STAGS FRUSTRATED IN 0-0 DRAW WITH STEVENAGE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Stevenage
Attendance: 3982 (97 from Stevenage)
Date: 24 August 2019
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town drew 0-0 with Stevenage at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. The Stags were down to the bare bones of the squad with only ten available experienced players, though the visitors Stevenage also had injury problems. Stevenage had not scored a goal in League Two this season and had only a point before today, so this was a case of two points dropped for Mansfield.
The first half was quite even. The Stags could have had an early lead after 6 minutes when Mal Benning slid the ball forward for CJ Hamilton who pulled a good low cross back for Alex MacDonald who had a clear sight of goal but miscued his shot which went well wide, in fact out for a throw-in. Stevenage then could have gone in front after 12 minutes when Conrad Logan saved brilliantly from Paul Taylor who looked certain to score. The Stags had a goal disallowed after 36 minutes as Benning crossed from the left, Hamilton knocked it on and Ryan Sweeney turned it past the keeper into the net from 4 yards, but Sweeney was half a yard offside.
The second half saw Mansfield with all the chances as Stevenage created nothing. And after 77 minutes, the Stags were so close to breaking the deadlock, as Benning made a great run forward, and curled a super ball into the area, which was missed by defender Kelland Watts and hit Danny Rose in the chest and was heading for the bottom corner of the net before keeper Paul Farman clawed it off the line low to his left with a brilliant save. Rose appealed that it had crossed the line but it didn’t. The ball was recycled by sub Omari Sterling-James to MacDonald who scuffed a shot into the ground and it bounced up in to the keeper’s arms. The Stags thought they might have had a penalty on 85 minutes for a foul on Sterling-James who went down under a challenge from Chris Stokes on the edge of the area on the right. The officials awarded the foul but gave it outside the area. With the naked eye we thought it was inside the area, however our pitchside footage, with a perfect angle, shows that it was actually just outside the area. The Stags went even closer after 88 minutes, as Sterling-James shot from a tight angle on the right, the keeper parried it to MacDonald who smashed a powerful shot from 12 yards that had goal written over it as it beat the keeper but somehow was blocked on the line by defender Luther Wildin. The ball was recycled, Rose did well to head down to Sterling-James whose shot was again blocked by the keeper.
So Mansfield’s frustration continues, no wins from 3 home league games. With so many key players out, it will surely be a young Stags side which takes on Everton U21 in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, before the Stags return to the league at top of the table Exeter next Saturday.
The Stags were without: Neal Bishop (out for 2 weeks with a swollen Achilles), Andy Cook (for 3 weeks with a knee injury), Nicky Maynard (2 weeks with a grade one hamstring tear), Hayden White (took a whack on Tuesday where he broke his leg though no long term damage), Kellan Gordon (back spasm and failed a fitness test just before kick off), Krystian Pearce (ankle injury picked up in training on Friday and failed a fitness test just before kick off), Bobby Olejnik, Craig Davies and Jordan Graham (long term injuries), and Dion Donohue (suspended for off-field reasons).
The Stags therefore had only 10 experienced players available, with young James Clarke coming in at right back for his first league start. Matt Preston returned from suspension after his sending off against Morecambe. Jacob Mellis returned having been fined and having apologised for breaking club regulations. CJ Hamilton also returned to the starting XI, in a side that showed 4 changes from Tuesday. Mal Benning was captain in the absence of Pearce. It was a 4-4-2 formation with Otis Khan joining Danny Rose up front. All seven substitutes had fewer than a handful of first team games between them.
Stevenage also had injuries, including new signing Paul Digby, formerly of Mansfield. Joel Byrom, another former Stags player was in midfield.
It was a hot and sunny day in Mansfield, 80 degrees.
READ THE FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
REPORT: Mansfield Town 0-0 Stevenage - Slow start to the season continues for Stags
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Saturday 24 August 2019
Mansfield Town’s slow start to the season continued after a 0-0 draw with Stevenage.
Stags, who have already drawn three of their opening five games, enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to create enough clear cut chances.
Alex MacDonald, Danny Rose and Mal Benning all had early first half chances before Mansfield began to fade.
And it was a similar story in the second half as Stags bossed the game but lacked a killer pass in the final third.
Mansfield ended the match on a high as they continued to pepper the visiting goal without finding their reward.
In form Danny Rose came close to winning it for Mansfield but was denied by a brilliant one handed reflex save by Paul Farman.
Stags were denied a spot-kick when Omari-Sterling James was fouled, with the referee ruling it was inches outside the box.
And Stags knew it was not going to be their day when Luther James-Wildin pulled off a blinding goal-line clearance to keep out MacDonald.
Conrad Logan played a key part in making a point safe in the first half after he brilliantly spread himself to keep out Paul Taylor on 12 minutes.
Stags were forced to make four changes going into the game with right-back James Clarke making his first EFL start in the place of the injured Hayden White.
Matt Preston returned from a three match ban in place of Krystian Pearce, who was suffering from a sprained ankle.
Jacob Mellis, who made a full apology ahead of the game for his breach of club discipline, was recalled to the first team.
Winger CJ Hamilton also started in place of injured front-man Nicky Maynard.
Alex MacDonald failed to get a proper connection on his shot following a brilliant flowing move involving Mal Benning and CJ Hamilton on six minutes.
Danny Rose headed straight at Paul Farman two minutes later as Mansfield kept up the pressure.
Conrad Logan pulled off a brilliant smothering save to keep out Paul Taylor on 12 minutes.
Will Tomlinson fired a long range effort just wide two minutes later as the open start continued.
Farman beat away a powerful effort from Benning on 23 minutes following a well worked corner.
But, the good start, began to fade, as Stags started to drop their tempo and lack ideas, allowing Stevenage to gain a good foothold into the game.
Ryan Sweeney had a goal ruled out for offside on 36 minutes as Stags continued to be frustrated.
CJ Hamilton saw a shot deflected for a corner, before Mal Benning fired well wide as Stags showed some early attacking intent right after the restart.
Otkis Khan and Rose had goalbound shots blocked before Stevenage managed to scramble the ball to safety on 58 minutes.
Rose again headed wide from 12 yards minutes later, before Benning could only find the side netting with a deflected shot.
Matt Preston failed to connect with his header following a 70th minute corner as time started to run out.
Farman pulled off a brilliant one handed reflect save to deny Danny Rose on 77 minutes.
Stags thought they had won a late penalty when Omari Sterling-James was fouled - only for referee Marc Edwards to rule it had taken places inches outside the box.
MacDonald was then denied by a stunning goal-line clearance by Luther James-Wildin with two minutes to go.
Mansfield Town: Logan, Clarke, Preston, Sweeney, Benning, MacDonald (Knowles 89), Tomlinson, Mellis, Hamilton, Khan (Sterling-James 68), Rose. Subs: Sinclair, Law, Gibbens, Smith, Stone
Stevenage: Farman, Carter (Fielding 77), Soares, Watts, Wildin, Byrom, Husin (Iontton 55), Stokes, Lakin, Newton, Taylor (Kennedy 45). Subs: Cowley, Bastien, Fielding, Smith
Referee: Marc Edwards.
ATT: 3,982 (97).
Chad MOM: Danny Rose.
REPORT: Mansfield Town 0-0 Stevenage
24 August 2019, by Alfie Dinsey
Another point and another cleansheet on the road...
An injury ridden, youthful Stevenage team took home a point from Nottinghamshire after a solid and encouraging display in Mansfield.
Dino Maamria made originally just the one change to his starting eleven from the defeat to Bradford City on Tuesday night. Kurtis Guthrie picked up a hip injury in training during the week, and was replaced new loan signing Charlie Lakin.
Prior to kick-off, Luis Fernandez was next to fall into the current crop of injured players, picking up his knock in the warm-up. Charlie Carter moved into the starting XI to play right wing-back, with Luther James-Wildin as the left sided centre half.
It was the hosts who had the first opportunity of the game, after CJ Hamilton drove down the left flank before drilling a low cross into Alex MacDonald. The midfielder really should have done better, but managed to slice his effort well wide of Paul Farman’s goal.
Minutes later, it was Mansfield again looking to open the scoring. Otis Khan’s wide free-kick from 30 yards found Danny Rose on the penalty spot, but after flicking the ball goal-bound with his head, Farman collected easily.
It took until the twelfth minute for Stevenage to have their first shot on target. A misunderstanding from the Mansfield back four let the ball creep through to Paul Taylor unmarked, but fired his effort straight at Conrad Logan in the Stags’ goal.
A couple of half chances for Tomlinson and Benning then followed, but Stevenage were in control of possession and in control of the game.
Loanee Charlie Lakin was certainly making an impact, with his non-stop running and ability to get in behind. A neat spin from the youngster set him up on the edge of the Mansfield box, before a defender bravely threw his body on the line to block the shot.
Ten minutes before half-time, Mansfield thought they were ahead. Ryan Sweeney popped up at the back post to stab home after the second attempt, and as the One Call erupted, the linesman’s flag arose. Much to the relief of Stevenage fans behind the goal.
Charlie Carter, filling in at right wing-back, looked dangerous down his side, and was continuing to cause problems for Mal Benning. After beating the left back and another, Carter broke through into the Mansfield box, but was cut out before causing any trouble.
Goalless at half-time, the game looked like it could go either way.
Mansfield started the second half better than they finished the first, keeping the ball and shooting on sight. CJ Hamilton’s half-volley was blocked by James-Wildin, then Jacob Mellis’ 30 yard strike flew over Paul Farman’s crossbar.
Dino Maamria made two changes in quick succession in the second period, with both Ben Kennedy and Arthur Iontton entering the fray for Paul Taylor and Noor Husin respectively.
Ben Kennedy’s presence seemed to lift the Stevenage players, who were looking more confident with the ball and always able to find a pass.
As Stevenage grew more self-assured, the chances started to come. Chris Stokes flew down the left wing before crossing into Charlie Carter at the back post, who found Ben Kennedy. After swapping the ball onto his stronger left-side, the attacker took a shot on goal, only to be comfortably saved by Logan.
A number of chances then fell for Mansfield as the home crowd became impatient, but Paul Farman was not letting anything into his net today. Danny Rose found himself in front of an open goal at the back post, but the Stevenage goalkeeper stood firm and reached a hand out of nowhere to deny the Mansfield striker.
Five minutes to go and a clumsy Chris Stokes tackle had Stevenage fans’ hearts in the mouths. Not sure what the referee had given, the man in the middle took his time to decide the foul occurred outside the box. Relief.
A matter of minutes later, James-Wildin was at the rescue this time, denying MacDonald a last minute winner with a block on the line.
Five minutes added time was no problem for Dino Maamria and his men, as they stood firm to see out a valuable point on the road.
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