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STAGS UNABLE TO BREAK DOWN 10 MAN CHELTENHAM
9th March 2017 21:30


English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Cheltenham Town 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 2941 (320 from Mansfield)

Date: 4 March 2017

Martin Shaw at Whaddon Road

Mansfield Town drew 0-0 at Cheltenham this afternoon in a terrible game played on a pitch that was not up to Football League standard and was alongside the pitch at Newport last season in being the worst the Stags have played on in the last 30 years in my opinion. All of which does not excuse Mansfield, unable to break down the 10 men of Cheltenham who had Kyle Storer sent off after just 18 minutes. The Stags completely dominated the first half, with the wind behind them, both before and after the sending off, and with 13 corners in 45 minutes, had Cheltenham pinned back for long stages. But the second half was a huge disappointment for Mansfield as Cheltenham more than held their own and it was hard to tell which side was down to ten men. The wind helped Cheltenham in that second half but the Stags should have done more. The Stags failed to get a single effort on target in the entire 90 minutes and home keeper Scott Brown left the pitch at the end without a single mark of mud on his shirt. The sending off came when Storer and Jamie McGuire challenged for the ball right in front of the Stags dugout. My reaction in real time was that both players got to the ball at the same time and it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. From studying the replays from the main camera and our pitchside camera, and trying to understand the referee’s viewpoint, he might have seen it as a red card as Storer’s leg slightly comes down on the ball which he must have construed as a stamping motion. Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson, incensed at the decision, was sent to the stand. After the game, Cheltenham announced they would be appealing decision having viewed the footage. No doubt that Mansfield have had the rub of the green, or should that be the rub of the red, in the games at Yeovil and Cheltenham in the last 4 days, with Scott Shearer not sent off after just 6 minutes at Yeovil, and Storer sent off here after 18 minutes. Both decisions could easily have gone the other way with different referees. Mansfield had precious few chances to win the game. In the first half, Krystian Pearce did well with some good skill to set up a chance for himself and his goalbound shot was blocked. The other near miss of the first half was Rhys Bennett’s header from a corner which was deflected wide. In the second half, Ben Whiteman missed a glorious chance on 58 minutes when CJ Hamilton did very well to find him in space just inside the box and Whiteman fired wide. Lee Collins fired a good effort just wide on 66 minutes. Then on the stroke of 90 minutes, Hamilton found sub Shaq Coulthirst who fired a great chance over the bar. Cheltenham themselves could have won it in the second half. O’Shaughnessy’s long throw-ins were a threat and from one of them Boyle’s header was deflected over. Then a Liam Davis corner from the right was allowed by Scott Shearer to hit the bar and bounce away to safety. Cheltenham had two free kicks from just outside the box, one of them with virtually the last kick of the game, but fortunately for the Stags, their shots were poor. Cheltenham did a lap of honour at the end of the game to celebrate their performance, which was very good with 10 men, whereas Mansfield’s players sunk to their knees in frustration. Plenty of poor performances in the Stags side, but honourable exceptions to Krystian Pearce especially, and Rhys Bennett at centre half, who both played well. Mansfield undoubtedly missed the quality of set pieces from Joel Byrom, who was rested as Steve Evans said he was looking tired after getting home on Wednesday morning at 6am. His replacement on set pieces, Alex MacDonald, simply didn’t deliver, as Mansfield failed to make the most of those 13 first half corners. Disappointment for Mansfield, and huge frustration, but certainly not doom and gloom with the Stags just two points outside the play-offs and an exciting week next week with games against 3 of the top 9. Come on Mansfield!

The pitch at Whaddon Road is shocking. Like a ploughed field with huge divots and plenty of sand. Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson brought in 9 new players in January, players equipped to play on this surface, and they have turned Cheltenham’s season around. They had just 3 players who started today who started the game at Mansfield in August. Cheltenham had won their last 3 games, keeping 3 clean sheets in the process and would provide a real test to the Stags.

The Stags made two changes from the side that drew at Yeovil. Byrom and Coulthirst were rested to freshen things up. Both had got home very late on Wednesday morning. In came Jamie McGuire and Pat Hoban. No surprise to me with either of those. McGuire was in because it was expected to be a battle. And Hoban in because you could expect the ball to be in the air a lot with the surface so poor. Mansfield were still missing Danny Rose and Matt Green, who didn’t travel through injury. One or other will surely come back into the team next week after other strikers have not taken their chances while they have been out. Jake Kean was also still out with injury. Kyle Howkins was back from injury on the bench, with Ashley Hemmings dropping out of the 18. The Stags lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with McGuire and Collins in central midfield, and MacDonald just behind Hoban.

FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE

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MATCH REPORT: Cheltenham 0 Stags 0
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Saturday 04 March 2017

Mansfield couldn’t find a way past 10-man Cheltenham at Whaddon Road. Both sides missed that killer finish in a rather drab affair as the visitors at least extended their recent impressive run to just one defeat in their last 13 games.

The hosts opened brightly and almost opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Liam Davis’s curling strike whizzed inches past the post.

Cheltenham were then dealt a blow after 18 minutes when Kyle Storer was red-carded for what looked like a clear stamp on Jamie McGuire.

Being reduced in numbers didn’t seem to affect Cheltenham, though, and they came close again shortly after when Kyle Wootton dragged a strike narrowly wide.

The Stags’ first clear opportunity came in the 32nd minute.

Ben Whiteman did well to find himself some space in the hosts’ box, only to then fire a left-footed shot disappointingly wide.

Krystian Pearce then saw a goal-bound effort blocked as the Stags looked to take advantage.

Pat Hoban was the next to go close as his rising shot just cleared the crossbar.

The hosts produced the better start to the second period, with Harry Pell going close to making a breakthrough.

The Stags responded with Hoban sending in a cross which only just cleared the far post. Alex MacDonald also threatened when he sent a header wide from Whiteman’s smart cross.

The Stags were sensing blood, but the ball just wouldn’t go in. Next to almost strike was Lee Collins, whose well-executed strike flew just the wrong side of the post.

Yoann Arquin thought he’d finally struck for the Stags with 10 minutes to go, but his shot wasn’t quite on target.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-cheltenham-0-stags-0-1-8421546

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REPORT: Cheltenham Town 0-0 Mansfield Town
4th March 2017, By Sean Watts, ctfc.com

Cheltenham Town held Mansfield to a 0-0 draw to make it four games unbeaten despite being reduced to 10 men for most of the game.

Kyle Storer was sent off for a challenge on Jamie McGuire after 18 minutes, but The Robins managed to see out the rest of the first half even though Mansfield applied plenty of pressure.

Read more at http://www.ctfc.com/fixtures-results/match-report/index.aspx?matchid=3926602&tcmuri=3156909#jmekrq9zJ17K5VFd.99

Both sides had chances to win the game in the second half, with most notably Will Boyle going close with a header for Cheltenham.

But neither side could break the deadlock, and the result means that Gary Johnson’s side remain in 18th place, seven points clear of the drop zone.

Cheltenham had the first couple of opportunities as Storer and Liam Davis both had shots from distance, but neither troubled Scott Shearer in the Mansfield goal.

Mansfield then started putting some pressure on the home side as they had six consecutive corners, but they couldn’t open the scoring despite numerous opportunities to do so.

However, the game changed on 18 minutes when Storer was given a red card for a challenge on McGuire, which also saw The Gaffer sent to the stands for his protests.

From then on it was all the away team as they looked to take advantage of having an extra player, but they were struggling to create clear-cut chances and the sides went in level at the break.

Five minutes after half time Cheltenham had a chance to take the lead when Daniel O’Shaughnessy’s long throw found Boyle, but his header was deflected just over.

From the resulting corner Davis’ curling ball into the box almost crept in as it hit the underside of the bar and was scrambled away.

Just before the hour mark Mansfield had their first real chance of the game as they made a quick break forward, but even though the build-up play was good Ben Whiteman’s shot was dragged wide.

On 67 minutes The Stags went close again when the ball fell to Lee Collins on the edge of the box, but his powerful effort went narrowly wide.

As the game went into five minutes of added time Mansfield had one last chance to take all three points, but Shaquile Coulthirst’s shot from close range went over the crossbar.

Cheltenham Town: S Brown, E Onariase, W Boyle, D O’Shaughnessy, J Barthram, L Davis, H Pell (C), K Storer, C Winchester (J Cranston, 73), B Waters (J Rowe, 88), K Wootton (D Wright, 73).

Unused Subs: R Lovett, J Munns, J Dayton, D Holman.

Mansfield Town: S Shearer, R Bennett, M Benning, L Collins (C), K Pearce, P Hoban (S Coulthirst, 61), H White, A MacDonald (Y Arquin, 67), C Hamilton, J McGuire (A Potter, 75), B Whiteman.

Unused Subs: B Jensen, J Baxendale, K Howkins, J Byrom.

Attendance: 2941 (320)

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