Attendance: 2938 (154 from Wycombe)
Date: 12 September 2017
LOGAN EARNS STAGS A POINT AGAINST WYCOMBE
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town drew 0-0 with Wycombe Wanderers at a wet and windy One Call Stadium and had keeper Conrad Logan to thank for saving a point. The Stags started the game well in the opening 15 minutes and should have been ahead early when fine play from Jacob Mellis on the byline set up a glorious chance for Lee Angol, completely unmarked 9 yards out, but his shot towards the top corner was brilliantly tipped away by Wycombe keeper Scott Brown. However Wycombe bossed the last 30 minutes of the half with Mansfield very relieved to get to the break at 0-0. Logan made a world-class save on 22 minutes, Joe Jacobson curled in a free kick from the left, and Dan Scarr leapt above Rhys Bennett to power a header towards the left of the net. It looked in the net, indeed on commentary I was part of the way through saying it was in, when Logan tipped it away. Absolutely magnificent from Logan. Look out for video of the save on the club’s youtube channel with commentary at midday on Wednesday. On 25 minutes, Logan then made a triple save, Marcus Bean fired in a low shot from 25 yards which Logan did well to save by getting down low to push away, it came back to Bean, who fired in another low shot, again pushed away by Logan, to Luke O’Nien just 6 yards out and his shot from point blank range was again saved by Logan. Tremendous stuff from the Stags keeper. Mansfield were unfortunate that the wind, which had been relatively calm in the first half, now became strong, and right behind Wycombe’s backs for whole of the second half. The second half was a very poor affair, not helped by the terrible conditions of driving rain and wind, but it was Mansfield who came closest to winning it on 82 minutes, when sub Alfie Potter made a superb run down the right forcing his way past left back Jacobson and slid a magnificent ball across the six yard box where it seemed Paul Anderson must score at the far post but Dominic Gape did enough to put Anderson off such that he couldn’t turn the ball into the empty net from 3 yards. Wycombe looked dangerous especially from corners in the second half that were being blown by the wind towards to the goal. Overall this was a poor performance from Mansfield and one that I think was a point gained due to the excellence of Logan. Not too many impressive performances from the outfield players, though Mirfin and Pearce generally did well at centre half, and Hunt was steady at left back. A few players had a night to forget including Rhys Bennett, Calum Butcher, and Kane Hemmings. Wycombe extended their unbeaten away run to 10 games. The Stags head for Lincoln on Saturday (1pm kick off) looking for a better performance.
Steve Evans named an unchanged side. No surprise at all after Saturday’s thumping of Grimsby. He said if he’d dropped anyone, he would have difficulty looking them in the eye tomorrow morning when they came into his office to ask why. Asked about why Conrad Logan in goal, Evans said he’s playing because he hasn’t made mistakes basically; have there been crosses he’s not come for: yes, but no goals have come from his mistakes, said Evans. Stags striker Lee Angol made his FL debut back in 2012, for Wycombe.
Wycombe arrived unbeaten in 9 away games. They were without the injured trio of Adebayo Akinfenwa, Scott Kashket and Sam Saunders. So in theory it looked like a good time to play them.
The scoreboard was on tonight and looked good under the floodlights and shone like a beacon through the rain.
On 3 minutes, Angol won a free kick 30 yards out. It came to nothing.
The Stags should have been ahead on 4 minutes when fine play from Mellis on the byline set up a glorious chance for Angol, completely unmarked 9 yards out, but his shot towards the top corner was brilliantly tipped away by Wycombe keeper Scott Brown. From the resulting corner by Byrom, the ball came back to Byrom, he lofted a high ball back into the middle, and Bennett headed powerfully straight at the keeper.
On 12 minutes, a shot by MacDonald was deflected for a corner. A minute later, great play by Angol on the right, he played the ball across but it was just too high for Hemmings.
The game had started in dry conditions but the rain was now coming down.
On 17 minutes, the impressive Ebere Eze curled a shot just wide of the left post for Wycombe, though it was always going wide.
The Stags had started well in the opening 15 minutes, but this signalled Wycombe taking over and bossing the last 30 minutes of the half.
Logan made a world-class save on 22 minutes, Jacobson curled in a free kick from the left, and Scarr leapt above Bennett to power a header towards the left of the net. It looked in the net, indeed on commentary I was part of the way through saying it was in, when Logan tipped it away. Absolutely magnificent from Logan. Look out for video of the save on the club’s youtube channel with commentary at midday on Wednesday.
Good defending from Bennett on 24 minutes, putting the ball out for a corner under pressure from Eze.
On 25 minutes, Logan then made a triple save, Marcus Bean fired in a low shot from 25 yards which Logan did well to save by getting down low to push away, it came back to Bean, who fired in another low shot, again pushed away by Logan, to Luke O’Nien just 6 yards out and his shot from point blank range was again saved by Logan. Tremendous stuff from the Stags keeper.
On 28 minutes, another free kick from Jacobson into the area, Craig Mackail-Smith flicked over the bar.
On 30 minutes, another free kick from Jacobson, and O’Nien glanced headed inches wide of the right post.
The Stags were on the ropes.
There was a 3 minute stoppage on 32 minutes as referee Rob Lewis went down with a leg injury, and was eventually replaced by linesman Ian Smedley. Rob Lewis took over as 4th official.
On 36 minutes, Eze got past Bennett and shot from 25 yards into Logan’s midriff.
On 40 minutes, Angol was fouled 2 yards outside the area, towards the right. Hunt took the kick and disappointingly fired well over the bar.
Calum Butcher put a cross behind for a goalkick, then overhit a ball forward for an overlapping Bennett and out for another goalkick. Poor.
On 45 minutes, a long throw-in from Hunt came to Hemmings on the right but he got his effort all wrong and scuffed a left footed shot.
On 45+2 minutes, Byrom’s free kick into the area, Mirfin glanced on, and the keeper held it under his own bar.
The Stags were relieved to get to the break at 0-0, with Logan having kept the Stags in it. The Stags midfield were not keeping hold of the ball for the final 30 minutes of the half.
Half time 0-0
Mansfield were unfortunate that the wind, which had been relatively calm in the first half, now became strong, and right behind Wycombe’s backs for whole of the second half.
The Stags made two changes for the second half, both in midfield. On came Anderson and Atkinson for MacDonald and Mellis. Butcher moved into the middle, with Anderson on the left and Atkinson on the right.
On 46 minutes, good play down the left as Angol played the ball back to Hunt who crossed in and Hemmings flicked wide of the left post.
On 48 minutes, Angol drew a foul 26 yards out just to the right of centre. Hemmings fired the free kick into the wall.
A minute later, a quick free kick by Byrom on the left, Angol played it in and a defender put it over his own bar.
Comedy on 50 minutes. Jacobson curled a free kick from deep into the box, Bennett headed just wide of his own post, and the substitute referee gave a goal kick!
Butcher was booked for a foul on Eze on 51 minutes. No complaints.
A half chance for the Stags on 52 minutes with a scramble in the Wycombe box but they were able to clear.
On 55 minutes, great skill and pace from Mackail-Smith, getting past Mirfin, and he fired over from a tight angle. Logan had done well to cut the angle down.
Then Butcher played a terrible back pass but was rescued by Mirfin.
On 59 minutes, Stewart fired well over the bar from 40 yards for Wycombe.
On 61 minutes, Jacobson curled in a dangerous corner from the right with the help of the wind, and Pearce did well to head away under pressure.
Moments later, a Wycombe throw-in from the left to Mackail-Smith, he lost control but got the ball back and fired into the side netting from a tight angle.
Potter replaced Butcher on 61 minutes. Butcher had had a poor game.
On 63 minutes, Potter went down in an off the ball incident, right in front of the 4th official. I didn’t see it, nor did the referee. The 4th official (who had started the night as the referee) spoke to the ref and the ref booked Jacobson.
A howler from the ref on 66 minutes as he missed a clear free kick for Wycombe. Then a mistake by Bennett with some poor control.
On 72 minutes, another dangerous set piece from Jacobson, this time a free kick from the right, which went through the corridor of uncertainty, missed everyone and went out for a goal kick.
On 75 minutes, a ball in from Bennett to the far post, was cleared.
A half chance for Umerah on 76 minutes but Pearce did well to force him wide and then shepherd out for a goal kick.
Umerah claimed a penalty on 79 minutes, but it was a clear dive. The ref waved play on but didn’t book Umerah as he should have done.
Wycombe should have been down to 10 men on 79 minutes. Jacobson committed a cynical foul on the halfway line, the ref gave a free kick but didn’t give Jacobson a second yellow.
The second half had been a very poor affair, not helped by the terrible conditions of driving rain and wind, but it was Mansfield who came closest to winning it on 82 minutes, when Potter made a superb run down the right forcing his way past left back Jacobson and slid a magnificent ball across the six yard box where it seemed Anderson must score at the far post but Dominic Gape did enough to put Anderson off such that he couldn’t turn the ball into the empty net from 3 yards.
More great play by Potter on 86 minutes, this time in his own half.
A great reverse pass by Hemmings on 86 minutes nearly found Angol, but not quite.
On 88 minutes, a high ball in from Harriman from the right and Pearce did well to put behind for a corner. The corner came to nothing, despite the wind causing havoc.
Full time brought a few boos from home fans, but many home fans stayed behind the give the players gentle applause as they left the field.
A disappointing performance overall from Mansfield but one that I think was a point gained due to the excellence of Logan.
Man of the match: Conrad Logan
Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Logan 9 World-class save on 22 minutes followed shortly afterwards by tremendous triple save.
Bennett 5 A night to forget. Outjumped by Scarr for the header that brought Logan’s wondersave.
Pearce 7 Good game, several pieces of good defending.
Mirfin 7 Defended well. Plenty of good headers away.
Hunt 7 Another steady game at left back. One disappointing free kick over the bar.
Butcher 5 Had a poor game, initially on the right, then for 15 minutes in the middle, before being subbed.
Byrom 6 Two or three decent set pieces but not his best game.
Mellis 6 Great play to set up Angol’s early chance. But didn’t really get hold of the midfield, and subbed at half time.
MacDonald 6 Had one shot deflected for a corner. Otherwise contributed little, and subbed at half time
Hemmings 5 Poor game. One great reverse pass for Angol late on.
Angol 6 Won several free kicks. Got his early effort on target and drew a wonderful save, but that said, he should have scored.
Sub Line Up:
Anderson (for MacDonald, 46 mins) 6.5 Added a bit more energy to the left wing.
Atkinson (for Mellis, 46 mins) 6 Contributed little.
Potter (for Butcher, 61 mins) 7 Several pieces of good play down the right, and was close to setting up a winner.
Subs not used: Olejnik, Diamond, Spencer, Rose.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-4-2): Brown; Harriman, Scarr, Stewart; Bean, Gape, O’Nien (Bloomfield 74), Eze; Umerah (Southwell 83), Mackail-Smith (Cowan-Hall 68). Subs not used: Richardson, Jombati, El-Abd, Freeman.
Rob Lewis, replaced by linesman Ian Smedley (35 mins) 5 Rob Lewis had handled the game well, but his replacement Ian Smedley made some very poor decisions.