Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft identifies Nottingham Forest loanee’s contribution as turning point in win over Macclesfield

David Flitcroft
David Flitcroft

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft cited Jordan Smith’s crucial save at 1-1 as the turning point in Stags’ 3-1 home win over gutsy strugglers Macclesfield Town today.

Smith stayed big to deny Scott Wilson in a one-on-one on 54 minutes before Krystian Pearce put Stags on the victory trail three minutes later.

“The turning point in the game is the save at 1-1,” said Flitcroft.

“It was a fantastic save. The kid had gone through and Jordan raced off his line.

“It was the catalyst to go forward and get a deserved win.

“We have good quality but again today we showed we have resilience and a commitment to each other and the supporters which I am proud of.

“They were scrappy goals but the important thing is that tomorrow newspapers say it was 3-1 to Mansfield.”

Stags failed to build on an early lead and were lucky to go in all square as Macclesfield levelled and hit the post.

“That was probably the most disappointed I’ve been at home, but there were certain factors, though I never make excuses,” he said.

“For 20 minutes we moved the ball quite well and played our brand of football, taking an early lead.

“Then we took our foot off the gas, stopped doing what we are good at and asking questions of defenders and back fours.

“We over-indulged and for 25 minutes didn’t resemble us. I told them at half-time if you come off plan you won’t play.

“We hurt them second half. They started to tire second half and we started to pass forward with more urgency, ran more and gave them more problems.”

Forest loanee Tyler Walker netted his 20th goal of the season at the death and Flitcroft said: “As a striker you probably do things in fives.

“The challenge I have given him is 30 goals. Not many strikers achieve that in a season and he certainly has the ability, energy and quality to do it. He has been brilliant.

“He is hungry for goals.”