STAGS PEGGED BACK TWICE TO DRAW AT COLCHESTER
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Colchester United 2 - 2 Mansfield Town
Harriott 39, Nouble 89. Smith OG 4, Perch 81
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 14 February 2021
Martin Shaw at the Jobserve Community Stadium
Mansfield Town drew 2-2 at Colchester this afternoon in an even game on another difficult pitch that was bone hard in very cold conditions. The Stags led twice but were pegged back both times with Colchester grabbing a point in the 89th minute.
The game had been put back from Saturday to Sunday because the pitch had been frozen. It was still frozen in some places a couple of hours before kick-off today but the groundstaff did a good job in getting it just about playable by 3pm and the referee was happy for the game to go ahead.
The Stags were gifted the lead after just 4 minutes when George Maris’s free kick from the right was headed down by Ryan Sweeney and Colchester defender Tommy Smith, in trying to clear at full stretch, only succeeded in turning the ball into his own net.
In a first half of very few chances, the Stags had the ball in the net again after 18 minutes but Jamie Reid was adjudged offside. A great ball forward from Maris set Reid away in the box and he beat the keeper with a clinical finish. From the video replay, it was a marginal decision and we don’t have the right angle to conclude definitively, but Reid looks at worst level with left back Josh Doherty when Maris played the ball and the Stags appear to have been unlucky with that decision.
At the other end Frank Nouble, who broke Hayden White’s leg with a terrible challenge in Mansfield’s last visit to this stadium, fired into the side netting from a tight angle on the left.
Colchester equalised after 39 minutes after Ryan Sweeney headed away a ball into the box, Miles Welch-Hayes squared the loose ball to Callum Harriott on the edge of the box and he was not closed down, firing into the bottom left corner of the net from 16 yards. Disappointing that no Stags player got close enough to Harriott to prevent him getting his shot away.
The second half again saw very few chances until Mansfield grabbed the lead after 81 minutes with a well-worked goal. James Perch, back in the side because of an injury to Kellan Gordon, cut in from the right and laid a good ball forward to Jamie Reid who got to the byline on the right before pulling the ball back to Perch who swept the ball into the net from 6 yards. Great play between Perch and Reid for Perch’s second goal of the season.
Colchester equalised though for a second time after 89 minutes. Substitute Aramide Oteh crossed low from the left into Nouble in the box. Nouble controlled brilliantly and dribbled around Farrend Rawson before shooting goalwards from a tight angle on the left. The shot took a deflection off Rawson as he tried to block the shot which helped it loop over Aidan Stone into the net. It was brilliant play by Nouble aided by a bit of luck with the deflection.
Into 4 minutes of stoppage time and it was Colchester now pushing for the winner. In the final minute of stoppage time, substitute Noah Chilvers’ shot from 25 yards seemed to be heading for the top corner before Stone made a fine save to push it away for a corner. Stone then did very well to catch that resulting corner.
Overall, I think a draw was a fair result. Mansfield got a bit of luck with the opening goal, were then a bit unlucky to have a goal disallowed, and Colchester had a bit of luck that Nouble’s shot took a deflection for the equaliser. It was a difficult pitch, and the game had very few chances.
Farrend Rawson and Ryan Sweeney played well at the back, though Rawson could have done better for the second equaliser, Aidan Stone did well with that fine late save and then catch from the corner having had no chance with the two goals, George Maris was perhaps the pick of the midfield including a great ball forward for Jamie Reid’s disallowed effort, and Reid himself did well upfront, with a great assist for James Perch’s goal and unlucky that his goal was disallowed.
The Stags keep their unbeaten run going, now standing at 8 games, and have still lost just twice in the 15 league games played under Nigel Clough. The Stags are in mid-table, 8 points behind the play-off places, 10 points behind the top 3, and 11 points above the relegation zone.
The next game is on Wednesday at home to Bolton with the unusual kick-off time of 5pm. Hopefully the game will go ahead at the third time of asking! Please join us if you can on iFollow Stags from 4.50pm.
When I arrived at the ground at 1pm, 2 hours before kick off, the game was still very much in doubt. The referee was monitoring how the pitch was slowly improving as the temperature had risen from below freezing at it had been for several days, to 3 degrees. The groundstaff were busy with two areas of the pitch in particular, hacking away at ice to break it up, and then finally sweep it away. The home club did a great job overall in getting the game on in very difficult circumstances.
Mansfield made two changes from the side that drew at Walsall. George Lapslie is out for about 4 weeks with a hamstring injury. He was replaced as expected by Ollie Clarke. Kellan Gordon also missed out with a knee injury (he felt discomfort in training this week and there was some swelling at the back of his knee). He should not be out for long. In came James Perch at right back. There was also no Oli Sarkic on the bench due to a thigh injury which he felt in training this week. Again he should not be out for long. Corey O’Keeffe, Aaron O’Driscoll and James Clarke came into the squad on the bench. Nigel Clough had said immediately after transfer deadline day that if any of the 3 strikers got injured and he needed a striker on the bench he would promote Nathan Caine from the academy to the matchday squad, but he didn’t do that for reasons unknown. I mentioned in my report on the Walsall game that the transfer window had been generally good for the Stags but I think the Stags had left themselves one short in the striker department and I think this was demonstrated with today’s substitutes bench.
Colchester came into the game in a bad run of form, no wins in the previous 10 league games, with 5 draws and 5 defeats. However they were welcoming back some important players from injury and suspension. For example, Harry Pell was back from a 3 games suspension. And Tom Lapslie, elder brother of George Lapslie, was playing just his third game of the season after a knee and groin injury. Also Frank Nouble had rejoined the club on loan from Plymouth and played up front. Indeed the Colchester midfield of Pell, Lapslie, Kwame Poku, Courtney Senior, and Callum Harriott looks strong to me, with most having played very well against the Stags before, while Jevani Brown, who was on fire at the start of the season with 11 goals in the opening 16 league and cup games, couldn’t even make the 18 today.
It was Mansfield’s first visit to the Community Stadium for more than 2 years with no game last season because of Covid. That last visit saw a 3-2 win coming from behind with Hayden White also breaking his leg. What a lot has happened in those 2 years!
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
SUN 14 FEB 2021, LEAGUE TWO
Colchester United 2-2 Mansfield Town
Harriott (39'minutes), Nouble (89'minutes)
Smith (4'minutes og), Perch (81'minutes)
Welch-Hayes (39'minutes), Oteh (89'minutes)
Report supplied by PA Media
Frank Nouble's superb late equaliser rescued a point for Colchester United at home to Mansfield Town.
Mansfield took a fourth-minute lead when Colchester defender Tommy Smith turned into his own net after the hosts had failed to deal with a George Maris free-kick into the box.
Nouble drilled an effort into the side-netting before Colchester levelled six minutes before the break through Callum Harriott, who scored with a crisp shot from just inside the area following Miles Welch-Hayes' lay-off.
Mansfield almost restored their lead just before the hour when Stephen McLaughlin's low effort flew just wide of a post.
Mansfield had a penalty shout turned down when Jordan Bowery tumbled under Josh Doherty's challenge in the U's area.
But Mansfield regained their lead with nine minutes remaining through James Perch, who converted from close range from Stephen Quinn's short pass.
However, Colchester claimed a point after Nouble received the ball in the area before slamming a shot into the far corner from a tight angle.
Home Team Colchester Away Team Mansfield
Possession Home 47% Away 53%
Shots Home 8 Away 7
Shots on Target Home 3 Away 2
Corners Home 5 Away 9
Mansfield Town held at Colchester United after conceding late goal
chad.co.uk, Sunday 14th February 2021
Mansfield Town suffered a late blow as they were forced to settle for a Valentine’s Day point at gutsy Colchester.
James Perch seemingly secured the points with his first goal since October at the JobServeCommunity Stadium.
But Frank Nouble’s late leveller ensured the Stags travelled home with just a point.
Tommy Smith’s early own goal handed the visitors the lead before Callum Harriott ended the club’s agonising 450-minute wait for a goal as they came from behind twice to snatch a point.
But the Stags maintained their impressive unbeaten run as it stretched to eight games without defeat.
And the visitors have picked up a monumental 17 points from a possible 21 during that fruitful spell since Boxing Day.
The Stags feared for their Football League status when experienced manager Nigel Clough took the helm in at the start of November.
But the club are now closer to the coveted play-off spots than the dreaded drop zone after their remarkable revival.
The game was moved back 24 hours due to fears about adverse weather conditions.
And Clough named a pair of changes from the side which drew at Walsall last time out.
Captain Ollie Clarke replaced the injured George Lapslie whilst defender James Perch came in for Kellan Gordon, who was rested as a precaution due to discomfort in his knee.
And the Stags fortunately took the lead as George Maris’ cross caused carnage in the hosts’ box with Smith left red faced as he put the ball into his own net four minutes in.
The U’s came close to levelling as Frank Nouble was sprung clear before he fired into the side netting.
But the hosts drew level six minutes before the break as Harriott blasted home the club’s first goal in more than seven and a half hours of football.
Stags’ defender Stephen McLaughlin had the first sight of goal after the restart as he crashed a low rasping effort just wide.
The game became edgy as both sides tried desperately hard to cancel the other out.
Both sets of players put themselves on the line to keep the other side at bay.
But Perch completed a fine team move with nine minutes to go before Noble slotted into the far corner to rescue a point.
Colchester: George, Welch-Hayes, Doherty (Clampin, 69), Smith, Eastman, Lapslie (Chilvers, 80), Senior (Stevenson, 69), Poll, Harriott, Poku (Oteh, 85), Nouble.
Unused subs: Gerken, Sowumni, Sarpong-Wiredu.
Mansfield: Stone, Sweeney, Rawson, Perch, McLaughlin, Clarke, Maris, Quinn (Benning, 80), Charsley, Bowery, Reid.
Unused subs: Stech, O'Keeffe, Clarke, O'Driscoll, Law, Sinclair.
Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire)
Colchester United drew with Mansfield Town
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron JonWaldron1
A SUPERB late equaliser from Frank Nouble rescued a point for Colchester United after they drew 2-2 with Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Nouble blasted a superb shot into the far top corner in the 89th minute to earn a share of the spoils for the U’s, who have now gone 11 matches without a win in League Two.
Callum Harriott had earlier cancelled out Tommy Smith’s own goal, before James Perch looked to have won it for Mansfield late on, only for Nouble to score a magnificent equaliser.
Colchester boss Steve Ball made two changes to his starting line-up for their game against Mansfield.
Skipper Harry Pell returned from a three-match suspension to start in midfield while Courtney Senior was also recalled.
Noah Chilvers and Brendan Wiredu dropped to the bench while Jevani Brown was not even among the U’s substitutes.
Colchester were looking to get off to a bright start, as they went in search of an elusive win.
But they fell behind in only the fourth minute when defender Tommy Smith turned into his own net, after the U’s had failed to deal with a George Maris free-kick into the box.
Mansfield were the better team in the early stages and the U’s almost fell further behind in the 13th minute when Jamie Reid got the better of Pell before dragging a low shot wide of the post.
Colchester were rarely seen as an attacking force in the opening 25 minutes but Frank Nouble did drill a low shot into the side netting after Josh Doherty’s high ball over the top caught the Mansfield defence out.
The U’s lacked a spark in attack but they got back on level terms, six minutes before the break.
Callum Harriott drilled a crisp, low shot past keeper Aidan Stone from just inside the area for the U's first goal for more than seven and a half hours of football.
It meant the sides went in level at the break and the second half started in similar even fashion, although Mansfield almost regained their lead just before the hour when Stephen McLaughlin’s low and hard effort from 20 yards flew just wide of the post.
Colchester received a bit of a let off in the 65th minute when Bowery went down under Doherty’s challenge on the edge of the U's area but referee Christopher Sarginson waved away Mansfield’s claims for a spot-kick.
But Colchester fell behind again with nine minutes remaining.
Stephen Quinn picked out Perch who was able to turn the ball past Shamal George from close range.
However, the U’s were not finished and got back on level terms in the 89th minute through Nouble, who slammed a superb shot into the far corner of the net from a tight angle to ensure his side a share of the spoils.
COLCHESTER UNITED: George, Welch-Hayes, Eastman, Smith, Doherty (sub Clampin, 69), Lapslie (sub Chilvers, 80), Pell, Senior (sub Stevenson, 69), Poku (sub Oteh, 85), Harriott, Nouble.
Subs (not used): Sowunmi, Wiredu, Gerken.
Mansfield Town: Stone, Sweeney, Rawson, Reid, McLaughlin, Clarke, Perch, Charsley, Quinn, Maris, Bowery.
Subs (not used): O’Keefe, O’Driscoll, Clarke, Sinclair, Law, Stech.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson.
Goals: Colchester: Harriott (39), Nouble (89). Mansfield: Smith (own goal, 4), Perch (81).
Bookings: Colchester: Pell (foul, 68).
Colchester United player ratings after Mansfield draw
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron JonWaldron1
COLCHESTER United drew 2-2 with Mansfield Town, on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Frank Nouble and Callum Harriott secured a point for the U's, after Tommy Smith's own goal and James Perch's strike had twice given the Stags the lead.
The result means Colchester have now gone 11 games without a win, in League Two and Steve Ball's side visit Crawley Town, next weekend.
Here are the Gazette ratings, following a share of the spoils at the JobServe Community Stadium.
SHAMAL GEORGE 6
U’s keeper generally looked solid in his first home league start for the U’s
MILES WELCH-HAYES 7
Produced a competent display at right-back and provided assist for Harriott goal
TOM EASTMAN 7
Long-serving defender was dominant in the air and was economical in possession
TOMMY SMITH 6
Will be disappointed with the manner of his own goal but bounced back well
JOSH DOHERTY 6
Played a part in U’s opener before being replaced midway through the second half
TOM LAPSLIE 7
Was his usual combative self despite suffering a blow to the head in the first half
HARRY PELL 7
U’s skipper showed plenty of commitment on his return to the side. Booked
COURTNEY SENIOR 6
Tried hard to make things happen for his side before being replaced just after the hour
KWAME POKU 6
Showed flashes of his skill on a difficult surface before being replaced late on
CALLUM HARRIOTT 7
Took his goal very well and worried the Mansfield defence at times
FRANK NOUBLE 7
U’s man of the match. Scored a fine equaliser and also went close in the first half
RYAN CLAMPIN (for Doherty, 69) 7
Impressed after coming off the bench
BEN STEVENSON (for Senior, 69) 6
Tried to help U's push for a winner late on
NOAH CHILVERS (for Lapslie, 80)
ARAMIDE OTEH (for Poku, 85)
Subs (not used): Sowunmi, Wiredu, Gerken.