‘It was like death from a thousand cuts’ – David Flitcroft enjoys Mansfield win

Posted Sunday, January 27, 2019 by PA

‘It was like death from a thousand cuts’ – David Flitcroft enjoys Mansfield win

Mansfield boss David Flitcroft was relieved to see his side eventually punish Tranmere for a 37th-minute red card with a convincing 3-0 home win.

Ollie Banks made two rash tackles in the space of five minutes that were both deemed yellow-card offences and the Stags eventually wore down gritty Rovers with a Jorge Grant brace and a 19th goal of the season for Tyler Walker.

But Flitcroft had not forgotten last season’s National League play-off final, which Rovers won against Boreham Wood despite a first-minute red card.

“I won’t underestimate this victory,” he said.

“I watched Tranmere’s famous win with 10 men at the end of last season and what Micky Mellon has built is a team that epitomises him – full of passion and really committed players.

“We didn’t take this game lightly and, when they went down to 10 men it wasn’t an easy task as the expectation is for you to then go on and dominate them.

“But Tranmere dig in and fight for Micky and their fans. They will never lie down.

“We took that away from them slowly. It was like death from a thousand cuts really. It just show the quality we now have on the pitch as we are trying to progress.”

Tranmere were shown five yellow cards and a red in a first half littered with fouls.

When Steve McNulty gave away a needless free-kick just outside the box after 22 minutes, Grant curled in a magnificent effort to the top left corner.

Banks was lucky to stay on for his bad tackle on Grant in the 32nd minute and could have no complaints after then taking out Jacob Mellis soon after.

Rovers dug in, but were undone in the 65th minute as Walker followed up a good save from Scott Davies to tuck home the loose ball.

Three minutes later Davies again could only parry a shot from Walker and this time Grant was on hand to score.

Rovers boss Micky Mellon was happy with his side’s battling but rued the red card.

“It goes without saying that we are gutted with the result,” he said.

“We obviously made it very difficult for ourselves with the sending off. We shot ourselves in the foot.

“It was always going to be a tough afternoon for us here against a team that’s riding high like Mansfield.

“But in terms of work rate and the way the boys kept fighting you really couldn’t fault them.

“It’s been a tough afternoon with a lot of things decided by a referee who decided the way the game was going to be played, which made it difficult for us.

“Apart from the Banks one was there a bad tackle? You look at the stats and you think Tranmere came here and it’s been a kicking fest.”

But Mellon had no qualms over the red card decision.

“To be fair I think he should go for that challenge,” he said.

“If you are going to go for a challenge you’ve got to get the ball. If you are already on a yellow you don’t go for another tackle like that.

“The sending off completely changed the game.”


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