Craig Priest column: Mansfield Town are strong from top to bottom

Mansfield Town v Barrow.'Fans man of the match Stevenson gets attention from Meikle.
Mansfield Town v Barrow.'Fans man of the match Stevenson gets attention from Meikle.
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I imagine that every time a Stags fan walked past a packet of after eight mints in their local supermarket since Saturday, a little smirk spread across their face – the 8-1 win against Barrow did nothing bar raise the delight of supporters as results continue to improve.

The Barrow slaughtering makes that four consecutive victories for Paul Cox’s men, who now lead the form guide over the last eight games and have the second best attack in the division. Encouraging signs considering a few months ago, we thought it was never going to tick.

Rather than reflect on the match itself I thought I’d ponder what’s going so right for Stags at the moment – from top to bottom things are looking positive. I believe a football club is like a tree, it’s firm because of its roots.

In the wildest of storms a few branches and leaves may break off or blow away, but after the fact, the roots and the body still stand – Stags have had their storm and now stand firm throughout.

Take for example Adam Murray and Richard Cooper’s youth team, the duo’s youngsters currently hold an eight point lead over their rivals in the Football Conference Youth Alliance North.

The young players are benefitting from more senior experience as a number of them are currently out on loan as such clubs as Hucknall Town and Eastwood.

Others are progressing in the reserves along with senior players who in turn are keeping sharp in competitive matches. The influence of competitive games away from the first team is paying off, Lee Stevenson is the prime example here with five goals in four games.

Newport will undoubtedly prove a tough test for Stags despite having let their grip on top spot slip. If Stags can bring home a point I think I’ll be a happy man. The football’s coming thick and fast now, let’s hope those roots continue to provide the base to our success.