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25th November 2020 19:09

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Colchester United
Maynard 67. Norris 85
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 20 November 2020

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were denied their first home win of the season last night by an 85th minute equaliser from Colchester United in a 1-1 draw at the One Call Stadium. It was Nigel Clough’s first home game in charge of the Stags and the whole mood around the club and supporters has changed palpably since Richard Cooper did a great job of steadying the ship after Graham Coughlan was sacked, and Clough then came in and steered the team to the first league win of the season away at Forest Green last week, building on two away cup victories.

In a tight game without too many clearcut chances, the Stags took the lead after 67 minutes when Nicky Maynard’s fantastic strike from 23 yards flew over keeper Dean Gerkin and crashed off the underside the bar into the net. It was an inspirational moment from Maynard, though keeper Gerkin should have done better and been able to tip it over the bar.

Colchester’s equaliser came on 85 minutes as substitute Callum Harriott lobbed the ball forward to the edge of the Stags area, Marek Stech came charging out to get there but was caught in no-man’s land as another substitute Luke Norris expertly lobbed the ball over him and into the empty net. A clear misjudgement from Stech that was unfortunately very costly after his man of the match display in the win at Forest Green.

Real frustration for Mansfield to concede the late equaliser but little doubt I think that the draw was a fair result.

Colchester are a good side. They reached the play-offs last season, and missed out by a point the season before. They are already well-placed this season and it was encouraging that Mansfield were able to hold their own against them, as they did against Forest Green last week. The Stags are still precariously placed near the bottom of the table but they look good enough to start climbing the table, at least into mid-table anyway to start with.

The first half saw the Stags have the better of the opening stages with half chances for Ollie Clarke, Mal Benning and Harry Charsley. But then a real let-off for Mansfield after 31 minutes as Harry Pell’s high cross into the middle found Noah Chilvers completely unmarked and with no defender within 8 yards of him on the edge of the six yard box. Chilvers made a mess of his free header, tamely heading down and straight to Stech almost like a guided back-header from a defender. It was a glorious chance, and very poor defending from Farrend Rawson and Kellan Gordon who both just stood and watched, appealing in vain for offside. The Stags’ best chance of the half came on 44 minutes as Ollie Clarke fired a powerful shot goalwards from 24 yards after a good lay-off from Stephen McLaughlin and keeper Gerkin parried it away.

Harry Charsley was within a whisker of opening the scoring after 53 minutes, shooting just wide of the right post from 15 yards with the keeper motionless.

After the Stags took the lead, Maynard tried his luck again from 25 yards, but this time was off target. At the other end, substitute Michael Folivi headed wide via a deflection from a cross from another substitute Joshua Bohui. Then Luke Norris’s shot from a tight angle was blocked by Benning for a corner, but it was Norris who did equalise 5 minutes from time. Jordan Bowery had a chance to win it after 89 minutes cutting inside from the left but his low shot was easily saved by the keeper.

So, frustration for the Stags but plenty of positives to take and the Stags are now looking a much better side than earlier in the season. The next game is on Tuesday night against Harrogate Town at the One Call Stadium (7pm kickoff). It will be the first ever game between the two sides. It will be another tough game. Harrogate were impressive in getting promotion from the National League last season, and have looked good this season too.

It was a wet day in Mansfield, albeit nowhere near as wet as the monsoon conditions at Forest Green last week. But the pitch was soggy.

Mansfield made one enforced change from the side that won at Forest Green. Ollie Clarke started in place of George Maris, who was out with a rib injury he picked up in that game. There was a slight tweak in formation from the diamond shape in midfield, and instead it was a flat 4 across the midfield, so George Lapslie was in a less advanced role than previous games. Nicky Maynard played just behind Jordan Bowery in what was effectively an attacking midfield role. So both teams were essentially in a 4-5-1 formation. Tyrese Sinclair came into the 18 in place of Maris.

Colchester had Jevani Brown on his own up front in their 4-5-1 formation. Brown had scored 8 goals in his last 4 games, and 11 goals this season. George Lapslie’s brother Tom has been out with injury all season and was not involved.
Colchester were 7th in the table with a game in hand and had a chance to go 3rd if they had won.

This was the first game in the EFL where the new rule allowing five substitutes to be used was in place. Colchester used it to good advantage with their fourth substitute Luke Norris scoring the all-important equaliser. And their other three substitutes were involved in creating chances.

This was the first Friday night game at the One Call Stadium since goalkeeper Alan Marriott scored for the Stags against Wrexham in the Conference in April 2012! Thanks to Jake Garner of BBC Radio Nottingham for digging out that stat.

Before the game there was a minute’s silence for Pam Radford, mother of John Radford and Tina Broughton. Our thoughts are with John and Tina and the rest of Pam’s family. Rest in peace.



Press Association report by John Lomas

Mansfield's three-game winning start in all competitions under new manager Nigel Clough was brought to an end by a late Colchester United equaliser.

Nicky Maynard put the Stags ahead on 67 minutes, but Luke Norris levelled with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Norris had only been on the park five minutes when he beat keeper Marek Stech to a loose ball and lobbed him.

Steve Ball's Colchester remain sixth in League Two, while Mansfield move three points clear of danger.

Mansfield had seemed on course for victory thanks to Maynard's spectacular strike.

After being teed up by Harry Charsley, he let fly with a 20-yard rocket shot that flew past keeper Dean Gerken and in off the underside of the bar.

The visitors wasted the best chance of the first half after 31 minutes when Harry Pell lofted the ball forward and Noah Chilvers sneaked through to receive it unmarked six yards from goal, only to nod tamely straight at Stech.

But, although Colchester remain winless away from home, Norris came off the bench to earn their fourth draw on their travels in six games.



Colchester United share spoils with in-form Mansfield Town
By Jonathan Waldron JonWaldron1

LUKE Norris came off the bench to score a late equaliser and rescue a point for Colchester United after they played out a 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town tonight.

Norris converted with five minutes to go to cancel out Nicky Maynard’s earlier second-half strike as the spoils were shared, following an entertaining affair at the One Call Stadium.

A draw was probably about right, after both sides played their part in an absorbing contest.

Colchester made one change to their starting line-up for their game against Nigel Clough’s Mansfield, who went into the contest on the back of a five-match unbeaten run.

Ben Stevenson was recalled to the side after a groin injury in place of Michael Folivi, who dropped to the bench.

Callum Harriott also returned from a hamstring injury and was among the substitutes.

Colchester enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half, in the U’s first Friday night fixture for nearly three years.

There was plenty of tempo to their performance in the opening 45 minutes, often forcing their hosts to go on their retreat and defend in numbers.

Mansfield also enjoyed their fair share of the ball in what was an even first half and there was little to choose between the sides, before half-time.

Colchester’s best chance in the first period fell to Noah Chilvers, on the half hour mark.

The midfielder found himself unmarked after being picked out by skipper Harry Pell’s excellent ball into the six-yard box but could only direct a tame header straight at goalkeeper Marek Stech.

Colchester largely contained the hosts’ threat, although Mansfield almost grabbed the lead just before the interval when captain Ollie Clarke's fierce 20-yard effort was parried away well by keeper Dean Gerken, after some good build-up play.

The first half finished goal-less but Mansfield went close in the opening minutes of the second half when Mal Benning's low shot from the edge of the area flew straight at Gerken.

Harry Charsley’s snatched shot flew wide for the Stags soon after and Gerken saved Stephen McLaughlin’s low shot as the hosts looked to gain some momentum.

And Colchester fell behind in the 67th minute when Nicky Maynard let fly with a 20-yard left-foot shot that flew past Gerken and in off the underside of the crossbar, leaving the U’s keeper with his head in his hands.

Colchester made changes, bringing on Folivi, Josh Bohui and Luke Norris to add to the earlier introduction of Harriott.

And they almost equalised with nine minutes remaining when Folivi’s downward header from Bohui’s deep cross nicked off Kellan Gordon and brushed a post before going wide.

Colchester did level things up, four minutes later though.

After a hopeful ball forward, Norris spotted keeper Marek Stech rushing out of his goal and expertly lifted the ball past him and into the net from a difficult angle, to salvage a point for the U’s.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Welch-Hayes (sub Norris, 80), Smith, Eastman, Bramall, Chilvers, Pell, Senior (sub Bohui, 70), Stevenson (sub Folivi, 70), Poku (sub Harriott, 61), Brown.

Subs (not used): Sowunmi, Scarlett, George.

U’s man of the match: Noah Chilvers.

Mansfield Town: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, Charsley, Clarke (sub O’Keeffe, 84), Lapslie, McLaughlin, Maynard, Bowery.

Subs (not used): Sweeney, Cook, O’Driscoll, Reid, Sinclair, Stone.

Referee: Benjamin Speedie (Merseyside).

Goals: Colchester: Norris (85). Mansfield: Maynard (67).

Bookings: Mansfield: Clarke (foul, 62), Rawson (foul, 87).


Colchester United played out a 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town
By Jonathan Waldron JonWaldron1

COLCHESTER United picked up an away point after drawing 1-1 at Mansfield Town.

Substitute Luke Norris struck in the 85th minute to earn a draw for the U's, after Nicky Maynard had given the Stags a 67th-minute lead.

The draw lifted Colchester up to sixth spot in League Two, ahead of their trip to play Exeter City on Tuesday night.

The Gazette rates the U's players' performances, after they made it three games unbeaten in the league.


Made decent saves to deny Clarke and McLaughlin but will be disappointed with nature of Mansfield’s goal


U’s right-back produced a solid performance; tidy and efficient in possession throughout


Good display; made a great interception to deny Bowery at near post late in first half


Defended well throughout and helped to largely snuff out Mansfield’s threat


Grew into the game and slotted well into a central defensive position late on


U’s captain was in good form again and allowed Mansfield’s midfield little time on the ball


U’s man of the match. Impressive once again and showed plenty of quality on the ball


Worked hard for the cause on the left flank before being replaced on the hour mark


Showed his usual composure after being recalled before being replaced with 20 minutes remaining


Had some good moments and did his fair share of defensive work before going off


U’s in-form forward was very well shackled by the Mansfield defence throughout


CALLUM HARRIOTT (for Poku, 61) 7

Provided the assist for Norris’s equaliser and looked lively after coming on

JOSH BOHUI (for Senior, 70) 7

Looked lively on the right wing and played his part in U’s strong finish

MICHAEL FOLIVI (for Stevenson, 70) 7

Was unlucky not to score with a late deflected header that brushed a post

LUKE NORRIS (for Welch-Hayes, 80)

Striker came off the bench to score a well-taken goal and claim point for U’s

Substitutes (not used): Sowunmi, Scarlett, George.


Mansfield Town 1-1 Colchester United
Points are shared at the One Call Stadium

by Andy Carmichael

Luke Norris scored an eighty-fifth minute equaliser for Colchester United, cancelling out Nicky Maynard's earlier effort as the U's move up to sixth in the league.

Nicky Maynard put the Stags ahead with a thumping effort that got the better of Dean Gerken with just over seventy minutes to play, after both sides had cancelled each other out in the first half.

But the U's fourth substitute Luke Norris was on hand to level the game in the dying moments as he latched on to a through ball from Callum Harriott to loft the ball over Marek Stech and earn United a point.

Steve Ball made one change from the starting eleven that defeated Leyton Orient at home last weekend.

Ben Stevenson came in for Michael Folivi after recovering from injury, with Callum Harriott appearing on the bench for the U's for the first time since he pulled up against Marine in the FA Cup tie two weeks ago.

There was little action in the opening ten minutes with the exception of a couple of crosses from the home side. Aimed towards Bowery and Maynard, Gerken was unworried by any early efforts from the Stags.

And it was Mansfield who worked to create further chances in the nect ten minutes with Bowery looking a real threat down the right wing. He was set free with a neat through ball and looked to deliver to Maynard, but the U's 'keeper was there to pounce on the ball.

Harry Charsley went close with another effort from the right hand side when Bowery picked him out on the edge of the area, but he could only curl the ball wide of Gerken's post before a home player could get to the far post.

The U's created their best chance of the game so far with just over half an hour playerd when Pell spotted Noah Chilvers' run. United's captain sent a looping ball to Chilvers who had sprung the offside trap but was unable to get the power in his header to beat Stech.

Steve Ball's side had their tails up and looked to open the scoring. Pell was the man striking the ball towards goal this time after he collected from a Bramall corner, but was unable to find a route to goal in the crowded penalty area with a drilled effort.

The home team came back at the U's before the break though and were close to finding an opener with Bowery arriving at the near post, only for Tom Eastman to hook the ball away before he could tap in.

Dean Gerken punched the ball away from a powerful Ollie Clarke strike with two minutes left to play in the final effort of the first forty-five before the two teams headed for the dressing rooms for a fifteen minute break.

The start of the second half was a fiesty affair with the officials at the centre of the action for the opening fifteen minutes. A series of decisions angered both benches, with the referee having to calm things down after a nasty challenge on Ben Stevenson, earning Clarke a yellow card.

It was the home side that had their noses in front with just under seventy minutes played when Nicky Maynard fired the Stags ahead. Maynard's swerving effort got the better of Gerken before rattling the underside of the bar on its way in.

The U's pushed forwards to try and get an eqauliser and were creating more with the additions of Bohui and Folivi as substitutes.

Jevani Brown was free on the right hand side of the box and cut back before his right foot effort deflected off the calf of Rawson before being collected by Stech.

Michael Folivi went close soon after for the U's after his header from a Josh Bohui cross was deflected behind, before Norris was denied on the line after Stech spilled the ball.

But Norris would get his goal, and he only had to wait two more minutes for it as he latched on to the end of a lofted through ball before dinking the ball over the onrushing Stech to equalise with five minutes left to play.

And the U's also looked most likely to get the a winner in the match, with Cohen Bramall going close with a fizzing cross that worried Stech.

But before either side could add to their goal tally for the evening, the full time whistle blew and the points were shared at the One Call Stadium.

Steve Ball's side moved up one place to sixth in the table with the point, albeit before Saturday's fixtures had been played in League Two.

Next up for Colchester United is the long trip to Exeter City next Tuesday evening. The U's will return to the scene of their play-off semi final defeat looking to get one over on the south coast side who have started their season well, sitting comfortablty in the top seven.

Mansfield Town starting XI: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, Charsley, Clarke (O'Keefe 85'), Lapslie, McLaughlin, Maynard, Bowery.

Unused subs: Stone, Sweeney, Cook, O'Driscoll, Reid, Sinclair.

Colchester United starting XI: Gerken, Welch-Hayes (Norris 80'), Bramall, Smith, Senior (Folivi 70'), Pell, Brown, Chilvers, Eastman, Poku (Harriott 61'), Stevenson (Bohui 70').

Unused subs: George, Sowunmi, Scarlett.