Michael Duff admits Cheltenham ‘not quite at it’ during Mansfield defeat



Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2021 by PA

Michael Duff admits Cheltenham ‘not quite at it’ during Mansfield defeat

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff stood by his table-topping players, despite being swept aside 3-1 by a 10-minute Mansfield Town purple patch.

The Stags came from behind courtesy of three quickfire goals to halt Cheltenham’s four-game winning streak, with Jordan Bowery’s brace taking him to double figures for the season.

However, Duff remained philosophical, saying: “It was individual errors in a mad 10 minutes by us – we were not quite at it today.

“But it wasn’t a bad performance and there wasn’t a lot between the two teams.

“With the run we are in and the season we are in, it’s difficult to hit the levels every week.

“So there’s no teapot throwing for me. We have been brilliant. I think that’s two in 15 we’ve lost and anyone would take that at any level.

“First half we were not particularly good. Then second half we scored a really good goal. But we then made silly mistakes and they’ve not had to work that hard for their goals.

“When you’ve gone 1-0 up against a team that is struggling you don’t necessarily need to try to play out from the back for the next 10 minutes.

“I think if we’d gone another 10-15 minutes they would have started losing belief with how resilient we’ve been and it kills their spirit.”

In a thrilling first half Robins keeper Josh Griffiths saved superbly from Mal Benning and Farrend Rawson, while Bowery rattled a post.

But Cheltenham, who had a first-half effort ruled out for offside, swept ahead when Sam Smith nodded in from Chris Hussey’s 51st-minute cross.

Mansfield hit back in style four minutes later as Jason Law set up Bowery for an unstoppable first-time finish, and after 63 minutes they were ahead as Law drilled in hard and low from the by-line to spark a scramble that Jamie Reid finally turned home.

Bowery quickly made it three goals in 10 minutes as he lashed home low under Griffiths after swapping passes with Reid to go clear.

Delighted Mansfield boss Nigel Clough said: “We have had some good performances of late, despite not getting the results, but it was all there tonight and I was proud of them.

“I thought we should have been ahead at half-time. We had chances, hit the post, and restricted them to very little.

“Having gone behind, to respond in the way that we did, especially on the back of the run we were on, was unbelievably pleasing – and promising. The players showed character.

“When they went ahead – with their away record this season – everyone was thinking game over.

“So to hit back, and the quality of the goals we scored, was superb.

“We made no mistakes in either box – their goal was a good goal.

“Cheltenham are a very good side. But we restricted them and Marek Stech didn’t have much to do.”

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