STAGS FIGHT BACK WITH LATE GOALS FOR POINT VS VALE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Port Vale
Maynard 81, Hamilton 90+3. Smith 53, Legge 66
Attendance: 5565 (953 from Port Vale)
Date: 26 December 2019
Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town fought back with two goals in the final ten minutes to salvage a point against Port Vale at the One Call Stadium this afternoon in the second game under new manager Graham Coughlan. It was the third game against Port Vale this season, and all have ended up 2-2 with an equaliser in stoppage time.
Port Vale had got themselves into a two goal lead with central defender Nathan Smith turning David Amoo’s low cross into the net after 53 minutes, and then the other central defender Leon Legge scrambled the ball over the line as Tom Pope flicked on a corner from the right into the middle after 66 minutes. They were Vale’s only two chances of the second half. And Vale only had two chances in the first half as Amoo headed wide from David Worrall’s cross from the left after 32 minutes, and Luke Joyce’s shot from 25 yards was parried though not held by Bobby Olejnik.
Mansfield generally had the better of the first half, as Mal Benning sent a free kick just over the bar, and Danny Rose miscued onto the roof of the net from a good position. But Mansfield lacked quality from set pieces as Benning and MacDonald put in several poor free kicks.
The Stags were close to taking lead after 53 minutes as Neal Bishop chested down and volleyed just wide of the post. But Vale went straight to the other end and took the lead. Then after 59 minutes, Danny Rose missed another good chance as Hamilton found him in space in the area and he had time to compose himself before firing well wide. Then Andy Cook’s low shot was just about kept out by the keeper who initially let the ball through then kept it out on the line.
After Vale had made it 2-0, the Stags missed a chance to pull one back after 79 minutes when Otis Khan’s corner beyond the far post was knocked back into the side netting by Will Tomlinson.
Mansfield did pull a goal back after 81 minutes as Montano cleared Ryan Sweeney’s long ball forward straight to sub Nicky Maynard just inside the area and Maynard fired into the bottom right corner of the net. A lovely finish.
And the Stags deservedly equalised in the third minute of stoppage time as Jacob Mellis laid a lovely forward into Hamilton’s path in the area on the left, and Hamilton’s cross-shot was into a great area and flew straight into the bottom right corner of the net.
Great spirit from the Stags to come back and earn a point with the two late goals. Over the course of the game, Mansfield had enough chances to have won it, but again poor finishing was costly. And two soft goals were conceded, with Vale only creating four chances and scoring from two of them.
A word on the Stags fans who stuck with their side throughout. This was also the biggest attendance of the season (5,565) and the biggest away following this season, with 953 coming from Port Vale.
Mansfield go to Bradford City on Sunday with a 3pm kick off. It’s Mansfield’s first visit to Valley Parade for almost 12 years, when Nathan Arnold and Micky Boulding scored as Mansfield won 2-1 in the relegation season. If you can’t get to the game, you can watch it with us on iFollow Stags.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
CJ Hamilton the late hero as Mansfield Town steal a draw with Port Vale
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 December 2019
CJ Hamilton was the Boxing Day hero with a stoppage time equaliser to give Mansfield Town a 2-2 home draw with Port Vale at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.
Two goals inside 13 second half minutes from Nathan Smith and Leon Legge had Vale in charge.
But Nicky Maynard's 81st minute reply gave home hope and then Hamilton pounced with a low cross-cum-shot inside the far post on 93 minutes to steal a share of the spoils.
Earlier, Danny Rose had missed two gilt-edged chances, one in each half, for Mansfield.
It was a hard-earned point though Stags are now eight games without a win and without a home league win in five outings.
New Mansfield manager Grahan Coughlan will now be hoping to make it third time lucky for his first win at Bradford City on Sunday afternoon.
Unchanged Stags threatened in the opening minute as Cook brought down a Benning cross for Rose to smash a shot over the near post from a tight angle.
Then on six minutes Tomlinson floated a ball into the centre of the box where Sweeney could not get over the ball and saw his header float harmlessly over from a promising position.
Rose then picked up a long forward ball to the right of the box and turned to set up the incoming Hamilton for a shot that was always rising over.
On 15 minutes, after Montano had been booked for a foul, Benning was just too high with a free kick just outside the box after Cook had robbed Smith and tried to race away only to be tripped by Worrall.
Clarke was booked on 19 minutes after preventing a Vale break with a pull.
Rose really should have broken the deadlock on 29 minutes after Clarke had exchanged passes with Cook on the right and crossed. Hamilton failed to get a shot on target with the first contact, but the ball reached Rose at the far post who, with more time than he realised, lifted his finish over.
Vale finally fashioned a chance of their own on 32 minutes when Clarke failed to cut out a pass to Worrall whose near post cross saw Amoo head wide when he should have forced Olejnik into some work.
Seven minutes later a Joyce shot from 25 yards saw Olejnik only parry and Stags were relieved no other Vale players were on hand to tuck away the loose ball.
MacDonald put in a decent cross to the near post soon after which saw Smith do just enough to hinder Cook and the striker poked tamely to the keeper.
Benning's ball then almost sent Hamilton clear, Legge coming in with a crucial, mighty tackle, before Benning's crucial block stopped Burgess testing Olejnik at the other end as the half ended goalless.
Vale began the second half well but Mansfield created the first chance as Bishop controlled a half-clearance and whipped a half-volley just wide.
But Vale swept ahead on 53 minutes. Amoo sent in a low ball from the right and Smith stretched out a leg to poke home past Olejnik from six yards.
Five minutes later Rose wasted another golden chance as Hamilton pulled a low cross back from the left and an unmarked Rose sidefooted wide from 10 yards.
Cook tried his luck with a low shot from outside the box which Brown stopped but allowed to squirm away and had to grab at the second time of asking.
However, Vale were 2-0 up and in full command on 66 minutes.
Stags failed to clear Worrall's right wing corner and, amid an almighty scramble in the six yard box, Legge was finally able to force the ball over the line.
Stags quickly sent on Maynard and Khan for Rose and MacDonald and, soon after, Bishop was replaced by Mellis.
With 11 minutes to go Stags won their first corner of the game and Khan sent it long for Tomlinson to volley into the sidenetting at the far post.
Maynard gave Mansfield a lifeline on 81 minutes as Montano's poor attempted clearance went straight into the path of Maynard, who instinctively whipped a low finish inside the right post.
Four minutes were added and in the third of those, Stags were remarkably level.
Mellis slipped a pass out to Hamilton on the left and he drilled a low cross-cum-shot through everyone and inside the far post to spark unlikely celebrations.
STAGS: Olejnik; Clarke, Preston, Sweeney, Benning; MacDonald (Khan 68), Tomlinson, Bishop (Mellis 74), Hamilton; Cook, Rose (Maynard 68). Subs not used: Logan, Pearce, Davies, Knowles.
PORT VALE: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Pope (Archer 86), Montano, Atkinson, Smith, Amoo, Burgess. Subs: Maddison, Cullen, Pugh, Browne, Evans, Lloyd.
REFEREE: Martin Coy of Durham.
ATTENDANCE: 5,565 (953 away).
Match Report: Mansfield Town vs Port Vale
by Luke Mounteney
The Vale suffered heartbreak on the road as two late goals saw the Valiants held to a 2-2 draw against Mansfield Town.
Both sides started the game well, looking to strike early, with the wingers David Amoo and David Worrall picking up from where they left off against Cheltenham Town, delivering a number of dangerous crosses into the host’s box.
The Stags were first to have an attempt at goal, as the ball was floated into the box where Alex MacDonald met it with his head but sent it over the bar.
The host kept the pressure on as the game entered its eighth minute, but they continued to send their efforts over the bar.
The game remained back and forth with 10 minutes played, and Vale began to grow more inti the match as they adjusted to what was a very heavy pitch.
The pace of the game was slowed also by the stop and start nature, as the referee awarded numerous free-kicks at both ends of the field.
After a spell of solid defending from the Valiants, they launched an attack of their own, leading to a low driven cross by Cristian Montano, but his asking cross was blocked before the ball eventually went out for a goal kick.
With 15 minutes of the half remaining the Stags nearly took the lead, the ball fell to an unmarked CJ Hamilton whose shot was deflected by Nathan Smith, before the ball landed at the feet of a free Danny Rose who scuffed his shot over the unguarded goal.
However it was so nearly the Vale that scored the first goal of the game, as a Worrall was met by Amoo who headed just wide of the near post from close range.
As the half approached its final five minutes, Tom Pope went down in the box claiming to have been pulled down but his calls for a penalty were waved away by the official.
Moments later Luke Joyce curled a shot at goal from 30-yards that was saved by Olejnik, but the parried ball was just inches away from Pope and Amoo who followed the effort in.
As the half entered its final period, CJ Hamilton was played into the box but Leon Legge came across with a brilliant sliding challenge that deflected out for a Vale goal-kick.
With one minute of normal time left in the half, Worrall delivered a dangerous ball from a free-kick that eventually fell to Scott Burgess, but the midfielder was unable to get a shot away as he was challenged before the ball went out for a corner.
The hosts started the second period like the first, bursting out the gates on the attack and Neil Bishop nearly found the games opener as he volleyed just wide five minutes in.
It was the Vale who drew first blood however, scoring an absolutely beautiful team goal after they broke away on the counter in numbers with 52 minutes played.
The ball was moved to the feet of Burgess who laid it off to Amoo on the wing where he drilled a low cross in to the danger area where it was the centre back Nathan Smith who arrived to rifle the ball into the net.
The lead was nearly short lived for the Vale, as the hosts launched a counter attack of their own, which resulted in an unmarked Rose having the ball at the back post, but he may have had too much time as he sliced his shot wide of the post.
In the 65th minute, Pope nearly doubled the lead as he headed on goal from a set-piece but it was blocked for a corner.
The Valiants wait for goal number two wouldn’t be much longer though, as from the resulting corner they found the back of the net.
Pope flicked the ball on from the front post and as the ball fell into a goalmouth scramble, it was Leon Legge who was about to poke the ball over the line and make it 2-0 to the Vale.
The Stags tried to battle back into the game but the defence held strong, Gibbons diving to head the ball away from a striker waiting at the back post with just over 10 minutes to go.
They were able to find a goal in the 81st minute however, as Nicky Maynard slotted a loose ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Their fight for an equaliser continued, with Gibbon clearing a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
The hosts pressure paid off in added time as CJ Hamilton drilled a shot across the crowded box and found the far side netting to earn a point for his side.
Mansfield Town: Olenjnik, Benning, Preston, Bishop (74’ Mellis), MacDonald (67’ Khan), Tomlinson, Sweeney, Cook, Clarke, Hamilton, Rose (67’ Maynard).
Unused Subs: Logan, Pearce, Davies, Knowles
Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Amoo, Smith, Burgess, Atkinson, Pope (85’ Archer).
Unused Subs:, Pugh, Maddison, Evans, Browne, Lloyd, Cullen.
Mansfield 2, Port Vale 2 Report: Vale frustrated in bid to close play-off gap
stokesentinel.co.uk, By Michael Baggaley, 26 DEC 2019
Frustrated doesn't begin to cover it as the Vale had to settle for a point at Mansfield.
A draw away from home is no reason to cancel Christmas, but Mansfield's late two-goal comeback certainly ruined the away-end party that had begun after goals from Nathan Smith, on 54 minutes, and Leon Legge, on 66, seemed to have put the Vale on course for victory.
Instead, Cristian Montano's clearance was pounced on by sub Nicky Maynard who scored on 81 minutes, changing the atmosphere in the stadium and leading to pressure which ended with the Vale cracking three minutes into injury time when CJ Hamilton was given too much space on the left of the area to slot the ball across Scott Brown.
Vale remain tenth, still five points off the play-off places, but have to count this as a chance missed to close that gap.
John Askey said: "With ten minutes to go we should see the game out. But a mistake for their goal and it just changes everything.
“Most goals are individual mistakes. But even then at 2-1, you are still thinking we should see it out. I am disappointed with the second goal, again it shouldn’t happen. But the pleasing thing was the way we played. We played some really good football. If we keep playing like that and keep working as hard as that then we should start to win games.
"It is a bit like the start of the season. We couldn’t get a win, but were playing well. We just know if we keep playing like that, then eventually it will turn again for us.”
Vale certainly did play well for a long spell in the second half, but that adds to the feeling of points thrown away with so much hard work done to - almost - win the game.
They had to hang on for the opening 25 minutes of the game as Mansfield dominated, but gained a foothold in the contest and took over after Smith's opener.
The centre half was involved in the build up, then continued his run into the area as Will Atkinson found David Amoo whose low cross picked out Smith to fire home from six yards.
Vale's second wasn't quite as eye-catching, but just as pleasing, as a training-ground corner paid off when David Worrall's corner was flicked on by Tom Pope to Leon Legge whose determination ensured he beat two defenders to scramble it over the line.
Askey felt Vale should have had a third when Atkinson had a goal ruled out for an infringement, but that didn't seem likely to matter because the Vale were in control.
That changed when Maynard scored, slotting the ball past Brown from 15 yards after Vale failed to clear their lines.
The home fans found their voice, Mansfield pumped the ball into the Vale area at every opportunity and suddenly the clock on the Stags' huge scoreboard seemed to be counting backwards.
Three of the four minutes of stoppages were up when Hamilton was fed in the left of the area, found with time and space to look up and slide the ball across Brown.
So, the point that would have seemed a reasonable prize before kick off was poor consolation by the end.
Mansfield could argue they had the chances to be in command in the first half. Striker Danny Rose should have scored twice in the opening half hour, but having survived that, the Vale should have taken the lead, on 34 minutes, when David Worrall's cross found David Amoo in space only for the winger to plant his header wide of the near post from around five yards.
At least he was able to make amends by setting up Smith's opener. The fact both centre halves netted was a reminder that Vale are capable of goals from throughout the side.
They managed two here without Jake Taylor, the 21 year old who has netted six from midfield since joining the Vale on loan from Nottingham Forest at the end of August.
He missed this one with a bruised knee but Vale are hopeful he will be back for Sunday's game at home to leaders Swindon - and are also hopeful of agreeing a transfer fee with Forest before his loan is due to end of January 18.
His replacement at Mansfield, Will Atkinson, had an impressive game in the Vale's midfield three. That's another positive for the manager when the frustration from this result fades sometime in the New Year. Hopefully New Year 2020.
How Port Vale's players rated in 2-2 draw at Mansfield
stokesentinel.co.uk, By Michael Baggaley, 26 DEC 2019
MANSFIELD 2 (Maynard, 81, Hamilton, 93)
PORT VALE 2 (Smith, 53, Legge, 66)
PORT VALE 51%
MANSFIELD 15 (4 on target)
PORT VALE 5 (3 on target)
PORT VALE 4
PORT VALE 16
Martin Coy 7
Mansfield Clarke (foul, 19)
Vale: Montano (foul, 15)
Attendance...5,565 (including 953 from Vale)
BROWN: Not overworked as the majority of Mansfield's chances flew wide. 6
GIBBONS: The equaliser came down his side but he was exposed as Mansfield had a man over on Vale's right. Got forward well 6
LEGGE: Won countless challenges and interceptions as well as scoring the second goal 8
SMITH: Typically tenacious defensive performance but also got forward to score a super team goal 8
MONTANO: Does so much well but his half-clearance led to Mansfield's first goal 6
JOYCE: Steady in front of the back four 7
ATKINSON: Impressed on his return to the side in the midfield three after Jake Taylor was ruled out with a knee injury 7
BURGESS: Loads of energy and industry. Got on the ball more in the second half 7
AMOO: Played a great ball in for the opening goal but should have scored with a header before the break 6
POPE: Battled well and provided the assist for the second goal 7
WORRALL: Never stopped running on the left of the front three 7
ARCHER (Pope, 86): Not on long enough for a mark. Brought on in the closing stages to give Vale fresh legs up front as Mansfield pressed for an equaliser.
Not used: Maddison, Cullen, Pugh, Browne, Evans, Lloyd.
Mansfield: Olejnik, Clarke, Sweeney, Preston, Benning, MacDonald (Khan, 68), Bishop (Mellis, 75), Tomlinson, Hamilton, Cook, Rose (Maynard, 68).
Subs: Logan, Pearce, Davies, Knowles.
Leon Legge: Commanding in defence and also scored. Just gets it from his central defensive partner Nathan Smith.
Latest | December 2019