Steve Evans delighted as Mansfield Town players ‘step it up’

Mansfield Town vs Everton U23 - Lee Angol of Mansfield Town has a shot on goal - Pic By James Williamson
Mansfield Town vs Everton U23 - Lee Angol of Mansfield Town has a shot on goal - Pic By James Williamson

Delighted Stags boss Steve Evans praised his back-up players for once again stepping up to the mark.

He was left thrilled after watching his side, which featured 11 changes from the Exeter draw, defeat Everton U23’s 1-0 thanks to Zander Diamond’s 81st minute header.

Mansfield Town vs Everton U23 - Paul Raynor and Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town vs Everton U23 - Paul Raynor and Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson

It was a thoroughly deserved win as Mansfield dominated from start to finish, with only heroic goalkeeping and brilliant last-ditch defending keeping them at bay for so long.

Evans said: ““We have domInated from start to finish. It resembled Exeter on Saturday if I am honest.

“We had the chances, Their keeper made a mistake on the goal but he has kept them in it with some great saves.

“We played some terrific football in both halves and there were some really good performances.

“Credit to the boys, they have really stepped it up both Tuesdays (tonight and Notts County game).

“What a wonderful situation we are in when we can make changes and bring in good players.

“We are bringing in the likes of Joel Byrom and Diamond back and have other players battling to get back to full fitness. We have got good options.

“There were four or five big performers tonight, which gives me selection issues to think about on Saturday.

“Everton brought some very good players tonight, players who travelled and trained with the first team and players who have a contribution to the club and offer real ability.

“People might not have heard of these players but make no mistake, we have played against a very good team tonight.

“It’s a shame we did not get to three tonight, we could have won five or six.”

And he was also full of praise for returning captain Zander Diamond, who played his first match in two months after returning from injury.

“I’m pleased Zander Diamond got the goal because he missed a shocker,” he said.

“He was every dominate against a very good young striker who will play at a good level.

“He was strong and he hasn’t given the striker a kick tonight and we have missed that.

“He will be tired tomorrow, it was a good shift and very good to have him back.”

The win moves Stags up to second in the Group G table, level on points with leaders Lincoln and three ahead of Notts County, who face each other in the group’s final fixture at Sincil Bank on Tuesday.

“Progressing is not a priority for us and I won’t be at the game next Tuesday,” he added

“We have put in three strong performances and Lincoln v Notts will be a good game.

“I won’t be there though as we are looking at other opposition.

“We want to go through. If you are in it you want to win, but it has not been a priority.”