STAGS DRAW 0-0 AT DARLO BUT HAVE GOALS DISALLOWED
Blue Square Bet Premier
Darlington 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 1614 (122 from Mansfield)
Date: 25 January 2011
Parker out for 2 weeks (turned his ankle in training). Mitchley comes in.
17 Briscoe effort saved
25 Mistake by Sandwith or Foster, Hatch effort sensational saved by Collett one handed
33 Foster effort cleared off the line
45+1 Foster goal disallowed.
Stags played well in first half. "Darlo there for the taking".
Murray got poke in eye early on and had to be replaced. He can only see out of one eye, 45 minutes after the incident.
"Duncan Russell's up and down like a bride's nightie" - David Jackson
67 Medley great run, shot saved, out to Connor who puts ball in net but offside. "So unlucky".
69 Sandwith header cleared off the line.
79 Chance from Darlington as Miller shot skids past post.
90+0 Darlington go close, as taylor fizzes a shot across the face of goal.
"Stags should have won." "Decent performance." "Big round of applause for Mansfield from the away fans, and the home fans!". "Lacked cutting edge in front of goal though."
Our first ever 0-0 draw away from home in the BSP. First 0-0 away since April 12, 2008, at Macclesfield. And our first 0-0 in all competitions since March (at home to Tamworth).
Stags show real grit to earn draw at Darlington
Evening Post considered report
NORMALLY, an away point is considered a satisfactory result, especially when you have a 7-2 demolition on the road fresh in the memory bank.
But, with how the match unfolded last night, Mansfield can feel somewhat aggrieved they were not celebrating a third win in a row.
After bouncing back from the 5-2 home drubbing by Fleetwood with wins over Newport and Histon, the Stags were looking to keep their improved form going in the north-east.
And they did just that with a performance of grit, endeavour and heart at a deserted Darlington Arena where the 25,000 capacity stadium was populated with well under 2,000 hardy souls.
Yet there was still a sense of frustration that those efforts were not rewarded with all three points.
Twice Mansfield had strikes ruled out and twice more they were denied by a defender on the goalline. It was definitely a case of what might have been.
Encouragingly, Mansfield notched their second clean-sheet in a row and were watertight all evening at the back.
They only had one real moment of alarm – and keeper Neil Collett rose to the occasion when required.
It backs up claims from manager Duncan Russell and assistant Paul Hall that there has been plenty of hard work on their defensive shape on the training ground.
Having made one change to their starting line-up – Danny Mitchley in for ankle- injury victim Keigan Parker – Mansfield suffered a near-immediate blow as skipper Adam Murray was forced off with a facial injury after being caught by Gary Smith's hand in only the second minute. He was replaced by Kyle Nix.
The Stags made their first foray forward when Mitchley flicked on for Louis Briscoe, whose far post cross from the left was too long for Ashley Cain.
And in the tenth minute, the visitors got in the first on-target attempt, when Mitchley headed into the arms of Russell from Cain's near-post centre.
Darlington then won a free-kick 25 yards from goal that saw Collett gather Aaron Brown's curling shot at the second attempt.
A second Mansfield corner saw Kevin Sandwith head back into the danger zone but no team-mate was in the vicinity to apply the finishing touch.
The Stags continued to look bright going forward as Mitchley and Tyrone Thompson combined to release Briscoe, who cut in onto his right foot to drill in a shot that Sam Russell saved at the foot of his right-hand post.
Midway through the half, Darlington threatened when Brown's free-kick was only half cleared to Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, whose first time volley flew wide of the right-hand upright.
The Quakers almost went in front after a defensive howler from Sandwith.
He mis-controlled in his own box, allowing Liam Hatch to nip in but his low drive from eight yards was brilliantly pushed away by the diving Collett before Nathan Modest blazed the rebound over the top.
Steve Foster went close to capping his first return to his former club with the opening goal, but his flick from a Nix free-kick was scrambled off the line.
Another sight of goal came when Connor flicked on Collett's long ball forward for Mitchley, but the striker skied his 20-yard effort.
Three minutes of stoppage time were added and in it the visitors had the ball in the net, only for the 'goal' to be ruled out for offside.
Briscoe drilled low into the box from the left following a Nix free-kick and, as Foster's poke was parried by Russell, the defender followed up to bundle home before having his celebrations cut short when he saw the assistant referee's flag raised.
Darlington came out positively after the break but Aman Verna's speculative effort on goal never troubled Collett.
Next, Bridge-Wilkinson let fly with an ambitious volley with a similar result to that of his midfield colleague.
The Darlington fans were momentarily out of their seats when an excellent inswinging centre from Greg Taylor saw Collett just beat Verma to the ball and collect at the second attempt.
Midway through the second half, Mansfield introduced Luke Medley for Mitchley, who had done plenty of running to little avail.
And the substitute was immediately in on the action as he broke away down the right onto Gary Silk's clearance, cutting inside to have his low shot blocked by Russell.
The ball dropped for Connor, who swept the ball home, but play was again brought back for offside, much to the striker's frustration.
A left-wing corner from Nix saw the Stags go close again, Gary Smith hooking off the line from Sandwith's header.
The home supporters were becoming increasingly disgruntled as Vera fired high into the stands in a bid to find a breakthrough.
Bridge-Wilkinson did at least bring Collett into action as he went for goal from Michael Smith's knock-down, though the keeper was always well behind the strike.
Collett was left clutching his head in his hands when his long kick forward was inches from finding the outstretched boot of the lively Medley, that would have put him away and clear.
In the dying stages, Darlington had a good opportunity to claim all three points when Taylor drove across the face of goal.
But that would have been rough justice on the Stags.
Saturday will provide a clearer indication of whether Mansfield's recent revival is temporary or not when they host Wrexham.
A victory, though, would re-ignite the currently hushed talk of a play-off push
Match facts: Darlington v Mansfield Town
Darlington: Russell, Taylor, Quinn, Miller, Brown, Verma, Chandler, G. Smith (Moore 90), Bridge-Wilkinson, Modest (Main 52), Hatch (M. Smith 46). Subs not used: Arnison, Gray.
Mansfield: Collett, Silk, Foster, Sandwith, Stonehouse, Cain, Thompson, Murray (Nix 2; Istead 86), Briscoe, Connor, Mitchley (Medley 65). Subs not used: Pilkington, Naylor.
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge (Tyne and Wear).
Shots on target: Darlington 3 Mansfield 6.
Shots off target: Darlington 6 Mansfield 1.
Fouls: Darlington 7 Mansfield 14.
Corners: Darlington 3 Mansfield 7.
Offsides: Darlington 9 Mansfield 4.
Bookings: Darlington 0 Mansfield 0.
Sendings off: Darlington 0 Mansfield 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Steve Foster. A rock for the Stags at the heart of the defence on his return to his former employers and could have had a first half goal as well, but for an offside flag
Mansfield Town were left cursing their luck after two disallowed goals denied them of three valuable points at promotion-chasers Darlington.
Both Steve Foster and Paul Connor put the ball in the back of the net, only to find their joy short lived by the sight of a linesman's flag.
Stags can take heart, however, from a second successive clean sheet and a performance which saw plenty of endeavour against an ultra-defensive Darlington outfit.
But ultimately they will see it as a missed opportunity to take all three points after dominating the match in large spells.
Mansfield captain Adam Murray was on the pitch for only three minutes before being replaced by Kyle Nix, after the former Oxford midfielder had been accidently poked in the eye and left with single-sighted vision for almost an hour.
Stags started brightly, with flying winger Ashley Cain in particular causing problems on the right flank.
Both he and Louis Briscoe managed to drift crosses into the area in the opening ten minutes but no one could get on the end of them to test Sam Russell in the Darlington goal.
Stags continued to press with Danny Mitchley, making his second start of the season, heading straight at Russell, and Paul Connor, Stags' leading goalscorer, forcing a corner after Cain's right-wing cross.
On 17, Louis Briscoe fired a shot at goal, but the shot lacked the neccessary accuracy to force Russell into any noteworthy save.
Then, at the other end, Kevin Sandwith did well to hack clear a free kick after a dangerous ball into the six yard box from Darlington's Aaron Brown.
But it was Sandwith who was at fault on 27 minutes, when he lost control of the ball inside the area, allowing Liam Hatch a clean shot at goal but Sandwith's blushes were spared after goalkeeper Neil Collett got down splendidly to make a one handed stop.
On 34, Steve Foster, returning to his old club, may have got better contact from a right-sided free kick, but the Quakers managed to get it clear.
Four minutes later, Neil Collett sent a long ball downfield for Connor, whose flick on found Mitchley. And the ex Blackpool hitman struck off target from 20 yards.
Stags thought they had found a deserved breakthrough two minutes into first half stoppage time when Louis Briscoe stabbed a shot across goal, finding Foster whose first attempt was saved, with the rebound prodded home, only to be ruled out for Sandwith being deemed offside.
The second half followed a similar script to the first - with Stags huffing and puffing and Darlington showing great caution, even in their rare attacking moves.
Chances were few and far between for both sides, but Darlington's Aman Verma may have found a way through, but for the in-form Neil Collett who beat him to collect a telling cross.
With the contest entering its scrappiest spell, Duncan Russell threw on livewire Luke Medley with 25 minutes remaining and the change almost paid dividends.
Medley, who has almost gained a reputation of a 'super sub', beat his man for pace after being slipped in by Silk, and after cutting into the box he struck straight at Russell. The rebound fell to Connor who slammed the ball home, but for the second time of the night, Stags were disallowed an advantage via a linesman's flag.
Darlington almost had their backs to the wall for a short spell and breathed another sigh of relief when they cleared away a Sandwith header off the line following an Ashley Cain corner.
Verna, the Quakers' midfield player, was given a genuine round of applause, after the home crowd saw his 30 yard shot sail high over the bar - the natives seemingly in short supply of witnessing any worthy goal attempts by their side this season.
In a late charge from the hosts, Aaron Brown almost crept in on the end of a free kick and then in the 91st minute, Greg Taylor smashed an effort wide, but their late surge mattered little.
After the match Duncan Russell said: "We tried to get forward and score goals and produce exciting football and overall I thought we were the best side.
"I'm upset that we didn't come away with all three points," he added.
Miserable night for fans as Quakers held to draw
By Craig Stoddart, Deputy Sports Editor, thenorthernecho.co.uk
MARK COOPER branded his team as atrocious after Darlington put in a disappointing display last night, drawing 0-0 at home to Mansfield Town.
Although the result stretched Quakers' unbeaten run to six, scoring opportunities were rare during a drab affair.
Having put in a below-par offering in the 1-1 draw at Tamworth on Saturday, Cooper was looking for an improvement at The Northern Echo Arena.
But Mansfield's two goals ruled out for offside were as close as either side got to scoring on a night in which neither keeper was seriously tested, though Darlington's cause was hardly assisted by strikers Liam Hatch and Nathan Modest suffering injuries.
By the the 52nd minute both had left the field due to injuries caused as a direct result of Mansfield players, though Cooper preferred to focus on his own team's shortcomings.
“We didn't play well tonight and in the first-half we were atrocious,” he said.
“We weren't on the front foot. We had no energy, no enthusiasm, no tempo to our play and when you start like that it takes a lot to recover.
The only bonus was that we weren't a goal down at halftime.
“The team has been effervescent and making loads of tackles in recent games, but I had to go absolutely berserk at half-time to get some kind of reaction.
“The players have said they were a bit tired after Saturday, but I don't buy that. I'm sure the people who have been at work all day will be tired too, but they would've loved to have the chance to run about the pitch, I'm sure I would.
In the second-half we were a little bit better and were well in the game. Both teams cancelled each other out, although we had a fantastic chance to win in the last minute.”
That was Greg Taylor's effort from an angle and Darlington's best chance of the game. They had spent the previous 89 minutes struggling to break down a resolute Mansfield defence led by former Quakers captain Steve Foster.
He almost scored during the first half, stretching out a leg to reach a right-wing cross, but the ball just evaded the veteran centre-back who later had a goal ruled out for offside.
It was Mansfield who had the better off the first 45 minutes with striker Paul Connor seeing a header saved by keeper Sam Russell who later dealt with winger Lee Briscoe's low shot from the corner of the penalty area.
Quakers' clearest chance came when Hatch worked his way into the penalty area before prodding a low shot, which keeper Neil Collett blocked before Modest blasted the rebound over the bar.
But Hatch was unable to return for the second half as he required stitches following an aerial clash with Kevin Sandwith, and soon after the break Modest joined him in the treatment room with a dead leg after Foster's challenge.
Tommy Wright would ordinarily be Hatch's replacement, but yesterday afternoon Quakers failed in their appeals again the red card he received at Tamworth so he serves a three-match ban.
Quakers improved after the break, but the Stags should have scored when sub Luke Medley left Adam Quinn for dead before forcing Russell into a save.
Connor swept home the rebound but for the second time Mansfield's celebrations cut short thanks to an offside flag.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson tried a snap-shot from distance after sub Michael Smith had nodded down Aman Verma's raking pass over the top of Mansfield's defence which found themselves with marginally more to do than their Darlington counterparts in the second half.
Ian Miller flicked header narrowly wide from a Bridge- Wilkinson free-kick and in injury-time Taylor, selected ahead of Paul Arnison, flashed a drive across the goal that was just inches wide.
Cooper said: “The injuries to Nathan and Liam didn't help us, but that's no excuse.
Whoever plays has to put the work in and create their own atmosphere. When the fans can see it's not going well they can get a little bit negative and that doesn't help anyone.
“It's a clean sheet and another point, that's the only positive we can take from it.”
Referee: Sebastian Stocksbridge (Gateshead) 6
DARLINGTON (4-1-2-1-2): Russell 6; Taylor 5, Miller 6, Quinn 6, Brown 6; CHANDLER 7; Verma 5, G Smith 6 (Moore 90); Bridge-Wilkinson 6; Hatch 6 (M Smith 46, 6), Modest 5 (Main 52, 6). Subs (not used): Arnison, J Gray
MANSFIELD TOWN (4-4-2): Collett 6; Silk 6, Sandwith 5, Foster 6, Stonehouse 6; CAIN 7, Murray (Nix 5, 5; Istead 86), Thompson 6, Briscoe 6; Connor 6, Mitchley 5 (Medley 65, 6). Subs (not used): Pilkington (gk), Naylor
MAN OF THE MATCH
JAMIE Chandler - One of the few to excel on a disappointing evening
Both keepers busy but no way through
Darlington 0 Mansfield Town 0
By Andrew Wilkinson, Evening Gazette
Read More http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/north-east-sport/football/darlington-fc/2011/01/25/darlington-v-mansfield-84229-28051679/#ixzz1C9HCCtso
DARLINGTON were without striker Wright, whose appeal against a red card on Saturday failed, so he started a three match ban.
Former Darlington skipper Foster was in the Mansfield side and was given a warm reception by the Darlington supporters.
Mansfield had to make a change on two minutes when Murray was hurt in a challenge with Chandler, and limped off to be replaced by Nix.
The home side, unbeaten in nine games, were soon put under pressure by a Mansfield side seeking a seventh away win of the season. Quakers' keeper Russell did well to hold onto a testing cross from Nix.
Mitchley then headed goalward from Cain's cross after he surged down the right, but again Russell dealt with the danger.
At the other end Brown tested Mansfield keeper Collett with a free-kick after Verma was fouled just outside the penalty area.
But the visitors were having the better of it, as they got down both flanks and fired in crosses. And Russell was called into action again, when Stonehouse cut inside Taylor and sent in a low right foot drive.
However Darlington threatened when Brown's free-kick was only half cleared and Bridge-Wilkinson pounced on the ball but swept his shot wide.
Then on 26 minutes Hatch cut into the penalty area. His shot was blocked well by Collett, but Modest, off balance, lashed the loose ball high and wide. It was the closest either side had come, and for the first time in the game, Mansfield looked stretched.
But on 33 minutes Foster came close to scoring against his old club. He stole in on a cross from Nix to volley goalward from close range, but Russell reacted smartly to scramble the ball away.
Mansfield looked well organised and closed Darlington down quickle, often leaving the home side with little option but to lob hopeful balls into the box and from one of them Hatch took a blow to the head and had to go off, presumably for stitches.
The tall striker was unable to continue, so teenager Michael Smith replaced him after the break.
Then Quakers other striker Modest was hurt in a challenge with Foster. Modest tried to continue, but Main had to come on in his place on 52 minutes, leaving the home side with two 18-year olds in attack.
The game became scrappy with neither side imposing itself, though Collett only just beat the onrushing Verma to a fine cross from Bridge-Wilkinson.
On 64 minutes Mansfield brought on Medley for Mitchley. And he almost scored after skipping past Quinn. Russell saved his low shot, and Connor was ruled offside as he swept the ball into the net.
It was an escape for Darlington, and moments later they were in trouble again when Sandwith headed goalward, Gary Smith clearing off the line.
Verma sent a long range effort fizzing over the bar as Darlington tried to get a grip on the game, then Bridge-Wilkinson fired straight at Collett after Michael Smith set him up.
Suddenly Darlington looked the more dangerous and Miller's header from a Bridge-Wilkinson free-kick flew wide.
Then on 90 minutes Verma's shot was deflected into the path of Taylor, whose first time shot skidded narrowly wide of the far post.
DARLINGTON: Russell, Quinn, Taylor, Miller, Brown, Verma, Chandler, Bridge-Wilkinson, G Smith (Moore 87), Hatch (M Smith 46), Modest (Main 52). Subs: Arnison, J Gray.
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