Evans: Fans' reaction to substitution leaves bitter taste

Kane Hemmings celebrates his goal.
Kane Hemmings celebrates his goal.

Despite snatching a late 2-1 victory over Morecambe today, Stags boss Steve Evans was in sombre mood as he reflected on being barracked by the home crowd over his substitution of Kane Hemmings.

He withdrew goalscorer Hemmings on 54 minutes as he ran out of steam on his first game back from injury.

That prompted an angry outburst from fans and Evans said: “We've won the game but I'm going home a little bit disgusted to be honest.

“We've taken Kane Hemmings off as he'd run himself dead for 60 minutes and wanted to come off at half-time.

“What happened afterwards was disappointing. The subs won us the game with great play from Paul Anderson and a great header from Danny Rose.

“You win and lose together – that's what I thought football was about.

“Kane Hemmings was outstanding first half and it was a fantastic finish.

“I asked him how he was at half-time and he gave me those eyes that he was shot to bits. I asked him to give me 10 more minutes as it could have been the difference in getting a second goal.”

He added: “I am looking at the reaction of some of our supporters. That Morecambe team beat Coventry 2-0 two weeks ago and it could have been four or five. They probably think every team that comes here is not very good.

“We have had to put our bodies on the line at the end – we showed bravery, resilience and spirit.

“Paul Raynor and I are proud people. When we came here I think people think the holy water and the miracle had come. It doesn't work like that. You have to earn everything you get in the lower leagues.

“I will say it now – the Rotherham supporters and the Leeds supporters, they stayed with their team and their staff through thick and thin right to the very end every week.

“Our supporters, in the main, were tremendous. But some things were said that make you go home and reflect on everything.

“It was a great three points and I am pleased for the chairman and the players.”

On Rose's wining goal he said: “As soon as the ball left Ando's foot and I saw Danny coming up at the far post I had no doubts he would score.”

It was a first League win in four for Stags and Evans said: “All victories are important. This festive period starts the reality of how this league takes shape.

“We will be back on the training ground tomorrow to recover players who had to go to the end against this Morecambe team.

“We were much better first half than second half. They scored and were in the ascendency but the subs changed the game positively.

“The goal came late and then we had to see out the game resiliently.

“We didn't play well in spells today. But the lads can sit down and feel proud tonight with how hard they have worked today.”