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Hodge: Worthwhile Exercise

4 September 2013

Notts Development Squad lost 3-2 to a strong Mansfield Town side on Wednesday afternoon at the One Call Stadium...

Notts Development Squad lost 3-2 to a strong Mansfield Town side on Wednesday afternoon at the One Call Stadium and Development Squad Coach Steve Hodge saw a number of positives despite the defeat.

The Stags took an early lead, before the Magpies hit back with two goals from striker Malachi Lavelle-Moore and midfielder Malcolm Melvin, before the home side equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Notts had the better of the second half, creating numerous chances, but the game was won by the hosts from a penalty with twenty minutes to go.

Hodge told the Official Site that there was plenty of encouraging signs shown. He said: ‘Mansfield as a club are a big and physical side and we knew it was going to be tough. They had a lot of league experience out there, whilst we had players that are still learning the game.

‘That said we are disappointed to lose the game, but there were more than enough promising signs for the future.

‘We had a slow start, which we need to learn from and develop into our game, and conceded early. We will be working on that in the coming games. Then after that we competed really well against some big physical lads. 

‘We stuck at it though, stayed together as a unit and that showed when we took the lead on the 44th minute. We tried to get the message to keep it tight until half-time, but seconds later we concede again. 

‘We have to go through those experiences and learn how to manage these situations, as people and as players. 

‘The winning goal's move, actually started by Mansfield's own corner flag. We gave them too much space and it’s another lesson we need to learn from. You always have to be switched on.

‘You always like to get a result, especially from home, but as an exercise it was worthwhile and it can only aid our development.’

The Notts side included a number of development players including Callum Bennett, Jordan Holt and first team goalkeeper Fabien Spiess, whilst it also gave an opportunity for the management to look over trialists. 

The Development Squad’s next game is away to Crewe Alexandra, whilst they have difficult matches against Coventry City, Wolves, Stoke City and Birmingham City all lined up in the coming weeks.

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