stepped up and he is a confident bugger.

“Our two central midfielders covered every blade of grass out there against a three. They were both immense throughout the game. Size-wise they look like two midgets but are both quality players.

“Credit to Adam Smith. His end product balls into the box were absolutely amazing.”

Ross Dyer, who netted one and later missed a sitter, said: “It was a relief to win it.

“To go 2-1 down was a bit disheartening. But, we made a few changes and got back into it. I thought we played really well for the last 20 minutes.

“Hayes didn’t seem to have have any other shots yet were 1-0 up. But we clawed out way back into it, showed great character, and I hope we can push on now.”

On his goal he said: “I got a bit of space and took a shot which I was pleased to see go into the bottom corner. I knew I had to keep it low.

“Even though I scored, it was the one I missed I will remember. It just glanced off me. But the boys got us out of jail.

“Matt Green normally takes the penalties but he helped Ben Hutchinson to get off the mark.”

Hayes boss Nas Bashir said: “Overall it was an even game which Mansfield just nicked at the end. I think a draw would have been a fair result.

“I don’t think Mansfield were any better than us. We scored twice and hit the post. They just got the rub of the green at the end. That’s football.

“Our last three games have been like that. It was a good effort from the players, but a silly challenge in the last minute has cost us.

“If Mansfield are a top 10 side then we are moving forwards and I am pleased with our performances of late, even though the results are not following.”