STAGS DENIED VICTORY IN STOPPAGE TIME AT VALE PARK
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Port Vale 2 - 2 Mansfield Town
Cullen 45+4, Smith 90+4. Gordon 14, Rose pen 75
Attendance: 5109 (679 from Mansfield)
Date: 21 September 2019
Martin Shaw at Vale Park
Mansfield Town put in their best performance of the season at Port Vale this afternoon and should have come away with all three points but were denied by an equaliser 4 minutes into stoppage time to make it 2-2, having also conceded an equaliser 4 minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half. It was gut-wrenching for the 679 travelling Stags fans who nonetheless gave their side a standing ovation at the end of the game. The Stags played plenty of incisive football with CJ Hamilton terrorising the home defence, and linking up well with the impressive Kellan Gordon down the right hand side, while Mal Benning put in some dangerous set pieces and Otis Khan, on a rare start, had a good game on the left. Port Vale were limited to very few chances yet still managed to score twice as the Stags’ biggest weakness this season, conceding too many goals, continued to manifest itself.
The Stags had already gone close twice as Mal Benning’s excellent free kick was glanced goalwards by Krystian Pearce and the keeper pushed it wide, and then from the resulting corner also from Benning, Conor Shaughnessy glanced a header just wide, before deservedly taking the lead after 14 minutes. Shaughnessy laid a nice ball forward for Hamilton who switched the ball beautifully from his right foot to his left foot, his shot from the edge of the area was parried away by the keeper and Gordon was quickest to react sliding a low shot under the keeper from the right for his first goal in a Stags shirt. Soon afterwards, Ryan Sweeney curled in a lovely cross and Danny Rose headed over the bar. Port Vale had barely threatened but equalised in stoppage at the end of the half. Hayden White went to ground and allowed Tom Pope to get away from him on the right to the byline, Pope dinked a ball across to the edge of the six yard box and Shaughnessy wasn’t quick enough to stop or block Mark Cullen getting in a shot which bounced into the ground and into the roof of the net.
For the first 30 minutes of the second half, the Stags were knocking on the door again without being able to find a second goal. Great play from Gordon, White and Hamilton set up a good chance for Benning, but he fired over the bar, then Khan shot just wide and Hamilton had a shot blocked. But the Stags were deservedly ahead after 75 minutes. Pearce embarked on a good run forward, and laid off to Rose who got to the ball just before Leon Legge just inside the area and was wiped out by Legge who barged him to the ground. With Rose getting to the ball first, it was a foul anywhere on the pitch, and as it was just inside the area, it had to be a penalty. Rose took the penalty himself and smashed it down the middle as the keeper dived to his right. Rose’s 7th goal of the season. The Stags were the better side by a very wide margin and were close to a 3rd goal as Benning’s fine free kick just needed a touch to divert it in as it curled past the post. Vale had not threatened at all but it was a slender lead and the Stags were punished in the 4th minute of stoppage time. Tom Pope crossed from the right, Ritchie Bennett miscontrolled beyond the far post and the ball seemed to be going out for a goal-kick but Gordon didn’t want to take a chance and smashed it out for a corner. In hindsight that was a mistake from Gordon. Worrall’s corner from the left was into a packed six-yard box, Sweeney rose to head it away but missed it, Logan tried punch it away but couldn’t, and the ball ricocheted to Nathan Smith who swept it into the net from 2 yards. A goalmouth scramble that broke the Stags hearts. After the game, boss John Dempster said he wanted his defenders to head the ball away and his goalkeeper to punch it away. Neither happened and I think the defence and keeper has to take collective responsibility for that.
Mansfield dominated this game and completely outplayed Port Vale, who had taken 10 points from their opening 4 games at home, but failed to win the game due to a couple of bits of poor defending. The Stags have to get tighter at the back.
On Thursday, the Stags released three backroom staff and replaced them with Drewe Broughton who came in as full time Performance Coach, to work on players’ fitness both physically and psychologically. Drewe Broughton’s opening interview with iFollow Stags was certainly impressive as anyone who has watched it will testify. Drewe Broughton said he expected to make an immediate impact to performances on the pitch.
After the 4-0 defeat to Cambridge on Tuesday I wrote that “No-one could be surprised if this result leads to a similar outcome” (to the sacking of manager Billy Dearden after the last time the Stags lost 4-0 at home), and I also wrote that “It would seem therefore that only a big performance in the 10th game of the season, at Port Vale on Saturday, can prevent manager John Dempster from being relieved of his first team managerial duties and perhaps a return to a position in the Academy from where he came.” The best performance of the season today at Port Vale coupled with bringing in Drewe Broughton suggests that Dempster will get more time to turn things around and I think that is the right approach. However it remains the case that results need to pick up very quickly.
Mansfield made two changes to the side that lost so shockingly to Cambridge. Hayden White returned from injury and it was great to see him back as he’s a big player for the club. He replaced Matt Preston, suspended for 4 games after his second irresponsible sending off of the season. Otis Khan came in for Omari Sterling-James. Khan has been unlucky not to play more games this season. It was a 3-4-3 formation with Hamilton (right) and Khan (left) either side of Rose.
Changes on the field and changes off it, with Dan Ashby (video analyst) and Ian Pledger (goalkeeping coach) being released from the club on Thursday. Andy Burgess, who joined the club as head of recruitment in July, will lead the video analysis, while Conrad Logan will lead the goalkeepers. Daryl Taylor (fitness coach) was also released and was replaced by Drewe Broughton in a full time role.
For Vale, veteran Tom Pope was playing his 500th league game.
It was a beautiful warm sunny day in the Potteries. The Stags were backed by 679 supporters, fewer than half that travelled to this game last season. However they were in great voice through the game.
READ FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Report from PORT VALE 2-2 MANSFIELD TOWN as Stags are denied at the death
chad.co.uk, by Agency (SPORTS REPORTER), Saturday 21 September 2019
A dramatic Nathan Smith 94th-minute equaliser forced battling Mansfield to settle for a point at Port Vale on Saturday.
Danny Rose’s contentious 75th-minute penalty had seemingly secured all three points for the Stags.
But Smith ensured Vale’s unbeaten home start to the season remained intact by the skin of its teeth.
It was the second time in the game Mansfield agonisingly conceded in added time after Mark Cullen cancelled out Kelaon Gordon’s opener deep in first-half stoppage time.
The stuttering Stags had lost two on the bounce before ending Port Vale’s three-game winning streak at Vale Park, manager John Dempsey making two changes after Tuesday night’s home hammering by Cambridge United.
Hayden White returned from injury to replace the suspended Matt Preston, whilst Otis Khan made his first league start in three games as Omari Sterling-James was dropped to the bench.
Stags’ shot-stopper Conrad Logan made a fine early save to deny Cullen in the ninth minute.
After Logan’s stop, the visitors piled on the pressure as Ryan Sweeney saw his header pushed past the post by Scott Brown after being found by Mal Benning.
From the resultant corner Conor Shaughnessy nodded inches wide of the target.
But Gordon made no mistake in the 14th minute as he put the Stags ahead. Brown could only parry CJ Hamilton’s initial strike into the path of Gordon to tuck home the opener.
Danny Rose nearly doubled the advantage when he headed wide, and Mansfield were dealt a cruel blow before the break when Cullen fired home at the back post in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The first big chance of the second half fell to Benning who inexplicably fired over from inside the box after Hamilton’s cutback.
On the hour defender Leon Legge went close with an audacious overhead kick for the hosts.
Rose then contentiously earned the Stags a penalty before sending Brown the wrong way from the resultant spot kick to reclaim the lead.
But Smith salvaged a point for the hosts late on after scrambling the ball home following a corner.
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Crookes, Legge, Smith, Joyce, Worrall, Montano (Lloyd, 15, Bennett, 82), Taylor, Pope, Cullen.
Unused subs: Burgess, Kennedy, Brisley, Pugh.
Mansfield: Logan, White, Pearce, Sweeney, Benning, Bishop, Shaughnessy, Gordon, Khan (MacDonald, 86), Hamilton, Rose.
Unused subs: Stone, Smith, Afolayan, Cook, Mellis, Sterling-James.
Referee: Josh Smith
Attendance: 5,109 (679)
Match Report: Port Vale vs Mansfield Town
Vale left it late but continue their unbeaten home run in the league thanks to a Nathan Smith goal in added time.
The first chance of the game came in the 8th minute as Mark Cullen muscled his way onto the ball on the edge of the box after a Tom Pope flick on, and thundered a volley towards goal that stung the hands of Conrad Logan.
Mansfield responded instantly with a chance of their own, Krystian Pearce getting on the end of a ball into the box which was brilliantly saved by Scott Brown.
13 minutes in, Mansfield were able to break the deadlock, Christopher Hamilton got on the end of a great through ball, cut inside and had a low effort saved well by Brown but Kellan Gordon was able to put the rebound into the back of the net
Straight after the goal Askey was forced into making a change, taking off Cristian Montano with Ryan Lloyd coming on in his place as the winger was struggling with his groin.
A few minutes later Danny Rose got on the end of a cross at the back post but his header flew over Brown’s bar.
The Vale struggled to get going as the Stags were on the foot for the opening 20 minutes, and the referee didn’t allow for the game to flow.
Mansfield’s high press tactics were able to prevent the Valiants from forging any clear opportunities on goal, with Askey’s side trying to find an equaliser as there was 15 minutes until half-time.
With 10 minutes of the half remaining David Worrall delivered a free-kick into the box that was met by Nathan Smith whose glancing header drifted by the far post.
With just seconds left of the first-half Tom Pope got the ball in the area and with some beautiful footwork found his way to the edge of the pitch, where he dinked a ball to the back post and Mark Cullen was there to volley the ball into the back of the net.
The half drew to a close all level after Cullen’s volley bounced into the roof of the net and the Vale’s hard work payed off.
Mansfield had the first chance of the second period, five minutes in, with the ball being pulled back to Mal Benning on the edge of the box but he blazed his effort high over the bar.
The visitors continued their pressure from the first-half, starting on the front foot and searching to regain their lead.
In the 60th minute Leon Legge nearly put the Vale in front, with what would have been the goal of his career, launching into the air to unleash a vicious bicycle-kick that flew just inches over the bar.
Hamilton used his pace to break into the box and readied himself for a shot but Legge arrived the block the effort and won a free-kick in the process, with the forward handling the ball as he went down.
The half continued with end to end action as both sides searched for a goal to put their team in front.
In the 73rd minute the visitors were awarded a penalty, Legge and Rose running into one another just inside the box and the referee giving the Stags a soft penalty.
The spot kick was taken by Rose and he made no mistake, smashing the ball down the middle and putting Vale back behind.
The Vale players and fans began to show their frustration at the referee for a number of soft decisions being made in Mansfield’s favour.
With 10 minutes left to play, Askey sent on Richie Bennett in place of Ryan Lloyd in order to try and grab an equaliser.
Just like in the first-half Vale had late glory, Nathan Smith popping up with his third goal of the season to rescue a massive point at Vale Park.
A corner was sent into the box and as every player on the field scrambled for the ball it was Smith who got on the end of it, poking the ball into the back of the net to keep the unbeaten home run going.
Port Vale: Brown, Crookes, Joyce, Legge, Gibbons, Worrall, Montano (14’ Lloyd (82’ Bennett)), Smith, Taylor, Cullen, Pope.
Unused Subs: Maddison, Pugh, Burgess, Brisley, Kennedy.
Mansfield Town: Logan, White, Benning, Pearce, Bishop, Khan (85’ Macdonald), Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Gordon, Hamilton, Rose.
Unused Subs: Mellis, Afolayan, Cook, Sterling-James, Smith, Stone.
Latest | September 2019