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17:05 19th October 2013
By  Andrew Webb

Report: Torquay 0-0 Stags

Mansfield Town are now unbeaten in five away matches in Sky Bet League Two, following a 0-0 draw with Torquay United at Plainmoor.

In a match with few clear-cut chances, Ben Hutchinson came closest for The Stags with a powerful low drive, which was parried away by Martin Rice.

Torquay, who had Krystian Pearce sent-off late on, could have also registered three points though, as Billy Bodin struck the woodwork in the first half.

The Stags got proceedings underway on the English Riviera and created the first opportunity after just two minutes, as Lee Stevenson stabbed an effort wide.

However, the opening 45 minutes were largely scrappy and were littered with numerous stoppages in play.

The Gulls came close when Billy Bodin latched onto Karl Hawley’s clever knock-down, but saw his shot deflected over by James Jennings.

Torquay centre-back Krystian Pearce was the first player to be cautioned, when his late lunge brought down Martin Riley on the edge of the area.

From the resulting set-piece, Riley’s powerful header from James Jennings’ delivery towards the back-post went agonisingly wide.

On 20 minutes, The Gulls came within a whisker of an opener, when Bodin spun away from his marker and struck a low 20-yard drive goalwards past Alan Marriott.

Bodin’s attempt seemed destined to ripple the net as it ricocheted off the post, yet somehow the spin on the ball took it wide of the opposite post.

Hawley then wasted a gilt-edge chance for the hosts, when he flashed a six-yard effort high and wide, following a superb low right-sided cross by Jordan Chappell.

By now, the hosts had begun to dictate play, but Boden was wasteful with a dangerously-positioned free-kick, which he planted high over the stand on 27 minutes.

Bodin was an instrumental figure in Torquay’s attacking play and went closer when he struck a first-time volley wide on the half-hour mark.

Ade Azeez had a deflected attempt comfortably gathered by Marriott on 36 minutes, whilst Riley also headed wide from a Jennings free-kick prior to half-time.

Torquay would have gone ahead within a minute of the re-start, had Marriott not produced a superb save with his knees, to keep out Azeez’s low drive.

The Stags then created a gilt-edge chance of their own as Matt Rhead headed Jamie McGuire’s right-sided cross goalwards, forcing Martin Rice into a splendid save.

Hawley had a hopeful appeal for a spot-kick waved away on 53 minutes, when he was outmuscled by John Dempster inside the area.

Ben Hutchinson replaced Lee Stevenson in The Stags’ first substitution just moments later, and it was the visitors who dominated the final half-hour.

Sam Clucas had a weak attempt saved by Rice, before Jennings had a more venomous strike blocked by the body of a back-peddling Pearce.

Mansfield made their second substitution on 63 minutes, when Rhead was replaced by Calvin Andrew in a direct change.

Torquay created chances at rare intervals, but had two in quick succession either side of the midway point in the second half.

Azeez drilled a speculative shot wide, before Kevin Nicholson unleashed a free-kick with pure venom, which went only inches over the upright.

Mansfield’s cause for an opener was helped on 68 minutes when Pearce, who was already walking a tight-rope, was dismissed for a foul on Clucas.

The Stags began to sense an opportunity to claim maximum points and nearly did so, as both Jennings and Hutchinson almost netted amidst a goalmouth scramble.

Hutchinson also had a thunderous 30-yard strike parried away by Rice on 73 minutes; before Beevers hit an inviting right-wing cross through a packed six-yard box.

Dempster headed narrowly wide from Hutchinson’s high ball to the far-post in the closing exchanges, as Mansfield were unable to make a breakthrough.

Despite more pressure, The Stags ultimately had to settle for just a point as a resolute home defence dealt with everything that was thrown at them.

Attendance: 2,473 (347)