STAGS END PRE-SEASON WITH CREDITABLE DRAW
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Walsall
Attendance: 1220 (93 from Walsall)
Date: 2 August 2014
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium
Mansfield Town ended their public pre-season friendly games with a creditable draw against an impressive League One Walsall side at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. Mansfield were not as good as they have been in the previous pre-season games but did enough to earn a draw, in part thanks to another fine display from new goalkeeper Sascha Studer who made three super saves. The Stags were cut open a few times at the back, and only created a couple of goalscoring chances going forward. Nevertheless, with one more pre-season game to go (a behind closed doors game against a Championship club on Tuesday), the Stags will go into the big kick-off next Saturday at Northampton in good spirits.
Stags end friendlies with 0-0 draw against Walsall
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town ended their pre-season friendlies schedule with a 0-0 home draw with an impressive League One Walsall this afternoon.
The visitors had more of the ball over the 90 minutes and asked plenty of questions with Stags’ Sascha Studer the busier of the keepers in a game of few chances.
But Mansfield can be satisfied to complete a tough pre-season schedule with just one defeat by Aston Villa.
This was also a third clean sheet in four unbeaten games.
There was also the bonus of seeing Sam Clucas return from injury to complete the whole of the second half.
But defender Ritchie Sutton did limp off with a knock on 57 minutes and Stags will wait anxiously for news of what his injury is.
An early Saddlers free kick from the left was headed into the air by Tafazolli and safely clutched on his line by Studer.
Henry then showed good pace down the left before pulling back a neat low pass that saw Webber turn and stab a low finish at Studer.
Baxendale was well wide with a 25-yard effort on eight minutes as the visitors made the early running.
Webber was much more accurate a minute later as he cut in from the right and sent a low left foot shot straight at Studer, the keeper needing two bites of the cherry to hold onto it.
Within a few seconds, Walsall keeper O’Donnell had his first save to make as Hearn turned 18 yards out and sent in a powerful low shot that the keeper had to parry to his left.
On 21 minutes Bradshaw reached a long Sawyers cross from the left to the far post but could only turn it into the sidenetting.
A cutting through ball from Heslop put Fisher into space, but Holden did well to cut out his first time low cross intended for the unmarked Hearn.
On 26 minutes Studer beat away a fierce 18-yard drive by Baxendale after he had been allowed time to find space for the shot on the edge of the box.
Fisher was then too high with a 30 yard free kick for the Stags as we reached the half-hour mark without a goal.
Studer had another good save to make on 35 minutes after Sutton allowed Morris to turn him right in front of goal and get away a rising finish that the Swiss keeper did well to turn over for the first of two successive corners.
From the second Sawyers lashed a shot well wide, but it raised a cheer as it found the net in the goal behind the floodlight!
Hearn was too high with a half-volley from the edge of the box five minutes from the break.
Then Tafazolli was also too high with his header from Clements’ left wing corner.
Taylor’s persistence won Mansfield a fourth corner which came to nothing, Stags also having to defend a corner before the referee brought a scoreless half to a halt.
Stags made three changes for the second half with Hearn, Clements and Marsden withdrawn and Palmer, Clucas and Beevers on.
Kinsella fired the first goal attempt of the half over the top as the visitors resumed their first half pressure.
The Saddlers came very close on 49 minutes as Henry twisted and turned on the left before zipping in an inviting cross that Morris crashedf first time over the top.
Two minutes later Webber cut inside Sutton and got away an on-target attempts that Studer pushed away, diving to his left.
Having just got Clucas back from injury, Stags lost Sutton on 57 minutes as he stayed down for treatment, eventually to be replaced by Dempster.
Beevers did well to win a 50-050 challenge to halt a possible Walsall break, the ball broke to Heslop whose finish skewed wide
Studer was down smartly to his left to clutch onto a low curling Grimes effort.
On 77 minutes Clifford threaded Manset into the left of the box, but with Tafazolli alongside him and Studer advancing, he curled the finish wide of the near post.
With three minutes to go Taylor dragged a low effort wide in a game that had long since lost any fizz it had with the continual substitutions.
Fergus Bell was well over from distance as we neared the end.
Studer left his box to bring down an opponent and offer Walsall a stoppage time free kick, which was deflected for a corner, from which James Chambers headed the final chance over.
STAGS: Studer; Sutton (Dempster 57), Tafazolli, Riley; Marsden (Beevers HT), Murray, Heslop (McGuire 68), Clements (Clucas HT), Taylor (A. Bell 66); Hearn (Palmer HT), Fisher (F. Bell 61). Subs not used: Rhead, Thomas.
WALSALL: O’Donnell, O’Connor (Kinsella 32, Bakayoko 84), Holden, Downing (A. Chambers 78), Bradshaw (Grimes 69), Sawyers (A. Chambers 69), Baxendale (Clifford 61), Webber (Manset 61), Flanagan (Heath 78), Morris (Benning 69), Henry (Taylor 69). Subs not used: MacGillivray.
REFEREE: Rob Lewis.
ATTENDANCE: 1,220 (93 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Sascha Studer.
Mansfield 0 Walsall 0
Former Chelsea midfielder Billy Clifford appeared a substitute for Walsall as they played out a goalless draw at Mansfield.
The 21-year-old is thought to be a target for Saddlers boss Dean Smith, who has continued injury concerns over Sam Mantom.
He's likely to spend the next week on trial with Walsall, as he looks to find a club for the new campaign.
Walsall had the better chances against the League Two Stags, with trialist Danny Webber denied by home keeper Sascha Studer on three occasions.
Liam Hearn had the best effort for the home side but saw his shot saved by Saddlers keeper Richard O’Donnell.
After an entertaining opening half the game rather petered out as both sides made wholesale changes around the hour mark.
Webber could have put the Saddlers ahead inside the first five minutes but shot weakly at Studer from six yards out, after a fine burst into the box by Rico Henry.
Both teams looked bright going forward and after Webber had again tested Studer with a low drive, this time from outside the box, before Saddlers keeper Richard O’Donnell did well to keep out Hearn’s snapshot.
Tom Bradshaw was the next to go close for the visitors, hitting the side netting after stretching to meet Romaine Sawyers’ cross at the far post, while at the other end Paul Downing and Dean Holden were both alert to cut out dangerous crosses.
James Baxendalde then forced a fine save out of Studer after skipping past two defenders and lashing a powerful drive from just outside the box.
The keeper then tipped over Kieron Morris shot from inside the box after the Saddlers winger had shown great skill to turn and escape the attentions of Stags defender Ritchie Sutton.
Hearn fires a half-volley off target for the hosts from the edge of the box, while Ryan Tafazolli was off target from far closer range when he nodded over a corner at the far post.
The Saddlers were again quickest out of the blocks in the second half and Morris almost put them ahead but fired wide after more excellent work by Henry, who beat former Banks’s man Lee Beevers before crossing.
Studer then superbly denied Webber, who had tried to curl a shot past the keeper from the edge of the box as the visitors continued to push.
A slew of substitutions around the hour mark from both sides broke up the flow of the game and it was almost into the final 15 minutes when Studer was tested again, the keeper almost spilling Ashley Grimes’ effort into the path of Mathieu Manset.
The latter then fired wide after latching on to a Clifford through ball, while Andy Taylor dragged a shot wide and James Chambers headed over late on.
MANSFIELD TOWN REVIEW
saddlers.co.uk, by Andrew Poole
Saddlers share the spoils in goalless pre-season friendly draw...
Read more at http://www.saddlers.co.uk/news/article/mansfield-town-review-2014-1799929.aspx#JiCdvx47HUzyuXEO.99
It was a very similar challenge to the one we expect to face at Port Vale next weekend...
THE SADDLERS’ pre-season preparations continued with a goalless draw at Mansfield Town in what was a physical challenge for Dean Smith’s side against our League Two hosts.
“It was a great run-out for us,” said Smith. “It was a very similar challenge to the one we expect to face at Port Vale next weekend.
“Mansfield were physical and put a lot of balls into our box, but I felt that we dealt with it well.
“We created a number of chances, so the fact that we are creating opportunities is pleasing.
“All our eyes are on being ready for next weekend and I am pleased with where we’re at right now.”
Smith ran the rule over three trialists with Danny Webber, Mathieu Manset and Billy Clifford all figuring. Discussions will continue with them next week, whilst Sam Mantom continues to work hard in training and could have some involvement in Tuesday’s clash with Aston Villa.
Summer signing, James O’Connor, was withdrawn from the action during the first half as a precaution after feeling his groin.
Meanwhile Ben Purkiss and Jordan Cook are sidelined with ankle injuries.
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