JEKYLL AND HYDE STAGS RESCUE A POINT
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Chesterfield
White 26, Diamond 88. Rowley 14, Kellett 58.
Attendance: 7525 (1646 from Chesterfield)
Date: 25 November 2017
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town rescued an unlikely point at home to Chesterfield with a fantastic 88th minute header from captain Zander Diamond, from a pinpoint Alex MacDonald cross, when all seemed lost, in the big local derby at the One Call stadium today. Mansfield had been completely outplayed in the second half by a Chesterfield side that looked anything but relegation favourites and Chesterfield led from the 58th minute when top scorer Kristian Dennis got to the byline and played a superb cross which Kellett headed in, unmarked. Really poor play from Hamilton, who Kellett got away from to head home. The Stags were so poor in the second half, continually giving the ball away cheaply, and unable to string passes together. Chesterfield will have gone away gutted that they didn’t win the game. But all this followed a very different first half in which it was Mansfield who were dominant, playing some terrific football, with Jacob Mellis, Alex MacDonald, and Omari Sterling-James, causing the Spireites all sorts of problems. Chesterfield took the lead against the run of play on 14 minutes, when Rowley fired in from 10 yards after he was given too much space in the box. It turned out to be Chesterfield’s only chance in the first 44 minutes, until just before half time, and almost the only time they got into the Stags box. Mansfield were deservedly level when Hayden White played a 1-2 with Sterling-James before clinically firing a fine shot into the left corner of the left. The Stags had other chances to score in the first half including three shots from Mellis, and another from Sterling-James. It had seemed that Mansfield were denied what looked a penalty when Alex MacDonald turned Weir in the box and it looked like he had his legs taken from beneath him. However from the video, MacDonald and Weir actually arrived at the ball and played the ball at the same split-second, so it was not a foul. It was a fine first half from Mansfield, that made the second half even more inexplicable. Nevertheless, euphoria for the Stags at the end with the equaliser, and whilst Chesterfield will feel they should have won it, over the entire 90 minutes Mansfield were worthy of the point in my opinion, having been by the far the better side in the first half. By avoiding defeat, Mansfield take the fine unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions, but the run of 5 wins on the trot is over. On to the FA Cup now, and a big game with Guiseley, managed by Paul Cox and Adam Murray, next Sunday. It’s a big game because Mansfield have a chance to get into the 3rd round and pull out one of the big teams.
The attendance of 7525 was the biggest for a game at home since the Liverpool FA Cup game in January 2013 of 7574. It was the biggest for a league game since the game with Notts County in October 2004 of 7682.
Mansfield made two changes from the side that won at Port Vale. Hemmings has a slight calf strain, and missed out but should be fit for next week. With Angol still not fit, Sterling-James was preferred to Spencer as Steve Evans wanted to get at Chesterfield with pace, and partnered Rose up front. The other change saw Mellis come back in for Anderson.
Chesterfield were unchanged from the side that beat Forest Green, which was their second home win in 3 days. Top scorer Kristian Dennis was up front, having avoided a 5th booking in the last game which would have seen him suspended. Louis Reed was in midfield. He’s on loan from Sheffield United and the Sheffield Telegraph had rumours in the summer that Steve Evans was interested in signing him on loan, but I think Evans had other targets.
Both teams came into the game in good form in the most eagerly awaited game of the season.
Before the game, a group of walkers, led by Nathan Edge and Guide Dog Hudson paraded around the ground, raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind and Alzheimers disease. The group had walked from Chesterfield and you can still donate to this great cause https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=MTFCWalkers&isTeam=true "> here .
During the game, there was a minute’s applause in the 12th minute for 12 year old Chesterfield supporter Abbie Jacques, who died last month due to complications related to type I diabetes. And there was a minute’s applause in the 2nd minute for Dawson Willcock, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, who died yesterday aged 2 of a rare cancer.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
REPORT: Mansfield Town 2-2 Chesterfield
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 25 November 2017
Skipper Zander Diamond rescued Mansfield Town with his 88th minute equaliser in a thrilling 2-2 home derby day draw with arch-rivals Chesterfield this afternoon. All had looked lost for the Stags after a poor second half showing. But Diamond struck late to make it 10 games unbeaten and prevent a famous win for the bottom placed Spireites, who are now four unbeaten as well. The Stags had to fight from behind after the Spireites stole the lead against the run of play, but were the better side in a thrilling full-blooded first half. Stags failed to hit those heights in a highly disappointing second half in which the bottom placed visitors ran the show, scored, hit the bar and forced two saves from Conrad Logan until Diamond saved the day. Stags had fallen behind through Joe Rowley’s excellent 14th minute finish - the first goal Stags had conceded in 333 minutes of football - only for Hayden White to level on 24 minutes. Then Andy Kellett’s 58th minute header looked to have won it until the late drama. Mansfield were forced into a change up front with Hemmings picking up a slight calf strain in training yesterday, Sterling-James replacing him. The other change came in midfield where Mellis came in for Anderson. Chesterfield named an unchanged XI, though Scott Wiseman returned to the substitutes’ bench in place of the injured Jordan Sinnott. There were two separate minutes of applause during the game to remember two young supporters - one from each side - who sadly passed away recently. Two-year-old Mansfield fan Dawson Wilcock lost his battle with cancer yesterday, while 12-year-old Spireites fan Abbie Jacques recently died due to complications related to type 1 diabetes, which she had been diagnosed with at six. The tributes took place in the second and 12th minutes respectively. After a tentative start, Stags had the first attempt on goal on four minutes. A short free kick routine saw the ball worked to Hamilton on the left. He hit the by-line and lifted the ball into the centre where Bennett, with back to goal, could only hoist the ball over the bar. MacDonald went down hopefully in the box on six minutes but a penalty was never going to be called. On eight minutes Sterling-James pulled the ball back on the right and Mellis fired in the game’s first on-target shot, Anyon down to his right to comfortably smother. Sterling-James pulled an 18 yard shot just wide on 10 minutes as Mansfield continued to dominate the early attacking action. Mellis was even closer on 13 minutes as he turned and raced down the middle before firing a stinging shot narrowly wide of the left post. It took Chesterfield 14 minutes to get forward and create a chance - and against the run of play the found the net. McCourt sent the ball in from the right after some neat passing and Reed set up Rowley for a superb curling finish from 12 yards on the right across Logan and under the far angle. The goal took the wind out of Mansfield’s sails for a while. But they hit back with an equaliser on 26 minutes. Full back White gave the ball away on the right but, fortuitously, won it back and saw the ball bounce forward off his knee. Sterling-James raced away with it and fed White into the box with a perfect pass, the defender finishing with a striker’s finish as he crashed it high past Anyon for his first goal in a Stags shirt. A minute from the break the visitors worked the ball to Kellett who sent a low shot across goal and wide of the far post. Then a clumsy tackle by Hamilton on Kellett gifted the Spireites a dangerous free kick 25 yards from goal in stoppage time, McCourt’s eventual shot deflecting wide as the sides went in all square. Chesterfield were almost ahead out of nothing two minutes after the restart as Dennis tried his luck from 25 yards and saw his shot dip over Logan and hit the crossbar. The visitors began to enjoy their best spell so far and Rowley tested Logan with a low swerving drive at his near post, which he easily held onto, before a sliding Dennis was inches away of turning a low Barry cross in from close range. And they were rewarded for that spell as they regained the lead on 58 minutes. Dennis sent in a superb cross from the left to the far post where Kellett powered home a firm downward header from close range. In reply Hamilton was too high with a far post header at the other end. Desperate to get a foothold back into the contest Stags threw on Potter for Hamilton on 65 minutes. But on the restart Dennis forced Logan to turn a 20 yard shot aside. Then, from the corner, Binnom-Williams headed straight at the keeper. Still it was all Chesterfield and so Mellis was replaced by Atkinson and Spencer thrown up front with midfielder Byrom withdrawn. Things looked bleak as we entered the last two minutes when, out of the blue, Mansfield levelled. MacDonald put the ball over from the right and there was skipper Diamond to head home from six yards inside the left post to spark hige celebrations of relief. The game pulled the 11th biggest attendance at the ground since it was rebuilt.
STAGS: Logan; White, Bennett, Diamond, Hunt; Hamilton (Potter 65), Byrom (Spencer 72), Mellis (Atkinson 69), MacDonald; Rose, Sterling-James. Subs not used: Olejnik, Pearce, Anderson, Butcher.
CHESTERFIELD: Anyon, Binnom-Williams, Hird, Evatt, Dennis, Rowley, Kellett, Reed, McCourt (De Girolamo 90+2), Barry, Weir. Subs not used: Parkin, Wiseman, Mitchell, O’Grady, Dimaio, Maguire. REFEREE: Andy Woolmer of Northamptonshire. ATTENDANCE: 7,525 (1,646 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alex MacDonald.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/report-mansfield-town-2-2-chesterfield-1-8877347
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