Report: Mansfield 0-0 Wycombe
Mansfield Town gained a valuable point against high-flying Wycombe Wanderers in an entertaining encounter at One Call Stadium.
Despite no goals, there was plenty of drama with plenty of bookings and some excellent opportunities for both teams.
Neither side could manage to find the decisive goal and the teams played out an exciting stalemate.
The game began with few chances for either side, but Peter Murphy for the visitors had his head bandaged after a collision with skipper Ricky Ravenhill.
Stags produced the first opportunity at goal - a weak header from Vadaine Oliver from a Chris Clements cross straight fell straight to the goalkeeper.
Neither team created any serious chances during the early stages, however several hard challenges from both sides set up a fiery match.
The home support seemed adamant of a foul on striker Billy Kee had been committed by Alfie Mawson, but the referee let play continue and Stags couldn’t test Wycombe’s net.
In the 20th minute, Clements was penalised for challenging Murphy unfairly and conceded a free-kick in a good position for the visitors.
Joe Jacobson did test Adam Smith from the resulting set-piece with a powerful shot on target which was caught well by Adam Smith.
Smith was called in to action once again moments later, this time a long-range attempt from Marcus Bean tested him, but he stood firm.
It was inevitable that the first booking would come soon enough and Wycombe’s Murphy collected a yellow card for an accumulation of fouls and back-chatting to the referee.
It took all of half an hour for the first clear cut chance of the match to be carved open and it was the Stags forward Vadaine Oliver, who saw his header bounce off the post from a Junior Brown cross.
This appeared to inspire the home side, in particular Brown was looking lively on the right wing and once again beat his man, this time to shoot at goal and the ball went over the bar.
Stags followed up with two glorious opportunities to grab the lead, firstly a flick on from Oliver played in Matty Blair and his shot at goal was deflected away for a corner.
From the resulting corner, the ball fell down to Michael Raynes and his shot seemed destined for goal, but it was tipped round the post by a defender on the line.
Raynes collected the first yellow card for Stags for a challenge on Sam Wood in the closing minutes of the half.
A quiet half then burst in to life in additional time when a shot from Oliver was parried away by the goalkeeper and from the follow up Kee had two attempts, which were blocked desperately by the Wycombe backline and the ball went away for a corner.
Two incredible saves from Ingram then somehow denied Mansfield the opening goal, as both Raynes and Oliver saw headers dramatically cleared and the half finished goalless.
Mansfield had more than held their own with the league leaders during the first half and were unlucky not to be in front, the second half resumed with both sides unchanged.
Stags mounted the early pressure in the second half and had a pair of corners, which they couldn’t make the most of but their dominance from the first half resumed.
Matt Bloomfield picked up the third booking of the match for a mis-timed tackle on Ravenhill.
In the 50th minute, Ravenhill hit a pile driver from all of 30 yards out which clipped the outside of the post, as Stags continued to press for the first goal of the match.
Wycombe won their first corner of the match in the 55th minute after a shot from their in-form striker Fred Onyedinma was deflected, but it was Mansfield on the counter attack who nearly scored when Blair raced past two defenders, though his shot was comfortable for the goalkeeper.
Another booking was issued, this time Brown for a hard challenge on Jacobson forced the referee into brandishing another yellow card. Soon after a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away was given to Wycombe's Onyedinma.
The second half continued with a competitive edge; centre-half Alfie Mawson was the next player to go in to the referee’s book for a foul on Ravenhill.
Chances for both sides continued and Oliver tried to meet a Clements corner on the volley but his side-footed shot went wide of goal.
Stags had another opportunity to threaten with a set-piece after Aaron Pierre was booked for a challenge on Clements, but yet again the defence held out strong for Wycombe.
The league leaders had their own corner in the 75th minute and Pierre saw his header go over the bar and set up a nervous final 15 minutes
Full-back Callum Elder delivered a cross to the far post towards Oliver, but some a last-ditch clearance from Jacobson prevented the chance at goal.
As expected Wycombe continued to press for the decisive goal and Bean had an effort blocked by his own player who was in an offside position.
In the 84th minute the impressive forward Oliver was replaced by Matt Rhead, as both sides looked for a winner late on.
The visitors had a great change to steal the three points at the death, Jacobson had a free-kick on the edge of the box but the wall blocked the shot.
Both sides made double changes in the closing stages with Reggie Lambe and Alex Fisher replacing Kee and Blair, whilst the visitors brought on Matt McClure and Hogan Ephraim, with Murphy and Wood going off.
Neither side could clinch a late goal despite substitute McClure enjoying a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he chipped the ball straight to Smith so both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Attendance: 2,759 (372 away supporters).