STAGS DEFEND WELL FOR A POINT AFTER DEMPSTER RED
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Bury 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 2518 (351 from Mansfield)
Date: 22 October 2013
Martin Shaw at Gigg Lane
Mansfield Town picked up a second 0-0 draw in three days away from home at Bury this evening. The Stags were very positive in the first half and on top for most of it, and were denied a penalty when the referee gave a free kick outside the box for a foul on Palmer; review of the DVD confirmed what everyone in the press box could see with their own eyes that the foul was a full yard inside the box. The Stags had other good chances in the first half for debutant Blake, Rhead, Palmer and Daniel but couldn’t find the net while Marriott made one great save. After a quiet start to the second half, the game exploded on 62 minutes when Dempster was given a straight red for a foul. From review of the DVD, Dempster went for the ball but missed it and got the man instead, and there would be little chance of overturning the decision in my opinion should an appeal be launched. After that, Bury gained the initiative and forced the Stags back, creating a number of chances while Marriott was in superb form with some fine saves and outstanding handling. Despite an incredible ten minutes of stoppage time played, the Stags held on for a deserved point. Possibly the Stags defended a bit too deep in those dying stages and manager Cox was desperately trying to get them to push up but to no avail. Overall a very fine defensive display even against the odds after the sending off, but with a proven goalscorer in the side this could still have been a victory, a point well understood by Paul Cox after the game as he again said how keen he is to get a proven goalscorer into the club, but it’s not easy to find one.
Paul Cox was sent to the stand after 8 of the ten added minutes. Paul Cox explained afterwards that the fourth official claimed he called him a cheat, but Cox denied he said that. There was a poisonous atmosphere in the main stand as a number of fans tried to get at Cox, but he was whisked away to a safer area nearer the directors box.
The Stags had Jennings booked in the second half, his fifth yellow of the season which will see him suspended on Saturday, and Riley limped off with an achilles injury that might keep him out for some while (he said he is likely to find out tomorrow the extent of the injury and we therefore keep our fingers crossed). With Tafazolli already injured, this leaves only Sutton and Beevers likely to be available out of defenders who have played recently. Options for a place on Saturday are Black and McCombe, and possibly a recall from Forest Green for Pilkington.
The point takes Mansfield into the play-off zone with 13 games played, a highly creditable position at this stage of the season.
Paul Cox made three changes from the side that gained a point at Torquay on Saturday with Jack Blake (on loan from Nottingham Forest) in for his debut, Daniel and Palmer replacing Sutton, Murtagh and Stevenson. It was a 4-4-2 formation with Clucas in right midfield, Daniel in left midfield, and Blake in the centre of midfield. On the bench, Godfrey Poku replaced Howell and was later to make his Stags debut 15 months after joining the club.
Stagsnet report here
Man of the match: Jack Blake
Bury 0 Mansfield Town 0 - 22nd October 2013
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town had John Dempster sent-off for a flying tackle on 62 minutes, but survived a hairy-raising finish to pick up a point at struggling Bury.
Stags had some good chances in the first half, had what looked a blatant penalty denied and also lost influential centre half Martin Riley to injury on a night when little went right for the visitors against a managerless Shakers side without a win in seven and now without a goal in four.
But Paul Cox, sent to the stand for dissent in an amazing 10th minute of stoppage time, will be proud his men dug in when the night turned against them and picked up their second away point and second clean sheet in four days ahead of Saturday’s visit of Plymouth Argyle.
Murtagh, Sutton and Stevenson were dropped to the bench as Stags went 4-4-2 with Palmer, Daniel and debut-making Blake coming in for his first ever Football League game.
Jensen was down bravely in the second minute at the feet of Palmer as he tried to get on the end of a Rhead flick.
Stags looked hungry in the early stages and a good break down the left by Daniel petered out on the edge of the box
A Clucas shot was then blocked as far as Daniel, who whipped in a dangerous cross that Jensen had to hold onto.
On 13 minutes Blake’s low 20-yard effort was turned around full length by Jensen to his right.
Rhead then headed narrowly wide from Palmer’s right wing cross as Stags continued to force the pace.
However on 26 minutes the Shakers almost shook Stags with an opening goal.
Hylton’s flicked header put Soares away down the centre but, with Marriott advancing, he sent a finish over the bar.
On 33 minutes Palmer seemed to be charged over in the box and the Mansfield players were furious when the referee decided the offence was just outside the box. Jennings then fired his free kick into the wall.
Mansfield threatened again as Dempster and Rhead helped on a long Beevers free kick and Clucas’ acrobatic finish on the turn was straight to Jensen.
Both side had good chances in a thrilling end to the half with Daniel seeing his shot well blocked by the keeper.
Two minutes later Marriott made a great reaction save to deny Harrad. Sedgewick had fed the overlapping Beeley whose right wing cross was turned on target first time by Harrad, Marriott acrobatically blocking to his right.
Daniel’s pace won Mansfield a corner which was nodded back into the mix by Dempster, Clucas unable to connect with a cheeky flicked backheel six yards from goal.
However, a quiet start to the half by both sides erupted on 62 minutes.
A succession of flying tackles by both sides ended with Dempster flying in on Harrad with studs showing.
Harrad stayed down, both sides squared up for a bout of pushing and shoving, and eventually out came the red card for Dempster.
Bury were inevitably lifted as Sedgwick forced a low save from Marriott after a Clucas clearance ricocheted to him.
Mayor was then inches over with a close range header after Sedgwick’s right wing cross skimmed off a head towards him.
Soares tested Marriott from 25 yards, the keeper safely down.
Bury went for the jugular and Marriott had to tip superbly over from Soares’ rising 20-yard piledriver while Hylton was only just wide with a far post header.
It was agonising viewing for the 351 away fans as Mansfield were barely able to get out of their box.
Incredibly seven minutes were somehow found to add on from somewhere, and it crept into an 10th in which Cox was sent to the stand for dissent, but Cox’s remaining men stood tall and survived a harrowing finish.
Bury 0 Mansfield Town 0: Match report
Nottingham Post by Matt Halfpenny
IT was, essentially, Plainmoor in reverse.
At the weekend, Mansfield Town were left bitterly disappointed at drawing a blank when opponents Torquay had been reduced to ten men for the closing stages.
This time, however, the Stags were altogether more satisfied with a point from another 0-0 draw on the road, at Bury, after seeing out the closing stages of the game a man down.
The Stags had looked comfortable and been the better side for the majority of the first two thirds of the game when John Dempster was given his marching orders.
That left Paul Cox's men to hold on for dear life in the closing stages under a barrage of Bury pressure, but hold on they did thanks to a gutsy rearguard action and the excellence of keeper Alan Marriott.
It once again outlined that while Mansfield are struggling going forward at the moment, they have few issues with their defence.
Stags manager Cox made three changes to his starting line-up - the most striking of those seeing Nottingham Forest loanee Jack Blake handed a Football League debut in the centre of midfield at the expense of Keiran Murtagh.
Elsewhere, as the Stags reverted back to 4-4-2, Ritchie Sutton dropped out of the defence and Lee Stevenson also stood down from an attacking midfield role to allow Colin Daniel to play on the left and Ollie Palmer to partner Matt Rhead up front.
After a frantic but incoherent start, Mansfield's first serious break saw Daniel make ground down the left and pick out Blake, who took too long in trying to pick out Sam Clucas outside him and was crowded out.
It was Blake who forced the first save of the game in the 13th minute when he was teed up by Rhead, keeper Brian Jensen tipping his low left-footer from the edge of the box around the left-hand post to prevent a dream start for the teenager.
The Stags continued to hold the upper hand and as Palmer charged down an attempted clearance from Jensen, he retrieved the ball out wide and centred from the right for Rhead to head just wide.
However, Bury might have gone in front in the 26th minute when Hylton flicked on for the pacey Tom Soares, who ran into the box before blazing over the top.
Another chance fell to the hosts when Mansfield could only half clear a free-kick and Marriott had to be alert to get behind a deflected snapshot from Andy Procter.
The Stags hit back when Palmer looked to take a return after playing a one-two and was barged off the ball. Mansfield felt the infringement had occurred well inside the box, but the referee begged to differ and, from the resulting free-kick, James Jennings blasted straight into the wall.
Four minutes from the break came Mansfield's best chance of the half as Lee Beevers lobbed the ball through for Daniel, who controlled the ball superbly but then could not beat Jensen, seeing his low finish well smothered.
Moments later, it was Bury who were denied as Chris Sedgwick released Shaun Beeley down the right and though Shaun Harrad connected firmly with the resulting centre, Marriott reacted instinctively to parry the ball to safety.
Like the first period, it was a slow start to the second 45 before Jennings' corner was headed back into the danger zone by Dempster, only for Clucas to miss his attempted backheel.
But Mansfield's evening took a turn for the worse in the 62nd minute when skipper Dempster was shown a straight red card as he scythed through Harrad but did not get the ball. The Stags immediately withdrew Palmer and replaced him with Sutton.
Bury looked to make their numerical advantage tell, but Sedgwick was thwarted by Marriott before substitute Danny Mayor headed over from six yards out.
It did not get any better when Martin Riley limped off in the 73rd minute, giving Godfrey Poku a first run-out in Stags colours - well over year after joining.
As the game moved into the last ten minutes and the visitors dropped deeper, the lively Soares stung the hands of Marriott with a rising drive while Hylton was inches too high with a far post header.
No less than seven minutes of time were added on by the officials, during which a protesting Cox was sent to the stands.
But his departure would not have soured for him what was, in the end, a job well done by his resilient side.
Bury: Jensen, Beeley, Cameron, Edjenguélé, Mustoe, Sedgwick (Forrester 76), Procter, Miller (Mayor 46), Soares, Harrad, Hylton. Subs not used: Hinds, Holden, Rooney, Charles-Cook, Walker.
Mansfield (4-4-2): Marriott, Beevers, Dempster, Riley (Poku 73), Jennings, Clucas, McGuire, Blake, Daniel, Palmer (Sutton 64), Rhead (Andrew 84). Subs not used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Hutchinson, Meikle.
Referee: Andy Haines.
Attendance: 2,518 (351 visitors).
Mansfield man of the match: Alan Marriott.
FULL-TIME: Bury 0 Mansfield 0
By Craig Nelson
BURY’S wait for a win - and a goal - continues after they were frustrated by 10-man Mansfield at Gigg Lane.
Stags defender John Dempster was shown a straight red card on the hour for a wild lunge on Shaun Harrad, but the Shakers were unable to make their advantage count.
Their fourth match without scoring extended Bury’s winless streak to nine games, although the point did see them move up two places to 20th in League Two.
Bury struggled to stay with Mansfield in the opening exchanges as the Stags pressed and probed on a pudding of a pitch.
Nottingham Forest loanee Jack Blake was the first to trouble the Bury keeper with a shot across Brian Jensen’s goal on 14 minutes that he just managed to turn around his far post.
The visitors’ burly front pairing of Oliver Palmer and Matt Rhead kept the Shakers central defenders on their toes.
And when Jensen struck an attempted clearance against Shakers centre-back Nathan Cameron under pressure from Palmer, the Stags forward pounced on the loose ball to cross for Rhead, who headed just wide at the back post.
But Bury slowly found their feet in damp, difficult conditions.
Tom Soares was the first to test Mansfield keeper Andy Marriott on 25 minutes when his shot on the stretch was tipped over.
Captain Andy Procter then rifled a 20-yard effort straight at Marriott after latching on to a knockdown following a Tommy Miller free-kick.
Both sides could easily have gone into the break in front, but for decent saves by Jensen and then Marriott in the final minutes of the half.
First Jensen stood tall to block Rhead’s shot after the Stags’ forward chested down a long ball to get in behind the Bury defence.
Then Marriott produced an acrobatic stop to keep out a crisply struck, close-range volley from Harrad that looked destined for the bottom corner.
After a quiet opening to the second half, the game erupted on the hour mark when Dempster was given his marching orders for a two-footed tackle.
It sparked a melee that threatened to boil over before referee Andy Haines regained control, booking Bury's Chris Sedgwick for his part in the aftermath.
The visitors were clearly rattled by the red card, and manager Paul Cox spent the remainder of the match remonstrating at every decision from the touchline.
At first it looked as if the Shakers may force a breakthrough, with second half substitute Danny Mayor heading over from six yards in the 68th minute.
But the Mansfield players quickly gathered themselves and were happy to sit back and soak up the waves of Bury pressure.
Soares tested the Stags keeper with two fierce 30-yard shots - the first straight at Marriott 20 minutes from time and the second tipped over with 10 minutes remaining.
But the fact that, despite laying siege to the visitors' goal, Bury failed to really carve out any clearcut chances will be a worry to caretaker boss Ronnie Jepson.
The temporary manager was clearly incensed by his opposite numbers' spoiling tactics as Mansfield bid to break up the game.
A bad-tempered finale saw Cox sent to the stands, allegedly for calling the referee a cheat, but the Stags held out to increase the sense of frustration enveloping Gigg Lane.
Bury 0 Mansfield 'Hartlepool' Town 0
by The Boy Holty
Despite a much improved attacking performance (and a 4-4-2 formation - hooray!), Bury were thwarted by the most negative opposition performance I've witnessed in years. In the second half, Mansfield wasted time like I've never seen before, with players rolling about on the floor, changing their minds who was taking throw-ins and free kicks, and doing it subtlely so the ref couldn't book anyone. They might as well have left their strikers at home as they made little effort to score and clearly set out for a draw, when they won a throw-in by the corner flag in the 89th minute, they didn't even send anyone forward into our box to try and get the winner.
Anyway, on to the Shakers. The starting formation was generally unchanged except for the two up front - Harrad who had one snapshot smartly saved but did little else, and Hylton who looked lively and showed a fantastic first touch. In midfield it was the same old story with Soares out of position and hopelessly out of touch on the left wing and Miller who was just hopless in central midfield. The first of two game changing events occurred towards the end of the first half when Miller picked up what looked like a shoulder injury and didn't come out for the second half, being replaced by Danny Mayor who quickly became Bury's most dangerous player on the left wing with Tom Soares moving into central midfield. Now I don't wish to go on about this but I have been saying since day one that Soares should play central midfield with Mayor on the left and boy was I proved right. Soares was a different player in the middle and Mayor gave their right-back hell in the second half, especially after the second game-changing event, which was the sending off of Mansfield's John Dempster for a two footed challenge on Harrad.
After this we totally dominated the game but as has become a recurring theme, we didn't have a player capable of sticking it in the back of the net. The bloke behind me commented quite rightly that games like this one show why players like Ryan Lowe are so utterly priceless as he would have won the game for Bury last night - no question.
There was quite a lot of booing on the final whistle but it was all aimed at mansfield for their tactics, and I hope Jepson doesn't think it was for his team's performance.
As for Jepson's role as caretaker manager what can I say? It was certainly the best performance I have seen for a while and the players looked like they wanted to play for him and for each other. They had a pre-match huddle, the likes of which I haven't seen since the Barker/Lowe promotion campaign. His tactics were wrong to start with but the changes he made at half time were the right ones to make. I hope that his starting line-up at Wycombe on Saturday is the same on that started the second half against Mansfield - if it is then he might just be the man for the job, at least in the short term, although with some fairly big names in the running, I doubt he'll get much of a chance.
The award for most comical fuck-up of the evening goes to Gigg Lane's announcer who, towards the end of the game, put out a tannoy message to "the Hartlepool Town supporters". Knob.
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