STAGS GRIND OUT DESERVED DRAW INDREADFULCONDITIONS
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 0 - 0 Burton Albion
Attendance: 3266 (729 from Burton)
Date: 1 January 2014
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town ground out a deserved draw against Burton Albion, who were equal top (apart from goal difference) at the start of the day and on a very good run of form, having kept 11 clean sheets in 14 games. Following on from the tremendous win at Cheltenham on Sunday, this represented a creditable point, and Mansfield are hopefully starting to turn the corner after the terrible run of form from October into December. On a statistical note, it was Mansfield’s first ever point against Burton, at the fourth attempt. Overall, it was a very good defensive display, but the Stags need to do more going forward. The game was played in a strong wind, on a wet pitch, with lashing rain through much of it. That the game went ahead at all is a credit to groundsman Mez Merriman and his team, especially as the pitch played pretty well in the conditions. Chances were at a premium in a game low on entertainment, indeed the Stags really only had two chances of note: Ollie Palmer going just wide with a shot and Anthony Howell heading just wide. Burton had only three chances of note: Ritchie Sutton deflected a Edwards shot wide in the first half, Hussey headed against the foot of the post in the second half, and finally Ryan Tafazolli did enough to force Cansdell-Sheriff’s close range header over the bar. Aside from that, Burton had plenty of long range efforts, none of which went anywhere near Alan Marriott’s goal. Indeed neither goalkeeper had a serious save to make in the 90 minutes. What has changed for the Stags in the last few weeks (the Rochdale game, the last 30 minutes of the Oldham replay, and the last few minutes of the Accrington game, aside) is that Mansfield are starting look much more difficult to beat, working exceptionally hard throughout the side, and looking tight at the back. It was especially pleasing today to see another fine performance from Ryan Tafazolli in central defence, following on from his showing at Cheltenham. It remains clear though that the Stags really need to add some quality in the January transfer window, that won’t come cheap and manager Cox will also need to get some players out. We’ll see what happens. Come on Mansfield!
Paul Cox made one change from the side that one at Cheltenham, and it was an enforced one as Murray replaced the injured McGuire. There was no change in formation, with 3 central defenders, 2 wing-backs, and Howell playing behind the front two. Micky Moore said after the game that Mansfield need to find some stability in the starting 11 and can’t keep making lots of changes; though he agreed that if the game at Exeter is played on a heavy pitch and with Exeter not having played today, some fresh legs might be needed on Saturday.
Stagsnet report here
Man of the match: Ryan Tafazolli
Wednesday, 1st January 2014: Mansfield Town 0 Burton Albion 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town and Burton Albion shared the points in a dire goalless draw at rainswept One Call Stadium today.
In dreadful conditions, the match survived two inspections.
In the end it went ahead in swirling wind and heavy rain and neither side looked like taking a grip on it.
It was a ninth home game in all competitions without a win for Paul Cox’s men.
But they will take solace from the clean sheet against a side who arrived as one of three teams on the top on the same points, third only on goal difference.
It also underlined Stags’ need for a proven striker in the January window.
Albion were nine games unbeaten coming into this one and provided the few decent moves on an afternoon to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Stags made just one enforced change with injured midfielder Jamie McGuire replaced by Adam Murray.
Otherwise it was the side that won 2-1 at Cheltenham on Sunday to end that horrendous run of 13 games without a League win.
Stags almost gifted the visitors a third minute lead when Sutton was caught out trying to shield the ball into touch.
Kee didn’t give up and managed to win the ball and burst into the box before forcing Marriott into a parry with a fierce finish from a tight angle.
Murray almost sent Rhead clear with a great ball over the top matched by a well-timed run, but keeper Lyness got there first.
McGurk was well wide with a tame effort for the Brewers a few seconds later.
The visitors then enjoyed a spell of pressure which ended with McGurk shooting over from 25 yards.
We saw little of the home side as an attacking force in the first 15 minutes, though a minute later they won the game’s first corner which Lyness grabbed at the second attempt.
After 24 minutes the home side finally managed to get hold of the ball in increasingly difficult conditions until Clements’ clever pass down the right rolled into touch, too far h
ahead of the overlapping Westlake.
Burton came forward again down the right, Edwards whipping in a dangerous cross that Riley was first to, heading clear.
On 29 minutes McDonald’s long throw saw Edwards get away a shot that clipped Tafazoli for a corner.
Marriott eventually punched that clear and it fell to McDonald for a low shot that again deflected for another corner which was cleared.
The game was offering little excitement as the rain again intensified.
McDonald did get himself into a good position on the right, but with Jennings in his way, he screwed a low finish well wide.
Sutton was in the way of a low Kee effort as the end of a miserable half neared.
As the second half started Kee sent a hopeful volley well wide within seconds.
Riley needed attention after trying to see the ball out for a goalkick with Kee in close attention behind.
The central defender was unable to continue and Dempster was forced into the action with the half only four minutes old.
Stags finally had their first shot of the day on 51 minutes as Rhead dragged a low 20 yard effort well wide.
The wind was now gusting at Mansfield, a kick from Lyness making opposite number Marriott stretch and then Marriott’s return not making it two thirds of the way in his own half.
McCrory’s 25 yard effort then came off Murray for another Burton corner which was cleared as we awaited a goal or even a real chance for either side.
McDonald was booked for taking Jennings’ legs late on 57 minutes.
The Brewers won another corner on 63 minutes which was half cleared to Kee whose shot looked to going well wide only to see Marriott palm it aside anyway.
Then Rhead was strong at the far post to stop Sharps getting on the end of a low cross.
Burton made a double change on 65 minutes, but it was the home side who almost broke through a minute later.
Burton didn’t clear a Jennings free kick and Palmer stabbed a low effort across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
Murray had already had his final warning for fouling so when he brought down McCrory on 68 minutes out came the yellow card.
Palmer’s free kick then caught on the wind and went straight through to Marriott, who had to keep his eye firmly on it.
On 74 minutes Murray launched a hanging cross towards the far post from the right where Howell leapt to steer a header across goal and out.
A minute later Phillips sent over a high cross from the right which Hussey got on the end of at the far post but could only steer into the sidenetting.
Kee warmed Marriott’s hands soon after as both sides went for the goal that would win it.
On 79 minutes Burton had the best chance of the game as Cansdell-Sheriff was offered a free header from a Hussey corner six yards out only to see it take a slight deflection and pass just over the bar.
Two more corners followed as the pressure mounted on Mansfield.
When Burton’s next raid broke down, Howell was booked on 84 minutes for his foul on Palmer seconds earlier.
Lyness was down bravely as Palmer slid in to prod the ball goalwards between two challenging defenders with six minutes to go.
Dyer replaced Rhead for the last two minutes in a final desperate push for a winner.
Ollie Palmer was booked on 90+2 minutes for not retreating from a free kick.
Sharps joined him two minutes later for his foul on Palmer which offered Stags one last chance from the free kick wide on the right.
But Lyness grabbed Jennings’ kick as the afternoon ended all square.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Riley (Dempster 49), Tafazolli; Westlake, Murray, Howell, Clements; Rhead, Palmer. Subs not used: Stevenson, Dyer, Beevers, Meikle, Deakin, Daniel.
BURTON: Lyness, Edwards, Sharps, Weir, MacDonald (Hussey 65), McCrory, Phillips, McGurk (Howe 65), Cansdell-Sheriff (Diamond 82), Kee. Subs not used: Siegrist, Bell, Knowles, Holness.
REFEREE: Trevor Kettle of Berkshire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,266 (729 away).?CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Tafazolli.
Mansfield Town 0 Burton Albion 0: Match report
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny
AT a ground that was once dubbed a fortress, it now remains relatively easy for visitors to climb the battlements and conquer.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-0-Burton-Albion-0-Match-report/story-20387341-detail/story.html#ixzz2pEb4T9gu
Mansfield Town have won just twice at the One Call Stadium in 2013-14 and not since late September when they beat Northampton Town 3-0.
And in all honestly they never looked capable of ending that drought against promotion-chasing Burton, who only claimed a point in a 0-0 draw, but did so with the kind of simplicity that led to huge frustration on the home terraces.
The Brewers went closest to claiming victory, but neither side were never at their best on a day when the elements had the final say.
Although it was a ninth game without triumph at home in all competitions for the hosts, it did ensure they at least built on Sunday’s 2-1 win at Cheltenham by putting another positive result on the board.
If Mansfield are to climb away from danger, however, they really need to find more potency in front of their own fans. Maybe January’s transfer window - now open - will provide an answer.
The Stags made one change to face the Brewers, nine games unbeaten, with Adam Murray returning to captain the side in the absence of Jamie McGuire, out with a groin injury.
A scrappy opening was not unexpected in wet and windy conditions, but it was Burton who threatened first after a mistake by Ritchie Sutton.
He tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick but was robbed of the ball by Billy Kee whose shot from a tight angle was beaten away by the alert Alan Marriott.
With both sides frequently going long, Murray’s through pass was not too far from picking out Matt Rhead, only for the visiting keeper Dean Lyness to get their first, while Adam McGurk fired way off target at the other end.
Mansfield won the game’s first corner four minutes later and though Lyness initially fumbled Chris Clements’ delivery, he collected at the second attempt.
It took the Stags until the midway point of the half to string a few passes together but a promising move ended when Clements’ pass was too heavy for the overlapping Darryl Westlake and ran for a goal kick.
And as Burton upped the ante towards the half hour mark, Phil Edwards crashed in a shot that looked as if it would test Marriott until Ryan Tafazolli made an important block.
Alex MacDonald then tried his luck from 20 yards after switching feet only for his effort to fly into the advertising hoardings.
As the rain began to get heavier, MacDonald was left one-on-one with James Jennings, but scuffed his shot horribly wide when he should have at least forced a save from Marriott.
In the lead up to half-time, a neat exchange of passes between Clements and Murray enabled the latter to look for Ollie Palmer sprinting through the middle, but the ball skidded off the young striker’s head and through to Lyness.
The final action of the half saw Ritchie Sutton throw himself full length to block Kee’s power-packed drive from just inside the box.
Thankfully, the elements had relented by the time the players ran out for the second half, although the standard did not immediately improve as Albion’s Kee flashed a volley into the stands.
Just four minutes after the restart, Mansfield suffered a blow when Martin Riley limped off to be replaced by John Dempster.
On 51 minutes, the Stags finally attempted their first shot, but Rhead’s drive was nowhere near goal.
Soon after, MacDonald was the first player to be cautioned as he ploughed straight through Jennings.
As the Brewers enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure, Kee’s header from Damien McCrory’s right-wing cross, which looked to be drifting wide anyway, was pushed around the left-hand post by Marriott.
Mansfield almost made a breakthrough in the 67th minute when Rhead fought for Jennings’ free-kick forward and the ball dropped for Ollie Palmer, who dragged an angled drive from 12 yards just past the right-hand upright.
Marriott then did well to hold an inswinging free-kick from Matthew Palmer after the ball had caught the wind and then bounced just in front of him.
With the game moving into the final quarter, Murray hung up a deep cross and though Howell climbed highest, his header dropped wide of goal.
But Burton went as close as either side had done all afternoon when Jimmy Phillips, from the right, picked out substitute Chris Hussey at the back stick, who headed wide of goal. Kee’s snapshot from the edge of the box was then gathered by Marriott.
The supporters tried to lift Mansfield in the closing stages yet it was Burton who were again menacing when Shane Cansdell-Sheriff’s header deflected over from Hussey’s left-wing flag kick.
Ollie Palmer battled away and almost got a reward with time running out as his strength saw him get their first through the middle, only to be denied by Lyness.
It was the nearest shot-shy Mansfield came all afternoon.
Mansfield (3-5-2): Marriott, Sutton, Riley (Dempster 49), Tafazolli, Westlake, Clements, Murray, Howell, Jennings, Rhead (Dyer 88), O.Palmer. Subs not used: Stevenson, Beevers, Meikle, Deakin, Daniel.
Burton: Lyness, Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sheriff (Diamond 82), McCrory, MacDonald (Hussey 65), Weir, M.Palmer, Phillips, McGurk (Howe 65), Kee. Subs not used: Siegrist, Bell, Knowles, Holness.
Referee: Trevor Kettle (Berkshire).
Attendance: 3,266 (729 visitors).
FULL-TIME REPORT: Mansfield Town 0, Burton Albion 0
Written by David Broome
Read more: http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/Sport/Burton-Albion-FC/HALF-TIME-REPORT-Mansfield-Town-0-Burton-Albion-0-01012014.htm?#ixzz2pBiYLw5H
BURTON Albion were held to their first goalless draw of the season as the new year brought a damp and drab game of football against struggling hosts Mansfield Town at Field Mill today.
Driving rain meant play was difficult for both teams, and although Albion dominated against a poor Stags side, they fashioned few clear cut chances.
The festive fixture pile-up still left manager Gary Rowett undaunted, and he made no changes to the side who beat Newport County on Sunday.
That meant another start for Alex MacDonald and Jimmy Phillips, with Chris Hussey on the bench once again.
Adam McGurk twice shot off target from distance, after Billy Kee had tested the reactions of Alan Marriott from a tight angle after chasing down a loose ball.
The best opportunity fell to Phil Edwards, who surged onto a throw-in from Alex MacDonald and saw his stinging drive deflected for a corner.
The second half did not offer much more in terms of entertainment, although as the wind and rain dropped, the Stags did at least fashion some chances.
In the 51st minute, the hosts had their first shot of the game, Matt Rhead firing wide, before Kee's header was saved - just - by Marriott.
Rowett brought on Hussey and Rene Howe in a bid to change things, and the former almost got them in front, as he headed Phillips' cross onto the foot of the post.
Ollie Palmer drove a shot wide and Howell headed off target, while Matty Palmer's free-kick was straight at Marriott.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff had one of the best chances of the closing stages, his header cleared off the line in a move that saw the defender's game ended through injury.
Latest | January 2014