OPINION: Momentum maintained as Stags grind out another win

Mansfield Town made it back-to-back wins with Danny Rose once again getting the winner against Cambridge at Field Mill on Saturday.

Monday, 25th September 2017, 10:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:56 am
Mansfield Town v Cambridge United. Danny Rose celebrates after scoring the winner late on in the second half.

The positives were that we won the game and kept our impressive momentum going against a team that will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.

The negative was how we played and on another day we would have lost.

But fair play to the lads, grinding out a result, giving us three more bags of coal going forward - onwards and upwards.

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There was one changed made to the side that beat Lincoln with Rose coming in for Lee Angol.

Mansfield played some good football in the first half and were perhaps unlucky not go in front when Rose mistimed his over head kick effort and didn’t test keeper Forde enough.

I thought at times we struggled to get into the game, especially in the midfield area where we were being over-run and dispossessed easily.

Credit to Cambridge, who made life difficult for us by being organised and being quickest to the loose balls.

For me it needed someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and get the team into shape, especially going forward. Cambridge had a chance to go in front when a shot from outside the box, was saved well by Conrad Logan, who has been in terrific form of late.

From our point of view we didn’t get do enough in great positions, something that we have to be better at.

My assessment of the first half was that there wasn’t much creativity or leadership, but the defence did well to handle the pressure against a well-drilled side in Cambridge.

The second half started with the Stags unchanged and the away side continued where they left off by playing some good football, looking a threat coming forward.

I don’t like singling players out because I think the ones we have got are going to be great players for the club.

But Digby got caught out a few times by being out-done in most areas of the pitch, hopefully he will have learn from his mistakes.

Hemmings also hasn’t hit the ground running as we would have hoped and for me should have been dropped in place of Angol.

We have seen what it did for Danny when he got left out for a few games and I think personally that would make Hemmings more determined to score and make his mark on the team.

Cambridge took the lead when their pressure paid off.

The ball got whipped into the box from a corner and an unmarked Leon Legge headed home from close range.

Changes were quite rightly so made with Anderson coming on for Potter and Mellis coming on for Digby.

The Stags got their just rewards as they kept on pushing for the equaliser and had their chance when Hemmings was tripped in the box with the referee pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Jacob Mellis, whose penalty just crept under Forde’s arms, scoring his first for the Stags to make it level.

Angol was also introduced, hoping to get on the scoresheet, giving the Stags more firepower up front.

As the half progressed both teams were searching for the winner and it came when, from a free kick, the ball was pumped up into the area.

Pearce’s headed cross found Rose, who turned well to put his shot away, making it 2-1 to Steve Evans’ men.

It was hearts in mouth for the last six minutes but the Stags did well to see the victory through against a Cambridge that must have felt hard done by, playing good football and putting Mansfield under pressure throughout the game.