Hemmings strike can restore missing confidence for goal ace

Barnet vs Mansfield Town - Steve Evans is spoken to by referee Craig Hicks - Pic By James Williamson
Barnet vs Mansfield Town - Steve Evans is spoken to by referee Craig Hicks - Pic By James Williamson

Steve Evans believes goal ace Kane Hemmings will finally rediscover his missing confidence after scoring his first Mansfield Town goal in tonight’s 1-1 draw at Barnet.

On-loan Hemmings had gone eight goals without a goal, despite arriving with a record of almost one every two games.

But he struck to put Stags ahead tonight before former Stags loanee Shaq Coulthirst earned the Bees a point with an equaliser.

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“We have been speaking to Kane all week about not stopping getting into the box and getting on the end of half-things and it was a great finish,” smiled Evans.

“We got a free kick that took a deflection. Kane then got a proper connection on it that gave their keeper no chance.

“You could see his confidence come back. He was unlucky not to get a second one - if he’d hit it first time like he did the first one.

“The keeper made a great save when Kane went for the far corner.”

However, he added: “Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings worked ever so hard but they didn’t work smart.

“Danny is a big player for us but he was poor in the second half. He wasn’t great in the first half either.

“He didn’t hold the ball up once all evening – that’s a part of his game he needs to get better at. But he knows that.”

The draw ended a run of two defeats and Evans admitted: “We should have won but we didn’t – that’s been the nature of some of the games we’ve been involved in.

“We needed to keep the ball better in the final third in the second half.

“But we will take the point – it’s a wholly different performance from the weekend and we’ll build on it for Newport.

“That wasn’t a Steve Evans team performance against Swindon on Saturday. But it was tonight in terms of effort and commitment.

“We are lacking in terms of quality in one or two areas as we are missing key players.”

Evans said it was almost inevitable Coulthirst would score against his old club.

Evans smiled: “He would have to do it wouldn’t he? It was a wicked deflection that fell in their favour.

“Other than that they’ve not really given us any concerns, although they had a bit of the ball in the second half.

“They put a few crosses into our box, but ones you’d expect your defenders to head away.

“We should have won the game. We are disappointed and now we have to get ready for Saturday.

“I thought we controlled the first half for large spells and were unlucky not to be two up.

“Second half they were going to come into it more, but we still looked threatening.”
Evans matched up Barnet with three at the back and was pleased with how it went.

“I thought it was terrific,” he said. “We’ll change it again on Saturday as Newport are a different bag to these.

“Barnet took Swindon apart as they played that system. We said if we match them up we are better than them.

“Credit to Barnet, they have a lot of good players and they stuck at it tonight.”

Stags lost centre half David Mirfin with injury, Evans explaining: “He dislocated two fingers in a first half challenge but the referee said there was no intent.

“And I think Kane Hemmings is still picking his forehead up out the seats - and the referee said he didn’t see that either.

“We are not going to say anything about the referee. We’ll just mark him as we should mark him – poor. But we can’t blame him for the game ending a draw.”