Floodlit Dreams, Daylight Reality

Mark Stallard celebrates scoring against Forest Green Rovers during the Stags' 3-0 win

Mark Stallard celebrates scoring against Forest Green Rovers during the Stags' 3-0 win

YET another Saturday has passed by Field Mill, and the three points and clean sheet again remain at Field Mill.

A 3-0 victory over draw specialists Forest Green Rovers on Saturday may have given the floodlit dreams of the play-off’s an extra boost of power.

We can still make it and achieve the now possible dream of a day in the capital city, and a trip to Wembley, the home of English football where we have graced once before.

Most fans seem a little split, and I sit somewhere in the middle. I believe we can achieve the play-offs, yet I will not get my hopes too high as I accept we must take everything one simple step at a time.

Keep the defence tight, and the strikers on a free leash, and I will be happy, as long as we take three points each and every time.

David Holdsworth openly admits he has one eye on next season, tying down players on longer contracts so the squad will be settled in the summer. With this in mind I chose to take in the reserve game on Wednesday evening, just to see what we have in terms of “back up”

There was a decent turnout and the Stags team was a mixture of triallists, fringe players and youth team players.

Despite the result (2-0 loss at the hands of Walsall), I was pleased to see the desire of the players. They really wanted to impress the gaffer, who was watching from the sidelines and later the stand.

Connor Higginson had a fantastic game and if he puts away a few more chances his first team call will come sooner rather than later.

New signing Daryl Clare was in action for the last 30 minutes, setting up Higginson on a few occasions and kept the Walsall back line on their toes.

Holdsworth seemed pleased and no doubt will have been delighted on Friday night as the youth team thumped Bradford city 5-0, Higginson scoring one goal and creating another.

All the way down the pecking order things seem to be a lot stronger and this can only be vital in preparation for next season, a healthy competitive reserve side and a blossoming youth set-up.

One player who I mentioned above, Daryl Clare, has made an instant impact. Yet to make his debut in the first team set up, he has put pressure on Mark Stallard, Rob Duffy and Aaron O’Connor to perform. And judging by Saturday’s result it certanly worked.

Everything seems ready for a big push next season. No matter if we are still in the unknown or back in the promised land, we will be a fit, strong competitive side .

David Holdsworth has things ready and is just waiting for the glue to dry on a few things such as contract talks with players and more goals, but along the way what were floodlit dreams back in November could suddenly become daylight reality – lets hope so.

Thanks again for the wonderful support and comments please keep them coming, and if you are a member of facebook take five minutes to search for “stagsfan.wordpress.com” so you can receive more frequent updates.

Craig (Rainworthstag14)
“Mansfield Town FC; where there is hope, there is belief”

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