STAGS AND CAMBRIDGE DRAW FINAL GAME OF SEASON
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Cambridge United
Attendance: 3548 (564 from Cambridge)
Date: 7 May 2016
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town and Cambridge United brought the curtain down on the season with a 0-0 draw at the One Call Stadium in a game that won’t linger long in the memory. Cambridge probably just shaded a quiet first half, with chances for either side at a premium: the Stags having an effort from Matt Green ruled out for offside, and Ryan Ledson volleying just over for Cambridge. The Stags though were certainly the better side in the second half as substitutes James Baxendale and youth teamer Zayn Hakeem, on his debut, provided fresh impetus with good displays. Chris Clements went close with a shot cleared off the line and Green nearly provided a free header for Matty Blair, but both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils. The Stags were solid in defence, with Lee Collins impressing at right back and then at centre half, as did Krystian Pearce and Ryan Tafazolli who was forced off with an injury (which turned out to be a broken wrist) at half time. The Stags received a good ovation from the fans at the final whistle for their efforts this season.
So the Stags end up in 12th position, inside the top half of the table. You tend to finish where you deserve and we deserve to be mid-table. I've enjoyed the season, and in my opinion it’s been a good season for the Stags. It's been great being in or within a couple of points of the play-offs for 3/4 of the season. We then fell away with that 7 game winless run around March but ultimately we weren't quite strong enough to sustain the play-off position. Clearly looking back we needed to really strengthen in January when we were flying high if we were going to make the play-offs. Hopefully we can strengthen in the close season to make us a little better next season. Another quality striker to play alongside Matt Green would be a massive priority, plus about three more quality additions. Adam Murray and his staff have done a fine job this season, considering where we came from last season, and he’ll be hoping to add those quality additions in the coming weeks. Once he’s done that, he’ll be able to have a much deserved holiday. He told me after the game he hasn’t had a day off in the last 19 months, there can’t be many people who work harder than that and Stags fans will be desperate for him and the club to have continued improvement next season.
Before the game, the magnificent youth team paraded the trophy for their Football League Youth Alliance North East Division title. A proud moment for everyone involved. Tyler Blake won the Jack Retter Trophy for youth team player of the year.
Ryan Tafazolli was presented with Player of the Season trophies, sweeping the board as expected.
And John Radford unveiled the old North Stand Clock which is back in-situ, in a prominent position on the front of the Bishop Street TV gantry. Lovely to see it back and thank you to Steve Hymas in particular for rescuing it when it was nearly thrown away for ever. It’s been installed in memory of Steve’s daughter who sadly passed away last year.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 0, Cambridge United 0
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Saturday 07 May 2016
Mansfield Town were unable to end the season on a win as they were held 0-0 by Cambridge United at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
That left Adam Murray’s men finishing in 12th position after a typical end of season game in warm sunshine.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-report-mansfield-town-0-cambridge-united-0-1-7898658#ixzz480WGyKKV
There were few chances at either end, though Matt Green did have an effort ruled out for offside just before the break.
Ryan Tafazolli, out of contract this summer, was injured in the first half and replaced at the break, with Stags fans wondering if that was the last they will see of him.
There was a debut as sub for youth team player Zayn Hakeem, and he and the inspirational Lee Collins brought fresh impetus with their energy to a much better second half for the Stags.
But no one could find a finishing touch in a game that contained only one real on-target effort with both keepers more likely to get a suntan than make a real save.
Stags could at least take heart from a clean sheet against one of the better sides in the division.
Boss Adam Murray made just one change as Chris Clements, fully recovered from his hamstring injury, took over from Reggie Lambe.
Two youth teamers were on the bench in midfielder/striker Hakeem and striker Jason Law.
With both sides out of the play-off running, only pride was at stake with Stags aiming to beat their 11th place finish of two seasons ago.
The afternoon began with centre half Tafazolli picking up a host of awards including Chad Readers’ Stags Player of the Year.
There were also cheers as chairman John Radford unveiled the old North Stand clock on the top of the Bishop Street gantry, donated back to the club by director Steve Hymas in memory of his late daughter.
Stags were immediately put on the back foot from kick-off, having to defend three early corners.
Mansfield finally got out their half after five minutes and won a free kick on the right which Benning curled low towards the near post. However, Norris was down to gather and the ball appeared to be going just wide anywy.
Cambridge went close seconds later as skipper Berry rifled a low shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.
United took their corner count to five after 14 minutes and a minute later Berry lifted an inviting ball over the defenders to the right of goal from where Ledson smashed a volley inches over.
Tafazolli was then shouting at his team mates after having to throw himself full length to block a powerful Dunne shot.
It took Stags 20 minutes to win a corner, Collins heading wide from Chapman’s delivery.
Ledson used his hands to block a Clements free kick just outside the box on 23 minutes to see the game’s first yellow card, but Clements’ free kick was deflected wide.
After a real lull in the action, Stags came close on 35 minutes when Tafazolli headed a Chapman free kick back into the middle and Pearce hooked the ball wide of the far post, where it just needed a touch from a yellow shirt to finish.
Stags finally found the net a minute before the break, only to be denied by an offside flag.
Tafazolli headed on a Chapman free kick and Green popped up to bury a close range volley, but had strayed offside.
A long ball to the far post in stoppage time caused a late scare for Stags, but they survived and the sides went in 0-0.
Tafazolli had needed lengthy treatment in the first half and did not re-emerge, Baxendale taking over in midfield, Rose moving to the right back and Collins into the centre of defence.
Stags won an early corner but, after a scramble, Collins shot tamely wide.
Green also shot tamely from 20 yards straight at the keeper, the game’s first on-target shot on 52 minutes.
Then Shearer had to beat Berry to a through ball at the other end.
On 56 minutes youth team player Hakeem was sent on for his debut for Dieseruvwe to huge applause, and he quickly got in on the action, beating a defender in the box but unable to square it to a team mate.
Stags had been much improved since the break and on 61 minutes Clements saw his low shot cleared just in front of goal.
The game exploded into a shoving contest on 74 minutes after Dunne had hacked down Baxendale in full flight, the referee eventually showing him a yellow card.
Yussuf was given the last seven minutes in place of Green, but Cambridge held out for the point.
STAGS: Shearer, Benning, Tafazolli (Baxendale HT), Pearce, Collins, Rose, Chapman, Clements, Blair, Dieseruvwe (Hakeem 56), Green (Yussuf 83). Subs not used: Jensen, Lambe, McGuire, Law.
CAMBRIDGE: Norris, Legge, Berry (Clark 63), Dunk, Coulson (Roberts HT), Dunne, Ismail, Spencer, Williamson (Donaldson 86), Ledson, Furlong. Subs not used: Beasant, Omozusi, O’Neill, Williams.
REFEREE: Eddie Ilderton of Tyne & Wear.
ATTENDANCE: 3,548 (564 away)
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Lee Collins.
MATCH REPORT: MANSFIELD TOWN 0 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0
U'S COMPLETE EIGHT GAME UNBEATEN RUN AT MANSFIELD
Cambridge United played out a stalemate against Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium, to complete an eight game unbeaten run at the end of the 2015/16 Sky Bet League Two season.
The U’s lined up with just one change from the side that drew 2-2 with Plymouth Argyle a week earlier, as Jimmy Spencer returned in place of Max Clark.
Read more at http://www.cambridge-united.co.uk/news/article/match-report-mansfield-town-0-cambridge-united-0-3100368.aspx#L0ChHAPLYlTGOsVw.99
United certainly began the game the brighter of the two sides, with six corners and flashes at goal for both Luke Berry and Ryan Ledson in the opening 20 minutes cementing their early control of the clash.
Zeli Ismail caused the Stags problems throughout the first half on the right flank and perhaps could have forced a save from Mansfield keeper Scott Shearer when cutting in from wide and driving over the bar on 22 minutes played.
The hosts found the back of the net two minutes before the break when Matt Green acrobatically finished past Norris, but the offside flag was raised promptly against the striker following Ryan Tafazolli’s initial header.
Mansfield captain Lee Collins spurned two opportunities in quick succession from the edge of the U’s 18 yard box, with the centre back twice fluffing his lines minutes after half time.
Luke Berry was marginally beaten in a foot race with Scott Shearer after Krystian Pearce’s soft header back to his goalkeeper almost caught the Stags in an awkward position. However, as the game rolled on chances on goal continued to be few and far between.
Substitute Mark Roberts was perfectly positioned to block Chris Clements’ half volley off the line at the back post on 70 minutes, with what proved to be the best chance of the game.
Mansfield Town: Shearer, Benning, Rose, Pearce, Collins, Chapman, Clements, Green (Yussuf, 83 mins), Tafazolli (Baxendale, 45 mins), Dieseruvwe (Hakeem, 57 mins), Blair
Cambridge United: Norris, Furlong, Legge, Coulson (Roberts, 45 mins), Dunk, Ismail, Dunne, Ledson, Berry (Clark, 61 mins), Williamson (Donaldson, 85 mins), Spencer
Attendance: 3,548 (564 away)
Latest | May 2016