David Flitcroft hails Mansfield’s perseverance



Posted Sunday, December 23, 2018 by PA

David Flitcroft hails Mansfield’s perseverance

David Flitcroft hailed the perseverance of his Mansfield side after they came from behind to comfortably beat Stevenage.

Despite going 1-0 down to Danny Newton’s goal two minutes into first-half stoppage time, the Stags hit back with three efforts in the second period to keep themselves firmly in the promotion hunt.

A Ryan Sweeney goal and two strikes from Tyler Walker confirmed a 3-1 win for the visitors, who are fifth in League Two having lost just once all season.

Flitcroft admitted his side were shocked to go into half-time behind after outplaying their opponents in the first 45 minutes, but he was left delighted with how they performed for vast swathes of the contest.

“It’s the best start we’ve had (to a game) by a country mile,” said Flitcroft. “Some of the quality was there for all to see, it was top class.

“It was like a home performance, which we’ve not had away from home this season.

“I thought we worked the ball brilliantly, moved it wide and we tried to sort of deconstruct them from every angle. And I thought we did.

“They’ve then hit the ball in our half, we’ve not dealt with it and we’ve come unstuck when they scored.

“It was a shock at half-time and we were stunned by the game, but once I’d dusted myself down I got the players to be more ruthless.

“We won it really comfortably in the end. It was really important we came here and had a good performance. And we certainly did that.”

Defeat leaves Stevenage 12th in the table with 32 points from their 23 matches.

Manager Dino Maamria said, while he thought the margin of defeat was tough on his players, he vowed they would learn from the manner of the loss.

“I thought it was a harsh result. The 3-1 scoreline doesn’t really reflect our performance,” he said.

“I thought we were actually better in the second half, but the goals we conceded were really poor.

“Their goal from a corner really changed the momentum of the game. Goals change games.

“We didn’t deserve to be 1-0 up in the first half, but if you don’t concede in the first half you’ve always got a chance of winning games.

“It was a good contest overall, but I thought we completed well throughout the game.

“But I just didn’t see that second half coming, although we’ll learn from it.

“The goal we conceded for the equaliser was unforgivable. If they didn’t score that then I think it was going to be a different game.

“At 1-1 we hit the crossbar and then went up the other end and scored. They caught us on the counter.

“But we’ll regroup, stay positive and move forward.”

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