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Season 14/15 Stagsnet Match Report
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town  
0 - 0
 Cambridge United
 
 
Attendance: 2925 (410 from Cambridge)
 
Date: 18 October 2014

DEPLETED STAGS BATTLE FOR HARD-FOUGHT POINT

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town’s depleted squad battled hard for a point against a confident Cambridge United at Field Mill this afternoon. The Stags were without 7 senior players through injury, plus Adam Murray through suspension, and had players turning out who weren’t 100% fit. The hard graft of the players earned a good ovation at the end. The Stags could have been ahead after just 8 minutes when Fergus Bell was taken out by the Cambridge keeper in the area, with Bell having just about got to the ball first, but instead of giving a penalty, the referee booked Bell for diving and gave a goal-kick. If the ref thought that the keeper had got there first, he probably should have given a corner. Either way, it wasn’t a dive by Bell. The next controversial moment came when loan signing Jamie Sendles-White, on his home debut, fouled Tate with an over the ball challenge, and was a bit lucky to escape with a yellow card. The best chance of the first half came to Cambridge when Bell headed off the line to Tom Elliott who hit the base of the post. In the second half, Sascha Studer made a great save from a curling shot from Kwesi Appiah and another great save palming away a shot from Liam Hughes, while Appiah also fired a great effort against the post. Mansfield’s best chance came on 85 minutes when Bingham beat two men on the left, cut inside and fired over the bar. Plenty of good performances from the Stags players, especially at the back, where Riley and Sutton played very well, Studer made some great saves, and in the middle where McGuire gave a controlled captain’s performance, Heslop battled through the 90 minutes despite not being fit, and Bell played well. A hard-earned point. Though in the same way that Mansfield should have won at Portsmouth, Cambridge will feel they should have won this.

The Stags were without the injured Dempster, Tafazolli, Clements, Palmer, Hearn, and Rhead, and Luke Jones who ruptured his Achilles in training during the week in an incident that upset the players who heard the snapping noise and realised that he will now be out for about 6 months. Best wishes to Jones in his recovery. Murray was serving the second game of his three game suspension. Heslop played despite limping out of training during the week. Fisher came in to partner Bingham up front, in place of Rhead, in the only change to the starting XI from the Portsmouth game. The Stags were two players short of filling the bench. After the game, Fisher went to A&E for a CT scan but was given the all clear and is fit for Tuesday. Cambridge included Greg Taylor at left back, who played for the Stags on loan in the Conference winning season, while Tom Naylor was on the bench.

Cambridge started positively. But it Mansfield with the first chance on 5 minutes as Freeman crossed and Beevers headed wide at the far post.

Controversy on 8 minutes when Fergus Bell was taken out by the Cambridge keeper in the area, with Bell having just about got to the ball first, but instead of giving a penalty, the referee booked Bell for diving and gave a goal-kick. If the ref thought that the keeper had got there first, he possibly should have given a corner. Either way, it wasn’t a dive by Bell.

On 12 minutes, good defending by Riley to get the ball away from Appiah in the box. Two minutes later, good defending by Freeman as Appiah broke into the box.

On 15 minutes, Fisher tried a hopeful chip on the turn, seeing the keeper off his line, but it went over the bar. More good defending by Riley on 16 minutes on Appiah.

The next controversial moment came on 18 minutes when loan signing Jamie Sendles-White fouled Tate with an over the ball challenge 22 yard from goal, and was a bit lucky to escape with a yellow card. Hughes sent the resulting free-kick straight into the wall. On 24 minutes, Heslop did well to block a Robbie Simpson volley. On 25 minutes, Heslop curled a free kick straight at the keeper for an easy save.

On 31 minutes, a good move from the Stags, and a lovely play from Bell to Bingham to Fisher whose shot was blocked.

Another great tackle by Riley on Appiah in the box on 35 minutes. A minute later Donaldson was booked for diving, and it was a very obvious dive. On 38 minutes, a Cambridge free kick hit Appiah and Elliott volleyed over but he was offside.

The best chance of the first half came on 40 minutes when, following a Cambridge corner, Bell headed off the line from Nelson’s header as far as Hughes who hit the base of the post with a shot from the right.

On 45 minutes, Bingham crossed deep to Freeman who volleyed back across goal, but it was cleared.

On 45+1, a free kick from Sutton from the halfway line, Fisher nodded down, and the ball came back to him and he volleyed wide. He should have done better.

Two good headers on the halfway line by McGuire just before the break were appreciated by the home fans, who applauded the team off at the break. Not much in it between the two teams, with the Stags defending well. Cambridge were very physical, while for the Stags Bingham was disappointingly quiet up front. The Stags created some good moves, with very few long balls as a result of having to play the ball on the floor, with Rhead and Palmer not in the team. Cambridge came closest when they hit the post, but the Stags could have had a penalty.

Half time 0-0

A half chance for Bell to shoot in the first minute of the second half but he didn’t pull the trigger.

On 50 minutes, a great ball from McGuire to Fisher on the left. Fisher’s cross was too far for Bingham, who retrieved it from the right, cut back in, and sent a left foot shot wide of the post.

On 52 minutes, a great save from Studer from Appiah who turned and sent a curling shot towards the right post. Not only did Studer tip it away, but he kept it away from Elliott who was lurking in the area.

On 53 minutes, a soft shot from Bell at the keeper.

On 56 minutes, Studer saved right on the goalline, dropping on the ball, from an Appiah header from a corner.

On 57 minutes, from a Freeman throw, Bingham shot from 25 yards wide of the right post.

Cambridge were unlucky on 58 minutes when the lively Appiah sent a great shot against the left post from the edge of the box on the right.

On 59 minutes, Studer did well to punch away a corner.

Cambridge were on top.

On 65 minutes, a good challenge from Beevers to take the ball away from Elliott who was about to shoot.

On 67 minutes, Appiah broke quickly, got the ball to Donaldson on the right, who fired tamely wide of the post.

A minute later, Riley did well to head back to Studer under pressure from Appiah.

Bell played a ball forward on 76 minutes, but Bingham couldn’t quite get on the end of it, and it was cleared.

Another good save from Studer on 82 minutes, palming away a shot from Hughes.

Mansfield’s best chance and best move of the half came on 85 minutes when Beevers played a great ball out to Bingham on the left, he beat two men, cut inside and fired over the bar.

Rob Taylor replaced Bell on 86 minutes. Bell had worked his socks off.

No more chances for either side, and generous applause from the Stags fans at the final whistle who appreciated such a hard-working performance. The Stags are four points outside the play-offs and seven points above the relegation zone.

On to Tranmere on Tuesday. With so many players out injured or playing with injuries, the Stags squad desperately needs new faces. Whether Paul Cox is allowed to bring in new faces remains to be seen.

Man of the match: Martin Riley and Sascha Studer


Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
Studer 8 Two great saves, and another save on the line kept Stags in the game when Cambridge were on top.
Sutton 7 Defended well.
Sendles-White 6 Didn’t play as well as at Portsmouth. A bit fortunate not to get a red card for his foul on Tate.
Riley 8 Several great tackles in dangerous situations.
Beevers 7 Good game defensively, and one or two decent moves forward.
Freeman 6.5 A bit quieter than at Portsmouth but some good defending.
Heslop 6.5 Clearly played with an injury and did well to battle through.
McGuire 7 A controlled captain’s performance though not inspirational.
Bell 7 Played well. Unlucky not to earn a penalty.
Fisher 5.5 Didn’t pose much of a threat and often too far apart from Bingham. Went to A&E for a CT scan after the game but was given the all clear and is fit for Tuesday.
Bingham 6.5 Disappointingly quiet in the first half, created a couple of long range shots in the second.
Sub Line Up:
Taylor (for Bell, 86) -
Sub not used: Evtimov, Marsden, Thomas, Lambe.
Opposition Line Up:
Dunn; Tait, Nelson, Coulson, Greg Taylor (Chadwick 80); Hughes, Champion, Simpson (Dunk 56), Donaldson; Elliott, Appiah. Subs not used: Lanzoni, Norris, Lennon, Bird, Naylor.
Referee:
Mark Heywood 5 Poor.


Season 14/15 Reports