IT'S WALKER AGAIN AS STAGS BEAT CAMBRIDGE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Cambridge United
Attendance: 4789 (307 from Cambridge)
Date: 6 April 2019
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Tyler Walker scored his 24th goal of the season as Mansfield Town edged past Cambridge United 1-0 in a tight and edgy game at the One Call Stadium. It turned into a perfect day for the Stags with MK Dons and Bury losing, and Tranmere drawing, and so the Stags are up to second place with five games to go. It was a game of very few chances and the only goal came on 63 minutes with a rare moment of attacking quality from either side as Jacob Mellis, only just on as substitute, pounced on a mistake by Gary Deegan, intercepting a loose touch 30 yards from goal, heading the ball forward, and taking a couple of touches to the edge of the area before laying a perfect ball to his left for Tyler Walker to run on to it and side-foot a shot wide of the keeper and into the net from 8 yards. A clinical finish from Walker after a real piece of quality from Mellis.
It was just about the only chance the Stags created in the game. Early in the second half, Mansfield might have had a penalty when Mal Benning headed the ball into the area from the left and it struck the hand of Brad Halliday but the referee wasn’t interested. But the Stags lacked a bit of quality going forward, especially in the first half when several set pieces failed to beat the first man. Cambridge had scored three times at Bury in midweek for an impressive win, but the Stags defence was very solid here and limited them to very few chances. Conrad Logan punched away a deflected shot from Halliday in the first half and did well to collect some dangerous crosses, and then in the 90th minute produced a great save as Cambridge sub Rushian Hepburn-Murphy was put through 1-on-1 by a great ball forward from Jevani Brown and Logan stood firm to block his shot from point blank range. Cambridge had the Stags on the ropes for a couple of minutes in that period but the Stags held firm for a massive three points.
It’s so tight at the top, the Stags are above MK Dons are goal difference, Bury are a point behind the automatic promotions places, and Tranmere are 4 points behind. Five games to go, and it’s on to Northampton next week for another huge game.
Mansfield were unchanged from the side that won 4-1 at Exeter. Ryan Sweeney had recovered after missing out at Exeter with a sickness bug but had to settle for a place on the bench as Ben Turner kept his place. Jorge Grant also returned to the bench having been out with an ankle problem that he had been carrying for some weeks. The two players to drop off the bench were Otis Khan and Jimmy Knowles. If you missed the news during the week, Nicky Ajose is out for the season with a knee injury.
Cambridge had several Stags connections: central defensive pairing George Taft and Greg Taylor were both former Stags, and both had fine games incidentally, especially Taft, while Reggie Lambe was on the wing. And Cambridge manager is Colin Calderwood, a former Stags young player and the record transfer received (see details here), and of course manager of Northampton against us in the play-offs 15 years ago.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Match report: Mansfield Town 1-0 Cambridge United
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 06 April 2019
A priceless Tyler Walker goal was enough to send Mansfield Town back into the automatic promotion places with a hard-earned and nervous 1-0 home win over Cambridge United this afternoon. With so much at stake it was a tense 90 minutes and far from a good performance from Mansfield, but only results count now and Walker's precious 63rdminute finish for his 24th goal of the season was all that mattered as results elsewhere conspired to send Stags as high as second with just five games to play. A poor first half saw few chances at either end.
Ryan Sweeney came on to add more footballing quality at the back for the second half and with Matt Preston in fantastic form alongside him and Krystian Pearce, they managed to shut out Cambridge, despite a late scare when Conrad Logan made a last minute save from Jevani Brown.
Walker's big moment was created by sub Jacob Mellis after a mistake by Gary Deegan had given away the ball. It was Stags only real on-target effort of the afternoon but so important with rivals Bury and MK Dons both losing. With Neal Bishop having shaken off a hamstring problem from last weekend's sparkling 4-1 win at Exeter, the Stags were unchanged. Even though Sweeney and Jorge Grant were available again, after illness and injury respectively, they could only make the bench as boss David Flitcroft stuck with the players that did so well in Devon. The Cambridge side included three familiar faces in ex-Stags Reggie Lambe, George Taft and Greg Taylor. The opening minutes were scrappy with neither side able to string passes together, then Maris needed treatment after a collision with Walker. Maris tried to carry on but had to limp off on 12 minutes, replaced by Deegan. But we reached the midway point of the half with no chances created and neither keeper troubled. It took 28 gruelling minutes before either keeper was troubled as Doyle-Hayes found Halliday in space on the edge of the box to send a deflected shot towards the far corner and force Logan to punch the ball away.
On 41 minutes a low shot from Doyle-Hayes took a deflection of Turner for a corner that could have gone anywhere with Logan stranded as home nerves jangled again. Stags' first real shot came in the second of two added minutes, but Walker was well over from 25 yards as a poor half of football ended goalless. Sweeney took over from Turner in the home back three for the second half. Stags were furious on 51 minutes when Halliday's hand appeared to block the ball as Benning tried to get past him in the box, but no penalty was given. As the game became a little more stretched, Logan twice had to pounce on dangerous low crosses into the six yard box. Then a superb piece of skill by Brown saw him get to the left by-line and send over a cross that passed inches wide of the far post. Stags badly needed a lift, so Mellis and Rose were sent on for Bishop and Jones on 59 minutes. Rose joined Walker up front with Hamilton dropping to right wing back. The big breakthrough duly arrived on 63 minutes after a mistake by Deegan. He lost the ball to Mellis who advanced and fed Walker to his left who smashed home a low finish for his 24th goal of the season. On 75 minutes Stags conceded a dangerous free kick, central and 25 yards from goal, but Lambe was well over with his curling effort. With three minutes to go Benning was booked for a rugby tackle on Halliday as he want past him towards the by-line, but Mansfield hacked the free kick clear as the seconds ticked away. Brown ran into the clear in the final minute but, with home hearts in their mouths, Logan got his knees in the way of the finish. Brown almost got away again in the four added minutes but his touch was too heavy and he lost the ball as seconds later the stadium erupted with celebration.
STAGS: Logan; Preston, Pearce, Turner (Sweeney HT); Jones (Rose 59), MacDonald, Bishop (Mellis 59), Tomlinson, Benning; Hamilton, Walker. Subs not used: Smith, Atkinson, Grant, Hakeem.
CAMBRIDGE: Mitov, Halliday, Carroll, Taft, Taylor, Amoo, Maris (Deegan 12), Lambe, Brown, Jones (Hepburn-Murphy 71), Doyle-Hayes (Coulson 74). Subs not used: Forde, Darling, Davies, John.
REFEREE: Craig Hicks of Surrey. ATTENDANCE: 4,789 (307 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Preston.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/match-report-mansfield-town-1-0-cambridge-united-1-9696196
MATCH REPORT | MANSFIELD TOWN 1 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0
Cambridge United were edged out by Tyler Walker’s second half finish which saw the U’s fall to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of League high flyers Mansfield Town.
United lined up with one change from their win over Bury four days earlier as Jake Carroll replaced Harrison Dunk, who picked up a knock in the 0-3 victory at Gigg Lane. Although the U’s were quickly forced into another early switch when George Maris picked up an injury to the ankle inside ten minutes and was replaced by Gary Deegan.
Neither side created a clear opening during a quiet first 45 minutes in front of goal, in which both keepers remained untested going into the break.
United’s only foray forward of note came when a clever switch in play from Jake Doyle-Hayes opened space for Brad Halliday to attack the Stags’ area but the right back’s deflected shot was punched clear by Conrad Logan. Doyle-Hayes also saw a mid-range effort ricochet off a Mansfield defender which wrong-footed Logan but trickled wide of the target.
After the break crosses from Jake Carroll and David Amoo ten minutes into the second half looked to have caused Mansfield a problem but on neither occasion could the U’s direct it into the net.
However, an error from Gary Deegan on 63 minutes saw the hosts open up a lead when Jacob Mellis dispossessed the U’s midfielder inside his own half, and in turn played Tyler Walker through on goal to clinically side foot past Mitov from the angle.
The goal prompted United into a pair of attacking substitutions as Hayden Coulson and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy were introduced by Colin Calderwood with 20 minutes to play.
Calderwood’s men were unable to claw a goal back though despite a late rally, which saw Hepburn-Murphy go closest when clipped in behind by Brown only to be closed down quickly one-on-one by Logan.
Mansfield Town: Logan, Benning, Preston, Pearce, Bishop (Mellis, 60 mins), MacDonald, Tomlinson, Walker, Jones (Rose, 60 mins), Hamilton, Turner (Sweeney, 45 mins)
Cambridge United: Mitov, Halliday, Taft, Taylor, Carroll, Amoo, Doyle-Hayes (Coulson, 73 mins), Maris (Deegan, 12 mins), Lambe, Brown, Jones (Hepburn-Murphy, 70 mins)
Attendance: 4,789 (307)