Derby games are the ones that supporters look out for as soon as the fixture list gets released, especially Local derbies in particular.
You expect the players to raise their game and put in 100%, show passion, determination and balls to rise to the occasion. Against Notts County, Mansfield Town didn’t show any of that.
From start to finish we were abysmal and didn’t deserve anything from the game, in my opinion.
We just couldn’t string a few passes together, nor could we test the Notts keeper throughout the match. It was one of those performances that was embarrassing and gutless. We rode our luck at times, as Ben Turner did well not to see red, when he brought down Craig Mackail-Smith, who had got goalside of him.
Throughout the match the referee, Lee Mason, A Premier League referee, was shocking for Mansfield all game. Every time we tried to get tackles in, he gave Notts a lot of decisions and favoured them the majority of the time. That being said he didn’t make us lose the match, that was because we did not put any effort into the performance. But you would expect a referee at that level to perform a lot better.
There were 4,283 Mansfield fans who supported the lads, who deserved a lot better than seeing a poor performance that did not warrant anything from the game.
Hats off to Notts, who wanted to win the game more and were first to every ball and had that never-say-die attitude. Their goal from Makail-Smith came from sloppy defending, when he was unmarked outside the 18 yard box to slot past Smith. Both Preston and Jones were shocking at the back, for me. Neither had a good game. Preston was too slow and Jones offered nothing going forward.
Usually from a defeat you can take a positive, but I am struggling to think of one. The only things I can pick out is ‘Macca’ (Alex MacDonald) coming back, the weather was nice and my train fare was free. Before the game I would have taken a draw, as we all knew it was going to be a tough game because Notts have made some signings and been more competitive in the past few weeks.
I hate slamming the Mansfield team, but it was one of the most embarrassing performances I have seen in a long while. None of them stood out or showed anything during the match.
If you can’t motivate yourself for a local derby then don’t bother turning up. You can accept losing in football if you’ve given everything you have got, but that performance was far from that.
That is all we ask for as fans, as we spend good money to travel in our numbers to support the lads. It just wasn’t good enough. We know we have the quality within the side, there is no question about that, but this was just a long way off. The players should all hang their heads in shame after that performance. It was simply unacceptable.
The past two games against Newport and Notts have been a kick up the backside that the team needed. You can have all the quality in the world in any team, but it means nothing unless you work your socks off to get something from the game.
The players need to give us fans a positive result against Forest Green next week, as they need to step their game up to show we are capable of challenging for a place in the top three. We cannot keep performing like that, as we have to be more consistent.