STAGS GAIN POINT AT KASSAM
Oxford United 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Wanless 64. MacKenzie 79.
Att: 5,625 (605 from Mansfield)
Stagsnet report by Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at the Kassam Stadium now in the Match Centre: href="http://www.stagsnet.net/match/reports/viewreport.php?matchid=67"target="_blank"> click here.
Meanwhile reports from other sources below.
Report from Oxford official site:
UNited kept thei unbeaten record going but had to settle for a point today with a 1-1 drawe against Mansfield. Despite taking the lead through Paul Wanless United were pegged back by a Lee MacKenzie goal in an entertaining game at the Kassam Stadium.
With Mark Rawle coming in for Julian Alsop United changed system as well as personnel in the opening stages, and Steve Basham became more of the focal point up front. Rawle and Derek Townsley were asked to support while Danny Brown dropped slightly deeper than normal to begin with. With the visitors playing with just one man up front it was vital to get control of the midfield, where much of the game was played in the first quarter of an hour.
The first shot arrived on fifteen minutes when Rawle latched on to a clever ball from Basham and ran at the defence before testing keeper Kevin Pilkington with a shot from the edge of the area. Not to be outdone, Mansfield tested Andy Woodman with a header from Corden on nineteen before United were dealt a huge blow when skipper Andy Crosby was forced to go off, seemingly groggy after an earlier clash of heads with Derek Townsley.
His replacement Dave Waterman slotted straight in to the back line and with both defences looking solid the game was a tactical battle rather than an end to end encounter.
The crowd, resplendent in Yellow for 'wear your colours day' stayed with their team and on 36 minutes might have seen United go ahead when they were awarded an indirect free kick after Tony Vaughan rashly touched a back pass to his keeper under pressure from Rawle. Derek Townsley opted for placement rather than power but saw it come back off the wall, as did his second effort from a free kick twenty yards out on 40 minutes.
Basham then curled a right footed shot wide on 41 as the Yellows picked up the pace and it was the home side who ended the half on top after an even first period, with Wanless emphasising that with a 20 yarder just wide right on the whistle.
The second half then went back into cagey mode, with a Brown header from a Townsley cross the best effort at either end until Mackenzie blazed a decent chance over the bar when he found space on the edge of the United area.
The best chance of the game came the way of top scorer Steve Basham, who for once found himself clear of the Mansfield defence on 62 minutes but saw the ball come back off the inside of the post as he shot past the stranded Pilkington.
Now the game was opening up, and on 64 minutes the U's broke the deadlock from their second corner in a minute. Danny Brown's dead ball seemed to brush off the top of Steve Basham's head at the near post and ran perfectly into the path of the flying Wanless who slammed it home from five yards. It was the midfielder's second goal in successive games and fitting reward for another dominant performance in the centre of the park where he is the key to United's start to the season.
The goal also continued United's sequence of having taken the lead in every game so far this term and once they get their noses in front they are a very hard side to break down. However Mansfield are one of the better attacking sides in the division and perhaps would have felt a little aggrieved to be behind. The one thing they perhaps lack is a persistent goalscorer, but on 79 minutes they drew level with a goal from the ninth different player to score for them this term.
Tony Vaughan's free kick into the area could have been cleared by the United defence but ran instead to MacKenzie who shot left footed across Woodman and into the bottom right corner of the net.
United did have a chance to win the game, with Matt Bound thundering a free kick into the wall from the edge of the area after Dean Whitehead had been brought down, but in the end they had to settle for a point that keeps their unbeaten record going.
Woodman, McNiven, Ashton, Crosby (Waterman 24), Bound, Robinson, Wanless, Brown, Townsley (Whitehead 61), Rawle (Scott 75), Basham
Subs Hackett, Hunt
Pilkington, Mendes, Corden (Mulligan 90), Artell, Curtis, Hassell, Vaughan, MacKenzie, Lawrence, Day, Disley (Beardsley 64) Subs: Clarke, Baptiste, White,
Match Statistics (from Footy Mad)
13 Goal Attempts 14
6 On target 6
6 Off target 8
1 Woodwork 0
5 Corners 4
7 Fouls 13
6 Offside 6
Pilkington (37) unsporting behaviour
Vaughan (87) unsporting behaviour
Crick, D ,Surrey
Latest | September 2003