STAGS HELD BY LATE GOAL AND WONDER SAVE
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Macclesfield Town
Rundle 57. Swailes 78.
Attendance: 2901 (237 from Macclesfield)
Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill
Mansfield Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Macclesfield Town at Field Mill this afternoon. After a dull opening 30 minutes, the Stags started to get on top and deserved the lead given to them by Adam Rundle's great strike on 57 minutes. The Stags had chances to add to their lead, but Macclesfield equalised after the Stags failed to clear a corner on 78 minutes. On 88 minutes, Kyle Jacobs hit a great strike from 20 yards which was deflected and Macclesfield keeper Alan Fettis made a truly unbelievable save.
Full report in the Match Centre
Mansfield Town 1 Macclesfield Town 1
It was a day that began with demonstration and ended up in frustration.
Stags fans marched on Field Mill from their rally against chairman Keith Haslam before this important game.
But the three points that looked to be heading their way, thanks to an Adam Rundle goal on 57 minutes, were squandered 12 minutes from the end when Macclesfield's big defender Danny Swailes forced him from close range amid an untidy scramble.
They had managed their only other shot on target - also by Swailes - only a minute before while Mansfield created a string of second half chances but could only once find a way past in-form Northern Ireland keeper Alan Fettis.
The snatched point demonstrated why the Silkmen have only lost twice in 17 games and keeps them four points ahead of the Stags.
"It was one of those again today," said Stags boss Peter Shirtliff. "We have been unfortunate in our last four or five games and it's quite reflective of what's been happening. We just can't kill teams off.
"Macclesfield were not very ambitious in getting men forward and it was a bit compact in midfield. And, after last week's performance, it was perhaps understandable we were a bit hesitant.
"But second half I though we played very well. They knew the game was there for the taking.
"We started to get the ball out to wide areas but we lacked quality in the final third. We should have tried to get behind them at times instead of trying 25 yard shots.
"Our goal was a good diagonal ball from Kyle Jacobs and a good finish from Adam Rundle. But for their equaliser I think players have got to take a bit more responsibility individually in clearing the corner."
Stags made four changes from the side beaten at Darlington last weekend.
Simon Brown, Jon Hjelde, Adam Birchall and Jason White were replaced by Kevin Pressman, Gus Uhlenbeek, Jake Buxton and the returning Jon D'Laryea, who signed from Manchester City in midweek.
Buxton partnered John-Baptiste in the centre of defence with Jacobs making his home League debut at right back.
Pressman was back in goal and Uhlenbeek on the right of midfield with Coke in the centre and D'Laryea playing a holding role just behind him.
Buxton had the first goal attempt of the game in the fourth minute. But his poked shot from 16 yards deflected wide for the first corner.
That was well worked for Rundle to pull back a low pass towards Coke who was fouled just outside the box. The free kick saw Rundle swap passes with Barker who rolled the ball back into Rundle's path for a ferocious shot that flew over the bar.
A great run from Coke saw him get past three opponents before Harsley tackled him to concede the corner. Harsley was also there when John-Baptiste flicked the ball at goal seconds later from D'Laryea's square pass.
Sandwith spotted Pressman off his line on 16 minutes and tried to lift the ball over him from 40 yards but was too high.
Wijnhard then hoisted a volley well over in the box from Bullock's flick-on as both sides struggled to test either keeper.
Wijnhard was afforded too much space 25 yards from goal and unleashed a right foot shot that went wide of Pressman's near post.
Coke had a dangerous low cross cleared from the six yard box while Reet saw a shot blocked as Stags tried to force the pace.
And on 35 minutes they at last tested Fettis as Rundle pulled a corner back towards Uhlenbeek on the edge of the box and he fired hard and low at the keeper.
A minute later Barker got a head on Jelleyman's cross but was too high.
Wijnhard almost unlocked the home defence with a splendid reverse pass on 41 minutes to set McIntyre into space in the box. But as he looked to finish Buxton produced a brilliantly timed tackle to take the ball off him, any mis-timing would have almost certainly cost a penalty.
At the other end another Jelleyman cross saw Reet control neatly before shooting at Fettis on the turn.
But a disappointing half ended scoreless with Stags on top.
However, Mansfield came out all guns blazing and the Silkmen's goal led a charmed life inside the first minute.
Coke and Rundle fed the ball on to Jelleyman for a near post blast that Fettis could only parry. Coke's follow-up was blocked by Swailes and the ball ran for Rundle to force Fettis into another save.
Coke was well over from distance and Rundle was too high after good run into the box as Stags kept the pressure on.
Another good Rundle run ended with his powerful 20 yard shot well saved.
Then Jacobs curled in a wicked low cross which Barker met with diving header from eight yards that he just couldn't direct on goal.
Soon after D'Laryea was only just wide with a first time finish from an Uhlenbeek cross.
The pressure told on 57 minutes as Mansfield went ahead.
Jacons lofted in a long high ball from the right towards the far side of the box. Harsley tried to head clear at full stretch but the ball fell for Rundle who took full advantage as he thundered an unstoppable finish past Fettis.
A Barker cross was just too high for an unmarked Uhlenbeek and Rundle popped up to take possession and lift a shot just over the far angle as Stags really began to buzz.
John-Baptiste was booked for kicking the ball away after Coke had brought down Bullock. And, from 30 yards, Sandwith was only just wide with a sizzling free kick.
Stags had another scare on 69 as Harsley's corner picked out Swailes who sent a free header over from eight yards.
Birchall replaced the tiring Reet on 71.
Pressman finally had his first save to make on 77 minutes as a Sandwith corner reached Swailes whose powerful shot was beaten away by the keeper.
But he was picking the ball out of the back of his net a minute later.
The resulting corner came over and a scramble developed almost on the goal line where Swailes eventually was able to force the ball into the net.
Coke was wide after another fine run and shot.
But Macclesfield went closer as Swailes helped on a Harsley cross towards goal where Wijnhard flicked a backheader over.
Coke set up Birchall for a shot that Fettis had to save while Birchall then cued up Barker for a shot that was blocked.
Stags turned up the heat with three successive corners and Jacobs forced Fettis to parry a splendid 30 yard rocket with two minutes to go.
Rundle was only just over from 25 yards in stoppage time.
Mansfield 1 Macclesfield 1
DANNY Swailes's second goal in a week earned Macclesfield a scarcely earned point against Mansfield at Field Mill.
The Silkmen defender bundled home Kevin Sandwith's 78th minute corner after a goal mouth scramble.
Swailes' equaliser saved the blushes of team mate Paul Harsley after his rare error had gifted the Stags the lead on 56 minutes.
The utility man attempted to steer Gus Uhlenbeek's long ball back to keeper Alan Fettis but his header fell short and allowed Adam Rundle to thump home.
Mansfield's former Bury loanee Danny Reet wasted the best chance of a sterile first half when he shot straight at Fettis from eight yards.
After the break Macc continued to be pushed back and former Silkman Richie Barker and Jonathon D'Laryea both wasted good chances.
But the Stags did take the lead when Rundle capitalised on Harsley's blunder. However the goal sparked Macclesfield into life and Swailes levelled matters with his second goal in three games, though the visitors were indebted to yet another outstanding Fettis save when he kept out Giles Coke's 25 yards screamer.
Latest | February 2006