STAGS HELD AT MACCLESFIELD
Macclesfield Town 0-0 Mansfield Town
3250 (832 from Mansfield)
Stats of the day: The Stags could be relegated next Saturday with a defeat against Shrewsbury and other results going against us. Meanwhile the Stags cannot be safe before the final day of the season at Dagenham.
Macclesfield 0-0 Mansfield
Mansfield are now four points adrift of safety at the bottom of League Two after being held by Macclesfield.
The Silkmen started brightly but Gareth Evans squandered their best chance when he headed tamely at Jason White.
Mansfield's best chance to grab three precious points came when Nathan Arnold's fierce low drive was blocked on the six-yard-line by James Jennings.
Stags striker Jefferson Louis did put the ball in the net late on but he was ruled offside.
Press Association report:
Mansfield Town's hopes of maintaining their Football League status were left hanging by a thread after a disappointing goalless draw at relegation rivals Macclesfield Town.
They frustrated their vociferous away support whose one moment of joy came midway through the first half when prospective buyer John Batchelor was forced from the away terraces by a police escort after he had been previously declined entry to the Macclesfield boardroom.
The watching Wayne Rooney, who had been hoping to see his brother John come off the Macclesfield bench, saw a game of precious little quality.
Macclesfield had the better chances in the first half and would surely have scored a bagful if the England striker had been on the park, but instead the ball fell regularly to youngster Gareth Evans who missed a trio of golden opportunities.
In the eighth minute he headed a Francis Green cross tamely at Jason White, then in the 21st minute he sent a lobbed volley past the far post.
Worse was to follow in the 40th minute when, unmarked and just 15 yards out, he skied a chance over the bar.
Mansfield's best chance to steal all three points came in the 65th minute, but Nathan Arnold's powerful low drive was blocked bravely on the six-yard line by Macc sub James Jennings.
Midfield playmaker Mattie Hamshaw also went close drilling two shots wide of the upright.
They did get the ball in the back of the net in the 87th minute, but Jefferson Louis was ruled offside as he thumped a low shot to the corner.
After the match, Macclesfield manager Keith Alexander confirmed that he had shook hands on a two-year deal at the Cheshire club saying: "We have started a job and it's going to be a great challenge next year."
Macclesfield 0 Mansfield 0
MACCLESFIELD took a giant stride towards retaining their Football League status as they held Mansfield at home in a scrappy 0-0 draw.
The watching Wayne Rooney, hoping to see his brother John come off the Macc bench, saw a game with precious little quality.
However he said at half time: “I'd still like to be out there kicking the ball about. It's the same whether I'm watching a Sunday League team, Macc Town or Manchester United.”
He surely would have had a hat-trick in the first half if he'd been playing centre-forward.
Howerver Gareth Evans squandered a succession of chances heading straight at Jason White in the eighth minute, lobbing a volley wide in the 21st minute and then clattering a first-time chance from 15 yards over the bar in the 40th minute.
Mansfield's best chance came in the 65th minute but Macc substitute James Jennings made a brave block to thwart Nathan Arnold's fierce low drive.
After the game boss Keith Alexander confirmed that he had agreed a new two-year deal to stay as Macc manager.
report from mtfc.co.uk
Macclesfield 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Venue: Moss Rose
Referee: E Ilderton
Macclesfield battled out a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Mansfield at the Moss Rose this afternoon, ensuring their cushion above the relegation trap door remains at seven points with just three games to go.
Neither of the keepers had much to do and while Mansfield saw more of the ball, they rarely threatened the home defence and remain in a perilous position in the bottom two.
Keith Alexander named an unchanged line-up for the fourth consecutive match, with Wayne Rooney in the stands to cast an eye over his brother John who sat on the Macc bench.
In the sixth minute Neil Ashton's long throw was flicked on by Shaun Brisley at the near post and Francis Green's hook goalwards across the box drifted wide.
The imposing figure of Jefferson Louis troubled the home defence from the first whistle and after he nutmegged Richard Walker and crossed from the right Michael Boulding couldn't jump high enough to connect.
Green was found by Terry Dunfield on the left and his ball across picked out Gareth Evans who could only tamely head at keeper Jason White from six yards out.
In terms of possession Mansfield were certainly on top during the opening quarter, however they lacked ideas in the final third and heavily relied on the strength of Louis to hold the ball up.
Evans flashed a half volley wide after a free kick was floated into the box and after half an hour Jamie Tolley was forced off with a hip injury, with James Jennings replacing the ex-Shrewsbury man in midfield.
A smart pass from Dunfield gave Danny Thomas possession in a dangerous area on the left and after a few stepovers he swung in a deep cross which was lashed into the side netting by Dunfield arriving late at the back post.
Macc struggled to create too many clear-cut opportunities, with much of their best approach play coming from the left flank.In another foray down that wing involving Dunfield and Green, Ashton skipped inside his man and cut the ball back for Evans to smash over.
Into the second period the visitors remained the dominant force, with Macc seemingly looking to snatch the points on the break.Green was picked out by an angled ball forward and after fortuitously beating his man his stinging drive from the corner of the box was well held by White.
Matthew Hamshaw waltzed through three challenges in the area in a sensational 57th minute run and finished by poking an effort goalwards which had Jonathon Brain rooted to the spot and went inches wide of the far post.
Despite having a relatively quiet afternoon, with the visitors desperate for a victory it was surprising to see 22-goal Michael Bouldling taken off just after the hour for Neil Wainwright.
A tremendous block by Jennings denied Nathan Arnold after he controlled Wainwright's cross and looked to hammer home before Jennings flung himself at the ball to divert it clear.
The pace of Thomas took him past two men down the Macc left before he was crudely taken down by John Mullins who was booked for the foul.The free kick was whipped into the box by Ashton but came to nothing.
With around 15 minutes to go the Silkmen became more withdrawn, content with a point and although Mansfield could have done with more, they failed to impose the same threat they had during periods of the first half.
Arnold wasted a great chance to cross from the by-line on the right and Hamshaw's curling free kick was floated too high for everyone in the box as the visitors searched for a winner.
With two minutes to go Mansfield thought they had notched that crucial goal but Louis was ruled offside as he controlled a chip over the top and crashed the ball inside Brain's near post.
The Stags fans bayed for a winner as four minutes of injury time were signalled, but the final push never came and Macc were undoubtedly happy with a point which pushes them ever closer to safety.
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