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Tigers denied by resilient Stags

28 November 2012

Mansfield Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott marked his return to action with a fabulous penalty save as Andy Todd’s second-string drew 0-0 with Hull City.

The veteran shot-stopper saved Jonathon Margetts’s powerfully-struck spot-kick in the 87th minute, before reacting superbly to deny Andy Dawson’s subsequent follow-up attempt.

The Stags, who ended the game with seven youth team players on the pitch, produced a resilient and brave performance against their more experienced counterparts.

In what proved to be a game of few chances, Tigers midfielder Paul McElroy came close to an early opener when he volleyed over from Francis McCaffrey’s right-sided cross.

Lee Stevenson’s rasping low drive forced a fine save from Hull ‘keeper Eldin Jakupovic, as Mansfield enjoyed a spell of pressure midway through the first period.

Both McCaffrey and Lewis Clarkson failed to test Marriott with speculative shots prior to half-time, whilst centre-back Ben Birch also did well to foil Margetts, who posed a constant threat.

Jordan Vilums almost set-up Nick Wright in the early moments of the second period, before Hull’s Tom Cairney drilled over from distance on 66 minutes.

Skippered by the industrious Adam Murray and with the experience of George Pilkington in defence, the Stags soaked up plenty of pressure in the closing stages.

Margetts scuffed a shot straight at Marriott following Cairney’s back-post corner, whilst Matt Dixon also came close with a long-range effort.

The Tigers were handed a golden chance to break the deadlock on 87 minutes when substitute Nuha Jabbi tangled with Margetts inside the area.

Margetts stepped up from 12 yards, but his powerful strike was expertly palmed away by Marriott, who also saved Dawson’s follow-up from an acute angle.

Mansfield almost snatched the victory on the verge of added-time when Birch headed straight at Jakupovic from Kurtis Turner’s left-sided corner.

Team: Marriott, Marsden, Pilkington, Birch, Vincent, Murray (c), Turner, Stevenson (Jabbi), Clark (Flint), Wright, Vilums (Barke). Subs Unused: J.Jones, M.Jones.

Attendance: 87

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