STAGS DRAW 1-1 WITH CREWE TO DROP MORE POINTS
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Crewe Alexandra
Maris 42. Maris sent off 81 Mellor 55
Attendance: 6,142 (318 from Crewe) (note this it is essentially tickets sold, including season tickets)
Date: 14 January 2023
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town threw away a lead at home for the third game running and had to settle for a point against a well-below average Crewe Alexandra side at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.
It was all change for the Stags with Oli Hawkins and George Lapslie having departed to Gillingham, but with new signing Callum Johnson starting at right back, and centre half Alfie Kilgour on the bench, having not played for a month and only once since October.
The Stags were much the better side in the first half and should have been further ahead than 1-0 by the break. After 13 minutes, Boateng chipped a super ball forward into the path of Oates who lifted the ball over the advancing keeper from the edge of the area but onto the roof of the net. Frustration for Oates who would have expected to score even though it was by no means an easy chance. Two minutes later, a great cross from McLaughlin from the left and Bowery headed wide from 6 yards. Then after a great move on 23 minutes, Callum Johnson curled a lovely ball across the corridor of uncertainty in the six yard box and the stretching Oates was unable to turn it home. And after 27 minutes, Boateng curled a right footed shot inches over the bar from 23 yards.
Almost nothing at the other end from Crewe apart from Pym saving a shot to his near post from Lachlan Brook after 37 minutes.
Oates was gifted another chance after 41 minutes, as Connor Thomas played the ball straight to him on the edge of the area, but his low shot lacked power and the keeper made the save at full stretch when Oates should have buried it.
But the Stags were finally in front after 42 minutes. Callum Johnson curled another great cross into the six yard box from the right and Maris got on the end of it to turn it into the net from 3 yards. An excellent assist from Callum Johnson on his debut, and Maris with the finish for his 5th goal of the season.
Into the second half and a goal literally out of the blue for Crewe to equalise. Boateng, 4 yards outside his own area, squared the ball towards Maris but put too much on it and the loose ball fell for Kelvin Mellor 28 yards from goal, unmarked. Mellor took aim and fired into the net. The shot had so much swerve on it that without taking a deflection it beat Pym who was static and didn’t get within 3 yards of saving it, as it ended in the middle of the net (just to the right of centre of the net). First to say, it was poor from Boateng, who should not be giving the ball away so close to his own area with a square pass. Secondly, it was a great shot from Mellor who cut his boot across the ball to get excessive swerve on it. Thirdly there was a wind which may have slightly caught the ball. But finally, Pym was caught out, and with the shot from such a long way out, he should have done better in my opinion.
The Stags were so close to regaining the lead after 60 minutes. Quinn’s corner from the right was played short to Maris just inside the area. A low cross from Maris was turned goalwards by Callum Johnson with a brilliant flick from 6 yards and the keeper made an incredible save as the ball looked to be heading for the roof of the net. After the game, Johnson said he thought it was going in as he turned it goalwards. As the ball was cleared, a shot from Boateng was blocked. The pinball in the area continued, the ball was partially cleared, Boateng controlled it again knocking it up, before sending an acrobatic effort just wide of the left post. Oates tried to turn it in at the left post with his arm, and was booked for doing so.
The Stags went even closer after 72 minutes. A good run by Boateng down the right, he put in a great cross and Quinn headed goalwards from 6 yards. Somehow the keeper saved it on his line with his left leg. Another incredible save. And from the resulting corner, a shot from Maris was on target but deflected wide as Maris put his head in his hands.
The Stags were on the front foot but reduced to ten men after 81 minutes with a dreadful decision from the referee. Connor Thomas played the ball into the path of Callum Ainley. Ainley knocked the ball past Maris who deliberately brought him down. Ainley had knocked the ball forward but quite clearly not towards the goal, while Hewitt was a covering defender and would have got back to block any potential shot from a tight angle. The referee however decided it was a clear goalscoring opportunity and showed Maris a straight red card. It was a terrible decision, and should have been a yellow card for the deliberate foul which was not serious foul play.
The red card took the wind out of the Stags’ sails and gave impetus to Crewe. Crewe were so poor though that they failed to create any serious danger for the Stags, and it was the Stags who went closer to winning it as McLaughlin sent a shot wide from 30 yards and sub Alfie Kilgour fired wide in the final minute of stoppage time.
The Stags had only themselves to blame for not winning this, with Crewe scoring that unusual goal, and Mansfield missing plenty of chances, while Crewe keeper David Richards made two outstanding saves to preserve a point for his side. So frustrating as Crewe really were poor and offered nothing.
Positives for the Stags though with Callum Johnson looking really good at right back, and putting in two excellent crosses including one for the goal. He is an excellent signing in my opinion. Alfie Kilgour I think is another good signing and will give the Stags hopefully a more solid look in defence. He didn’t start today due to lack of match sharpness. Kieran Wallace had a fine game in front of the back four and it was a shame that he was harshly booked in the second half and subbed as a result. Ironically, Maris replaced him in that position and was shown the straight red just minutes later. With at least one more signing to come in the next few days, the Stags need to start picking up better results. A visit to Northampton next Saturday is a difficult game of course, but hopefully the Stags will be looking more solid.
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
SAT 14 JAN 2023, LEAGUE TWO
Mansfield Town 1-1 Crewe Alexandra
Maris (42'minutes, Dismissed at81'minutes)
Match report supplied by PA Media.
Mansfield's poor home form continued as they were held by Crewe and had George Maris controversially red-carded near the end.
The Stags have now only won once in seven games at the One Call Stadium.
Mansfield had the best of the first-half chances with Jordan Bowery, Rhys Oates and Hiram Boateng going close.
Home goalkeeper Christy Pym made his first save on 37 minutes as he blocked a Lachlan Brook shot at his near post.
But, five minutes later, the home side made the breakthrough as another great cross from debut-making Callum Johnson from the right invited Maris to poke home from close range.
However, Crewe levelled out of nothing on 55 minutes when Kelvin Mellor was first to Boateng's loose square pass and rocketed a 30-yard finish past a rooted Pym.
Johnson looked a certain scorer from close range from a corner on the hour only to see Dave Richards produce a magnificent reaction stop.
The goalkeeper was then down superbly on 72 minutes to keep out Stephen Quinn's header.
The Stags were left with 10 men on 81 minutes after Maris was adjudged to be the last man when he brought down Elliott Nevitt in a wide position - a decision which stunned the home side.
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Crewe
Possession Home 53% Away 47%
Shots Home 17 Away 10
Shots on Target Home 5 Away 3
Corners Home 8 Away 6
Fouls Home 12 Away 12
Red card for George Maris as Mansfield Town suffer more home frustration in draw with Crewe Alexandra
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 14 Jan 2023
Mansfield Town saw more precious home points slip away as they were held 1-1 by Crewe Alexandra and had midfielder George Maris sent off in controversial circumstances near the end of a frustrating afternoon.
Stags have now only won once in seven home games and saw a 1-0 lead wiped out in a second half in which they dominated until the red card on 81 minutes
Hiram Boateng, Rhys Oates and Jordan Bowery all came close in the first half and, after Christy Pym has made his first save, denying Lachlan Brook, Stags made a perfectly-timed breakthrough through Maris from an excellent Callum Johnson cross on 42 minutes.
But Stags were shellshocked as Crewe levelled matters on 55 minutes with a long range rocket strike by Kelvin Mellor.
Mansfield turned up the heat and David Richards made two top drawer saves.
But the controversial dismissal of Maris, adjudged to be last man in a very wide position, with nine minutes left took the wind out of home sails.
An impressive debut from new boy Callum Johnson earned him man of the match on a brighter note.
Nigel Clough made three changes from the side that was beaten at home by Barrow last weekend with a first start for defender Johnson, signed yesterday from Ross County.
Kellan Gordon and Will Swan dropped to the bench from last week's side while Oli Hawkins has moved on Gillingham.
Jordan Bowery, Kieran Wallace and Johnson were the three to come in while fellow new recruit Alfie Kilgour was also named on the Mansfield bench.
Crewe gave a debut to new striker Elliott Nevitt from Tranmere Rovers and, with Arsenal recalling loanee keeper Arthur Okonkwo, Dave Richards was back between the posts for the Alex.
Meanwhile the news broke that midfielder George Lapslie had, as expected, signed for League Two rivals Gillingham and was being paraded to their fans before kick-off, joining fellow Stag Hawkins.
There was a heavy downpour just before kick-off to greet the teams on a freezing cold afternoon.
A wicked cross from McLaughlin that caused panic in the Crewe box saw Stags earn a second minute corner, which was cleared. Another soon followed.
But Crewe carved out an opportunity as Agyei shrugged off Perch on the right and sent in a low ball that Uwakwe poked wide under pressure.
Stags came close on 13 minutes after neat hold-up work by Bowery. He found Boateng who sent Oates away. Richards came out to meet him but Oates' lobbed finish ended up on the roof of the net.
Two minutes later Bowery flicked a header wide from a teasing McLaughlin cross.
On 23 minutes Stags worked the ball well from left to right and Johnson sent a firm low ball in front of goal where Oates was just unable to reach it and turn it home.
They came even closer on 27 minutes as the referee played the advantage after Quinn was fouled and Boateng dipped a powerful 20 yard effort just over the bar.
Hewitt got a solid block onto Nevitt's shot to concede a first corner to Crewe, which was easily cleared.
Neither keeper had a save to make until the 37th minute when Brook received a return pass from Uwakwe and made Pym block his angled shot for a corner at his near post.
On 41 minutes a loose pass from Thomas saw Oates latch onto it but his low shot lacked power and was easily gathered by Richards.
However, a minute later the Stags were ahead. Johnson sent over an inviting cross from the right and Maris was there to poke home a rising finish from close range.
It was a great time to break the deadlock and go into half-time in front.
Crewe came out on the front foot and quickly forced two corners.
Adebisi did well to head clear right in front of goal after McLaughlin had flicked on a Maris corner at the near post.
New boy Johnson and Agyei needed treatment after a clash of heads but both were able to continue.
However, Crewe were level out of nowhere on 55 minutes.
Boateng's square pass into space rolled towards Mellor 30 yards out and he struck a swerving finish through a crowd of players that left Pym rooted.
Mellor then had to hack away a teasing low ball into the six yard box by Oates.
On the hour Richards pulled off a superb reaction save from Johnson's close range finish after a Quinn corner forced a scramble.
After Oates was booked for a deliberate handball, Stags began to turn the screw and forced a series of corners while Boateng curled a shot over the angle.
Wallace went into a crunching tackle on sub Sambou. Stags felt it was a fair one but the referee disagreed and booked him on 70 minutes.
Richards pulled another great save on 72 minutes as he somehow got down to his left to block a Quinn header from Boateng's cross.
Mellor then blocked a goalbound Maris shot as the home side piled on the pressure and Stags threw on an extra striker in Swan in place of Wallace.
McLaughlin caused worries when he gave the ball away but was thankfully back to atone for his error as he ended the break with a block on Mellor.
On 81 minutes Stags were rocked when Maris cynically brought down Nevitt as he tried to break away down the left.
A booking looked certain but the referee stunned the home side by producing a red card.
Crewe saw their chance and Sambou flicked an acrobatic effort over while Pym was down to easily hold a low Nevitt shot.
Kilgour was sent on for Oates as Stags shored things up with four minutes of normal time left.
Crewe were probing hard when five minutes were added at the end in which McLaughlin was wide from distance and Kilgour was wide of the near post as the afternoon ended in frustration.
STAGS: Pym, Johnson, Hewitt, Perch, McLaughlin, Wallace (Swan 76), Maris, Boateng, Quinn (Law 83), Bowery, Oates (Kilgour 86). SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Gordon, O'Toole, Knowles.
CREWE: Richards, Mellor, Adebisi, McDonald, Thomas, Agyei, Griffiths, O'Riordan, Brook (Ainley 65), Nevitt, Uwakwe (Sambou 65). SUBS NOT USED: Booth, Tabiner, Evans, Holicek, Lunt.
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson.
ATTENDANCE: 6,142 (318 away).
Match Report - Mansfield 1 Crewe 1
crewealex.net, 14 January 2023
Kelvin Mellor’s stunning strike earned Crewe Alexandra a valuable point at Mansfield Town.
The defender’s swerving effort from range cancelled out George Maris’s opener, and extended his side’s unbeaten start to 2023.
Maris was sent off for a cynical foul with 10 minutes left, but The Railwaymen could not find a winner.
But boss Lee Bell will be relatively satisfied with a share of the spoils against Nigel Clough’s experienced side.
New signing Elliott Nevitt was handed his debut for The Railwaymen in attack, alongside Dan Agyei. Bassala Sambou dropped to the subs’ bench.
Keeper Dave Richards made his first league start of the season in place of loan man Arthur Okonkwo, who has returned to parent club Arsenal to explore other loan options.
Richards got down well to stop a Callum Johnson strike, while Tariq Uwakwe could only prod a Dan Agyei cross wide at the other end, during a lively start.
Former Crewe striker Jordan Bowery, recalled the Stags line-up, played Rhys Oates through on goal but the striker’s finish landed on the roof of the net, on 13 minutes.
Hiram Boateng fizzed one just over the bar on the half-hour mark, while on 38 minutes Uwakwe forced a good save from keeper Christy Pym after a nice pass from Lachlan Brook.
Richards got down well to his right to stop an Oates shot after some Crewe build-up play had broken down.
But on 42 minutes Johnson was allowed space to cross from wide on the right and Maris was on hand to convert from close range.
Crewe levelled matters on 55 minutes when the ball broke for Mellor and his sweetly-struck effort from range left Pym no chance.
A magnificent reflex Richards save from a point-blank range Johnson strike kept the sides level as the hosts looked to regain their lead.
On 72 minutes Richards was at it again with another incredible save to deny Oates from close range; then Mellor deflected a Stephen Quinn strike over the bar.
Mansfield were reduced to 10 men on 81 minutes when Maris cynically took sub Callum Ainley out as he advanced on goal.
Nevitt raced onto a Regan Griffiths pass as the clock ticked down but couldn’t find the power to beat Pym.
Mansfield (4-4-2): Pym; Johnson, Hewitt, Perch, McLaughlin; Maris, Boateng, Wallace (Swan 76), Quinn (Law 82); Bowery, Oates (Kilgour 86).
Subs not used: Flinders, Gordon, O’Toole, Knowles.
Booked: Oates, Wallace
Sent off: Maris
Crewe (4-4-2): Richards; Adebisi, McDonald, O’Riordan, Mellor; Thomas, Uwakwe (Sambou 66), Brook (Ainley 66), Griffiths; Agyei; Nevitt.
Subs not used: Booth, Evans, Holicek, Tabiner, Lunt.
Referee: Carl Boyeson
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