OPINION: Mansfield Town must cut out silly mistakes
Mansfield Town suffered their first league defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley, losing 2-1 on Saturday to goals from Hayden Jackson and Billy Kee.
The Stags made one change to the line-up that won against Forest Green Rovers with CJ Hamilton coming in for Joel Byrom.
The first half was scrappy with both teams fighting for possession and trying to stamp their authority on the game.
The first goal came from Hayden Jackson, who got an extra yard of pace past the defenders to slot past Logan to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Mansfield quickly equalised courtesy of Lee Angol. A long ball forward from Logan was headed on by Danny Rose, which Angol was the first to react to and open his account for the Stags.
Hopefully it will be the first of many for Steve Evan’s men.
The second half started with the Stags on the attack from the off and they looked the more likely to score as the half went on, creating chances that caused the home side problems throughout.
There were a number of good performances from the likes of Mal Benning, Paul Anderson and Will Atkinson and the Stags looked threatening every time they went forward, opening up the Accrington defence but not taking their chances.
Accrington didn’t cause many problems and were happy to let the Stags have possession as they were well organised and made it difficult to have a shot on goal. The way the game went a lot of Mansfield fans would have taken a point as Accrington has been tough place to go over the years, but in added time ex-Stag Kee was first to pounce on a loose ball to convert from close range past a helpless Conrad Logan.
Even though it still early days the main problem is not being able to defend from set pieces, which has been our Achilles heel recently.
The team is still relatively new so it will take time for them to gel, but for me the communication between Logan and the defence has cost us goals against Crewe and Accrington.
Logan has shown he is a good shot-stopper, but for me he doesn’t command his area or defence enough and show enough authority that a keeper should be doing.
It is a long season and results at this stage mean nothing yet with still over 40 plus games to go.
But it is important the Stags learn from the mistakes they are making.
A point would have been a fair result at Accrington, but the Stags shot themselves in the foot again through not being able to do the basics, which ultimately cost us the three points.
The one thing that we can be assured of is that we have the players and manager who will know how to bounce back and cope with the pressure of us being the favourites for promotion.
A huge shout to the travelling Mansfield fans again for another good away following.
It was just a shame the team couldn’t grind out at least a point from a scrappy affair.
Overall though we played some good football and coped well with the pressure in large parts, but we need to cut out silly mistakes that keep costing us games, when we know we have the players to challenge anyone in this league.
Up the Stags!