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7th September 2023 19:47

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Bradford City
Attendance: 8,535 (1671 from Bradford)

Date: 2 September 2023

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew with Bradford City 0-0 at the One Call Stadium yesterday. The Stags remain unbeaten in all competitions this season. Mansfield are the only side in the entire EFL that remain unbeaten in all competitions, after Leicester and Norwich lost yesterday.

The game was a near sell-out at the One Call Stadium. A sell-out of away fans from Bradford (1671). And less than 50 tickets remained unsold for home fans (6,864 tickets sold including the 5,171 season tickets). The attendance of 8,535 was the biggest attendance since the play-off semi-final against Northampton in May 2004, which was 9,243, and which was the last time the Bishop Street stand was used for spectators. As after every game, you can find the average home attendance along with other running tallies of stats and latest injury news at the bottom of the report.

Stags games have been consistently high on entertainment this season. But this game didn’t live up to that, and 0-0 was the right scoreline for the game.

Mansfield were forced to put out the same 11 that played at Sheffield Wednesday during the week. Indeed the 10 outfield players were the only match-fit senior outfield players. Those players put in another great shift here, giving absolutely everything for the cause, but weren’t able to reach the levels needed to break down a solid Bradford City side.

Nigel Clough summed up the situation accurately after the game saying: “It has been a big week with two very tough games on Saturday and Tuesday, especially at Hillsborough. We didn't have much choice in having to play the same team again today. There were a lot of tired legs, and we had three players playing only their second games of the season. The lads have given absolutely everything this week. You can't doubt their commitment.”

The news on the injury front was terrible with Rhys Oates and Stephen Quinn both ruled out for a period of months. Both players have been superb this season. Both players have 4 assists this season (see my stats on assists below). Oates had finished off that incredible goal at Sheffield Wednesday.

Nigel Clough explained after the game: “We don't want to lose anybody but I couldn't think of two more important players at the moment to lose than those two. We miss Rhys' directness, even if he's coming off the bench or something to affect the game. He will be a huge miss for us. Their prognosis is not very good. Rhys ruptured ankle ligaments in that challenge right in the 90th minute at Hillsborough when he won a corner. The scans suggest two to three months. Stephen Quinn made a challenge down here against Stockport quite early in the first half and has nicked a ligament in the side of his knee and he will be a bit longer - between three and four months.”

Mansfield did at least have Baily Cargill, James Gale and John-Joe O’Toole back from injury, though none of them clearly match fit. Cargill and Gale came on as subs. Nigel Clough added after the game: “Aaron Lewis has a chance for next Saturday, Hiram Boateng maybe the week after.”
Clough also revealed after the game: “We did try to get a loan in yesterday, a young striker, but couldn't quite manage it. But there are a few free agents out there that we have spoken to before the window shut. We will pick up on those next week. Being a free agent used to be a bit of a stigma. But now they are the only ones we can sign for the next four months.”

Bradford had injury problems of their own. Nigel Clough had said in midweek that Mansfield would have to score 2 to beat Bradford because Andy Cook would certainly score. Cook was out with a side injury and will be out for “a few weeks”. Their other target man Vadaine Oliver is also out long term. They were also without the likes of Alex Pattison for a few weeks, Kevin McDonald, Alex Gilliead, Ash Taylor.

It was a hot sunny afternoon. Quite a contrast to the very wet weather of the previous Saturday.


Mansfield Town 0-0 Bradford City

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Mansfield remain unbeaten in all competitions after a dour draw at home against Bradford.

A poor first half saw the Bantams edge possession but neither goalkeeper had a real save to make.

Christy Pym was firmly behind a low shot by Clarke Oduor after 17 minutes for a routine stop.

And it took a fine last-ditch tackle by Lewis Brunt just before that to stop Tyler Smith pulling the trigger six yards out as Mansfield struggled to clear a corner.

Immediately after the restart, Smith forced Pym to dive to his right to grab his rasping half-volley.

Harry Lewis finally had work to do after 56 minutes as he kept out Davis Keillor-Dunn's powerful strike, diving to his right.

Eight minutes later Ollie Clarke poked a loose ball just wide after a Keillor-Dunn shot was blocked.

Lucas Akins almost broke the deadlock 11 minutes from time, but his glancing near-post header from a corner sailed across goal and hit the base of the far post.

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Bradford
Possession Home 48% Away 52%
Shots Home 11 Away 9
Shots on Target Home 1 Away 2
Corners Home 8 Away 2
Fouls Home 10 Away 12


Stalemate as Mansfield Town battle out 0-0 draw with rivals Bradford City
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 2 Sept 2023

Mansfield Town and likely promotion rivals Bradford City battled out a gruelling 0-0 stalemate at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.

Both keepers were untroubled in an untidy and less than exciting first half.

Both then had a decent save each to make after the break as the two sides continued to cancel each other out with neither able to find the big breakthrough, though Lucas Akins did hit the Bantams' post with 11 minutes to go.

But the afternoon ended up in frustration for the huge 8,535 crowd, though Stags preserved their unbeaten start to the campaign


With their extended injury list, the Stags side was unchanged from the midweek Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out win at Sheffield Wednesday and the home side was heartened to see injured trio Baily Cargill, James Gale and John-Joe O'Toole return to the bench.

Stags were happy to see their former striker Andy Cook, who has a habit of scoring against them, missed the game through injury.

City's deadline day recruits, Rayhaan Tulloch and Chisom Afoka were on the bench after joining on loan from West Brom and Aston Villa, respectively.

Stags forced two early corners, and from the second of them, Brunt turned the ball first time well wide.

Bradford's first real threat came on 14 minutes as Stags laboured in clearing a cross, but Brunt came up with a perfectly-timed tackle to stop Smith getting a shot at goal.

A minute later Richards was space to advance and finally sent a low shot wide from 25 yards.

And on 17 minutes Oduor tried his luck from the same distance but it was a comfortable take for Pym.

Smallwood was booked for something he said to the referee on 23 minutes.

Akins' shot on the turn on 35 minutes was deflected out as far as a throw-in as both sides struggled to create real chances.

Maris then had a shot deflect away for the home side's fifth corner kick and minutes later Akins set up Swan for a rising shot from an angle on the right that was always going over.

Mansfield successfully cleared a corner and a long throw in the one added minute to bring an uneventful first half to a goalless conclusion,

Smith forced a save out of Pym within 14 seconds of the restart as his half-volley from the right saw Pym down to his right to gather.

Walker was booked on 55 minutes for a late challenge on Maris as he cleared his lines on the edge of the home box.

Stags finally created their best chance of the afternoon on 56 minutes as Macdonald set up Keillor-Dunn for a shot from the edge of the box that Lewis had to beat away to his right.

On 64 minutes Keillor-Dunn wormed his way into the box and saw his shot blocked, the ball running to Clarke who poked just wide of the left post.

Macdonald was added to the book for a foul on 68 minutes.

The visitors made a triple chance with 20 minutes to go while Stags sent on Gale for Swan up front and straight away was booked for a foul on Stubbs, whose histrionics clearly influenced the decision.

Akins and Keillor-Dunn worked a useful ball to Gale on the left of the box, but he got his angles all wrong and it ended up looking like a pass across the box instead of a shot.

Mansfield came as close as they had all day on 79 minutes as a Macdonald corner was met b a glancing near post header by Akins that clipped the base of the far post but stayed out.

Williams replaced Clarke in the midfield for the final 10 minutes.

Gale won Stags a free kick just outside the box, but Macdonald floated it well over the crossbar.

With four added minutes looming, Williams replaced Maris for the home side.

Oyegoke was booked for sliding in on Gale just before the game ended scoreless.

STAGS: Pym, Bowery, Flint, Brunt, Macdonald, Reed, Maris (Cargill 89), Clarke (Williams 80), Keillor-Dunn, Swan (Gale 73) Akins. SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Cooper, O'Toole, Abdullah.

BRADFORD: Lewis, Halliday, Platt, Smallwood, Walker (Tulloch 70), Osadebe (Oyegoke 80), Oduor (Pointon 60), Smith (Derbyshire 70), Stubbs, Kelly, Richards (Ridehalgh 70). SUBS NOT USED: Doyle, Afoke.

REFEREE: Leigh Doughty.

ATTENDANCE: 8,535 (1,671 away).


MATCH RECAP: Mansfield Town 0 Bradford City 0
thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, By Simon Parker


CITY battled to a hard-earned point in a game of few thrills at Mansfield this afternoon.

The home side had the best two chances in the second half but the Bantams deserved their clean sheet - without looking like winning it themselves.

The first half was a low-key affair with City enjoying plenty of the ball without either side really threatening.

Clarke Oduor, back for the injured Alex Pattison, had a low shot saved by Christy Pym - the only effort on target in the half.

Tyler Smith also had a close-range effort blocked but there were few moments to excite a large crowd.

Smith had a shot saved straight after the break but Mansfield upped the tempo and Harry Lewis did well to keep out Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Lucas Akins went closest to breaking the deadlock with a glancing header just past the post.

Close! Akins with the glancing header ... and it's inches wide of the far post
Mansfield iFollow commentator was on his feet ... sit back down, fella


Bantams and Mansfield cancel each other out in dour draw
thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, By Simon Parker


NIGEL Clough had warned that Mansfield would need to score two at least to win “because Andy Cook always gets one here”.

Cook had scored in the last four meetings between the sides at Field Mill - two for each club.

In fact, Mark Hughes’ dug-out debut at home 19 months ago was the only time that he has not netted against the Stags since his West Yorkshire move.

So despite Cook being injured, Clough fully expected Hughes to wrap him up in cotton wool and get him back out there to continue that prolific run.


As it was, those pre-match fears in the Mansfield camp proved groundless. There was no Cook and no goals anywhere.

Both teams effectively possessed the cutting edge of cotton wool on an afternoon that was heading for goalless neutrality from very early on.

Once the initial skirmishes had died down, this was a dour deadlock between two sides cancelling each other out. Chances, and moments of any interest, were strictly at a premium.

City will have been the happier with the outcome.

A second straight league clean sheet, after a start when they couldn’t buy one, and a solid away point at an opponent who are always a promotion benchmark.

Like that recent draw at Stockport, this result will probably look better once the season and the table settles down.

But there is that nagging feeling that with a bit more end product that one point could quite easily have become three.

Just three combined efforts on target illustrate the futility of much of the play at both ends. Defences kept a strong grip with nobody possessing the wherewithal to find a way through.

That is the conundrum that Hughes needs to solve as City prepare for a welcome run of home games after spending so much time so far on the motorway.

Cook is still to get off the mark for the new season - a fact that will be bugging him 10 times as much as it disturbs everyone else connected with the club.

But it is that presence up there that the rest of the team lack in his absence. There is no focal point to play off, nobody to hold the ball up for others.

With no Cook, City have to think outside the box and try something different going forward.

Saturday’s stalemate in the Nottinghamshire sunshine suggested that it won’t be an easy task.

There were no opportunities for Jamie Walker and Tyler Smith to run in behind the defence - a tactic that had found some joy against Wrexham’s plodding backline.

So, City enjoyed plenty of possession in Mansfield’s half but lacked the nous to do something constructive with it.

It was crying out for Alex Pattison to make those trademark bursts from midfield. Unfortunately, like Cook, he will remain in sick bay for the coming weeks while his hamstring has chance to heal.

Hughes had hoped that getting him off early at Wrexham would do the trick. But the damage had been done and the current top-scorer will be a spectator for a while.

Without Pattison’s driving influence, Mansfield keeper Christy Pym was restricted to just two saves while Walker landed one lob from a tight angle onto the roof of his net.

Still, that was double the workload of Harry Lewis whose match was far quieter than he must have anticipated considering that Mansfield went into it on the back of three home wins and eight goals scored.

But those in front of him continue to look more of a cohesive defensive unit and restricted the free-scoring Stags to very little.

Lewis was called into proper action once to deny long-time City nemesis Davis Keillor-Dunn as Mansfield tried to lift the tempo in the second half.

Other than that, the only scare came from Lucas Akins with a flick header from a corner that bounced past the far post almost in slow motion as everyone watched and hoped.

Mansfield missed Rhys Oates, their midweek scorer at Sheffield Wednesday, who has joined a lengthy injury list. But Akins has been around the block and always presents a handful for defenders.

On this occasion, though, he was generally well shackled by the back three/five who are clearly getting to grips with the shape the more often they play that way.

Ciaran Kelly is a case in point. The big Irishman has all the attributes to become a solid pillar at the back and looks to be improving week on week.

After a shaky first few weeks, and he was far from alone in that, Kelly appears to be finding his feet fast.

A strong personal outing was summed up by a vital interception when he stretched to get a leg on a low cross bound for Akins lurking in the goal mouth for a tap-in. Instances like that earn your clean sheet.

The home crowd of 8,535, boosted by a sell-out away end of nearly 1,700, was Mansfield’s largest for 19 years. It was the biggest since a play-off semi-final against Northampton in May 2004.

It made for a lively, occasionally abrasive, atmosphere in the stands that was unfortunately not matched by the entertainment on offer.

The boisterous to-and-fro between the sets of supporters at the start inevitably died down with the lack of spectacle put in front of them.

The heat was possibly a factor. After the wet and miserable August, September football dawned in glorious weather and the intensity may have suffered in the energy-sapping conditions.

For those jaded by the late-night finish to the transfer window hours earlier, the contest had an almost soporific effect.

But City kept their wits about them enough to earn their reward and in Brad Halliday had one of the more energetic performers on offer.

Halliday may not be a wing-back born and bred but he is taking to the new responsibility keenly and showed the engine needed to cover that extra ground.

Once or twice, there was even a suggestion that he might break the deadlock as he made willing forays into the Mansfield box.

But he was no more successful than anyone else in disturbing the status quo and it was just a case of City maintaining their defensive concentration to avoid any late slips.

A potentially hazardous trip negotiated, they can now look forward to four of the next five games in BD8 and a much-needed break from the road works.

Table-watchers will point to their lowly 15th spot six matches into the long League Two journey; the more realistic will note that they are two points off fifth.

The fixture list presents a decent opportunity to make quick inroads in the coming weeks. But they’ve got to come up with the right attacking menu with no Cook - or Pattison - to help out.


Mansfield v Bantams: Match stats and player ratings
thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, By Simon Parker

CITY made it consecutive clean sheets in the league after a dour goalless draw at Mansfield.

T&A chief sports writer SIMON PARKER was at the One Call Stadium yesterday and provides the match stats and his player ratings.

MAN OF THE MATCH Brad Halliday was full of energy bombing up and down on City’s right, defending solidly and an effective outlet going forward.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH City hearts were briefly in mouths when Lucas Akins’ header bounced inches wide in the second half.


MOAN OF THE MATCH The Bantams had plenty of possession in Mansfield territory but never really looked like scoring when they got into promising positions.


Mark Hughes made two changes from the side that had battled so well at Wrexham in the Carabao Cup.

One of those was enforced as Alex Pattison, taken off at half-time in Wales, missed out with a tight hamstring. But Clarke Oduor was over his recent groin discomfort to take his place.

Lewis Richards also came back in at left wing-back for Liam Ridehalgh. Deadline signings Rayhaan Tulloch and Chisom Afoka were both named on the bench.

REFEREE: Leigh Doughty (Blackpool)

BOOKINGS: MacDonald, Gale (Mansfield); Smallwood, Walker, Platt, Oyegoke (City)


SHOTS ON TARGET: Mansfield 1 City 2

SHOTS OFF TARGET: Mansfield 10 City 7

CORNERS: Mansfield 8 City 2

FOULS: Mansfield 10 City 12


MANSFIELD: Pym 7, Bowery 7, Flint 6, Brunt 7, MacDonald 8, Maris 6 (Cargill 88min), Reed 7, Clarke 6 (Williams 80min), Keillor-Dunn 7, Swan 6 (Gale 73min), Akins 7. Subs (not used): Cooper, O’Toole, Abdullah, Flinders.

CITY: Lewis 7, Halliday 8, Platt 6, Stubbs 7, Kelly 7, Richards 7 (Ridehalgh 70min), Smallwood 6, Osadebe 7 (Oyegoke 80min), Oduor 6 (Pointon 60min, 7), Walker 6 (Tulloch 70min), Smith 6 (Derbyshire 70min). Subs (not used): Afoka, Doyle.