STAGS HELD TO DRAW WITH WOEFUL 2NDHALF PERFORMANCE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Macclesfield Town 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Smith 63. Benning 32
Attendance: 2624 (1184 from Mansfield)
Date: 25 August 2018
Martin Shaw at Moss Rose
Mansfield Town were held to a draw at lowly Macclesfield Town this afternoon thanks to a really terrible second half performance. Macclesfield were equal bottom before this game with one point from 4 games, and appear highly likely to be relegation candidates this season. The Stags led 1-0 at half time thanks to a first headed goal for the club by Mal Benning from a super Otis Khan cross, and Mansfield were well worth the lead at that stage. But what followed in the second half was a performance described as “bitterly disappointing” by manager David Flitcroft. Several pieces of poor defending allowed Macclesfield back into the game and when they equalised on 63 minutes through Harry Smith’s low shot, the goal had been coming. The Stags rarely looked like winning the game after that with a complete lack of quality that was so disappointing for the large following of nearly 1200 from Mansfield. In the end, the home side were worthy of the point, and were cheered off by their own fans, while there were some boos from the travelling fans.
Mansfield’s defensive resources are looking extremely thin and were unable to name a defender on the bench today. Hayden White missed out with a tightened hamstring after a difficult week spending nights sleeping on a hospital chair during a difficult pregnancy for his partner, while Matt Preston remains sidelined with concussion and will go for another scan early in the week. In came 18 year old Lewis Gibbens for his league debut. Gibbens was the Jack Retter Trophy young player of the year last season and it is huge credit to him and to John Dempster and all the youth structure coaching staff that he has progressed to first team level.
Mansfield remain unbeaten in all competitions including pre-season since the very first pre-season game, against Portugese top flight side Vitoria FC. That’s 13 games unbeaten in total, 7 pre-season games (4 against Championship clubs), and 6 league and cup games. But, and it’s a big BUT, the Stags are in the bottom half of the League Two table now. And it’s quite simply because of too many draws. Four draws on the trot now. The Stags have to start turning draws into wins if a promotion dream is to become a reality. The performance today was a million miles away from one of a promotion looking side.
Mansfield made one change from the side that drew at Tranmere, with Gibbens in for White. Macclesfield had former Stags loanee Peter Vincenti on the bench, but he didn’t come on. Macclesfield won the Conference last season, but have lost their manager since then.
Harry Smith, who scored Macclesfield’s goal, was signed on loan by David Flitcroft at Swindon last season, but returned to his parent club half way through the season due to a lack of game time.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
MATCH REPORT: Macclesfield Town 1-1 Mansfield Town - Stags draw a fourth consecutive League Two match
chad.co.uk, Saturday 25 August 2018
Mansfield Town drew a fourth successive League Two game after they failed to capitalise on a dominant first half showing and allowed winless Macclesfield to level in the second period. The impressive Mal Benning’s far post header was the difference between the two sides at the break when he nodded in Otis Khan’s far post cross just after the half hour mark. However, Stags failed to press home their advantage and were made to rue that after the break. Home boss Mark Yates made three substitutions at the break and that paid off when Harry Smith struck just after the hour. HPE Storage Solutions Discover Storage Solutions for Any Scale, Performance or Investment. Learn More! Promoted by HPE EMEA UK The visitors failed to clear a James Pearson ball in from the right which fell to Smith who was able to fire under Robert Olejnik from eight yards. James Pearson’s long throws looked a threat for Macclesfield and after one of his hurls into the box was cleared back out to him on the right, the right back’s cross picked out midfielder Danny Whitaker who could only volley over. Alex MacDonald and Craig Davies both went close for the Stags in a dominant first half display, which was undone after the break when they failed to add a second. Otis Khan’s 25 yard free kick whistled over the bar in the second half and Tyler Walker drilled just wide of the near post as Stags looked to regain their advantage. Benning went close to adding his second of the afternoon when he his powerful drive was parried wide by O’Hara. However, they could have lost the game in the dying minutes when Smith raced clear on goal and after ignoring unmarked team mates in the centre, his shot was smothered behind.
Macclesfield: O’Hara 6, Pearson 6, Kelleher 6, Grimes 6, Lowe 5 (Evans 46 6), Fitzpatrick 5, Whitaker 6, Arthur 4 (Maycock 46 6), Wilson 4 (Napa 46 7), Blissett 6, Smith 6. Subs not used: Marsh, Taylor, Welch-Hayes, Vincenti.
Mansfield: Olejnik 6, Gibbons 5, Pearce 6, Sweeney 5, Hamilton 7, Benning 7, Bishop 6, MacDonald 5 (Mellis 71 5), Khan 7 (Sterling-James 77 6), Walker, Davies 5 (Rose 62 5). Subs not used: Logan, Atkinson, Graham, Butcher. Referee: A Backhouse.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-macclesfield-town-1-1-mansfield-town-stags-draw-a-fourth-consecutive-league-two-match-1-9320104
Match Report: Macclesfield Town 1 v 1 Mansfield Town
Harry Smith’s first goal for Macclesfield Town helped the Silkmen follow Tuesday night’s draw with another point at Moss Rose.
The 6ft 5in striker saw his initial effort blocked after connecting with Malachi Napa’s cross, but reacted well to lean back and slot the ball straight into the bottom corner from the rebound.
This left-footed strike by Smith, who was eventually nominated the Macclesfield Town Man of the Match, came in a second-half where Macc were arguably the better side.
The goal cancelled out Mal Benning’s 32ndminute opener for The Stags. The ever-dangerous Otis Kahn crossed to the 24-year-old at the back post who rose to head past Kieran O’Hara.
The game’s first shot on target came just four minutes before Benning’s goal. A Stags corner was headed away to Alex MacDonald on the edge of the area who worked himself some space, but O’Hara got down well to make a save.
After O’Hara’s first test, Mansfield seemed to step up their game, with Craig Davies heading into the gloves of the Manchester United loanee moments before going one-up.
The Silkmen seemed to be the nearly-men for the majority of the first half, sending crosses into the Mansfield area that were often inches away from their target man.
However, when Smith and Danny Whitaker managed to get on the end of two promising Pearson crosses either side of Benning’s finish, neither could challenge Robert Olejnik in the Mansfield goal.
The Stags went into the half-time interval as the more dominant side, resulting in Mark Yates throwing a trio of new faces onto the field before the match got back underway.
Callum Evans, Callum Maycock and Napa replaced Keith Lowe, Koby Arthur and Scott Wilson.
Despite CJ Hamilton and Otis Khan both coming close with curling efforts for the visitors soon after the break, Macc settled well and started to play promising football with Napa and Smith on the end of half-chances.
The game suddenly opened up, as Bennings and Tyler Walker squandered great chances for Mansfield on the break, before Smith missed the target after Napa’s pull back, shooting over the bar on the hour mark.
Smith then recovered from the miss with admirable speed to confidently tuck away the equaliser, which spurred on Yates’ men into looking for a winner.
Fiacre Kelleher could only nod wide from Whitaker’s free-kick in the 67th minute, and Smith’s looping header was inches from the top corner moments later.
With just over 15 minutes left on the clock, Whitaker’s corner fell to Maycock who missed the target from 25-yards out.
Walker then tried a long-range effort of his own for The Stags five minutes later, driving towards the penalty area before shooting low past O’Hara’s left upright.
Macc then had a good chance to win it in injury time, as Napa collected the ball in his own half and sprinted down the right to feed Smith, who could only force a corner.
Pressure from the Silkmen late on was not enough to muster a win, but a point seemed to be the fair result for both teams come the final whistle.
Macclesfield Town: O’Hara, Lowe (Evans 45’), Kelleher, Grimes, Pearson, Whitaker, Arthur (Maycock 45’), Fitzpatrick, Wilson (Malachi Napa 45’), Blissett, Smith.
Unused Subs: Marsh, Taylor, Welch-Hayes, Vincenti.
Mansfield Town: Olejnik, Gibbons, Pearce, Sweeney, Hamilton, MacDonald (Mellis 71’), Khan (Sterling-James 77’), Bishop, Benning, Davies (Rose 62’), Walker.
Unused subs: Logan, Atkinson, Butcher, Graham.
By Matt Bates
Latest | August 2018