16 September 2023

Nigel Clough felt Mansfield were lucky to get draw against Colchester

16 September 2023

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough admits his side were fortunate to claim a point after they struck late to draw 1-1 at Colchester.

Davis Keillor-Dunn converted a 90th-minute equaliser for the Stags from close range, after the home defence had failed to deal with Aden Flint’s flick-on in the area from Callum Johnson’s cross.

It preserved Mansfield’s unbeaten run, after Joe Taylor had given Colchester a 30th-minute lead when he clinically finished, from Arthur Read’s fine pass.

Clough said “I’m not sure how we got a point.

“I don’t think we deserved anything all day.

“I don’t think we did anything really that we’ve done in the first nine games.

“In the first half, we had an element of control without really hurting them, every time we got into the final third.

“We mis-placed a pass, gave it away, we didn’t cross properly.

“The goal sort of summed it up; a young player making a mistake and giving the ball away.

“Once he’s mis-controlled it, you do everything you can not to concede a goal.

“We massively missed Stephen Quinn’s composure today.

“But we put Flinty (Aden Flint) up front and it gives you a different option, to go through him.

“I’m not sure too many people in a red shirt actually recognised that Flinty had gone up front!

“They didn’t play the ball towards him for about 15 minutes!”

Mansfield goalkeeper Christy Pym had twice denied Taylor, shortly before Colchester’s top scorer fired the hosts ahead with a smart finish.

Zach Mitchell and Samson Tovide both went close for the U’s after half-time and substitute John Akinde’s header was nodded off the line by Aaron Lewis, before Keillor-Dunn salvaged Mansfield a point.

Colchester boss Ben Garner was disappointed his side could not hold on for victory.

Garner said: “We deserved to win the game.

“The biggest positive today was the togetherness of the team and the spirit.

“It was another performance that deserved a clean sheet against a top side, with one of the strongest squads in the division.

“Nigel’s built that team over probably three years now.

“I think our execution in the final third was the one thing that needed polishing up today.

“For the areas and situations we got in, we didn’t get our technique right and our decision right.

“They’re things that we can work on and we can improve.

“We’re building something here – you can feel it.

“The team is coming on and it’s gelling.

“The supporters were magnificent and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t give them three points to go home with.

“But we take a point, we move on and we have to channel that disappointment in the next two games.”

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