Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft was delighted to bring home a hard-earned and ‘respected; point from a 1-1 draw in their big game at promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers last night.
But he knows how close his side came to taking all three points on the night.
“The effort and togetherness of this squad coming down here again and competing like they have done, they gave us everything tonight.” he said.
READ THE MATCH REPORT
“We’ll go home with a hard-earned point against a very good team who win a lot of games here.
“But I have said it before – at 1-0 a team has always got hope and you’ve got to take that hope from them.” Mansfield certainly came close to doing that.
“We’ve hit the crossbar with Nicky’s (Ajose) header,” said Flitcroft.
“Then we had the wonder strike by Ty (Walker) – it was fantastic. He caught it perfectly. I thought it was going to dip and go in.
“And then there was a penalty we should have had.
“Barring two inches we maybe end up 3-0 first half, and deservedly so.
“We really got about them in the first half.
“Second half they had a rally and were really moving the ball about well. They had nothing to lose and pegged us back.”
He added: “We then did earn the point and respected it. One defeat all season on the road is quite impressive.
“The lads have really dug in hard to get that one point, which is important.”
Jorge Grant had made it three goals in two games with Mansfield’s first half opener and Flitcroft said: “Granty’s shot is instinctive. It’s a fantastic finish.
“It was also the cleverness by Nicky (Ajose) with the little reverse pass round the corner to Granty, and he’s took it early with the keeper not set. It was a really good goal.”
But Rovers battled back, and he added: “We allowed crosses from their right-hand side a little too easily in the second-half.
“We had a warning shot just before and we’ve got to defend better to try to nail that clean sheet.
“They kept coming and asking questions of us, but we staunchly defend our goal.
“They penetrated us that once and that’s why we’ve not got all three points.”