Mansfield boss Flitcroft thinks Smith save was turning point

Posted Sunday, February 03, 2019 by PA

Mansfield boss Flitcroft thinks Smith save was turning point

Manager David Flitcroft believes goalkeeper Jordan Smith’s vital save at 1-1 was the turning point in Mansfield’s hard-earned 3-1 home win over strugglers Macclesfield.

Smith kept out Scott Wilson in a one-on-one in the 54th minute and three minutes later Krystian Pearce gave the Stags a lead they held onto.

“The turning point in the game is the save at 1-1,” said Flitcroft.

“It was a fantastic save. The kid had gone through and Jordan raced off his line.

“It was the catalyst to go forward and get a deserved win.

“We have good quality but again today we showed we have resilience and a commitment to each other and the supporters which I am proud of.

“They were scrappy goals we scored, but the important thing is that tomorrow newspapers say it was 3-1 to Mansfield.

“We played well for 20 minutes, then we took our foot off the gas and over-indulged. But we hurt them second half.”

Forest loanee Jorge Grant lashed home his fourth goal in three games after just eight minutes, following up after Keiran O’Hara had blocked a Nicky Ajose shot.

But Macclesfield plugged away and ended the half on a high, levelling on 42 minutes as Callum Evans pounced on a half-cleared corner before Wilson curled a shot against a post soon afterwards.

But after Smith had denied Wilson, Pearce netted from close range from a scramble after a corner.

Tyler Walker forced a great save from O’Hara but it remained nervy until the last minute when another scramble from a corner saw Walker force home his 20th goal of the season, the linesman confirming it was over the line, despite O’Hara grabbing it.

On Walker’s goals tally, Flitcroft added: “As a striker you probably do things in fives. The challenge I have given him is 30 goals.

“Not many strikers achieve that in a season and Tyler certainly has the ability, energy and quality to do it. He has been brilliant.”

Macclesfield boss Sol Campbell felt with better finishing his side would have come away with at least a point.

“We’ve played a top team away and we really should have come up away with something,” he said.

“We should have been more switched on with their set plays and we really need to make the keeper work a bit more with our chances when it was 1-1.

“They are up there at the top looking for promotion and we gave them a really good game.

“It just came down to chances. If we’d been sharper up front it would have been a different story.

“We hit the post and then had a lot of chances second half we should have stuck away to put the game out of sight.”


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