STAGS DRAW AT BURY
Bury 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 3105 (459 from Mansfield)
Point at Bury makes Mansfield safe
MANSFIELD Town made themselves mathematically safe with a point from a 0-0 draw at struggling Bury in their penultimate game of the season this afternoon.
It was a game with few clear chances though young keeper Jason White did superbly well to smother a close range finish from former Mansfield team mate Matthew Tipton in the second half.
Stags' central defensive partnership of Rhys Day and Alex John-Baptiste were in superb form with the latter absolutely outstanding.
Richie Barker came closest for Stags in the final minute with a close range header that produced a good stop from home keeper Kasper Schmiechel.
It was certainly a better result than the 3-0 home defeat by the Shakers earlier in the season and Mansfield were warmly applauded from the field by over 400 travelling fans.
The home side were left still looking over their shoulders as the relegation battle enters its final week.
Stags made three changes to the side held by Carlisle United last week.
Out went Gus Uhlenbeek (dropped to bench), Simon Brown (hernia operation) and Jon Hjelde (hamstring).
Jake Buxton came back in, despite still suffering from a cracked bone in his foot, Nathan Arnold was given a start up front and Giles Coke was back from a one-game ban.
Stags were given another boost when John-Baptiste passed a late fitness test on his hip injury.
White confidently caught the first of home skipper Challinor's famous long throws at his near post in commanding fashion.
Day then headed a Wilson free kick tamely at Schmeichel at the other end.
Tipton should have done better on four minutes. Goberns turned Wilson before crossing to an unmarked Tipton on the penalty spot. But he sent his header almost straight at White.
On eight minutes Barker did better at the other end, forcing Schmeichel to dive to his right to stop his powerful header after a short corner had seen Wilson put the ball over.
Coke headed away Barry-Murphy's corner on 11 minutes only to see Flitcroft's volley fly well off target.
Lloyd almost got Arnold away with a quick through ball, but Schmeichel was there first.
Gobern broke well down the right and put in a good cross into the Stags box where again Tipton failed to test White with a header, this time sending the ball wide of the post.
Gobern caused more chaos in the visitors' box with a low pass into Tipton who, despite the close attention of defenders, managed to pull a low finish narrowly wide.
D'Laryea tried a low shot from 25 yards and, although it had Schmeichel diving, it was always going wide of goal.
A quick Bury throw then saw Ross lash the ball well over from 30 yards.
Mansfield threatened on 27 as Coke went on a powerful run before finding Lloyd who, faced with three defenders, tricked his way into space in the box before curling his finish too near to Schmeichel.
A superb bowl out by White set Dawson on a run and only a home leg sending the ball out for a corner prevented Barker capitalising on his low cross.
In the final minute of the half, Barry-Murphy curled a free kick inches over the far angle from the right hand corner of the Stags box as the half ended goalless.
Wilson did well to intercept Tipton's through ball before Daly could reach it soon after the break.
Dawson had a shot charged down from Stags' first corner of the half after they had survived a couple of scrambles at the other end.
On 52 minutes Shirtliff made a change as he sent on Uhlenbeek for Coke with Dawson moving over into the centre.
Bury struggled to clear their lines again and the ball once more rolled invitingly to Dawson who this time scuffed his finish and it passed harmlessly wide.
Bury made a switch on 59 as Pugh replaced Daly.
The first on target attempt of the half came on the hour as Schmeichel was safely behind Wilson's firm 25 yard free kick.
Birchall came on for Arnold to boost the visitors' attack on 62.
The outstanding John-Baptiste got a block in on a fierce Flitcroft blast.
Then White pulled off a superb reaction save to get his body in the way of Tipton's close range finish after Pugh had burst into the box on the left and got to the by-line on 70 minutes.
That was Tipton's last chance as he was replaced by Youngs three minutes later.
An Uhlenbeek through ball gave Birchall a brief sight of the Bury goal but the finish was deflected narrowly wide,
Two minutes later Barker was just to high with his flicked header from Lloyd's cross.
On 82 Ross took a quick free kick which caught Mansfield napping and Youngs was in the box. He got a lucky bounce as two defenders went in with him. But with White and the goal at his mercy from four yards, John-Baptiste appeared from nowhere to throw his body in the way of the finish and save the day
Barker's presence hampered Schmeichel catching a long free kick. The ball ran to Birchall who got away an on-target shot only to find the keeper had managed to regain his position to make the save.
But in the end both sides drew a blank and had to settle for a point apiece which was of more use to Mansfield than the worried Shakers.
Manchester Evening News
Bury 0 Mansfield 0
KASPER Schmeichel made vital saves in each half to edge Bury further away from the League Two drop zone.
However, the Shakers will probably need a draw at Notts County on the final Saturday of the season to make sure of their safety.
Schmeichel, on loan from Manchester City, denied Richie Barker in the seventh minute.And then with the Shakers heading for a third goalless home draw in their last four outings, Schmeichel pulled off another crucial stop from
the same player.
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Bury, who have struggled on their tricky Gigg Lane surface all season, did have chances of their own. Matthew Tipton, whose stoppage time winner at Darlington was so vital, should have done better with a couple of first half efforts.
And he was unlucky in the 70th minute when Mark Pugh's pass was met first time only for Jason White to deny him.
Substitute Tom Youngs replaced Tipton after 72 minutes and thought he'd won it moments later.
However, former City youngster Jonathan D'Laryea made a brilliant block to deny Bury that elusive goal.
With Mansfield switching the two team's around after winning the toss, Bury started the game kicking towards the Manchester Road End.A good effort on three minutes saw the ball released to Lewis Gobern on the flank, his cross into the box found Tipton who directed the ball at goal, but straight to the arms of keeper Jason White.
On five minutes, Tipton found Ian Ross on the edge of the box, his first time shot though cannoned of a Mansfield defender and was eventually cleared by Dawson.Mansfield's first serious effort came on seven minuets when the ball was knocked into the box and quickly pushed out for a corner, the delivery found the head of Barker whose bullet header looked destined for the bottom corner, but a fantastic diving save from Kasper Schmeichel kept things level.
A long ball from Schmeichel on 12 minutes found Gobern on the edge of the box, his ball forward found Tipton who cut inside a defender and flashed off a weak shot that keeper White.A mistake at the back almost let in Barker seconds later, but a good challenge from Challinor saw the ball pushed out for a corner.
Bury should have took the lead on 15 minutes when Bury broke through at pace, the ball found Gobern on the wing, his first touch controlled the ball, his second lashed a ferocious cross into the box that Tipton connected with, buthis header flashed wide of the target.
Another good move seconds later with Ian Ross feeding a delightful ball into the box looking for Jon Daly, keeper White though just managed to collect the ball ahead of the Bury striker.The ballcame straight back with Tipton collecting inside the box, a quick shot again failed to find the target and the ball sailed wide for a goal kick.
Another Bury break on 21 minutes saw Tipton surge through the Mansfield box, his final touch though just pushed the ball forward to Mansfield keeper Jason White, who tapped the ball away to a defender for him to clear.
Mansfield should have done better on 26 minutes when Giles Coke found Callum Lloyd in space, the Mansfield player came forward and took the ball around two Bury defenders, before knocking a hard shot straight down the teeth of Kasper Schmeichel.
A Bury corner on 31 minutes saw Barry-Murphy deliver the ball into the box, the visiting defence quickly cleared and broke forward in numbers, but a long cross field ball from Baptiste took a deflection and flew out for a Mansfield corner that they quickly wasted.
Daly found Matthew Tipton on 40 minutes, his first touch took the ball into the Mansfield corner.Tipton just kept the ball on the field, but couldn't find a team mate and the visitors cleared.
Another good chance came on 41 minutes following a Gobern deep cross, Ross headed back into the box, Fitzgerald flicked on and with Tipton's back to goal, the former Mansfield striker attempted the overhead kick, but missed completely.
A Bury free kick on 44 minutes after Gobern was felled, saw Brian Barry-Murphy whip the ball above the angle of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Half time:Bury 0 Mansfield Town 0
A good ball forward on 46 minutes from Tipton almost saw Daly race through, but the ball just drifted wide of the former Stockport player and Mansfield cleared quickly out of play, From Challinor's long throw, the ball fell to Tipton deep past the far stick, his over head kick saw Daly & Fitzgerald leap, but the keeper just managed to punch the ball clear.
A right footed shot from Dawson on the edge of the Bury box saw the Bury defence eventually scramble the ball clear, a long ball from Fitzgerald saw Daly chase the ball, but Buxton did enough to get the ball away and out of play.
A clever interception from Jon Daly played the ball forward to Ross on 54 minutes, he drove into the box and squared for Tipton, Tippy hit the ball first time, but a defender managed to get a block on the effort before his team mates scrambled the ball clear.
A Mansfield free kick in a very central position on 59 minutes saw Lawrence Wilson attempt to take the quick early, his effort though flew straight to Schmeichel and safety.
Matthew Tipton did well on 67 minutes by taking the ball to the byline, though this time, he just couldn't keep the ball in play and the nearside official busily waved his flag to signal the goal kick for Mansfield.
Marc Pugh did superbly well on 69 minutes by taking the ball along the byline, his ball to the feet of a charging Tipton saw the Bury striker connect, but unbelievably he fired the ball straight at Jason White who managed to scramble the ball clear.
Mansfield won a corner on 74 minutes after a Birchill shot took a deflection off Brass, after a spot of head tennis in and around the Bury box, the home side eventually smashed the ball out for a visiting throw.
A quickly taken Bury free kick on 81 minutes saw Youngs with two attempts to fire the ball into the goal, but both efforts were well blocked by the Mansfield defenders and pushed out for a corner, the delivery from BBM flew just over the head of Marc Pugh on the back post.
A Mansfield free kick saw Schmeichel leave his line to palm the ball away, it fell nicely for Barker and his rasping drive from the edge of the box flew straight into the chest of the Bury shot stopper. A late Bury free kick on the stroke of full time saw Fitzgerald leap at the back post, but his effort hit the side netting.
Mansfield should have won the game on 90 minutes when Birchill dropped the ball onto the head of Barker, his header found the target, but brought a stunning stop from Schmeichel.
Full Time: Bury 0 Mansfield Town 0
Bury: Kasper Schmeichel, John Fitzgerald, Dave Challinor, Colin Woodthorpe, Dave Flitcroft, Brian Barry-Murphy, Jon Daly (Pugh 58), Chris Brass, Lewis Gobern, Matthew Tipton (Youngs 72), Ian Ross
On the Bench: Tom Kennedy, Dwayne Mattis, Tom Youngs, Paul Scott, Mark Pugh
Mansfield Town:J ason White, Jonathan D'Laryea, Rhys Day, Alex Baptiste, Stephen Dawson, Ritchie Barker, Jake Buxton, Giles Coke (Ulhenbeek 51), Callum Lloyd (Russell 83), Nathan Arnold (Birchill 61), Lawrence Wilson
On the Bench: Kevin Pressman, Gus Ulhenbeek, Adam Birchill, Kyle Jacobs, Alan Russell
Referee: Mr Tony Bates
Assistant: Mr Graeme Atkins
Assistant: Mr T Massey
Fourth Official: Mr Mark Haywood
Attendance: 3,105 (459)
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