Goalkeeping worries for Stags

Alan Marriott
Alan Marriott
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Mansfield Town are hoping goalkeeper Alan Marriott will be fit to face leaders Rochdale at One Call Stadium on Saturday (3.07pm).

Marriott dislocated a finger during training this week and manager Paul Cox has since seen his two back-up plans evaporate.

Reserve keeper Ian Deakin suffered rib and thigh injuries in last night’s 3-1 reserve win at Hartlepool and is on the treatment table this morning and defender Lee Beevers, who is always a stop-gap option as a keeper, is to undergo an operation tomorrow on his dislocated shoulder and his season is over.

“Mazza’s finger popped out in midweek training,” explained Cox. “At first we thought he might have broken it. He had an X-ray, but it was only dislocated and he had it popped back in.

“We are hoping in the next 24/48 hours he will be okay to play on Saturday.

“Mazza has had a good season for us. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and keeps his standards high.

“There have been times when he has been excellent when the team has not played well of late and he has pulled off good saves at vital times.

“After missing out in play-offs with other clubs, I am pleased for him to get up into the League this season. He has achieved that now and had a good season. We hope he will be fit for Saturday.”

The decision was taken this week for Beevers to have an immediate operation on the shoulder that keeps popping out of its socket.

Cox said: “That rules him out for the season now. We have managed to get him in on Friday so we can get his rehab speeded up a bit.

“He will be a big miss. Since Beevs has got back in the side I think he has been excellent. We hope the operation goes well and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Stags will be without suspended duo Anthony Howell and Jamie McGuire on Saturday but do welcome James Jennings back from a two-game ban.

Jennings shook off some rust in last night’s reserve game in which the win saw Mansfield finish second position in the Final Third Development League (East Division).

Callam Wood fired the hosts into an early lead, but youngster Kyle Hempshall levelled for Stags on the stroke of half-time and then Louis Briscoe scored twice in the space of seven minutes after the break.

“It was good to get players like JJ, Louis Briscoe, Chris Clements, Lindon Meikle and Ross Dyer some game time and we also had a look at some trialists,” said Cox.

“What pleased me the most was that we finished up with three or four 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old out there.”