STAGS DRAW WITH WALSALL UNDER CARETAKER COOPER
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Walsall
Maynard 33. Adebayo 49
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 31 October 2020
IMPROVED STAGS DRAW WITH WALSALL UNDER CARETAKER COOPER
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town put in a much-improved performance under caretaker manager Richard Cooper compared to Tuesday’s abysmal showing against Barrow which saw the sacking of Graham Coughlan, and a goal from Nicky Maynard saw the Stags earn a point in a 1-1 draw with Walsall. The Stags of course wanted all three points for the first time this season but the showing did at least did give a little cause for optimism.
Walsall started the better of the two sides and Marek Stech was called upon to make a fantastic save after 16 minutes as Wes McDonald’s low ball in from the left was missed by James Perch and Stephen McLaughlin allowing Emmanuel Osadebe a free shot at goal from 11 yards. It seemed an almost certain goal, but Stech saved to his left to keep the ball out.
The Stags grew into the game and were on top by the time they took the lead after 33 minutes. After neat play involving George Maris and Kellan Gordon, Jamie Reid won a corner on the right. The corner from Maris was cleared to George Lapslie whose ball forward from 25 yards, which looked like an attempted shot, reached Maynard who came from an onside position to be 1-on-1 with the keeper. Maynard made no mistake with a clinical finish under the keeper for his first goal of the season.
The Stags led at the break for the first time this season but were pegged back four minutes into the second half. A good break down the left involving George Nurse and Wes McDonald, and Nurse pulled a low ball across the area which reached Elijah Adebayo who hit a first time low left footed shot towards the bottom right corner of the net. Stech got a hand on it but couldn’t keep it out. It would have been a magnificent save if Stech could have kept it out, but he couldn’t.
The Stags had a chance to regain the lead after 52 minutes as a short free kick from McLaughlin to Maynard allowed Maynard to shoot from wide on the left, and Maynard curled his shot just wide of the angle on the right. Maynard had a better chance after 67 minutes as McLaughlin’s high cross from the left was well headed back across goal by Andy Cook straight to Maynard six yards from goal. Maynard swung a leg at it and uncharacteristically missed his kick. The ball was cleared as far as Harry Charsley 12 yards out and his side-footed shot was saved on the line by the keeper. A glorious double chance.
Stech made a very good save after 87 minutes palming away a fierce 25 yard shot from Walsall sub Liam Kinsella. And the Stags had a stroke of luck on 90+1 minutes as Osadebe crashed a magnificent volley from 22 yards against the crossbar. Whilst Walsall will feel that was unlucky, a draw was undoubtedly a fair result in my opinion.
The Stags head to Bolton on Tuesday night (kick off 7pm). Bolton are three points ahead of the Stags, with the Stags still looking for that first win of the season. Caretaker manager Richard Cooper is expected to still be in charge.
The Stags are drawing up a shortlist of names and will take their time to choose a new manager who should be in place within a week and a half.
Morning rain and then a downpour of biblical proportions at lunchtime, which left the One Call Stadium car park like a river for a short period, meant that the pitch was soggy and conditions tricky underfoot.
Richard Cooper, who has done a great job at the club over a long period as the academy manager and of course before that as assistant to Paul Cox, took the reigns as caretaker manager following the sacking of Graham Coughlan on Tuesday. Cooper was assisted by Mike Whitlow, Jamie McGuire, Sam Collins and young goalkeeper coach Sam Wilson.
Cooper was without five defenders: Ryan Sweeney tested positive for COVID-19 since the Barrow game and let’s hope he will be ok. Corey O’Keeffe is still self-isolating and will return to training on Monday, presumably too late to be in contention to play at Bolton. Mal Benning returned to training yesterday (Friday) but was not considered for selection here after self-isolating, though presumably will be at Bolton. Aaron O’Driscoll was suspended for one match after his sending off against Barrow. And Rollin Menayese was only on the bench after Cooper said he picked up a knock on Thursday.
Meanwhile, midfielder Ollie Clarke, who has been out of action with a calf injury, is still around three weeks away from a return to training.
So there were two changes from the Barrow game with George Maris and Jamie Reid coming in for O’Driscoll and Menayese.
It was a makeshift back four, with Gordon and McLaughlin at full back, and Farrend Rawson and James Perch at centre half. Perch was captain, taking over from Cook.
The midfield was a diamond formation with Maris at the back of it and Maynard at the front of it in an attacking midfield role, with Lapslie and Charsley in central midfield. Jamie Reid partnered Andy Cook up front.
The bench was youthful including James Clarke, Jason Law, Alistair Smith and Tyrese Sinclair.
Walsall had been the only unbeaten team in League Two before Tuesday’s defeat to Cambridge, but with six draws before today they were in the bottom half of the table. They were managed by former Stag Darrell Clarke of course. Hayden White played at right back, and was very lucky indeed not to be sent off before he was sensibly substituted.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Maynard on target as Mansfield Town draw with Walsall
chad.co.uk, Saturday 31st October 2020
Nicky Maynard was on target as Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with Walsall.
The point sees the Stags sit 22nd in League Two still searching for their first win of the campaign.
But draw number six was almost unlucky game number 13 as a late Saddlers effort rattled the woodwork.
George Maris saw an early strike fizz wide for caretaker boss Richard Cooper's side before Stags keeper Marek Stech was called into action, denying Emmanuel Osadebe with a superb stop.
Liam Roberts held on to efforts from Maynard and Harry Charsley before the hosts took a 33rd minute lead, Maynard sliding home George Lapslie's muscued effort.
Stech comfortably collected Wes McDonald's free kick as Town held a 1-0 interval lead.
But four minutes into the second half Walsall were level, Elijah Adebayo slotting home following George Nurse's pull back.
The hosts' response saw Maynard curl an effort wide before Roberts beat Jamie Reid to Stephen McLaughlin's cross and did well to deny Charsley.
Stech was called upon to keep his side in the game with a late savge to deny Liam Kinsella before, in stoppage time, Osadebe's volley crashed against the bar.
STAGS: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, McLaughlin, Lapslie, Maris, Charsley, Maynard, Cook (Bowery 75), Reid; Subs (not used): Stone, Menayese, Bowery, J. Clarke, Sinclair, Law, Smith.
WALSALL: Roberts, Jules, Scarr, Sinclair, Adebayo, McDonald, Guthrie (KInsella 51), Nurse, Holden, Osadebe, White (Norman 64); Subs (not used): Rose, Sadler, Lavery, Bates, Scrimshaw.
Mansfield 1 Walsall 1 - Report and pictures
expressandstar.com, By Liam Keen
Walsall battled back from a losing position to earn a draw away at Mansfield Town.
Despite starting the game well, the Saddlers found themselves behind after half an hour when experienced striker Nicky Maynard pounced on some slack defending to turn home from six yards.
After ending the first half with a whimper, Walsall came out of the blocks quickly in the second period and equalised through Elijah Adebayo within three minutes.
Maynard had a glaring opportunity later in the second half, while the Saddlers also created chances but the two sides shared the points on a cold afternoon in the East Midlands.
Darrell Clarke made two changes to the side that lost to Cambridge United in midweek, starting in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Liam Kinsella and Caolan Lavery dropped to the bench as Stuart Sinclair and Emmanuel Osadebe came into the team.
Richard Cooper started his Stags team in a 4-3-3 formation for his first game in charge as caretaker manager.
He made two changes to the side that lost to Barrow on Tuesday as former Saddlers striker Andy Cook started up front.
Walsall started the game well, despite the muddy pitch, and almost took the lead in the opening two minutes.
Wes McDonald delivered a delightful cross for Adebayo at the far post but with the striker sliding in and stretching he was a yard off converting.
Maynard was causing the Saddlers problems playing behind the two strikers, but after 16 minutes Walsall had a glaring opportunity. Following a McDonald cross a bit of luck saw the ball pop up to Osadebe and from 10 yards, with the goal gaping, he smashed his effort straight at goalkeeper Marek Stech.
Just after half an hour Mansfield took the lead through Maynard. A corner fell to George Lapslie on the edge of the box and his attempted shot fell to Maynard, who was lurking behind the Walsall defence and finished from six yards.
Despite starting the half well, Walsall fell short following Mansfield’s goal and looked devoid of ideas. The hosts entered the break leading 1-0.
Within three minutes of the restart, Walsall were level. McDonald and George Nurse worked well together down the left and the latter crossed low for Adebayo who squeezed his shot in at the near post.
White, who picked up a booking early in the half, was almost sent off for a rash tackle in midfield. He was then taken off for Norman to ensure the Saddlers were not reduced to 10 men.
Mansfield should have taken the lead when Maynard completely missed the ball from six yards and when Harry Charsley followed up from the edge of the box, Liam Roberts made a magnificent save to deny him.
A powerful effort by substitute Kinsella was palmed away by Stech as Walsall looked for another goal. A low cross from Lavery then almost found Adebayo with the goal gaping.
Osadebe was inches away from winning it in added time when his powerful volley smashed off the crossbar.
Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing minutes of the game but they could not be separated and shared the points.
Walsall: Roberts, White (Norman, 65), Scarr, Jules, Nurse, Guthrie (Kinsella, 52), Sinclair (Lavery, 69), Osadebe, Holden, McDonald, Adebayo.
Subs not used: Rose, Sadler, Bates, Scrimshaw.
Mansfield: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, McLaughlin, Lapslie, Maris, Charsley, Maynard, Cook (Bowery, 75), Reid.
Subs not used: Stone, Menayese, Clarke, Sinclair, Law, Smith.
Mansfield 1-1 Walsall - Player ratings
expressandstar.com, By Liam Keen
Following the 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town, Liam Keen rates the Walsall players.
Liam Roberts - 7
The shot-stopper did not have much to contend with, but did make one magnificent save. His distribution was good.
Hayden White - 6
An improved performance compared to his mid-week showing, but he had to be substituted due to some rash tackles.
Dan Scarr - 7
Scarr dealt with the threat of Andy Cook well, resulting in the forward being taken off. But he scuffed his clearance for the Mansfield goal.
Zak Jules - 8
A composed performance that warrants the best rating of the back line.
George Nurse - 7
Did nothing wrong and linked up well for the goal, with a great assist. He should have got forward more.
Danny Guthrie - 6
Guthrie unfortunately struggled to impose himself on the game and looked to be paying for playing 90 minutes in mid-week.
Stuart Sinclair - 7
A rare start but a decent showing. Sinclair won some good tackles in midfield and helped break up the play.
Emmanuel Osadebe - 7
Playing on both wings in this game, Osadebe looked dangerous when he broke the lines and picked up the ball in promising areas. He should have scored in the first half and almost won the game in the closing minutes.
Rory Holden - 7
Holden played his part both behind the striker and on the wing. His set piece delivery was better and he also did well when thrown into centre midfield.
Wes McDonald - 6
A little slow at times, McDonald did well when he played it simple. His one-two with Nurse ahead of the goal was simple but effective.
Elijah Adebayo - 8
Adebayo never relinquished the ball and fought for every opportunity. He took his goal well and he’ll be pleased to add to his tally.
Liam Kinsella (for Guthrie, 52), Cameron Norman (for White, 65), Caolan Lavery (for Sinclair, 69).
Subs not used: Rose, Sadler, Bates, Scrimshaw.
Match Report: Mansfield Town 1-1 Walsall
The Saddlers came from behind to secure a point on the road against Mansfield Town as Elijah Adebayo’s second half strike cancelled out Nicky Maynard’s opener for the Stags.
In a first half that was largely dominated by Darrell Clarke’s side, the goal came against the run of play.
After just 40 seconds, Wes McDonald tried to set the tempo as he took the ball past his full back Kellan Gordon and then delivered a low driven cross across the six-yard box but it was just too far in front of Adebayo.
Five minutes later and Adebayo had the ball in the back of the net following a George Nurse cross but it was unfortunately ruled out for offside.
With 16 minutes on the clock, Emmanuel Osadebe had the Saddlers’ best chance of the half as Farrend Rawson lost his footing inside his own 18-yard box and on the turn, Osadebe had a free shot at Marek Stech but the Town goalkeeper produced a fine save.
It was just after the half hour mark though that the home side broke the deadlock. Following a corner that wasn’t cleared on the edge of the box, George Lapslie scuffed his shot into the path of Maynard who was six yards out and he just slotted the ball past Liam Roberts.
Into the second half and it took Walsall just three minutes to level things up. A surging run down the left by Nurse allowed him to cut the ball back to Adebayo at the back post and he found the bottom corner with a low finish.
Just after the hour mark, the home side had a great chance to go in front. A cross found Maynard five yards out but the striker missed his kick but the ball fell for Harry Charsley 12-yards out but Roberts pulled off a stunning save to keep the scores level.
On 77 minutes, Rory Holden delivered a dangerous cross to the back post but substitute Caolan Lavery could only direct his header into the side netting.
In stoppage time at the end of the second half, it looked as though the Saddlers had found a winner when Osadebe struck a volley sweetly on the edge of the area but his effort cannoned back off the crossbar and that was the final chance of the game as both sides had to settle for a point.