David Flitcroft vows to discipline Mansfield defender Mal Benning after red card

Posted Saturday, March 31, 2018 by PA

David Flitcroft vows to discipline Mansfield defender Mal Benning after red card

Mansfield manager David Flitcroft said he will discipline defender Mal Benning after his red card during the 1-0 defeat against Accrington.

Benning was sent off for a dangerous high tackle on Billy Kee just a week after Stags defender Krystian Pearce was shown a red card against Forest Green.

The home side battled superbly, but Stanley stormed back to the top of Sky Bet League Two courtesy of Seamus Conneely’s free header on the hour mark.

“I was disappointed with the challenge. I’ve had a look at it and it’s a nailed-on sending-off,” said Flitcroft.

“It didn’t look great and it was the right decision. It was a nasty one that could have caused serious injury.

“Mal will be disciplined. That’s two sending-offs in my five games through lack of discipline. We will sort that out internally.

“You are asking us to defend against one of the best attacking teams in the league with 10 players through a poor decision. We have got to show control and composure in those moments.”

Otherwise Flitcroft, still without a win in his five games as Mansfield manager, was delighted with his team’s efforts, saying: “We had an intensity.

“That’s the first time I’ve looked at this group and thought these boys are fighting for each other and the supporters. I have seen real fight today.

“I am encouraged they fought tooth and nail for each other.”

Mansfield started on the front foot and, even after losing Benning, had the best chance of a tight first half as Rhys Bennett forced Aaron Chapman to tip over a six-yard header.

Home striker Kane Hemmings also side-footed wide from the same distance after 50 minutes from Hayden White’s low cross.

Ten minutes later Stanley were ahead as Conneely got free from a corner to power in a header unmarked and they comfortably held on to what they had.

On the red card, Accrington boss John Coleman said: “I was unsighted by the fourth official so I couldn’t comment on the actual challenge, but Billy has a hole in his groin.

“You don’t get a hole in your groin by not getting a high challenge.

“For 10 minutes after that we really upped our game and pinned them back.

“But give Mansfield their due, they forced us back themselves, had a real go and the crowd got right behind them.

“We restricted their chances and thankfully got the goal with a rare Seamus Conneely header.

“After the goal I thought we saw it out very professionally and could have added one or two more.

“I do think we looked a little bit rusty for having a couple of weeks off.

“But we now have a massive game coming up on Monday and we have to give it our all.”


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