Evans proud as point keeps Stags in the play-off hunt

Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Photo by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Photo by Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans was proud to see his side stay in the play-off hunt, despite a 1-1 home draw with rivals Luton Town this afternoon.

Stags were in the driving seat through an Alfie Potter striker until Danny Hylton levelled from the penalty spot to leave Mansfield still two points adrift of the top seven.

But Evans said: “I was proud of our effort – in the last 10 minutes to go toe to toe with Luton and actually take the game to them with waves of attack and them hanging on, it does show you how far we’ve come.

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“I was prepared to lose today in trying to win which is why we laid siege to their box.

“We know what we have to do now. If we can get another four out the next six points I think we’ll take it to the last day.

“The two point deficit is still there and a lot of good teams are still fighting for those places.

“We were left with the hardest run-in of anyone in the top group – we knew that when we walked in the door.

“But I always thought it would be an exciting way if we were involved in the shake-up.

“We have to go to Stevenage now and that’s going to be tough. They are on a wonderful run of form.”

On the Luton game, he added: “It was ferocious. Both teams had good spells in the game and both teams dominated at certain times of the game.

“I think we’ve seen a good Luton team today and I’d like to be building a team from fresh to compete against the likes of them and the three sides that have gone up today – congratulations to Doncaster, Plymouth and Portsmouth.

“They are three wonderful football clubs with good managers and, from a neutral point of view, I think the three best teams in the division have gone up today.”

Evans was again left frustrated by penalty decisions. Although after looking back at the incident he agreed Luton’s was the correct decision, he said the issue was Stags didn’t get one when Scott Cuthbert wrestled George Taft to the ground from a corner.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “ We put in a good first half performance when I thought we were exceptional.

“We scored a goal and how we’ve not got a penalty for holding against our central defender from a set play is beyond me.

“In fairness, I didn’t think Luton’s was a penalty at the time. I watched it back and I can understand why he gave it as the arm was up as George was turning. But the disappointment is he gives it in one box and not the other

“It’s been a tale of penalties for us in recent times.

“Luton then had a little period in the second half where for 20 minutes they were better than us. Then for the last 10 minutes and in added time they were holding on.

“We go away disappointed but we’re still alive and kicking with three games to go and still in the mix with four or five other clubs.

“No one expected that really. We had to believe and we do believe.”