STAGS DRAW 0-0 WITH FOREST GREEN
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Forest Green Rovers
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 23 March 2021
STAGS DRAW 0-0 WITH FOREST GREEN IN ENTERTAINING GAME
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town drew 0-0 with high-flying Forest Green Rovers in an entertaining game at the One Call Stadium this evening. The Stags put in a fine performance and created more chances than the visitors but were unable to find the net, while at the other end Aidan Stone pulled off a magnificent save to deny Jamille Matt.
It was Mansfield’s 7th consecutive midweek game but there was no sign of fatigue this evening as the Stags more than matched Forest Green and finished the game very strongly.
I think this was a good point for the Stags despite a tinge of disappointment at not picking up the victory. Bottom club Grimsby won at Barrow, while 2nd bottom Southend drew at Walsall. So the gap to Southend remains at 11 points with now 9 games left (and a much better goal difference for Mansfield), while the gap to Grimsby is 12 points through Grimsby have a game in hand. The Stags do drop two places to 18th though, with victories for Scunthorpe and Oldham. Forest Green remain in third place.
The first half was very even with chances for both sides. The Stags started well and Jamie Reid had two shots at goal in the opening 6 minutes but both were comfortably saved by Lewis Thomas. Reid could have done better. Aaron Collins fired a free kick straight into the wall at the other end after 9 minutes, before Harry Charsley fired into the side netting on 18 minutes following a fine move involving Reid, Charsley himself, George Mar is and Jordan Bowery. Forest Green went close after 24 minutes as Odin Bailey, who had an excellent first half, played in Kane Wilson to the byline, Wilson pulled back to Collins who fired wide from 8 yards with plenty of the net to aim at. Then Jamille Matt headed wide from a good Kane Wilson cross after 40 minutes though credit to Maris for doing enough to put Matt off.
The Stags were the better side in the second half and had far more chances than Forest Green. After 50 minutes, Maris did well to win a header down to Bowery, Bowery played back to Maris and Maris played a one-two with Reid before firing a super shot from 22 yards towards the right corner of the net but keeper Thomas made a very good save to push it away. I was right behind Maris’s shot and it was perfectly placed towards the bottom corner. Charsley recycled the ball to Reid, who turned very well away from his marker before firing in a good shot from 14 yards towards the right corner of the net and again the keeper got down well to make a good save. Good play from Reid. After 54 minutes, a great ball from Jason Law, who had another very good game, out to Mal Benning on the left, and his low ball in found Stephen Quinn whose effort at the near post was wide.
Forest Green had a great chance to take the lead after 58 minutes, as Nicky Cadden curled in a fabulous cross from the left onto the head of Jamille Matt who headed downwards and Aidan Stone made a magnificent save to scoop it away for a corner. It drew comparisons with Gordon Banks in the 1970 World Cup though the ball was not as low as that save by Banks when Stone scooped it away. Outstanding from Stone.
After 67 minutes, Law played an excellent one-two with Bowery to get into the box and Law tried to lob over the keeper from 8 yards but the keeper was out very quickly to block at point blank range. That was also very good goalkeeping. A minute later, a great tackle by James Perch, who was fantastic in the heart of defence all night, started another Stags move as Charsley found Bowery and his goalbound shot hit his own teammate Reid.
The Stags were inches away from an 89th minute winner as Law played a tremendous crossfield pass from the left to find Bowery in the area on the right. Bowery’s first touch was excellent to get away from Bailly Cargill towards the byline and his shot from a tight angle was saved by the keeper, the ball ballooning up in the air on the goalline, and as Reid jumped to try to head home from less than a foot out, Chris Stokes beat him to the header and headed off the line. Wonderful defending from the Forest Green captain to preserve a point for his side.
Lots of excellent performances throughout the Stags side. James Perch was fantastic in central defence, while Farrend Rawson alongside him had a very good game against his old club. Jason Law continued to impress and was excellent in the attacking midfield role. Jordan Bowery had a tremendous game up front. And what about Aidan Stone’s save from Matt, the save of the season for Mansfield probably, which he followed up by catching the resulting corner. But this was just a good performance all round. And it was a very enjoyable goalless draw, as good as you’ll see for a 0-0 game.
This was Mansfield’s 5th game unbeaten at home. They go to 4th placed Tranmere Rovers on Saturday hoping to end a run of 4 consecutive defeats away.
The Stags wore the special-edition charity shirt this evening, exactly one year after the country entered the first lockdown. The club raised £3,800 from the sale of the shirt which was donated to King’s Mill Hospital last year. And the club will now hope to raise more for the NHS as they will auction off tonight’s match-worn shirts, with details on the club website and club social media in due course.
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
TUE 23 MAR 2021, LEAGUE TWO
Mansfield Town 0-0 Forest Green Rovers
Match report supplied by PA Media by John Lomas.
Mansfield had the edge on chances but were unable to find the killer blow in a pulsating 0-0 draw with title hopefuls Forest Green.
A thrilling first half saw Jamie Reid twice testing Rovers keeper Lewis Thomas in the first seven minutes, while on 18 minutes Jordan Bowery set up Harry Charsley but he shot into the side netting.
Rovers began to have more joy and Nicky Cadden and Aaron Collins fired wide while Aidan Stone was alert to catch Chris Stokes' lofted effort from a 27th-minute corner. Jamille Matt then headed wide under pressure as the half ended goalless.
Thomas made two fine saves in succession on 50 minutes as he pushed away efforts from George Maris and then Reid.
Stone was even more impressive as he dropped to his right and, one-handed, turned aside a close-range Matt header from a Cadden cross on 58 minutes.
Nine minutes later Thomas had to come out and block a Jason Law effort in a one-on-one.
A minute from time Thomas was down to deny Bowery, with Stokes then heading off the line as the loose ball looped goalwards.
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Forest Green
Possession Home 54% Away 46%
Shots Home 12 Away 9
Shots on Target Home 6 Away 3
Corners Home 7 Away 4
Everything but the goal! Battling Mansfield Town secure deserved point against promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers
chad.co.uk, By Duncan Browne, Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Mansfield Town made their point yet again - after holding promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers to a stalemate.
Nigel Clough's side played out their third draw in the space of eight days in an entertaining contest where both sides just lacked that killer touch.
Both keepers more than played their parts in earning their clean sheets while the Stags defence held firm impressively against the side who began the day third in League Two, securing their first clean sheet in seven attempts.
There was disappointment as Mansfield conceded an equaliser in stoppage time against basement boys Grimsby at the weekend. But tonight the side could leave the One Call Arena pitch reflecting on what was can only be described as a very good point against a very good side.
After a sombre minute's silence - remembering those who have lost their lives due to Covid-19 one year since the first national lockdown - the Stags began on the front foot.
Mansfield, bringing a little colour to the occasion by sporting their rainbow-striped charity kit, saw Jamie Reid test Rovers stopper Lewis Thomas with a couple of early strikes.
Forest Green failed to threaten Aidan Stone's goal with a series of wasted free kicks while the Stags were stretching their guests with some crisp, passing football.
One such occasion saw Harry Charsley's effort find the side netting, a similar fate befalling Aaron Collins at the other end minutes later.
As Rovers found their footing, Jamille Matt looked likely to head Rovers ahead but George Maris did enough to put his man off as the effort flew off target.
The second half saw Thomas called upon to make two fine saves.
Maris, who opened his Mansfield account on Saturday, was thwarted by a low dive from the Rovers keeper, who then rose to his feet before denying Reid yet again.
Another fast-paced move ended with Stephen Quinn, back in the side at the expense of Stephen McLaughlin, sweep wide at fill stretch.
Stone pulled off a contender for save of the season to keep the scores level, fingertipping away Matt's powerful header from close range as the ball bounced up awkwardly in front of him.
Town looked to have snuck it at the death as Bowery skipped into space, but his effort was deflected by Thomas and headed off the line as a pack of players jostled in the six yard box.
STAGS XI: Stone, Gordon, Rawson, Perch (C), Benning, Maris, Quinn (McLaughlin 74), Charsley, Law, Reid, Bowery; Subs (not used): Stech, Sweeney, O. Clarke, Wright, Ward, Sinclair.
FOREST GREEN: Thomas, Wilson, Bernard, Stokes, Cargill, Collins, Cadden (Young 88), Allen, Matt, Bailey (Davison 77), Whitehouse; Subs (not used): McGee, Evans, Wagstaff, Godwin-Malife, Richardson.
REF: David Webb.
by Conor Shaw
It was a point each at the One Call Stadium after an entertaining 0-0 draw with Mansfield Town.
Head Coach Mark Cooper made three changes to the starting line-up from Saturday's defeat to Cambridge United. Taylor Allen, Odin Bailey and Elliott Whitehouse replaced Udoka Godwin-Malife, Scott Wagstaff and Josh Davison - who all started from the bench.
It took until just before the half hour mark before Rovers managed to forge their first clear-cut opportunity of the encounter. Kane Wilson cut the ball back across goal for Aaron Collins who was lurking at the near post - but the Welshman steered his attempt wide of the mark from close range.
Former WBA man Wilson began to cause even more problems for the Stags backline - and almost created the opening goal of the contest. Collins linked up again with the 20-year-old, who crossed the ball into a dangerous area for Jamille Matt - and his header sailed wide of the target.
Nigel Clough's side looked more resolute in the second-half - and looked like the team more likely to break the deadlock. Lewis Thomas was forced into action to deny George Maris with a low, quick-reaction stop as the Stags midfielder took aim from inside the box.
Just five minutes later and Thomas could only rely on defender Dom Bernard to prevent the home side from going ahead. Jordan Bowery used his power to get beyond his marker on the left flank - before squaring the ball for Jayden Reid in the box. Perhaps the Stags striker would've regretted not shooting with his first touch, as Bernard was on hand to clear up the danger.
Cooper's charges weren't short of chances themselves and were denied by an outstanding save from Mansfield stopper Aidan Stone. Nicky Cadden delivered an inch-perfect cross for the head of lead marksman Matt - who nodded his attempt at goal, only for Stone to claw the ball off the line.
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