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Flitcroft laments late leveller as Mansfield Town draw at Bury

David Flitcroft applauds the Stags fans ahead of the game with Bury.
David Flitcroft applauds the Stags fans ahead of the game with Bury.

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft has demanded more concentration at both ends of the pitch following Saturday's 2-2 draw at Bury.

Nicky Maynard's 95th minute equaliser, his second goal of the game, denied Stags all three points after goals from Danny Rose and Matt Preston had seen them 2-1 up going into stoppage time.

And Flitcroft highlighted how crucial what goes on in each penalty area is to how games turn out.

He said: "Defending is about focus and concentration, but so is scoring goals. It only ever matters what you do in those two boxes to win a football match.

“There was a lot of fight and spirit from the players. They desperately wanted to win.

“It’s another point to the tally and another unbeaten game but we are disappointed not to take all three points from a winning position.

“We’ll keep instilling the values that we are doing. We need to kill their hope with a another goal, that’s the one that we are looking for.

“You’re only ever in possession or out of possession, and we have to make sure that we keep focusing in that. We’ve scored two goals today and could’ve had more. The second and third goals are the vital ones and they will come, I absolutely believe that."

Flitcroft praised Rose's role in scoring the opener, which came after Bury goalkeeper Joe Murphy dropped the ball as he prepared to clear.

“Danny Rose is always looking for an opportunity to score a goal. And that’s what he did. He used his initiative and realised that the ‘keeper hadn’t seen him," said Flitcroft.

“When the ‘keeper dropped it, he took full advantage. You have the fourth official, you have the linesman who is in line with it and the referee is in a good position.

"You need a cool head and excellent execution. Those are the two factors for me at both ends of the pitch. When we get them right, we’ll consistently keep clean sheets and score goals."

Rose's goal nipped a good start from the hosts in the bud and Flitcroft was pleased to get in at half-time with the lead, but then disappointed Stags couldn't see the game out during what he felt was too much stoppage time.

He said: "Bury started like a train and came at us. Once we weathered that storm, we made a couple of good opportunities. I was really pleased to get to half-time in front. We looked really solid and stopped the flow of Bury in the last 25 minutes.

“Their first goal was a fantastic finish. Even though Maynard had a bit of space it’s a tough one to execute and I think he did it brilliantly. Then they had the momentum.

“But we wrestled it a little bit and got that second goal. Matt Preston showed real desire to score that goal. It was a fantastic ball. I’ve been disappointed with our set piece conversion. But it was great desire by Matty, then you’re 2-1 in front.

“Where they got seven minutes from, I’m still trying to figure that one out. That gives everyone a lift. We’ve not seen the game out, and they’ve opened us up.

“Bobby Olejnik’s save should’ve been the match-winning save. It’s a phenomenal save after he’s raced off his line. That’s the moment for me as a player where I would have been super-charged, knowing that Bobby has just won us three points.

“When you have those opportunities or are defending a lead, you have to keep a calm head. You have to make sure that in those key moments there is a calmness to your work."