PEN AT LAST BUT STAGS MISS&HAVE TO SETTLE FOR DRAW
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Oxford United
Westcarr 2. Green missed pen 8. Roofe pen 59.
Attendance: 3112 (547 from Oxford)
Date: 22 August 2015
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town and Oxford United played out a 1-1 at Field Mill this afternoon. Fans complained of a lack of entertaining football last season. There could be no complaints today, this was a terrific game and both sides came out of it with positives. The Stags were off to a blistering start in the intense heat and took the lead after just a couple of minutes with a fine volley from Craig Westcarr from the edge of the box. It should have been 2-0 on 8 minutes as the high-energy Mitch Rose won a penalty with a silly challenge from the Oxford keeper Slocombe. Mansfield had gone an incredible 85 league and cup matches, since November 2013, without a penalty, which I think is a league record (at least no-one has come up with a longer record). Rose had also won a penalty in pre-season against Leicester and his surging runs look likely to earn more. Up stepped Matt Green, whose penalty taking record for Mansfield is very good, but he smacked a powerful shot against the bar having sent the keeper the wrong way. The frustration for Mansfield was palpable. Green did well to create a chance for himself from a Clements ball on 23 minutes but his shot was saved by the keeper’s legs. After that, Oxford were the better side and were unlucky not equalise with a brilliant free-kick routine which saw former Burton midfielder Alex MacDonald fire a shot against the post. A few minutes earlier, Brian Jensen made a great save tipping over another free-kick from the impressive Kemar Roofe. Adam Chapman nearly scored the best goal ever at Field Mill with an audacious shot from inside his own half. Oxford were level on 59 minutes with a very clumsy challenge from Reggie Lambe conceding a penalty. I’ve had a look at it on the match DVD and it is definitely a penalty in my opinion, but so unnecessary. Kemar Roofe sent Jensen the wrong way from the spot. Roofe came so close to putting Oxford in front on 76 minutes and Jensen made a great save from Danny Hylton on 82 minutes. Mansfield didn’t look like regaining the lead and were relieved to get to the final whistle hanging on to a point. It may turn out to be a good point, and I was very impressed by Oxford who were by far the best team I’ve seen Mansfield play in the league this season. Real positives for Mansfield were the form of central defensive pairing Pearce and Tafazolli who were excellent. Benning had a fine game at left back, Mitch Rose again impressed pushing forward, Clements had a good game, and Jensen in goal made two fine saves. It was a frustrating afternoon for Matt Green against his former club, but his time will come, and his first goal of the season won’t be a far away. For Oxford, Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton were outstanding.
Mansfield made two changes to the side that lost to Accrington. As expected, Matt Green returned to replace Beardsley, and Westcarr came in for Nathan Thomas. Oxford came into the game in fine form. They included former Stags defender Johnny Mullins, and Danny Rose who scored a screamer for Newport against us in the battle of the Holdsworths. A few Oxford connections in the Stags’ ranks of course including Matt Green who once scored a goal in the play offs at Wembley for Oxford, Adam Chapman and Adam Murray.
Full report in the Match Centre
Saturday, 22nd August 2015: Mansfield Town 1 Oxford United 1
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Despite taking a third minute lead, Mansfield Town then missed a penalty and were eventually pegged back for a 1-1 home draw with Oxford United this afternoon.
It had all begun so brightly for the Stags against one of the fancied teams in the division as Craig Westcarr marked his full debut with a goal after only three minutes.
Matt Green should have doubled that lead after eight minutes when Stags were awarded their first penalty kick in 86 games, but blasted it again the crossbar.
After half-an-hour United came into the game strongly and it took a good save from Brian Jensen and the woodwork to keep Mansfield ahead.
However, Oxford were level from the spot on 59 minutes through Kemar Roofe, though Stags were furious with the decision.
In the end the visitors looked the more likely to win it with Stags rarely threatening after the break.
Mansfield welcomed back goal ace Green to the side. He missed the midweek defeat at Accrington Stanley with a stiff back, but returned today at the expense of Chris Beardsley.
The other change saw Westcarr come into midfield for a full debut in place of Nathan Thomas.
Defender Lee Collins had shaken off a foot injury and was included on the bench.
Stags made the perfect start as they took the lead after only three minutes.
Tafazolli flicked on a long Chapman throw from the left. It was half-cleared to the edge of the box where Westcarr smashed a powerful half-volley through everyone and past Slocombe.
It should have been 2-0 in eight minutes as Stags were awarded a long overdue penalty kick.
Rose won it with his never-say-die attitude, chasing the ball to the by-line and beating keeper Slocombe to it, the keeper bringing him down wide of goal to the left.
Green smashed the penalty with real venom down the centre, but, agonisingly, it bounced down off the underside of the bar, came out and was hooked clear.
Oxford tried to force their way into the game and Hylton was well over with a hopeful shot, then found his burst forward halted by great defending by Tafazolli.
Soon after Baldock was closer with a dipping shot from the edge of the box that flew over the bar.
On 20 minutes Hunt had to hook the ball clear from right in front of goal as Hylton turned Pearce on the right by-line and drilled the ball low into the danger area.
But Green showed all his old pace and power on 23 minutes as he raced away down the right onto a long Clements pass and managed to test Slocombe with a low right-foot shot that the keeper had to save.
After 38 minutes Jensen had not been tested. But the experienced keeper was there on 38 minutes with a superb tip-over save high to his right from a Roofe free kick after Rose had brought him down in a central position, being booked for his troubles.
Hunt followed him into the book two minutes later for his foul on O’Dowda.
Oxford came even closer on 42 minutes when the referee awarded a highly debatable free kick against Pearce just outside the box, this time the ball laid short to MacDonald for a low shot that came off the base of the right post.
In stoppage time an ambitious Chapman went for goal from his own half. Intercepting a sloppy pass, he looked up and hoisted the ball long and hard and not too far wide of the goal with Slocombe helpless, drawing warm applause from the stands.
The whistle brought to an end a thoroughly entertaining half played at a tempo in stifling temperatures.
Stags began the second half well, but Rose was starting to wilt a little in the heat and had already been booked, so Murray injected new life into his midfield on 55 minutes as Jack Thomas came on to replace him.
But United were gifted a way back into the game on 59 minutes with a dubious penalty.
Lambe seemed to get the ball first before his collision with O’Dowda. But the referee pointed to the spot and Roofe calmly sent Jensen the wrong way to find the bottom right corner.
Murray was furious with the decision and was lectured by the referee before the game restarted.
At this point, the bright sunshine had given way to black clouds and heavy rain.
Nathan Thomas came on to replace Lambe on 67 minutes and five minutes later Hunt, clearly struggling, was replaced by Collins at right back.
A great run from Hylton into the box on 82 minutes saw Jensen down to his right to make the save.
Benning and Baldock were booked in the six added minutes after a spot of wrestling, but there was no be no late hero.
STAGS: Jensen, Benning, M. Rose (Jack Thomas 55), Pearce, Chapman, Clements, Green, Westcarr, Tafazolli, Hunt (Collins 72), Lambe (Nathan Thomas 67). Subs not used: Marsden, Beardsley, Yussuf, McGuire.
OXFORD: Slocombe, Baldock, Skarz, Roofe, Mullins, Wright, D. Rose, Sercombe, Hylton (Hoban 88), MacDonald (Taylor HT), O’Dowda (Ruffels 81). Subs not used: Lundstram, Crocombe, Long, Dunkley.
REFEREE: Ben Toner of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,112 (547 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Tafazolli.
REPORT Mansfield Town 1 Oxford United 1
22nd August 2015
Report by Chris Williams
Read more at http://www.oufc.co.uk/news/article/mansfield-town-oxford-united-report-2638920.aspx#1s5Zu6fTAL1qrG0A.99
U's hit back to make their point
Oxford United remain unbeaten after coming from behind in familiar style to earn a point at Mansfield this afternoon. A goal down inside three minutes, the U's recovered expertly and might well have taken all three points. Instead they had to settle for one courtesy of Kemar Roofe's calm penalty in the second half.
As encouragingly as the U’s have started the season, they have also had an irritating Achilles heel of conceding the first goal in every single League game so far. This time it took just three minutes before they were a goal down. A throw from the left was only cleared to the edge of the box where Craig Westcarr celebrated his full league debut for the Stags by drilling in a shot that flew into the bottom left corner through a sea of legs, with Sam Slocombe stranded.
Could United come back? of course they could but it could so easily have been worse after eight minutes, when midfielder Mitchell Rose won a race for a long ball over the top and touched the ball past Slocombe. From a tight angle Rose checked back and was tripped by the retreating keeper to win his side a penalty. Former U’s man Matt Green strode forward confidently but smashed his spot kick against the bar and away from danger.
As usual with the U’s, they rode out that onslaught and then started to come back into the game. Danny Hylton sent a 14th-minute effort wide of the mark, George Baldock drifted in from the right and sent his shot just over the bar and then Hylton turned his man and tore into the box only to see his cut-back go beyond both Roofe and O’Dowda inside the six yard box.
Green was the outlet for the Stags, forcing Slocombe into a decent save on 23 as a long ball from Adam Chapman again troubled the United back line but United were almost on level terms on 37 when Roofe got a free kick from the edge of the box just right and home keeper Brian Jensen needed to be at full stretch to get a hand to it and touch it over the bar.
Stats at half time showed United with 70 per cent of the possession, and they almost found the equaliser from a clever free kick which ended with Alex MacDonald rolling away and crashing a shot against the foot of the right-hand post with Jensen beaten all ends up.
The Cherry Reds had certainly recovered well from the early setback and were full value when the goal they had been threatening finally came just before the hour. The energetic Danny Rose bent in a ball that Hylton was homing in on until he was nudged aside. No matter as the ball was recycled by O’Dowda, who came back from the dead-ball line and was upended by the flying Reggie Lambe just inside the box. With regular taker MacDonald off at half time, Roofe took the responsibility himself and sent Jensen the wrong way before calmly rolling the ball home to make it 1-1 with his fourth of the season.
There was only one side going to go on and win the game now and only a touch by sub Lee Collins took the ball from the toe to the heel of Roofe's boot on 75 forcing the top scorer to scuff his effort wide from six yards out. Hylton than threw himself beyond two defenders but couldn't stab the ball past the glove of Jensen as the giant keeper got down to his right to push the ball away for a corner.
There were thrills and spills, with the home side walking a tightrope after collecting a flurry of yellow cards in a superbly competitive game. Rose had a shot on the turn saved and United continued to batter at the door but the final ball just wouldn't drop their way despite six minutes of time added on.
Mansfield Tn 1 (Westcarr 2), Oxford Utd 1 (Roofe pen 59)
by David Pritchard, @oxfordmailoufc.
KEMAR Roofe's penalty ensured Oxford United remain unbeaten this season as they claimed a breathless 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town.
Again the U's had to come from behind, conceding to Craig Westcarr in the second minute.
Matt Green smacked a penalty off the crossbar as Mansfield made a rapid start, but the visitors belatedly got in the game.
Alex MacDonald struck the woodwork before the break, but Roofe made it four goals for the season just before the hour after Callum O'Dowda was fouled.
United looked the more likely side to win the game in the remaining half-hour, but had to settle for a point amid a fractious finish, with nine players booked.
O'Dowda's reward for his excellent midweek display off the bench in the 3-1 win against Notts County was a first start of the season, in place of Patrick Hoban.
United arrived full of confidence, but they made a dreadful start.
Within two minutes Mansfield raced into the lead, when Craig Westcarr rammed home a volley after Adam Chapman's long throw was only half-cleared.
It meant for the fourth game running United had conceded the opening goal - and it almost got worse.
Sam Slocombe got in a muddle as he tried to let a through ball out for a goal kick, but Mitchell Rose managed to nick the ball, prompting the goalkeeper to trip the forward.
Green took the spot kick, but could only slam his effort against the crossbar.
United could count themselves fortunate and looked to punish the miss.
Danny Hylton led the fight, shooting over after turning Krystian Pearce easily in the 14th minute.
United's No 10 also laid on a chance for George Baldock, who darted inside and curled just off target with his left foot.
Hylton's third contribution in quick succession really opened Mansfield up. Again Pearce was left in the forward's wake, but after getting into the six-yard box Hylton could not pick out a teammate with his cross.
While United were beginning to show signs of life at one end, they remained worryingly vulnerable at the back.
Green took on Jake Wright and Johnny Mullins single-handedly at times and often came out on top.
Midway through the half he chased down a ball which should have been cleared by Mullins, shrugging off the centre back before shooting straight at Slocombe.
United gave the ball away cheaply too often, but when they did string passes together late in the half Mansfield's resistance began to fray.
Mitchell Rose and Nicky Hunt were booked and the visitors were given several free-kicks around the box.
Kemar Roofe came close with one which Brian Jensen tipped over, but the 40-year-old was beaten two minutes before the break.
A training ground routine gave Alex MacDonald a chance and he blasted low, only to see his shot strike the foot of Jensen's left post.
It was virtually the last action of the game for the winger, who was on a booking and came off at the break for Ryan Taylor.
The substitute held the ball up well and the change saw Roofe, who had been subdued in the first half, switch to a wide role.
O'Dowda swapped to the right flank and just before the hour his anticipation and pace saw him win a penalty as Reggie Lambe's late lunge sent the winger into the air.
With MacDonald off the pitch Roofe assumed duties from 12 yards and coolly sent Jensen the wrong way to make it 1-1.
It gave both sides half an hour to find a winner - and neither looked interested in settling for a draw.
Roofe was suddenly a threat and had the beating of Nicky Hunt, who had been booked in the first half.
The United No 4 had a brilliant chance to double his tally 14 minutes from time, but skewed George Baldock's low cross wide from six yards.
While Mansfield were capable of causing some nervous moments, United continue to create the chances.
Jensen made a smart save from Hylton, who had beaten both Mansfield centre backs after a pinpoint pass from Taylor.
The game grew increasingly bad tempered as it entered the final stages, with a host of bookings dished out by referee Ben Toner.
United had scored in stoppage time to draw 2-2 at Luton Town a week earlier.
Danny Rose came the closest to another dramatic finish, but Jensen got down to save his low shot.
Mansfield Tn: Jensen, Hunt (Collins 72), Tafazolli, Pearce, Benning, Rose (J Thomas 55), Chapman, Lambe (N Thomas 67), Clements, Westcarr, Green.
Unused subs: Marsden, McGuire, Beardsley, Yussuf.
Oxford Utd: Slocombe, Baldock, Mullins, Wright, Skarz, MacDonald (Taylor ht), Sercombe, Rose, O'Dowda (Ruffels 80), Roofe, Hylton (Hoban 88).
Unused subs: Crocombe, Long, Dunkley, Lundstram.
Referee: Ben Toner (Lancashire).
Attendance: 3,112 (547 visitors).
Latest | August 2015