STAGS DRAW AT MORECAMBE
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Morecambe 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Kenyon 86. Riley 60
Attendance: 1965 (337 from Mansfield)
Date: 8 February 2020
Martin Shaw at the Globe Arena
Mansfield Town drew 1-1 at Morecambe this afternoon in the game between 21st and 23rd in League Two. The draw was a fair result in my opinion but it was frustrating as the Stags again conceded a late equaliser to drop two points.
Mansfield took the lead after 60 minutes when Mal Benning’s excellent free kick from deep found Krystian Pearce who lost his marker Steven Old, headed goalwards, and Morecambe keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi parried it into the path of Joe Riley who knocked into the net from close range.
Morecambe equalised after 86 minutes when a corner from the right from Jordan Cranston was knocked into the net from close range by substitute Alex Kenyon, who got away from his marker James Clarke. A shame for Clarke, who was only just on as substitute for Riley who had to go off with what looked like some kind of groin strain or similar.
Morecambe could have won it in stoppage time when another Morecambe sub Jordan Slew was in space in the box on the left, took a touch and his shot was superbly saved at point blank range by Bobby Olejnik.
It was disappointing for the Stags to be pegged back because the defence, which has so often been poor this season, was excellent, with all three central defenders Ryan Sweeney, Krystian Pearce and Kelland Watts in terrific form, and Joe Riley and Mal Benning having really good games at wing back. The midfield was much less impressive though as Harry Charsley and Will Tomlinson didn't have good games, while alongside them Neal Bishop did at least get quite a few good tackles in in the second half. Up front, there was very little service for Nicky Maynard and Danny Rose, save for one fantastic cross from Joe Riley which Maynard headed wide. The Stags need to be better than this going forward. But I enjoyed seeing the defence with such a good display after what has been such a horror show this season.
The point is important as it keeps Morecambe 5 points behind Mansfield, while Stevenage’s defeat at Exeter means that the Stags are 10 points above the single relegation place with 14 games to go.
On to another crucial game on Tuesday night as Mansfield visit Leyton Orient, who are three points ahead of the Stags.
Mansfield made one change to the side that drew with Carlisle. Will Tomlinson came in for the injured Alex MacDonald, who missed out with a low grade hamstring strain. It was a 3-5-2 formation as last week, with Ryan Sweeney, Krystian Pearce and Kelland Watts in central defence, and Harry Charsley, Neal Bishop and Tomlinson in central midfield. With MacDonald missing, Jack Evans came into the squad for the first time, on the bench. Evans signed from Swansea on loan for the rest of the season on transfer deadline day, but too late to be involved last Saturday. I’d hazard a guess that Evans will make his debut on Tuesday at Leyton Orient, with Neal Bishop rested. Under 18 centre forward Josh Scott travelled with the squad and warmed up with them before the game, but was not in the matchday 18 today. Scott impressed me in the FA Youth cup games this season.
Mansfield had won on the last four visits to Morecambe. If they could have won here, they would have equalled a club record five successive away wins against the same opponent (set away to Crewe, from 1974 to 1984) (stats by Paul Taylor, Martin Shaw and Svante Bernhard).
Morecambe’s recent home record was good. Before today, they had won 4 and drawn 3 of their last 8 home games. It was strange to be playing a Morecambe side not managed by Jim Bentley, who was their manager for so long, but who has now been replaced by former Plymouth manager Derek Adams.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mansfield Town denied by late Morecambe equaliser
chad.co.uk, By Sports Reporter, Saturday, 8th February 2020
MANSFIELD Town suffered late agony again as a late goal denied them the three points in a 1-1 draw at Morecambe.
The Stags looked set for victory over rivals in the bottom half of the table after Joe Riley had given the lead on the hour.
But an Alex Kenyon goal five minutes from time gave the home side a point.
After a poor first half Mansfield were much better after the break and Riley opened the scoring from close range. A deep Malvind Benning free kick was headed downwards by Krystian Pearce and although his effort was saved by Christoffer Mafoumbi, the ball squirmed clear and Riley was in the perfect place to slot the ball home from two yards out.
The goal came during a Mansfield spell of dominance and they almost added a second when a Ryan Sweeney curler was cleared off the line by Ryan Cooney.
But the Stags failed to press home their advantage and let Morecambe back into the game as they conceded five minutes from time.
Jordan Cranston swung in a right wing corner and Kenton beat Bobby Olejnik to the loose ball to poke it across the line.
The Stags had Olejnik to thank after that though as he saved brilliantly with his feet from Adam Phillips’s low strike before he denied Jordan Slew in injury time when the Morecambe striker somehow failed to find the back of the net when free in the six-yard box.
The first half saw few chances.
Mansfield had to soak up a lot of early Morecambe pressure but looked solid throughout.
Pearce was soon involved, blocking a Cole Stockton shot from the edge of the area before Willem Tomlinson did well to get his body in the way of a shot from the same Morecambe player.
Olejnik was called into action for the first time on 22 minutes when he saved bravely at the feet of Adam Phillips as he threatened to get in a shot on goal.
The Stags began to threaten as the half came to a close. Defender Kelland Watts found himself free in the area as the ball was headed back into the box but Morecambe keeper Christoffer Mafoumni was alert to block the danger.
The Stags’ most threatening moment of the half came in injury time when Harry Charlsey ran into the box but saw his effort blocked by Morecambe skipper Sam Lavelle.
Morecambe: Mafoumbi 6, Cooney 7, Old 7, Lavelle 7, Cranston 7, Wildig 6 (rep Mbulu 71), Diagouraga 6, O’Sullivan 6 (rep Kenyon 60), Phillips 6, Mendes-Gomes 6 (rep Slew 71), Stockton 6. Subs not used: Halstead, Bradbury, Conlan.
Mansfield: Olejnik 6, Sweeney 7, Pearce 7, Watts 7, Riley 7 (rep Clarke 82), Bishop 6, Charsley 6, Tomlinson 6, Benning 7, Maynard 6 (rep Hamilton 76), Rose 6 (repDavies 90). Subs not used: Stone, Preston, Knowles, Evans.
Referee: S. Oldham.
Morecambe 1 Mansfield Town 1: Late leveller gives the Shrimps a deserved point
thevisitor.co.uk, by GAVIN BROWNE, Saturday 08 February 2020
Supersub Alex Kenyon earned a point for Morecambe just as they seemed set for a second home defeat in nine matches.
Having been introduced in the aftermath of Joe Riley’s 60th-minute opener, Kenyon’s close-range finish ensured a point apiece.
Morecambe boss Derek Adams had made two changes to the side beaten at Cheltenham Town a week earlier.
Ryan Cooney and John O’Sullivan were back in the starting XI with Christan Mbulu and Jordan Slew on the bench.
After a scrappy start, the Shrimps grew into the game with Cole Stockton and Aaron Wildig looking dangerous going forward.
For all that bright play though, the Shrimps struggled to create much in the way of genuine first-half chances with the final ball too often lacking.
Adam Phillips was thwarted by a heavy touch before bursting onto a Stockton lay-off and losing his footing at the final moment as keeper Bobby Olejnik advanced.
Stockton had a shot blocked as the Shrimps’ spell of dominance went unrewarded.
At the other end, the visitors had the best chance of the half when Kelland Watts’ header was kept out by the advancing Christoffer Mafoumbi.
Neal Bishop and Harry Charsley also had shots blocked as the first half ended level.
The second half began promisingly for the Shrimps but, again, they failed to test the keeper.
O’Sullivan, Stockton and Wildig all fired off target before Mansfield stepped up a gear with Mafoumbi pushing Mal Benning’s effort behind and Charsley placing a shot off target.
Ryan Sweeney came closer still with a shot cleared off the line before the deadlock was broken on the hour.
Krystian Pearce met Benning’s free-kick, and though Mafoumbi saved the initial header, he couldn’t hold onto the ball and Riley bundled it home.
Adams freshened up his team with Kenyon, Slew and Christian Mbulu all introduced as the half progressed, switching to a back three in the process.
Kenyon had a half-volley held, while Stockton fired over and had yet another shot blocked as the Shrimps sought a leveller.
For all their endeavour, it was the visitors who should have scored again when Riley’s excellent cross was headed wide by Nicky Maynard.
He was punished in the 86th minute when, having been given a corner which they felt it was a penalty for handball, Morecambe drew level.
Jordan Cranston sent in an excellent delivery from the right-hand side and Kenyon got ahead of his marker to find the net.
One point almost became three during the five minutes of added time as Slew should have scored, only to be thwarted by Olejnik.
The keeper used his foot to keep out Phillips’ attempt, seconds before a last-ditch clearance took the ball away from Steve Old to make it a point apiece.
Morecambe: Mafoumbi, Cooney, Old, Lavelle, Cranston, Diagouraga, Phillips, Mendes-Gomes (Mbulu 71), Wildig (Slew 71), O’Sullivan (Kenyon 61), Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Conlan, Bradbury.
Mansfield Town: Olejnik, Pearce, Sweeney, Watts, Riley (Clarke 82), Bishop, Charsley, Tomlinson, Benning, Maynard (Hamilton 76), Rose (Davies 90). Subs not used: Stone, Preston, Evans, Knowles.
Referee: Scott Oldham.
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