STAGS DRAW AT MACCLESFIELD, BUT GO BOTTOM
Macclesfield Town 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Russell 36. Birchall 49
Attendance: 1576 (276 from Mansfield)
Macclesfield 1-1 Mansfield
Mansfield improved caretaker-manager Peter Shirtliff's hopes of taking over permanently with a battling draw.
Macclesfield took the lead after 36 minutes, Alan Russell converting Martin Bullock's low cross from 10 yards.
But Mansfield were level after 49 minutes when Richie Barker slipped the ball through to Adam Birchall, who fired into the roof of the net.
Veteran keeper Kevin Pressman then earned Mansfield a vital point with a brilliant save from Alan Russell.
Point for Stags, but they slip to bottom of the league
DESPITE coming from behind to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Macclesfield, Stags still hit rock bottom tonight.
Bury's 1-0 victory over Bristol Rovers saw them leapfrog Mansfield and leave them bottom of the Football League.
Allan Russell's 36th minute strike for Stags' fellow strugglers divided the sides at the end of a poor first half.
But Adam Birchill had Stags level within four minutes of the restart and Mansfield were much improved, dominating much of the second half with Birchill and Stephen Dawson involved in everything.
But, despite the hard-earned point, it wasn't enough to prevent Stags slipping bottom ahead of Saturday's trip to Leyton Orient.
Stags made two changes with Jason Talbot left out and McLachlan dropped to the bench. Dawson and Buxton coming in.
Buxton began at left back and Dawson in midfield.
Macclesfield had the first shy at goal in the second minute when Harsley's low first time blast from all of 30 yards was narrowly wide.
The Silkmen then won an early corner which wasn't cleared properly and Briscoe finally hooked the ball over on the turn.
Mansfield's first raid came on eight minutes when Brown's low ball inside found Jelleyman who whipped in a quick effort over the top.
Russell pulled a hopeful shot wide for the home side soon after and then on 13 minutes Swailes should have done better when he threw himself into a free diving header 10 yards out in front of goal from Bullock's right wing cross but glanced it wide.
Stags enjoyed a good spell with Brown's good run ending with a shot that hit a team mate while Fettis did well to gather a wicked Peers cross off the head of Barker.
Bullock did volley the ball into the Mansfield net on 26 minutes from a lofted ball over the top by Whitaker but was well offside.
Coke's promising run won a free kick 25 yards out which saw Jelleyman curl the ball well over.
Then Birchall had a shot charged down from Mansfield's second corner.
But Stags wasted a gilt-edged chance on 35 minutes. Brown's cross from the right almost crept under the far angle.
Fettis managed to claw it away but fell helpless as the ball rolled towards Barker six yards out. However, off balance he just couldn't manage to guide it on target when a firm shot would have put Stags ahead.
A minute later they were punished as Macclesfield snatched the lead.
Buxton was caught in possession by Bullock on the right and he slipped a pass inside to Russell who swept home a finish from 12 yards.
The Silkmen almost added to that on 40 minutes as a swift, flowing move ended with Beresford finding Russell whose first time blast from 20 yards was just wide of Pressman's left hand post.
Stags won another central free kick from 30 yards but again the ball finished up over the bar, Barker the taker on this occasion.
Pressman had a save to make it the final minute of the half as McIntyre flicked a header on target from Beresford's cross.
Stags almost levelled two minutes into the second half.
Winning a corner on the right. It was taken short and Jelleyman scampered inside along the edge of the box before shooting low and seeing his effort take a deflection before Fettis managed to make a save.
But Mansfield were level on 49 minutes. Birchall released Barker on the right of the box and after sliding inside one challenge he squared firmly to Birchall whose first time finish was firm and perfectly placed from 10 yards.
Birchall was desperately unlucky not to net again five minutes later as his low 18 yards effort took a deflection and span inches wide with Fettis beaten.
Stags continued to look the livelier and Dawson had a powerful shot blocked on the edge of the Macclesfield box while Jelleyman was wide of the near post after good approach play from Brown.
Day's close range effort from a Jelleyman corner was blocked and, a minute later, Russell was just over from 20 yards for Macclesfield.
But the visitors were straight back on the attack with Brown coming inside two defenders before shooting straight at Fettis.
The Silkmen did fire a warning on 65 minutes as Russell out jumped Day to reach Beresford's cross and Pressman had to produce a good reaction stop.
Buxton then had to hoist a Russell cross from almost under his crossbar when any mis-kick would have produced an own goal.
The first change of the night came 14 minutes from time when striker Miles replaced midfielder Beresford as manager Brian Horton tried to pep things up.
Another Stags corner, taken by Birchall, saw Day just fail to get there.
Russell got loose for the home side and went on a run that ended with a poor shot well wide.
Harsley saw the night's first yellow card for a foul on 83 minutes.
Fettis was firmly behind another Birchill effort from just outside the box.
Littlejohn replaced Brown for the last minute and within seconds he had flicked a header wide of goal with his first touch.
But that proved their last chance to avoid the misery of sliding to the foot of the table after 11 games.
Sloppy Silkmen Rue Missed Chances
By Gary J
The Silkmen were left kicking themselves after first half chances went begging as Mansfield grabbed an equaliser in the second half to earn them a point. Allan Russell gave Macc a deserved lead on 36 minutes but we fell apart after the interval.
Another poor crowd at the Moss Rose of only 1,576 watched a good first half performance by the Silkmen. Lots of passing and attacking football but we could only convert one chance. Russell getting his second goal in as many games.
Mansfield came out with more purpose in the second half and Birchall grabbed a deserved equaliser. Macc went close on a couple of occasions. The closest was a point blank save by Pressman to deny McIntyre. But it wasn't good in the second half. Too many long balls and sloppy passing.
What happened to the 4-4-2?
Tonight's attendance, just 1576, was the lowest for a Stags' league game, either home or away, since February 2001, when a paltry 1623 watched the Stags beat Barnet 4-1 at Field Mill. Just a little bit lower gate than tonight, 1541, watched incidentally a Macclesfield v Mansfield league fixture at Moss Rose on November 2, 1999, when the Stags were beaten 5-2 by the Silkmen. Thanks to Svante for the info.
Latest | September 2005