STAGS HELD BY POMPEY AT FRATTON PARK
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Portsmouth 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Robinson 70. Heslop 46.
Attendance: 15,585 (397 from Mansfield)
Date: 11 October 2014
Martin Shaw at Fratton Park
Mansfield Town put in a good performance at Fratton Park this afternoon but were denied victory by an incredible fingertips save from Paul Jones to keep out Rakish Bingham. The Stags had deservedly taken the lead 58 seconds after half-time with a fine goal from Simon Heslop, his first for the club, shooting home from 20 yards. Mansfield had been the better side in the first half, creating the better chances, winning most of the 50:50 balls and putting together some fine moves mostly involving Bingham and Fergus Bell, to silence the home fans. Indeed Portsmouth’s first shot on 26 minutes brought ironic applause from the home fans. The Stags continued to push forward after taking the lead and created more chances other than Bingham’s that was superbly saved. Had Bingham’s effort gone in, the Stags would probably have won it. But the game changed with Portsmouth’s introduction of substitutes Nigel Atangana and Patrick Agyemang on 68 minutes. Suddenly these two caused the Stags all sorts of problems with some outstanding play and Pompey were level within two minutes, as Atangana crossed low from the byline and Paul Robinson slotted home underneath Stags keeper Sascha Studer from 7 yards. Could Studer have saved it? Yes he could. Should he have saved it? Hard to say, though it would have been a good save if he had done. After that the home fans roared Pompey on, in an incredible level of noise, but the Stags kept them out with Studer making one very fine save from Danny Hollands. Overall a satisfying point for the Stags, the first draw of the season, and some really good performances throughout the team. Bingham terrorised the home defence with tremendous pace and an eye for goal. I spoke to him afterwards and he couldn’t believe how the keeper had tipped his shot around the post. Rhead played well up top before being forced off with a tight hamstring to a standing ovation from the travelling fans, though not so the home fans who hadn’t taken to him, it would be fair to say, after he was involved in an incident with home captain Johnny Ertl! Bell, playing just behind the front two was very good and involved of most of the Stags inventive forward play. I spoke to Bell after the game. He got a bang on the head and didn't remember anything of the second half. But he had been told by the doctor that he did not need to go to hospital. I told him he played very well even if he couldn't remember it! He laughed heartily. He should be fine. Heslop scored his first goal and looked more like the rampaging midfielder we saw in pre-season. There was a debut for central defender Jamie Sendles-White, signed on loan from QPR, and he put in a terrific, dominant performance, not giving the attackers anything; he looked such a strong and powerful player for a 20 year old. Sutton and Riley didn’t put a foot wrong alongside him. Kieron Freeman started the game sloppily, caught out of position, but then played extremely well, with a number of surging forward runs. He played a much more offensive game than we saw last week.
All very heartening and great entertainment for the 397 travelling Stags fans who were buoyant throughout and gave the team a standing ovation at the final whistle. The Stags are still three points behind the play-offs and six points above the relegation zone.
Saturday, 11th October 2014: Portsmouth 1, Mansfield Town 1
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
A much-improved performance from injury-hit Mansfield Town saw them come away from Fratton Park with a hard-earned point from a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth this afternoon.
It was almost a carbon copy of last season’s game on the south coast with Stags taking the lead early in the second half, this time through Simon Heslop, only to let in a goal late in the game, this time netted by Paul Robinson a little earlier on 70 minutes.
It ended Stags’ record as the only side in the top four divisions who had not yet drawn a game this season, but preserved their unbeaten League record against Portsmouth, this being their fifth League meeting.
Mansfield’s players had been under pressure to put on a performance after two straight defeats.
That was always a tall order in the cauldron of noise that is Fratton Park with 15,000 baying home fans to contend with.
Indeed, the home side piled on the expected early pressure and Mansfield had to cling on for a while before establishing a foothold in what turned into a very absorbing referee.
Stags eventually had the better of the first half and created by far the better chances.
But they had to wait until the first minute of the second half to gain their reward as Simon Heslop drilled home his first goal for the club.
However, a double substitution inspired Pompey to level as Robinson turned the ball home from close range to set up a breathtaking last 20 minutes in which both keepers had to make good saves.
In the end it was a fair result and one that the 397 away fans thoroughly enjoyed.
Mansfield Town two enforced changes. With Ryan Tafazolli out injured, in came new loan signing Jamie Sendles-White for his Stags and League debut in the three-man defence while Simon Heslop replaced suspended skipper Adam Murray. McGuire took over the captain’s armband for the day.
After a heavy morning storm, Fratton Park was bathed in bright Autumn sunshine by the time the match kicked off.
In a frantic first 30 seconds, Studer had to run out his box to make what was a poor clearance and then Sendles-White committed a foul to mark his first involvement in a Mansfield shirt.
There was a huge roar for handball when the free kick was eventually launched into the Mansfield box, but Stags survived.
The visitors finally got out of their half after three minutes and Bingham had a shot blocked on the edge of the box.
Bingham then fed Bell for a poor attempt from 20 yards that was always going wide.
Heslop was lectured for a clattering challenge on Shorey.
Portsmouth forced the first corner of the afternoon on eight minutes. Shorey curled it in from the right and Studer got enough on it to push it away.
Stags broke quickly from that and Bingham made space for a low shot that flew straight at keeper Jones on nine minutes.
Two minutes later Bell was allowed to advance down the centre and tried to chip Jones from 18 yards, the ball going just over the angle.
On 14 minutes Bingham got an angled header on target from a Beevers cross, Jones again in the way to take a comfortable catch.
On 23 minutes Stags kept the ball well and played a succession of passes which ended with Bell cueing up McGuire for a first time shot which he ballooned over the bar.
The home fans gave ironic jeers when they finally got a shot in on the Stags goal on 26 minutes, Taylor’s effort lacking any power and rolling through to Studer.
Drennan’s blocked shot won Pompey a second corner on the half-hour mark, taken short, it was worked to the incoming Drennan, whose finish was woefully high.
Bell dragged a low, hopeful 25-yard finish wide as Mansfield continued to impress.
Studer then comfortably caught a Shorey free kick into the box.
On 37 minutes Stags won their first corner of the contest, which was cleared.
But seconds later Bell lifted a pass over the home defence on the right of the box and Bingham flashed a shot over from a very tight angle.
Bell set up Bingham again on 39 minutes on the left, Bingham taking the ball inside and trying to curl a finish beyond Jones, but sending it too close to the keeper who was able to grab it.
The game exploded on 40 minutes when Rhead’s challenge sent Ertl crashing into the advertising hoardings, sparking angry exchanges between the sides and a yellow card for the Stags striker.
But the half-time whistle arrived with Stags having enjoyed the best of a tight and hectic-paced first 45 minutes.
The second half couldn’t have started better for the visitors as they swept ahead within 58 seconds of the restart.
Rhead challenged for Freeman’s long throw from the left and the ball bounced nicely for Heslop, who steadied himself and drilled a superb low finish past the dive of Jones from the edge of the box.
Home fans were getting quickly irate as first Rhead and then Bell stayed down for treatment after challenges, then Rhead, instead of rolling the ball to the home keeper after the second injury, put it out for a throw instead, putting Pompey under pressure.
When Freeman stayed down injured the referee ignored it as the home fans booed and Studer had to drop on a dangerous low cross from the right by Wallace.
Sutton then got in a good block on Drenan, though an offside flag was up anyway.
Rhead was booed from the field as he made way for Palmer on 58 minutes.
Bingham twice came close to a second goal on the hour. On a breakaway he sent in a stinging shot which Jones get his hand in the way of and, soon after, fired an angled shot from the right which Jones turned away with a superb one-handed save.
However, an offside flag meant it wouldn’t have counted anyway.
Studer showed more confident handling as he grabbed another dangerous low cross from the right.
On 63 minutes Taylor held the ball up well on the edge of the Stags box and managed to turn and launch a shot just over Studer’s bar.
A decent shot from Heslop might have troubled Jones only to see it strike the back of team mate Palmer en route.
Heslop did test Jones from 30 yards soon after, but the keeper wasn’t troubled, then Drennan’s flick was calculated to catch Studer off his line at the other end but sailed well over as the game built towards a thrilling finish.
Sutton did well to hamper Drennan as he tried to get in a diving header, which bounced easily to Studer.
Pompey upped the stakes on 68 minutes as they sent on a pair of Giants in Atangana and Agyemang.
And within two minutes the home side were level as Agyemang overlapped on the right and was allowed to lope into the box from the by-line and pull a low pass into the path of Robinson, who turned the ball past Studer from close range.
On 76 minutes Palmer and Bell worked the ball along the edge of the box before setting up Bingham for a powerful shot that Jones beat away.
Pompey were next to threaten as Wallace drilled a low shot straight at Studer.
Bell was withdrawn in some pain on 70 minutes, replaced by Rob Taylor.
The home side brewed up another fearsome spell of pressure and won a fifth corner, which they wasted.
Studer really earned his corn on 84 minutes as he tipped over a goalbound blast from Hollands after he was set up by Shorey.
Clements, back from injury, was thrown into the action with three minutes to go as Heslop had to be helped off with a knock.
Six agonising minutes were added on at the end, and Atangana brought a low save out of Studer in the first of those.
On 94 minutes Riley was booked for protesting over a Pompey free kick awarded 25 yards out which eventually Shorey curled over the wall and crossbar as the game finally ended all square.
POMPEY: Jones, Devera, Wallace, Ryan Taylor (Storey 85), Ertl (Atangana 68), Wynter, Robinson, Shorey, Drennan (Agyemang 68), Dunne, Hollands. Subs not used: Poke, Holmes, Westcarr, Butler.?STAGS: Studer; Sutton, Riley, Sendles-White; Beevers, McGuire, Bell (Rob Taylor 79), Heslop (Clements 87), Freeman; Rhead (Palmer 58), Bingham. Subs not used: Fisher, Lambe, Marsden, Thomas.
REFEREE: Stuart Attwell of Nuneaton.
ATTENDANCE: 15,585 (397 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Simon Heslop.
Robinson rescues point for Pompey
by Neil Allen, The News Portsmouth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pompey were held to a disappointing point by injury-hit Mansfield this afternoon.
Andy Awford’s men had to come from behind to claim a 1-1 draw following Simon Heslop’s 46th minute goal.
Paul Robinson slotted home substitute Nigel Atangana’s pass to level on 70 minutes and grab a point.
It sparked an energetic end to the match from the hosts, but not enough to win it.
And they had Paul Jones to thank for avoiding defeat following two stunning saves from the lively Rakish Bingham during the second half.
It means Pompey have now picked up four successive draws in League Two since defeating Dagenham & Redbridge at Fratton Park.
Awford made two changes to the side which drew at York in the previous league fixture, with Johnny Ertl and Ryan Taylor coming into the side.
Jack Whatmough’s injury ruled him out, while out-of-sorts Craig Westcarr dropped to the bench.
Pompey started enthusiastically enough, but as the first-half wore on the football proved uninspiring and barely threatening.
It was awful opening 45 minutes for the hosts who failed to truly challenge the Stags’ keeper, generating plenty of frustration from the Fratton faithful.
Then 57 seconds after the restart, Heslop turned to fire in a low shot past Jones.
The Blues still couldn’t lift themselves and on 68 minutes Awford made a double substitution with Nigel Atangana and Patrick Agyemang on for Ertl and Michael Drennan.
Barely two minutes later, Shorey fed Atangana down the right and he pulled the ball back where Robinson slotted home for the equaliser.
That lifted both the fans and Awford’s side as they pushed on to finish the match strongly.
But despite having six minutes of time added on, Pompey failed to find a way through and had to settle for another league draw.
POMPEY 1 MANSFIELD 1
portsmouthfc.co.uk, Neil Weld at Fratton Park
Robinson rescues Blues a point
Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/pompey-1-mansfield-1-2010338.aspx#IuhybUWXW7vmzEqq.99
Neither side looked particularly threatening before the break, but Simon Heslop fired the visitors ahead just seconds after it.
That brought about a reaction from the Blues and Atangana teed-up Robinson to equalise.
Pompey were the more ambitious side in the closing stages, but were unable to find a second goal.
Andy Awford made two changes from the side that drew at York in the last league encounter.
Ryan Taylor came in for Craig Westcarr up front, while Johnny Ertl replaced the injured Jack Whatmough at the back.
Pompey had a couple of early crosses headed clear, but there was not much to entertain the crowd throughout the first half.
Rakish Bingham looked the most dangerous player for the opposition and beat some weak challenges before firing straight at Paul Jones.
The Stags striker then diverted a Heslop cross straight into the arms of the Blues’ goalkeeper.
Fratton Park had fallen into a slumber, although there a few laughs when Michael Drennan and Jed Wallace collided in the centre of the park.
Ryan Taylor was first to threaten for Pompey on 26 minutes, but a big deflection took the pace off his shot and ensured a simple save for Sascha Studer in the Stags goal.
Neither keeper had much to do, however, with both sides relying on efforts from distance.
Danny Hollands saw his attempt blocked, while Bingham sent a fierce volley flying narrowly past the post.
The only other noteworthy incident came just before the break when Matt Rhead was booked for sending Ertl flying into the advertising hoardings.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Mansfield 0
Pompey were caught cold at the start of the second half as Heslop collected the ball and arrowed a low shot straight into the bottom corner with less than a minute played.
The hosts tried to move through the gears and apply some pressure, but were met by a resolute Mansfield back-line.
And they were almost caught on the break on 59 minutes as the impressive Bingham stung Jones’ fingertips.
The keeper denied the same player with an even better stop moments later, although referee Stuart Attwell awarded a goal-kick.
At the other end, Taylor could not quite connect with Wallace’s low cross before the striker scooped an effort wide.
Awford made a double switch on 68 minutes as Drennan and Ertl made way for Patrick Agyemang and Atangana.
The latter made an immediate impact to set-up Pompey’s equaliser, bursting into the box and cutting the ball back for ROBINSON to slot home.
That lifted the crowd, who immediately tried to roar their team on to find a winner.
But the Stags went close to regaining their advantage on 76 minutes, with Jones getting down quickly to palm Bingham’s low strike to safety.
Hollands had an effort saved by Studer, while Wallace was providing some dangerous cross as the Blues went back on the attack.
Miles Storey replaced Taylor for the final few minutes to add some fresh legs to Pompey’s front-line.
But he was unable to inspire the Blues to find a winner as Mansfield saw out six minutes of stoppage-time to ensure a share of the spoils.
Pompey (3-5-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson, Ertl (c) (Atangana 68); Wynter, Wallace, Dunne, Hollands, Shorey; Drennan (Agyemang 68), Taylor (Storey 85)
Goals: Robinson 70
Subs not used: Poke, Butler, Holmes, Westcarr
Mansfield (3-5-2): Studer; Sutton, Sendles-White, Riley; Beevers, Heslop (Clements 87), Bell (Taylor 79), McGuire (c), Freeman; Bingham, Rhead (Palmer 58)
Goals: Heslop 46
Booked: Rhead, Riley
Subs not used: Marsden, Thomas, Lambe, Fisher
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Attendance: 15,585 (397 away fans)
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