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Dempster proud of 'battle' shown by ten-man Stags

8 April 2019

Academy manager John Dempster paid credit to his side for the way they 'battled' in against Notts County under-18s on Saturday, after going down to ten men in the second-half.

Tyreece Palmer had given the Magpies an early lead, which was levelled in the first-half by an excellent strike from Mansfield skipper James Tague.

Dempster conceded that Stags, who saw Rhys Sarson sent off on the hour mark, could have still gone on to win the game, having also missed a penalty.
“On reflection, the game it was probably a fair result," he said. "We had two really good opportunities in the second-half to go in the lead with the penalty and the one-on-one so that’s why we’re disappointed.
“But I think Notts County were a credit to themselves today. They were a young side, they competed all over the pitch and almost took our lads by surprise which shouldn’t be the case.
“First-half we were poor, second-half we were good, but to go down to ten men again is disappointing.
“We worked a lot on possession stuff this week and we didn’t quite get it out due to the conditions, but that’s not an excuse. We need to be better collectively.
“We’ll speak to Rhys Sarson on Monday more about that [sending off], but the boys that remained on the pitch that battled for the remainder of the game were a credit."
When asked about next week's game against Bradford, Dempster said: “Bradford will be a good passing side.
“They’re renowned for playing out from the back and getting on the ball so we’ll work on that this week.
“We’ll be playing at our training ground, which is an outstanding facility, so I expect it to be a good football match."
With only three games left this season, Dempster also spoke about his side's chances for the league title this year.
“I think it will be difficult now if I’m being honest," he conceded.
“Doncaster are a very, very strong under-18s side and we started today two points behind them.
“I think it will be tough to catch them now, but our target will be to win our last three games and we’ll see where that takes us.”

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