IMPROVED STAGS PICK UP POINT AT CRAWLEY
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Crawley Town 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 1909 (219 from Mansfield)
Date: 12 March 2019
Martin Shaw at Broadfield Stadium
Mansfield Town produced an improved performance away from home, following three really poor performances on the road, to pick up a point at Crawley Town last night, and move back into the automatic promotion places. Manager David Flitcroft made wholesale changes to the side that lost at Port Vale, five changes in total, and was forced into starting with four at the back for the first time this season in the league with usual starters Ryan Sweeney and Matt Preston, added to Hayden White of course, all out through injury. The Stags had looked very sloppy at Port Vale giving the ball away repeatedly, but looked very solid at the back here with Crawley going close only twice as keeper Conrad Logan, restored to the starting line up for the first time since 5th January, pulling off two good saves in quick succession in the first half, both low to his left.
The Stags went close three times in the first half: CJ Hamilton fired across the keeper from the left, just wide of the right post, after a great ball forward from Jacob Mellis; Tyler Walker fired straight at the keeper when through 1-on-1 after being set up by Hamilton; and then Jorge Grant was set up beautifully by Hamilton for a shot from 12 yards but was denied by a brilliant block from defender Dallison, throwing his body in front of it. The second half saw very little in the way of goalmouth action until the final two minutes of the game, when Gethin Jones crossed from the right and Tyler Walker turned the ball against the right post from 10 yards. It was so nearly a carbon copy of Walker’s winning goal against Crawley at home, which was also after 88 minutes. Then Walker went close again on 90 minutes as his shot was blocked following another Jones cross. As the final whistle went, Walker pulled his shirt over his head in frustration at being so close to the winner.
The Stags frustrated then, but this was an improved performance, stopping the rot after those three away defeats. The back four did a decent job, limiting Crawley to so few chances, as Ben Turner looked rock solid on his second start for the club, having had a difficult start to his Stags career in substitute appearances previously. Mansfield move back into the top three, as MK Dons lost at resurgent Morecambe, and now look forward to a mouth-watering game with Lincoln City at the One Call Stadium on Monday. The game will be live on Sky Sports, which is great exposure for the club, and Mansfield’s first game live on Sky since 2005 (they have of course had plenty of games on other channels in the intervening period such as BT Sport, ESPN and BBC1). But get down to the One Call Stadium if you possibly can to create a raucous atmosphere and cheer the team on. The team have of course won five successive games at home and need to keep that good run going to stay in the top 3.
There had been heavy rain in the area during the early afternoon but that had stopped four hours before kick off and the pitch was in perfect condition. It had also been windy earlier in the day, but that had also dropped by kick-off. The evening started with the fire alarm going off in the main stand just as I was setting up equipment two hours before kick-off. Something had been left on in a tea bar since Saturday, and when it was opened, smoke poured out setting off all the alarms. The alarms were still going off as the Stags team arrived and their entry to the ground was delayed, but it was soon resolved.
With Ryan Sweeney not allowed to play and specifically now allowed to head the ball for 7 days due to the “enhanced care pathway” which includes the concussion protocol following his head injury on Saturday, added to Matt Preston who was still out, Hayden White out for the season of course, and young Lewis Gibbens also injured, manager David Flitcroft had little choice but to start with a back four for the first time in the league this season. Ben Turner came in for his second start alongside Krystian Pearce in central defence. Gethin Jones was restored to the side, as a more natural right back than Will Atkinson, with Mal Benning at left back. Alex MacDonald started in midfield following his substitute appearances after six months out through injury, in place of Willem Tomlinson. Tyler Walker was back from suspension up front in place of Nicky Ajose, with Jorge Grant and CJ Hamilton either side of him in a 4-3-3 formation. Neal Bishop started, and by avoiding a booking here avoids a two-game suspension (the cut-off for suspension was 37 games, which has now passed). The other change was in goal where Conrad Logan replaced Jordan Smith for his first start since 5th January at Carlisle. Smith had not particularly done anything wrong, but manager Flitcroft felt it was the right time for Logan to come back into the side. After the game Flitcroft said he needed more personality and character in the spine of the side and mentioned Logan and MacDonald coming into the side. When Jordan Smith came into the side on 12th January, having signed on loan from Nottingham Forest, Logan had not particularly done anything wrong at that time himself. Five changes in total then, the most changes between league games this season I think, a response to the poor away form where the Stags had looked less solid than earlier in the season away from home.
Crawley were coming off the back of a win over Grimsby Town on Saturday when former Stag Ollie Palmer had scored both goals. Palmer’s record for scoring against Mansfield since leaving was good, having scored the only goal of the game for Leyton Orient against us in April 2016, putting Lincoln in front against us in the Checkatrade Trophy as Lincoln went on to win 3-1 in August 2017, and then coming on as substitute after 80 minutes and scoring an equaliser after 90 minutes for Lincoln at the One Call Stadium in March 2018 which was David Flitcroft’s first game in charge. But he was marshalled well here by the Stags defence.
Stats footnote: it was the first goalless draw at Broadfield Stadium for 17 months.
Wednesday morning update: news confirmed the morning after the game that John and Carolyn Radford announced that they have made the final payment to Keith Haslam for the ground, with the Stags therefore now fully in control of their own destiny regarding the One Call Stadium. Huge thanks to John and Carolyn at this momentous time!
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Precious point at Crawley Town lifts Mansfield Town back into the top three
chad.co.uk, by Agency
Mansfield Town moved back into the automatic promotion places in League Two but will feel they should have left Crawley with three points after tonight’s 0-0 draw. But, with rivals MK Dons losing 4-2 at Morecambe, it proved to be a precious point as it saw them leapfrog the Dons on goal difference. Manager David Flitcroft reacted to a third successive away defeat at Port Vale on Saturday with five changes and his re-shaped side created the better chances, particularly in the first half. The Stags weren’t as threatening after the break but they nearly won it at the end when Tyler Walker’s glancing header bounced back off the post into the hands of Crawley’s grateful keeper Glenn Morris.
Alex MacDonald dragged his shot wide inside 30 seconds during a lively opening which saw Manchester United loanee Matty Willock clear the bar by inches from 20 yards for the hosts. Clear-cut chances were rare all evening but the Stags squandered two of the best of them in the space of 60 seconds. CJ Hamilton saw an angled drive miss the target by inches on 28 minutes then Hamilton played Tyler Walker in but Morris made a superb save to deny the Stags’ top scorer. Conrad Logan was called into action six minutes before the break when he pushed out as shot from ex-Stag Ollie Palmer and then showed outstanding reflexes to block the follow-up effort by Lewis Young. Jorge Grant often looked the player most likely to unlock the home defence and it needed a desperate block by George Francomb to deny him 12 yards out in first-half stoppage time. The second period was a cagier affair, although Mansfield looked the more threatening until Logan was almost surprised by Willock’s volley from distance in the 76th minute. Crawley finished strongly, but Walker had the best chance of winning it when his glancing header hit the post a minute from time after Gethin Jones picked him out with a great cross from the right.
CRAWLEY TOWN: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Dallison, Young, Payne (Bulman 66), Camara (Morais 75), Willock, Sesay, Grego-Cox, Palmer.
STAGS: Logan, Benning, Turner, Pearce, MacDonald (Tomlinson 82), Mellis, Jones, Bishop, Hamilton, Walker, Grant.
ATTENDANCE: 1,909 (219 away). REFEREE: Lee Collins of Surrey.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-precious-point-at-crawley-town-lifts-mansfield-town-back-into-the-top-three-1-9646141
REPORT: REDS HOLD HIGH-FLYING MANSFIELD TO 0-0 DRAW
by Bruce Talbot
Reds held promotion-chasing Mansfield to a 0-0 draw in a lively Sky Bet League 2 affair at The People's Pension Stadium on Tuesday night.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between with Matty Willock, twice, Ollie Palmer and Lewis Young going closest for Reds.
At the other end Crawley again defended solidly although Mansfield nearly snatched victory in the 89th minute when Tyler Walker headed against the post.
Crawley stay in 18th place ahead of Saturday's trip to Crewe Alexandra.
Gabriele Cioffi made one change to the side that had beaten Grimsby on Saturday, with Josh Payne restored to midfield in place of Dannie Bulman who dropped to the bench.
Alex MacDonald dragged his shot wide inside 30 seconds for Mansfield during a lively opening from both sides which saw midfielder Willock clear the bar by inches from 20 yards for the hosts.
Clear-cut chances were rare all evening but the visitors squandered two of the best of them in the space of 60 seconds. CJ Hamilton saw an angled drive miss the target by inches on 28 minutes then Hamilton played Tyler Walker in, but Glenn Morris made a superb save to deny the Stags’ top scorer.
Mansfield keeper Conrad Logan was called into serious action for the first time six minutes before the break when he pushed out a shot from ex-Stag Palmer and then showed outstanding reflexes to block a follow-up drive by Young which had zipped across the turf from the right-hand side.
Midfielder Jorge Grant often looked the player most likely to unlock the home defence and it needed a great block by George Francomb to deny him 12 yards out in first-half stoppage time.
The second period was a cagier affair. Reds had plenty of possession, but Mansfield carried a threat on the counter. Crawley got better the longer it went on and Logan was almost surprised by Willock’s volley from distance in the 76th minute.
Substitute Filipe Morais tested the keeper with a low drive, but Walker had the best chance of winning it when his glancing header hit the post a minute from time after Gethin Jones picked him out with a cross from the right and the ball rebounded into Morris’s grateful grasp.
Grant’s stoppage-time free kick looped wide via a Crawley boot and on a night when there was little between the teams it was only right that it finished all square.
Crawley Town: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Dallison, Young, Payne (Bulman 66), Camara (Morais 75), Willock, Sesay, Grego-Cox, Palmer. Unused subs: Mersin, German, Meite, N’Gala.
Attendance: 1909 (219 Mansfield)
Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)
Man of the match (chosen by Ryan Canter Club): Joe McNerney
Crawley Town 0 Mansfield Town 0: Reds hold fourth-placed Stags to goalless draw
West Sussex County Times, by GRAHAM CARTER, Tuesday 12 March 2019
Crawley Town held promotion-chasing Mansfield Town to a goalless draw. Mansfield’s Tyler Walker headed against the post in the 89th minute as Crawley Town earned their first goalless draw at home in 17 months. Gabriele Cioffi made just one change to the line-up which beat Grimsby on Saturday with Josh Payne replacing Dannie Bulman who was on the bench; Lewis Young wore the captain’s armband. Top scorer Walker returned to Mansfield’s line-up after serving a two-match ban.
Crawley had the best of the opening exchanges with Payne slicing an effort wide following a corner. Matty Willock went close from the edge of the box after Reece Grego-Cox’s initial attack was stopped. CJ Hamilton set-up Walker for an effort from a dangerous position inside the penalty area but he shot straight at ‘keeper Glenn Morris. Mansfield ‘keeper Conrad Logan made a great double save to deny Ollie Palmer from outside the area and then kept out Lewis Young’s shot on the rebound. The second half took time to get going as a spectacle as the two sides cancelled themselves out. Cioffi brought on Bulman in place of Payne and he took over the skipper’s armband from Young. For Reds’ second substitution Filipe Morais came on for Panutche Camara with 15 minutes to go. Matty Willock launched a hopeful shot which flew just inches away from the post. Both sides started to step things up in search of a late winner and George Francomb cleared the ball from Jorge Grant off the goalline, only for the referee to blow for offside. Crawley Town v Mansfield Town: previous meetings Grego-Cox played a cross from the left over to Young who ran in unmarked on the right but the ball bounced in front of him before going out of play and he could not get a shot in. Walker hit the post with a last minute header which was then caught by Morris as both sides had to settle for a draw.
Crawley Town: Morris, Young (capt), Payne (Bulman 65), McNerney, Grego-Cox, Palmer, Francomb, Dallison, Sesay, Willock, Camara (Morais 74) Subs: Mersin, German, Meite, N’Gala
Mansfield Town: Logan, Benning, Pearce (capt), Bishop, MacDonald (Tomlinson 80), Mellis, Walker, Jones, Hamilton, Grant, Turner Subs: J.Smith, Khan, Atkinson, Ajose, A.Smith, Hakeem
Referee: Lee Collins Attendance: 1909 (219 away) Man of the Match: Joe McNerney
Read more at: https://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/sport/football/crawley-town-fc/crawley-town-0-mansfield-town-0-reds-hold-fourth-placed-stags-to-goalless-draw-1-8845957