‘Mansfield Town have been crying out for a Neal Bishop midfielder for many years’

Stags' Neal Bishop celebrates scoring. Pic by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com.
Stags' Neal Bishop celebrates scoring. Pic by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com.

Finally we picked up our first win in four league games, with a 1-0 win against Carlisle, which on another day should have been four or five, with the amount of chances we created in the match.

Flitcroft made four changes to the line up, with Preston, Rose, Macdonald and White coming into the side, respectively.

In the first half we played some good football and found ourselves unlucky not to go into the break at least 2-0 up. Every time we went forward we looked threatening, but still had nothing to show for all our dominance.

Walker saw his shot, from outside the box, saved by Collin. Rose and Sweeney came closest, seeing there headed efforts cleared off the line, by a stubborn Carlisle defence.

Preston also had a good chance to get himself on the score sheet, but he just got his timing wrong, as he went to head the ball, from a well taken corner kick from Khan, on the right hand side.

The away side never caused us to many problems, with our defence and Oljenik having little to do. It was so frustrating at times, as we had to be patient for a goal to come, as we carried on missing really good chances, which hopefully wouldn’t come back to haunt us.

The first half performance has been identical to how we have been playing in the last few weeks, only thing missing was the goals. How we went into the break without scoring a goal is beyond me.

The second half started brightly, with Mansfield seeing a lot of the ball, trying to find an opening. Then on 55 minutes we got awarded a soft penalty, in my opinion, as Hamilton was tackled, but not enough to win a penalty.

Then again we aren’t going to complain being awarded a penalty. Up stepped Walker, to calmly put the ball straight down the middle, sending the keeper the wrong way making the scoring 1-0 to the Stags.

At that point I felt as though the floodgates would open and we could add to our lead but we just couldn’t find that second goal, which would have put the pressure off our defence and Olejnik.

Some of the chances we missed were so frustrating, as we should have put the game to bed, on more than one occasion.

CJ, Walker, Davies, Khan, Preston all missed really good chances. Don’t get me wrong it would be worrying if we weren’t creating the chances, but we have seen before, a few weeks’ previous against Colchester what happens if you don’t kill a game off you can get punished.

Luckily for us we were able to hold out for the win, but we need to work on our shooting big time.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though, as Carlisle were still very much in the game at 1-0, pushing for the equaliser testing Oljenik, who pulled off good saves throughout the match including one near the end when Carlisle came on the counter attack.

His distribution was spot on all game, he came out for crosses, threw the ball out so we could go on the counter and pull of saves when called upon. All of which Logan didn’t do enough for me.

There was a number of good performances in the side, with Sweeney slotting well at the back, like he has done for the past few games. Macdonald was getting tackles in, breaking every attack up and putting in some good balls, for our frontmen. Neal Bishop once again ran our midfield, with vision of play and awareness around him. We have been crying out for a midfielder like him for many years, in my opinion. Quite laughable how some of our ‘fans’ didn’t think he was good enough.

Fantastic performance, clean sheet and three points.

Onwards and Upwards COYS!!!!!