Mansfield Town midfielder Chris Clements believes his hard work practicing his set-pieces on the training ground finally paid off in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon.
The Stags’ number eight curled home a stunning free-kick with style and finesse to secure a point for the hosts after Tom Elliott opened the scoring for the Dons and Clements spoke after the game about his superb strike.
“Me and Malvind Benning practice every Friday and [in the] days before the game,” he said.
“I’ve not been doing that well in training but today I felt confident, and as soon as I hit it I knew it was in.”
Mansfield fell behind after just six minutes when WImbledon striker Tom Elliott thumped a low shot past Brian Jensen, but the lead lasted just nine minutes as Clements reduced the arrears with his fine free-kick.
Talking about the game itself, Clements was left a little puzzled as to why the Stags began the game a tad off-colour, as they conceded the first goal of the match for the third game running.
Clements stated: “We struggled in the start; I don’t know why as we usually start well apart from the previous two games where we haven’t began like we usually do.
“We can’t quite put our finger on it, but we need to improve as we know we can’t just give a team a goal lead and then chase the game from there.
“It was a weird performance from us today, we never really got going. Even when we got the goal we never really pushed on to what we are capable of. If we keep isolating Greeny (Matt Green) we’ll get nowhere, so we need to push [up] and give as much help as we can. We didn’t do that today [and] it showed by the one goal and not many chances.”
Reflecting on his own game, the 25-year old was moderately pleased with the way he played as he picked up the sponsor’s man of the match award, but stressed that the importance of the team’s display far outweighs individual performances if they want to improve results.
“I think I could have done better but the team as a whole weren’t at it today. I ran about a bit and kept the ball quite well, but that doesn’t count unless we put a team performance in. It doesn’t matter how good we are individually if we can’t get a result at the end of it.
“We want to win our home games and that’s what we have set out to do. I think the team we played today were nothing special and we could have easily got three points if we stuck to what we are good at, which we didn’t do today.”