Roll call for depleted Stags after FA Cup exit

With the Anfield dream over, Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox quickly turned his attentions to a roll call ahead of Saturday’s crucial home League Two clash with Accrington Stanley.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 10:05 pm

The Stags’ hopes of an FA Cup third round tie at Liverpool were ended tonight when League One Oldham Athletic bagged four second half goals in 24 minutes to win the second round replay 4-1

More worrying for Cox was a straight red card for defender John Dempster and injuries for Ben Hutchinson and Sam Clucas.

“We will just have to see how the lads are for Saturday,” he said.

“We had already lost Ben with his hamstring then Sam got hurt near the end.

“It was an accident. Their lad has just come down on the back of Sam’s Achilles and gone down it.

“Hopefully it’s nothing serious but we have sent him to hospital to have it looked at to make sure.

“I though John Dempster’s sending-off was harsh. I though he was just trying to block the ball. There was a push on Martin Riley just before that too which wasn’t seen.”

Cox added: “I thought for the first 50-60 minutes we were decent tonight. But you have to keep those concentration levels and beliefs going for 90 minutes.

“If you don’t then better sides will pick you off.

“The boys are down. I never thought Oldham were going to hurt us, despite having decent possession.

“If their keeper hadn’t saved Lindon Meikle’s shot it would have been 2-0 and we’d have had something to hang onto.

“We were up against a team from a higher division tonight but for long periods you couldn’t tell which was which so there are some positives for us.

“Don’t get me wrong, we’d have loved a day out at Anfield, but the league is our priority and we need to work on our concentration and not giving away silly free kicks outside out box as good teams will punish you.”

Oldham boss Lee Johnson said: “It’s a super prize to be going to Anfield. It’s for the boys. Not too many of them were here last season when we last played them.

“When you play for a small club you get certain big moments in your career - and this is one of them.

“The first half wasn’t great. We huffed and puffed and didn’t have any quality.

“But that was a monumental performance from the boys in the second half and I am so pleased for them.

“Our keeper made a fantastic save to stop it going to 2-0 and then we went down the other end and Danny (Philliskirk) scored a great free kick. He’s got that in his locker. He is a good player who can produce that bit of individual brilliance.

“That set us off and we looked comfortable after that. The game opened up and we have fit, young, hungry mobile players and we saw it out convincingly and we could have gone on and had five or six goals.”