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16th March 2018 11:17

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Colchester United
Hemmings 22. Comley 51
Attendance: 4050 (163 from Colchester)

Date: 10 March 2018

Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were held to a 1-1 draw for the third successive home game, having led 1-0 on each occasion, this time against mid-table Colchester United. The Stags deservedly led at the break thanks to a fine finish from Kane Hemmings who lobbed the ball over the keeper after a long ball forward from Conrad Logan was allowed to bounce by the defence. It was a first half of few chances, but Mansfield did well in pressing Colchester back and forcing them into errors. Early in the second half a long ball forward from Logan seemed to set CJ Hamilton through on goal in a 1-on-1 with the keeper, but Hamilton was penalised for a push in the back on defender Vincent-Young. From the pitchside video, there was a slight push by Hamilton so the referee probably made the correct call. Within a minute, Colchester were level. Following a corner from the left, Joel Byrom had a chance to clear, but only cleared as far as Brandon Comley, who took a few paces forward into the area and was not closed down by Benning, before shooting low across keeper Logan from the right into the bottom left corner. A poor goal to concede all round. The rest of the second half continued to be disappointing for Mansfield, who lacked the intensity from that first half, and there was none of the pressing that had pushed Colchester back in the first half. The Stags didn’t create enough but did have some chances to win it. On 70 minutes, sub Paul Digby looped a header against the bar from MacDonald’s corner. On 86 minutes, Rose fired into the side netting after great play going forward by Pearce. And the Stags were so nearly back in front with a triple chance on 87 minutes. Great play on the right by Hayden White getting past one defender into the area and his cross came out to Benning who thundered a shot goalwards, which was brilliantly saved by the keeper up in the air, out to Mellis, whose goalbound header was again saved by the keeper for a corner. From that corner taken by MacDonald, Pearce had a free header which he put over the bar. Colchester had more of the ball in the second half than they did in the first without being good enough to create shots at goal, other than the goal they scored. Overall, a disappointing afternoon for the Stags who lacked sparkle, and it was very much two points dropped against a mid-table team. A huge game coming up next week, away to Notts County, who are in third place, three points ahead of the Stags having played a game more. Very much all still to play for with ten games of the season left, but Mansfield will need to play better than this.



REPORT: Mansfield Town 1-1 Colchester United
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 10 March 2018

Mansfield Town saw a 1-0 lead end up in a 1-1 draw for a third home game in a row as another chance to close the gap on the top three went begging against Colchester United at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. Kane Hemmings had put the home side in charge with a 22nd minute finish. But, in a scrappy game of few real chances, Brandon Comley levelled for the visitors six minutes after the break. Mal Benning had to make a goal line clearance in first half stoppage time while sub Paul Digby saw a second half header nodded up onto the bar by Kane Vincent-Young. A great save by Sam Walker and a goal line clearance a minute from time denied Benning and then Jacob Mellis' follow-up as the afternoon ended up in frustration. Mansfield are now three points off the top three with 10 games to go. Joel Byrom's impressive second half display in midweek was enough to earn him a starting place. Central midfielder Byrom came on as an interval sub in place of Adam King in midweek and scored his first Stags goal in the 1-1 draw with Lincoln City. Today Byrom was named ahead of King in the starting line-up. The only other change for Mansfield was the return of skipper Zander Diamond in the heart of defence for the suspended Rhys Bennett, following his red card against Lincoln. United arrived on the back of two defeats in a row, striving to stay in touch with the the play-off pack. Mansfield began strongly, but it was United who had the first goal attempt on four minutes as Dickenson sent a rising shot well over from 18 yards on the left from their first raid forward. After Colchester survived a home corner and more pressure, Comley was even further over with a hopeful shot from long distance. Hemmings wasted a chance in the visitors' box when he chose to head across goal and found no one instead of getting his header on target on 13 minutes as a high ball found him at the far post. At the other end Wright zipped in a low cross from the right which evaded everyone in the home box. There was a lengthy delay while Lapslie received treatment, but with a sub stripped and ready, he was eventually able to continue. After Wright had sliced a decent chance wide for Colchester a minute earlier, Mansfield broke through on 22 minutes in the most direct style. Keeper Logan launched the ball downfield and Hemmings bravely got in between defender Eastman and keeper Walker to loft the ball into the gaping net. Two minutes later Rose found space on the right and forced Walker to grab his angled shot. A Stags break was halted by the ball hitting the referee, but Benning picked up the loose ball and teed up MacDonald for an off-target finish. MacDonald sent a hopeful 30-yard free kick over the bar on 39 minutes. Logan finally had some serious work to do in the home goal on 42 minutes as Wright beat Benning to the ball to the right hand side of the box and let fly with a powerful shot the keeper was happy to beat away. Pearce was too high at the far post as he got a head onto Byrom's third corner of the contest before we entered four added minutes. In the last of the four minutes Benning superbly denied the visitors an equaliser to preserve the lead at the break. Szmodics played a superb ball down the centre to send Guthrie away. He beat Logan and Benning to the ball and prodded it past the keeper only to see the chasing Benning still manage get there to hook clear before it went over the line. Hemmings began the second half with a 49th minute booking for a clumsy challenge on Comley, Logan comfortably behind Dickenson's free kick. On 50 minutes Stags were furious as Hamilton looked to be fouled by Vincent-Young as he broke down the centre, but managed to still get away only for the referee to blow for a foul against the Stags man To rub salt in the wounds, a minute later United were level as Comley burst into the box with the ball from the right and steered a low finish across goal and inside the far post. Mansfield responded with a double change on 57 minutes as Mellis and Atkinson replaced Byrom and Anderson. Kent was booked for sliding in and catching Mellis on 62 minutes. Pearce produced a crucial tackle to halt Guthrie on 64 minutes after Diamond missed his tackle and United broke two on two. Diamond was injured in the challenge and limped off to be replaced by Digby with 25 minutes to go. Szmodics was added to the book a minute later for bringing down Hamilton. Digby almost put Stags back in front on 69 minutes as he headed a corner towards the top corner only to see Vincent-Young head his finish up against the bar and away. Pearce, having already been twice warned, was booked for a foul on 71 minutes. United had a double let-off on 89 minutes as Benning's drive was superbly saved by Walker with Mellis' follow-up cleared off the line. From the corner Pearce headed powerfully over. The visitors had two corners cleared as they finished the six added minutes well to take home a point.

STAGS: Logan; White, Pearce, Diamond (Digby 65), Benning; Anderson (Atkinson 57), Byrom (Mellis 57), MacDonald, Hamilton; Rose, Hemmings. Subs not used: Olejnik, Angol, Spencer, King.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Jackson (Murray 85), Eastman, Kent, Vincent-Young, Comley, Lapslie (Stevenson 88), Wright (Shodipo 71), Szmodics, Dickenson, Guthrie. Subs not used: Barnes, Prosser, Mandron, Mandeville.

REFEREE: Ross Joyce of Newcastle. ATTENDANCE: 4,050 (163 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Mal Benning.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/report-mansfield-town-1-1-colchester-united-1-9057269


Mansfield Town 1 Colchester United 1: Brandon Comley nets first goal of his career in away draw
greenun24.co.uk, 10 March 2018, by Carl Marston


Brandon Comley celebrated the first goal of his career to rescue a point for Colchester United, at high-flying Mansfield Town this afternoon.

Kane Hemmings had put the Stags 1-0 up in the 22nd minute, but Comley equalised early in the second period.

Normally, this would be conceded a good point on the road, against tough opposition, although the U’s really needed all three points to get their play-off bid back on track.

The U’s defence was caught out by a long ball over the top, delivered by keeper Conrad Logan, for the game’s opening goal.

Hemmings was the quickest to react, arriving before Sam Walker to clip the ball over the U’s keeper and into an empty net from eight yards out

Tom Eastman did back-track in an effort to clear the ball, but to no avail as it dropped over the line.

The U’s levelled in the 51st minute, thanks to a superb finish by Comley.

Fellow midfielder Tom Lapslie did well down the right flank, and eventually laid the ball back for Comley, who then advanced several yards with no on prepared to tackle, before finding the far corner of the net with a precise low shot from 15 yards out.

It was the 22-year-old’s first goal for the U’s, since his summer arrival from QPR, and in fact the first goal of his senior career.

U’s boss John McGreal made five changes to the side that slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to basement dwellers Barnet, in their last outing a fortnight ago.

In came Drey Wright, Tom Lapslie, Brennan Dickenson, Sammie Szmodics and Kurtis Guthrie as McGreal shuffled his pack.

Left-winger Dickenson, enjoying his first start of the season after long-term injury, blasted a good chance over the bar on four minutes as the visitors started well, while Brandon Comley rifled a 25-yarder well over the top on 10 minutes.

At the other end, striker Hemmings ballooned a free header wide of target, from just eight yards out. That was a wasted chance.

But Hemmings made no mistake with his next opportunity, which he dispatched to put the Stags 1-0 up on 22 minutes.

Hemmings raced onto a long ball and arrived before Walker to clip the ball over the U’s keeper and into an unguarded net.

A minute later and the Stags were threatening again as leading scorer Danny Rose homed in on goal, only for his angled shot to be well smothered at the near post by Walker.

The U’s recovered their composure, with Dickenson looking particularly threatening down the left. One of his dangerous crosses was diverted behind for a corner by Stags skipper Zander Diamond, just after the half-hour mark.

Stags keeper Conrad Logan was forced into his first real save of the game as late as the 42nd minute. Dickenson’s cross found its way through to Drey Wright, just outside the six-yard box, but the winger’s his well-struck shot was beaten away by Logan.

The U’s came close to an equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half. Guthrie managed to bundle the ball goalwards, past keeper Logan, but defender Mal Benning raced back to clear the ball, just a couple of feet from the goal-line.

However, the visitors were level, six minutes into the second period, thanks to Comley’s terrific finish.

Only the woodwork prevented the Stags from regaining the lead in the 69th minute. Substitute Paul Digby’s looping header, from Alex MacDonald’s corner, struck the top of the bar and dropped to safety.

Walker made a terrific double save in the 87th minute. He palmed away Benning’s thunderbolt, and then recovered to palm away the follow-up.


MANSFIELD: Logan, White, Pearce, Diamond (sub Digby, 65), Benning, Anderson (sub Atkinson, 57), Byrom (sub Mellis, 57), MacDonald, Hamilton, Rose, Hemmings. Unused subs: Olejnik, Angol, Spencer, King.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Jackson (sub Murray, 84), Eastman, Kent, Vincent-Young, Wright (sub Shodipo, 71), Comley, Lapslie (sub Stevenson, 88), Dickenson, Szmodics, Guthrie. Unused subs: Barnes, Prosser, Mandeville, Mandron.

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)

Attendance: 4,050 (163 away fans)


Here, Colchester United reporter Jonathan Waldron rates the players following the 1-1 draw on the road:


Will be disappointed with Mansfield’s goal but made up for it with some fine saves.


Battled hard for the cause and returned to form after his high standards dipped against Barnet.


Was uncharacteristically hesitant in the build-up to Mansfield’s goal but was otherwise solid.


U’s centre-back was strong in the air once again and stood up to the challenge.


Was impressive at left wing-back; made a crucial goal-line clearance to foil Digby.


Sliced a good early chance wide and had a crisp half-volley saved by Logan.


U’s man-of-the-match. U’s skipper was outstanding on his return to the side.


Should have scored early on but was otherwise effective on his first start for nearly 11 months.


Impressive. Took his goal extremely well and always tried to pick the right pass.


Produced some incisive passing at times but had little service at times.


Missed a decent chance just before half-time but gave Mansfield defence plenty to ponder.


OLAMIDE SHODIPO (for Wright, 70) 6

Looked bright after coming on for his U’s debut with 20 minutes remaining.

SEAN MURRAY (for Jackson, 85) 6

Was full of his usual running and tenacity after coming on for the closing stages.

BEN STEVENSON (for Lapslie, 88) 5

Had little time to affect the game after coming on for the tiring Lapslie late on.

SUBSTITUTES (NOT USED): Prosser, Mandeville, Mandron, Barnes.


The Sun