Development Squad rue lack of cutting edge in goalless draw.
Our development squad couldn’t warm the appetite on a chilly North Nottinghamshire night as they were held to a goalless draw by stubborn Southwell City in the H-K-L North Midland League.
The Stags dominated possession from start to finish and had no fewer than 20 corners, but were unable to find the killer touch that was required to break past stubborn opponents, who defended superbly and also had a couple of chances to pinch the points.
As expected, Mansfield began on the front foot and enjoyed no fewer than five flag-kicks inside the opening 10 minutes or so, but frustratingly, they were unable to turn things dominance into clear-cut chances.
Eventually, Luke Thomas carved out the first meaningful attempt of the game when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and whistled a powerful shot narrowly over the upright.
The Stags continued to dictate things and pen back their opponents back and thought they had opened the scoring when Thomas headed past the ‘keeper after he parried a vicious swerving shot from Louis Danquah, but the strike was ruled out for offside.
Southwell always looked they might nick a goal on the break and that’s almost what happened on the half-hour mark.
Stags midfielder Cameron Dear was penalised for a foul around 30 yards out and from the subsequent free-kick, a visiting player lifted a sumptuous attempt over the four-man defensive wall and the ball clipped the woodwork.
Two minutes later, goalkeeper Sam Wilson was called into action as he made a near-post save from a header to keep the Stags on level terms.
What the Stags lacked in the first period was ruthlessness in front of goal and they sought to put that in the early stages of the second half by forcing Southwell to do yet more defending.
At times it seemed as though the visitors were camped inside their own half, but still no goal was forthcoming as Danquah missed an opportunity from point-blank range under pressure from the ‘keeper, just moments before Anthony Dwyer rattled the post with a thunderous half-volley.
Dwyer was replaced by Callum McGarry on 50 minutes and the youngster, making his debut in this league, almost opened the scoring on the hour mark when his 20-yard strike had to be pushed away to safety by the Southwell ‘keeper.
The Stags remained frustrated in their efforts for an opener as the match wore on with Charlie Brownlie heading narrowly wide from one of the numerous corners, whilst Denham Saxton couldn’t find any accuracy with a shot having carved out an angle for himself inside the area.
Ultimately, despite such dominance, it was a night of frustration for Mansfield, but credit must go to Southwell who dug in and defended efficiently to record a share of the spoils.
Team: Wilson, Thomson, Brownlie, Gibson, Danquah, Hutchinson (Slade), Dear (Jones), Saxton, Chavundura, L.Thomas, Dwyer (McGarry).