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Archived News from March 2024

27th March 2024 23:48

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Colchester United
Brunt 63. Anderson 13
Attendance: 7,517 (248 from Colchester)

Date: 23 March 2024

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Colchester United at the One Call Stadium on Saturday lunchtime in a game live on Sky Sports. It was a horrible game in a strong wind in which the Stags were frustrated by Colchester’s spoiling tactics of time-wasting and feigning injury, masterminded by their manager Danny Cowley. And it was a game both sides could have won. Colchester led for more than half the game, having gone ahead after 13 minutes though a good finish from Harry Anderson. The Stags equalised after 63 minutes when Will Swan knocked the ball goalwards after a clearance off the line, and Lewis Brunt made sure, knocking the ball over the line from on the line. Both goalkeepers made some great saves, Christy Pym for Mansfield and Owen Goodman for Colchester. And on the stroke of 90 minutes, Mansfield should have had a clear penalty when Will Swan, about to shoot inside the area, was clearly fouled from behind by former Stag Alistair Smith, but the referee missed it.

In the end, it was a point each, which was probably about right. And with results elsewhere later in the day, in particular MK Dons losing at Stockport, the gap to MK Dons in 4th place was extended to 6 points and Mansfield with a game in hand.

Mansfield came in to the game having won 7 of the last 10 games, and top of the form table as well the league table. Colchester had only won 1 of their last 10 games, but had only lost 2 and had drawn 7 showing that they were proving difficult to beat under Danny Cowley, even though they weren’t winning games.

It was a windy day. The wind was going straight down the pitch, towards the Quarry Lane end, behind Mansfield in the first half and behind Colchester in the second half. If there is one type of weather likely to spoil a game, it is a strong wind straight down the pitch. And of course it’s the last thing you want when top is playing third bottom as the conditions are a great leveller.

The Stags were unchanged from the side that won 5-1 at Bradford.
Williams was again absent having “felt his Achilles” and missed the Bradford game. Maris was absent for “personal reasons”. No Macdonald in the 18.
Clarke returned from injury and was on the bench. And Hewitt returned to the bench after 11 months out with injury - great to see him back in the 18.
The Stags wore red socks as a display of support for Down’s Syndrome awareness day.

For Colchester, third bottom and at risk of being overtaken by either Sutton or Forest Green from the bottom two, Riley Harbottle returned to the bench after illness but did not come on. And another former Stag Alistair Smith started the game.

It was the biggest home crowd of the season, over 7,250 home tickets sold, more than 200 more than the next highest this season, with around 400 or so Stags fans in the North Stand.



Mansfield Town 1-1 Colchester United: Lewis Brunt strike denies U's victory over Stags
Brunt (63'minutes)
Anderson (12'minutes)
Hopper (12'minutes)


Harry Anderson scored a delightful early goal as struggling Colchester United earned a shock draw at League Two leaders Mansfield Town at a windswept One Call Stadium.

The Stags, who had won four of their previous six games and scored 16 goals in doing so, found themselves a goal down when Anderson took a great first touch, shifted the ball onto his right foot and shot low into the far corner.

Colchester defended resolutely and keeper Owen Goodman was in superb form to keep a dominant home side at bay.

But with frustration growing amongst an expectant home crowd, Lewis Brunt tapped home the equaliser after a goalmouth scramble in the second half.

Both sides had excellent chances to take all three points in the closing stages, the U's going close from a series of corners and hitting the post through Samson Tovide, while Will Swan was crowded out when one-on-one.

The Stags, who could have moved seven points clear at the top of the table before the rest of the Saturday fixtures, also felt they should have had a last-minute penalty when Swan went to ground as he was lining up to shoot goalwards.

But the claims were ignored, with furious Mansfield boss Nigel Clough showing his anger on the pitch at the full-time whistle, while his counterpart Danny Cowley lapped up the applause from the travelling fans after seeing his resurgent side secure a point from a fifth 1-1 draw in the past six games.

Goodman's heroics - notably a breathtaking stop to keep out Baily Cargill's powerful point-blank header - did not tell the whole story, with the U's creating numerous late chances in an increasingly open finale.

Stags keeper Christy Pym made a fine one-handed save to deny Tovide a winner and there were several close calls from set-pieces, the best of which saw Pym tip over Tom Dallison's header.

Match Stats
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Colchester
Possession Home 62% Away 38%
Shots Home 15 Away 10
Shots on Target Home 7 Away 6
Corners Home 8 Away 6
Fouls Home 8 Away 13


Frustration as table-topping Mansfield Town are held at home by struggling Colchester United
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 23 Mar 2024

League Two leaders Mansfield Town had to be content with a point as struggling Colchester United held them to a 1-1 home draw before the live Sky TV cameras this afternoon.

On a cold, blustery afternoon it was a sixth draw in the last eight games for Colchester as they try to avoid the drop.

A frustrating first half saw Stags trail 1-0 to a fine Harry Anderson strike on 13 minutes and then made to toil as United got players behind the ball and wasted time at every opportunity.

But, after visiting keeper Owen Goodman had made an incredible save to thwart Baily Cargill, Lewis Brunt levelled matters on 63 minutes to huge relief.


Stags piled on the pressure but were almost undone on the break seven minutes from time as Christy Pym had to turn a low Samson Tovide shot onto the post as honours ended even.

Mansfield were unchanged but there was a welcome sight on the bench as Elliott Hewitt returned after recovering from an ACL injury sustained last April.

Colchester included ex-Stag Alistair Smith with former Stags loanee Riley Harbottle on their bench.

Stags played the game in red socks to mark World Down's Syndrome Awareness Day.

Playing with a strong wind behind them, Stags' first threat came on three minutes.

Brunt superbly intercepted in his own box and broke down the right.

His long crossfield ball picked out Quinn, who rolled it to Akins in the box and he laid off for Boateng, who fired over from 20 yards.

Bowery had to poke a dangerous low ball across the home goal out for a corner, from which McGeehan's header was tame and easy for Pym.

At the other end Bowery dragged a poor finish well wide as United tried to clear a Quinn cross.

A loose header by Hall caused United worries as Swan challenged the keeper, but the ball rolled out for a goalkick before he got his cross away.

Instead the U' grabbed a 13th minute lead as Anderson controlled on the right of the box and rifled a superb low finish across Pym and inside the far post.

Immediately the visitors began to step up time-wasting tactics and, having got away with a tick or two, Ihionvien was booked for delaying the game on 16 minutes.

A looping backpass gave Goodman problems and he hacked clear as far as Akins whose shy at the open net from 25 yards saw him fail to get a decent connection and the moment pass.

On 28 minutes a lovely cross from Quinn picked out Keillor-Dunn, but he guided his header wide.

Reed was just over with s 25-yard free kick four minutes later after Keillor-Dunn had been flattened by a late Read challenge.

Home fans were increasingly incensed at Colchester's time -wasting, especially when keeper Goodman needed treatment for apparent cramp after only 37 minutes while the away bench got the players together for a team talk.

Mansfield were close again on 44 minutes as Swann burst into the box off an Akins lay-off but saw Goodman block his low finish.

Home fans showed their displeasure when only three minutes were added, despite the visitors' time-wasting, Hall then added to the book for delaying a free kick.

Keillor-Dunn was also booked four minutes after the break for a trip on Read as he tried to break away.

On 52 minutes Bowery tried to shepherd a ball out for a goal kick. But he lost the ball and Smith whipped a low shot across goal and wide.

Keillor-Dunn had a shot blocked after a neat move down the right while Pym had to get down to grab a teasing low Anderson cross soon after.

Smith also had a long range potshot easily gathered by Pym.

Goodman produced a stunning save on 62 minutes to deny Cargill from close range as he got his head to a Quinn cross.

But Mansfield were level from the corner seconds later as a scramble ensued from which Brunt managed to poke the loose ball over the line from close range to huge jubilation on and off the pitch.

Cargill's afternoon came to early end as he limped off with what looked to be a strain on 70 minutes, replaced by McLaughlin, while Clarke took over from Boateng.

Tovide was booked for clattering into Reed on 74 minutes, Hopper joining him for a lunge on McLaughlin a minute later.

On 76 minutes Swan saw his header tipped over by Goodman from a McLaughlin free kick.

Then Reed came up with a great tackle to halt a U's breakaway.

A square ball from Swan almost set up Clarke but he stumbled over his finish.

United then almost caught Stags on the break as Tovide raced away and shot in the 83rd minute, but Pym was down to turn the low shot against a post.

Pym also turned over a dipping header from Iandolo on 87 minutes as the visitors won a string of corners.

Swan forced another save from Goodman at his near post and he was also down to deny Quinn in a thrilling finish.

Swan went down under a challenge just before Quinn's shot but the referee waved away penalty shouts.

Nichols replaced Swan as six minutes were added on but United held on for a deserved share of the spoils.

STAGS: Pym, Bowery, Flint, Brunt, Cargill (McLaughlin 70), Reed, Boateng (Clarke 70), Quinn, Keillor-Dunn, Akins, Swan (Nichols 90+1). SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Hewitt, Lewis, Gale.

COLCHESTER: Goodman, Hall, Dallison, McGeehan, Hopper (Iandolo 79), Read, Anderson, Mingi, Smith, Fevrier (Chilvers 89), Ihionvien (Tovide 57). SUBS NOT USED: Hornby, Jay, Harbottle, Akinde.

REFEREE: Simon Mather.

ATTENDANCE: 7,517 (248 away).


Colchester United hold Mansfield Town in League Two
gazette-news.co.uk, By Jonathan Waldron

COLCHESTER United held League Two leaders Mansfield Town to a 1-1 draw following a battling display in front of the live Sky Sports cameras this afternoon.

Lewis Brunt's equaliser denied the U's victory at the One Call Stadium, after Harry Anderson's excellent strike had been cancelled out by Lewis Brunt for the hosts, in the second half.

It was a hard-working, professional performance by Colchester, who frustrated their promotion-chasing hosts.

Indeed, the U's could have won the game, with substitute Samson Tovide seeing his strike late in the game strike a post.


However, Colchester goalkeeper Owen Goodman also made two outstanding saves, to help his side.

Colchester boss Danny Cowley made two changes to his starting line-up, with Tom Hopper and Alistair Smith recalled in place of John Akinde and Noah Chilvers, who dropped to the bench.

The U’s made a solid start in the swirling wind, although Hiram Boateng did fire over for Mansfield in the opening minutes after a swift counter attack by the hosts.

Colchester took a surprise lead in the 12th minute when Harry Anderson drilled a fine low shot into the far corner of the net, after Hopper had prodded the ball into his path inside the area.

It left the home crowd stunned and Mansfield tried to find an immediate response, with the wind in their favour.

They almost levelled in the 28th minute when Davis Keillor-Dunn's downward header dropped wide of the post but Colchester did a good job of frustrating their hosts, as the half wore on.

Colchester goalkeeper Owen Goodman made a fine save to deny Will Swan from point blank range in the area after Mansfield had got in behind the U’s defence.

The U’s went in at the break ahead and sent on Samson Tovide for Ihionvien just before the hour mark, as they attempted to extend their advantage.

Goodman made an outstanding stop just after the hour when he somehow pushed away Baily Cargill's header away for a corner.

But Colchester failed to clear the resultant set piece and Lewis Brunt eventually tapped home the loose ball, to level things up in the 63rd minute, for Mansfield.

Goodman did well to push over Will Swan's header from Quinn's free-kick in the 76th minute, as Mansfield pushed for a winner.

But Colchester came agonisingly close to restoring their lead with eight minutes remaining when Mansfield keeper Christy Pym touched Tovide's shot onto a post, after Smith's pass had set the substitute free.

Colchester went close again in the 87th minute when substitute Ellis Iandolo's header was pushed over the bar by Pym from Read's corner.

And although Mansfield had a penalty shout when Swan fell in the area in stoppage-time and six minutes were added on at the end, the U's held out for a well-earned point.

MATCH FACTS: COLCHESTER UNITED: Goodman, Hall, Dallison, Mingi, Fevrier (sub Chilvers, 90), Anderson, Read, Smith, McGeehan, Ihionvien (sub Tovide, 57), Hopper (sub Iandolo, 78).

Subs (not used): Harbottle, Jay, Akinde, Hornby.

Mansfield Town: Pym, Cargill (sub McLaughlin, 71), Flint, Brunt, Reed, Quinn, Boateng (sub Clarke, 71), Keillor-Dunn, Bowery, Akins, Swan (sub Nichols, 90).

Subs (not used): Hewitt, Gale, Lewis, Flinders.

Goals: Colchester: Anderson (12). Mansfield: Brunt (63).

Bookings: Colchester: Ihionvien (unsporting behaviour, 16), Hall (unsporting behaviour, 45), Tovide (foul, 74), Hopper (foul, 75). Mansfield: Keillor-Dunn (foul, 49).

Red card: None.

Referee: Simon Mather.

Attendance: 7, 517.



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