STAGS DRAW0-0 WITH SWINDON IN GAME LACKING QUALITY
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Swindon Town
Attendance: 5311 (486 from Swindon)
Date: 29 December 2018
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town drew 0-0 with Swindon Town at a windy One Call stadium this afternoon, to remain in third place, and two points behind second placed MK Dons with a game in hand. 0-0 was a fair result in my opinion in a game that lacked the quality of most of Mansfield’s recent encounters. However successful teams make sure that if they don’t play well enough to win, they don’t lose and the Stags kept a clean sheet here to ensure that.
23 games gone, exactly half the season, and the Stags have only been beaten once in the league. By the way, the club record fewest defeats in a complete season is 5 in 1923-24 and 6 in 1974-75. Mansfield’s unbeaten run is up to 16 games, the club’s best since a 20 game unbeaten run in 1976. The Stags have also conceded just 16 goals in those 23 games, the lowest number in League Two, or indeed League One or the Championship.
Mansfield were relieved to get to half time at 0-0 as Swindon had the better chances in the first half with the wind behind them. Conrad Logan made three fine saves to keep the score blank. Logan made a super one-handed save from Keshi Anderson after Krystian Pearce uncharacteristically gave the ball away. Pearce had a first half to forget losing the ball on several occasions in dangerous positions. Then Logan superbly tipped Matty Taylor’s free kick from 28 yards onto the bar. Taylor’s quality on crosses and set pieces shone like a beacon as it tends to when he plays against the Stags, and in my opinion his set pieces and crossing remain the best in League Two. Then Logan made another great save with his right leg from Anderson. Logan could rightfully have expected his defence to clear the ball following that save, but Matt Preston gave the ball straight back to Anderson who fired just over the bar. The Stags’ best moments in the first half centred around Tyler Walker. Great play from Walker to set up a shot for Hayden White whose effort was deflected just wide. Then wonderful play from Walker to create a shooting chance from 28 yards, which was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Swindon keeper Vigouroux. Credit to Swindon who pressed Mansfield during the half closing down the Stags defenders as they tried to play out from the back which led to a number of errors.
The second half was better from Mansfield, who were the better side. Midway through the half, more great play from Walker, flicking the ball away from Michael Dought with the back of his heel before bring another good saved from Vigouroux from 30 yards. Then a great tackle by Bishop and Mellis found Walker who fired just over the bar from 25 yards. Then Hamilton created a yard of space on the left and Vigouroux pushed his shot over the bar. Then on the stroke of 90 minutes, Hamilton played inside to Mellis whose powerful shot looked bound for the net but was blocked.
All in all a fair result as the Stags were very much not at their best. Conrad Logan had a good game with those three fine first half saves, Tyler Walker was Mansfield’s best attacking threat with good approach play and some decent shots, Neal Bishop was the pick of the midfield with some good challenges, Hayden White had a good game going forward on the right, and Ryan Sweeney was probably the pick of the defence. But overall the Stags uncharacteristically lacked quality in many areas of the pitch.
On to Grimsby on New Years Day, which will be a tough challenge with Grimsby having hit a fine run of form.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
REPORT: Mansfield Town 0-0 Swindon Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 29 December 2018
Despite an off day in today's 0-0 home draw with Swindon Town, Mansfield Town at least extended their unbeaten League Two run to 16 games. The result was also enough to keep them in the top three promotion places. After some sparkling recent displays, the Stags, unchanged for a fourth game in a row, looked a little jaded and short on ideas against a well-drilled Swindon Town side who deserved their point. Neal Bishop did all he could to inspire his side from central midfield but with usually impeccable skipper Krystian Pearce making several potentially-costly errors, fans could see it was simply one of those days.
Over 5,000 home fans packed in for the clash but were unable to rouse their heroes into a breakthrough. Hamilton had a shot blocked and Walker saw another effort deflect onto the roof of the net in a hectic opening spell. But Mansfield had a let-off on 11 minutes from Swindon's first raid as Pearce was robbed of the ball by Adebayo, to set up Anderson for a firm low shot that Logan blocked with a solid, outstretched hand. White put in a dangerous low cross on 14 minutes that neither Hamilton nor Walker were able to turn home as Mansfield resumed their offensive. Then Mellis cued up Walker for a shot that deflected inches wide with Benning's blast blocked from the corner. Elsnik had Vigouroux worried with a 30-yard daisycutter that he managed to eventually secure. It was all Stags now and Benning had another effort blocked from Hamilton's pull-back. McCourt, already irate to be brought down and no card shown seconds earlier, then tripped Bishop and was shown the first yellow card on 22 minutes. On 25 minutes it was Swindon who again came closer as veteran Taylor curled a free kick over the wall from 30 yards that saw Logan tip into the bar as it began to dip over him to spark the first of three corner kicks for the visitors.
Pearce again put his side in danger on 32 minutes as he dallied on the ball in his own box and Adebayo almost robbed him in front of goal, Logan dropping onto the ball to smother the danger before he and Pearce furiously squared up nose to nose over the incident. Stags looked shaken for a few seconds but regained their composure as Walker rolled an inviting ball to White, whose deflected shot beat keeper and post. Preston saw his powerful header saved from the corner, then Walker forced a save from distance with his dipping shot as they turned up the heat on the Robins once more. But, after Elsnik had cut in to fire over, once again Swindon came desperately close after a loose clearance from Sweeney. The ball was worked to Anderson on the left of the box whose first effort was saved and his follow-up over the bar. A well-worked Swindon corner right on half-time ended with no power on Anderson's close range prod, making the save easy for Logan. But the visitors went in the more pleased with their first half work. Incredibly another Pearce error almost let Anderson in just after the break, the striker losing control eventually before shooting. Doughty was cautioned for bringing down Bishop on 54 minutes and six minutes later Stags threw on Khan for Elsnik as they looked for a chink in the Robins' armour. Another effort from distance by Walker had Vigouroux scrambling for the save on 67 minutes. On 73 minutes Pearce was again caught out and tripped Woolery as he tried to race away from him but escaped with just a yellow card. Sub Richards flicked a header over from a Knoyle cross with 15 minutes to as both sides looked for a winner. Swindon boss Wellens was reported to the referee for verbals on 78 minutes and he was duly booked before Benning was sacrificed to get Rose on the field as an extra striker for the last 12 minutes. Within a minute Walker was too high at the end of a fine home counter-attack. On 86 minutes Hamilton, from wide on the left, forced Vigouroux to save at his near post. Nelson needed treatment for a head injury and seconds later got his head in the way of a ferocious Mellis blast to need more attention. In the four added minutes Stags forced a couple of thrilling scrambles while McCourt was inches wide at the other end on the break as it rightly ended honours even.
MANSFIELD: Logan; Preston, Pearce, Sweeney; White, Bishop, Mellis, Elsnik (Khan 60), Benning (Rose 78); Hamilton, Walker. Subs not used: Kean, Graham, Atkinson, Butcher, Law.
SWINDON: Vigouroux, Knoyle, Nelson, Woolfenden, Taylor, Conroy, McCourt, Doughty, Anderson, Woolery, Adebayo (Richards 65). Subs not used: McCormick, Smith, Iandolo, Dunne, Twine, McGlashan. REFEREE: Trevor Kettle of Rutland. ATTENDANCE: 5,311 (486 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Neal Bishop.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/report-mansfield-town-0-0-swindon-town-1-9512994
REPORT: MANSFIELD TOWN - SWINDON TOWN
Swindon were impressive in their draw with Mansfield at Field Mill as they rounded off 2018 unbeaten in three.
The game ended goalless despite Town’s constant pressure, especially in the first half. Richie Wellens set his team up to press and on several occasions their hounding almost paid dividends.
Every chance Swindon created in a frantic first half was down to pressing from the front - the electric visitors frustrated the home side with their energy and ability to prevent anything but long balls out from the back three.
On 10 minutes, it nearly paid dividend for the first time - Elijah Adebayo won the ball from Krystian Pearce and found Keshi Anderson. Conrad Logan had to be sharp to get down to his right and tip away.
Mansfield’s first real effort on target came through Tyler Walker who fizzed a shot at goal on 18 minutes - Luke Woolfenden got in the way with a sliding block before finding himself in the right place again to deny Mal Benning.
The closest Town came was on 26 minutes, and through a familiar route - Matty Taylor curled a free-kick form 30 yards when most would have crossed. It bent towards the top corner but Logan reacted quickly and tipped onto the crossbar.
Town’s set-piece routines were another thorn in the Stags’ side - Michael Doughty came close with a volley, before nearly teeing up Keshi with another well-worked training ground item.
Mansfield were not without threat, however - Lawrence Vigouroux had to show off his reflexes 10 minutes before the break. Walker shot from 30 yards and the stopper jumped and pawed well to tip over the bar.
Anderson had two bites of the cherry just before the interval - after good pressing again from Adebayo, McCourt found the winger but his first shot was saved before he drilled the second past the post.
Both sides came out after the interval and the game seemed to change - less frantic, with Mansfield able to do more with the ball as they looked to go slightly more direct into the front men.
However, the first sniff of goal was 21 minutes into the second half - Walker, again, struck from distance but Vigouroux parried well.
Town’s most dangerous look at goal was denied by Krystian Pearce - with Kaiyne Woolery clean through the Stags defender pulled him back but was inexplicably only given a yellow card by referee Trevor Kettle.
Richards was up next with 16 to play - Kyle Knoyle crossed and Marc Richards cut in front of Pearce but flicked a header just over the bar.
As the game went on though, Town were pegged back more as the home side grew in confidence - still, though, Vigouroux was not called into action too regularly. He had to claw the ball away as he jumped to his left.
The final action of the game saw Sid Nelson chuck himself in front of a goalbound shot - he flew to the right and received a ball to the face for his troubles but ensured Town left Field Mill with a point.