Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Manager’s assessment after Wrexham loss

29 March 2024

Club News

Manager’s assessment after Wrexham loss

29 March 2024

Nigel Clough provided his analysis of Mansfield’s frustrating and controversial 2-0 defeat to Wrexham.

A Paul Mullen brace separated the sides, however the second-half was marred by key decisions.

On 61 minutes, Davis Keillor-Dunn rounded Wrexham ‘keeper Arthur Okonkwo to slot the ball home. However, referee Lewis Smith pulled play back, claiming the stopper had two hands on the ball during the build-up.

Five minutes later, the referee awarded a penalty to the hosts. However, replays revealed that Jordan Bowery’s foul on Luke Bolton occurred outside of the area.

Nigel felt Mansfield had begun the contest well. Speaking to iFollow Stags after the match, he said: “[I was] Very pleased with the first half an hour of the game, up to the first goal. I thought we had control of the game, [we] restricted Wrexham to very little.

“Will Swan goes half clear and could have put us ahead.

“Then, we make a simple error for the goal and suddenly find ourselves 1-0 down.

“I thought there was nothing wrong with that first 30 minutes away from home. It was very good indeed.”

Stags were dealt an early blow in the contest, however, as Elliott Hewitt was forced off with injury on eight minutes.

Nigel said: “You get the feeling after that, that it’s not going to be your day.

“He’s waited a long time for this game and he gets a late tackle on him and ends up splitting his lip.

“It was one of those where we used to patch it up, get a little bit of Vaseline on it and you’re allowed back on. Unfortunately not these days. It was a ten-minute job to get it stitched [back up] and we didn’t think playing with ten men for ten minutes would have been ideal.

“I haven’t seen the challenge back, it was a late challenge certainly.”

The gaffer made two changes at the break as Tom Nichols and James Gale replaced Will Swan and Lewis Brunt respectively and the manager said: “Will Swan got a whack right on the stroke of half-time, to his cheekbone.

“Lewis Brunt landed awkwardly on his ankle after about 35 minutes. He got through to half-time but no way could he continue.

“That added up to seven defenders out at that point.”

The second period brought with it a number of talking points. The boss gave his view of Keillor-Dunn’s disallowed equaliser: “It was difficult to see, it was one of those 50/50 ones.

“I think quite a few referees would’ve let it go. He didn’t clearly have control of the ball I didn’t think.

“We’re certainly not getting them in our favour at the moment. That could have changed the game.”

On the decision to award a penalty minutes later, he said: “[It was] Very disappointing. I’m disappointed in the assistant as well. He’s looking right across from a closer point than the referee and at a better angle as well.

“I asked the referee, I said ‘are you absolutely certain?’ He said ‘I’m 100% certain he was inside the area.’ He’s wrong.”

Ahead of an important clash at home to Accrington Stanley on Easter Monday, Nigel provided an injury round-up: “[Hewitt] Is going to be fresh which is great.

“None of the other ones that are out [are likely to return].

“Baily is out, that was an enforced change at the back.

“Stephen Quinn has had a heavy cold, we’ve got the game coming up on Monday so that was the reason for leaving him out [today].

“We’ll get a team out and I think the frustration of today will serve us well come Monday.”

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account