Mansfield midfielder Alex MacDonald cited a lack of quality in the final third as the main reason the Stags were unable to complete a second-half comeback against Exeter City.
Mansfield Town’s unbeaten start to their Sky Bet League Two campaign came to an end this afternoon courtesy of goals from Dean Moxey and Nicky Law in either half.
Tyler Walker halved the deficit just after the hour mark, but it proved to only be a consolation as David Flitcroft’s side were defeated 2-1 by the Grecians.
Despite a flurry of well-worked chances late on, MacDonald believes it was a lack of quality in the final third that let Mansfield down.
“The quality in the final third just wasn’t there today,” the midfielder acknowledged. “I think that’s the first time this season we can probably say that and ultimately that’s cost us.
“We had a shake when Stockley hit the post in the first-half and I don’t think we recovered from that until half-time.
“Second-half we were chasing the game which left us a little bit open to the counter – but overall we’re disappointed with the lack that quality in the final third.”
MacDonald also recognised that the performance levels need to be better against opposition such as high-flying Exeter.
“Exeter, we knew before the game, that they’re a good team that are at the right end of the table for a reason.
"The quality in the final third just wasn’t there today. I think that’s the first time this season we can probably say that and ultimately that’s cost us."
“When teams come here, we’re a scalp for them and we have to raise our game because when others come here they certainly seem to do that.
“We were finding Otis and Butch in the tens really nice, and I think that’s where we were getting our joy. But, again, it was a lack of quality throughout,” he continued.
“When teams are coming here it’s going to be tough because people raise their game 20 to 25% and we’ve got to make sure that we match that.”
The 28-year-old rounded off proceedings with regards to the unbeaten run which was brought to end by Matt Taylor’s visiting side.
“The unbeaten run is gone now. The lads were upset and down about it in the changing room and rightly so, but we’re going to come in on Monday and work hard next week to start a new, and hopefully longer, unbeaten run.”
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