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Match Reports

Match report: Stags 0-0 Yeovil Town

16 December 2017

Mansfield Town had to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Yeovil Town this afternoon, despite a dominant performance which was thwarted by a resilient Glovers' back-line.

The first half was an even affair with both sides trading blows but struggling to find a way through. The visitors arguably had the better of the chances with the Glovers hitting the woodwork when striker Sam Surridge headed winger Otis Khan's cross against the bar. Mansfield's best chance came in the final seconds of the first half, striker Lee Angol seeing a shot from close range deflect just past the near post.

Mansfield lifted their game in the second half but were unable to find a way past a resolute Yeovil defence with the visitors happy to settle for a point. The Stags' best opportunity came with 15 minutes to go when winger Paul Anderson was inches away from turning in defender Krystian Pearce's ball across the face of goal. Yeovil had a late free-kick which could have stolen all three points, but from a central position, Tom James failed to find the target.

After watching his side lose their first league game in eight at Crawley last weekend, Mansfield manager Steve Evans tweaked his side's formation and made four changes in personnel. Operating with three at the back, Krystian Pearce came into the heart of defence with Malvind Benning replacing Johnny Hunt at left wing back. Jacob Mellis returned in central midfield whilst up top, Lee Angol was given the nod ahead of Jimmy Spencer.

Mansfield got the game underway and they had the first sight of goal in the second minute. The ball dropped to midfielder Alex MacDonald on the edge of the area but his shot deflected out for an early Stags' corner.

The Stags' top scorer, Danny Rose, nearly got an early opportunity but after being played through by MacDonald, Yeovil 'keeper Artur Krysiak was off his line quickly to get to the ball and clear the danger.

MacDonald was operating just behind the strikers and he was having a big influence on proceedings. In the sixth minute, he found space 25 yards from goal but his shot fizzed wide of the post.

Yeovil's first chance of the game came a minute later. Striker Francois Zoko nearly netted his ninth of the season but Mansfield 'keeper Conrad Logan got down to it well to palm the shot away.

Midfielder Jacob Mellis almost opened up the Yeovil defence inside the ninth minute but no Mansfield bodies could get on the end of his teasing free-kick from 30 yards.

The home side survived a scare in the 16th minute as Yeovil hit the woodwork. Otis Khan delivered a ball from the left and Sam Surridge headed against the bar with goalkeeper Conrad Logan beaten.

Seconds later, Logan had to be at his best to save Matt Worthington's deflected effort which had initially wrong-footed the former Hibernian stopper.

Right wing-back Hayden White charged down the right wing for Mansfield in the 19th minute but his cross just missed forward Lee Angol and Krysiak in the Yeovil goal was able to claim the high ball.

In the 21st minute, great inter-play between MacDonald and left-back Mal Benning resulted in the former going clear inside the Yeovil area but his shot from the left of the six-yard box was straight at Krysiak.

Both sides were still unable to find the opening goal despite their best efforts. Zoko was continuing to look a danger for Yeovil and his shot from inside the area was well blocked by Mansfield club captain Zander Diamond.

The Stags were starting to get the ball down and play and in the 28th minute, after a strong period of possession, Benning cut inside but lashed a shot over from just outside the area.

Just before the half hour mark, Surridge had a brilliant chance to put Yeovil ahead but after making his way past defender Krystian Pearce, he looped the ball over the on-rushing Logan and the Stags' crossbar.

The game's next chance came in the 40th minute as Mansfield looked to take the lead before the break. Centre-half Rhys Bennett found himself on the left wing and his cross was met by MacDonald but the former Scotland Under 21 international couldn't direct his effort towards goal.

Some late pressure by Mansfield nearly put the Stags ahead just before the interval. MacDonald slipped the ball through to Angol inside the area but the former Peterborough United forward saw his snatched effort deflect into the side-netting.

The second half sparked into life straight away when Surridge and Pearce tangled, resulting in the Mansfield defender needing treatment.

The Stags' players and management were up in arms but referee Martin Coy took his time and after consulting with the fourth official, he showed both Surridge and Pearce a yellow card.

Mansfield found an opening in the 51st minute when Mellis was picked out in space inside the area but his drilled effort was deflected off target.

A Yeovil counter-attack nearly gave them the lead. Surridge drove at the heart of the Stags defence but his effort was poor and it crawled into the hands of Logan.

A minute later, Benning headed a chance wide at the far post for the Stags after being picked out by fellow wing-back Hayden White, and the former Walsall man had another chance shortly afterwards but struck high and wide after being teed up by Mellis 20 yards out.

Zoko found the palms of Logan with an effort just after the hour and the Ivorian may feel he should have done better after working some space at the far post.

Boss Steve Evans made changes to his side just after the hour mark, bringing on Paul Anderson and CJ Hamilton in quick succession and reverting back to a defensive four. The move nearly paid off when Benning got free down the left but his fizzed pass across goal was just missed by the onrushing Anderson.

Mansfield continued to apply pressure and in the 70th minute, MacDonald delivered a ball from the right which found Hamilton and the winger forced Krysiak into a strong reaction save following a well-struck volley.

The switch in formation had breathed new life into the Stags and they were now turning the screw. Hamilton was picked out again inside the area but his shot went wide off a Yeovil defender.

With around fifteen minutes to go, Mansfield had their best chance of the game so far. Pearce knocked Benning's whipped free-kick back across goal but Anderson was just unable to make contact whilst under pressure from the Yeovil defence.

Jake Gray and Nathan Smith both saw shots blocked inside the Mansfield area before the home side broke and a Paul Anderson header forced Krysiak into a diving save.

Yeovil had only won one of their last six league games and with the game in the balance, the Glovers looked determined to stick with a point rather than twist in hope of securing all three. Mansfield were throwing bodies forward in the closing stages but were still unable to find a way through.

The visitors were presented with a chance to take the lead late into the game when they were awarded a free-kick in a central position.

Midfielder Tom James addressed the ball but his effort skewed well off target with the deadlock remaining intact.

During seven minutes of injury time, Logan was called into some late action when Khan saw a shot clip off a defender on its way to goal, but the imposing goalkeeper was equal to it.

That was to be the end of the action as the Stags had to settle for a share of the spoils on a frustrating afternoon at One Call Stadium.

STAGS' XI: Logan, Bennett (Hamilton 66'), Benning, Pearce, Diamond ©, Atkinson, Mellis (Butcher 81'), White, MacDonald, Rose, Angol (Anderson 60')

SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik (GK), Digby, Spencer, Potter

YEOVIL TOWN XI: Krysiak, Smith, Worthington, Khan, Gray (Green 84'), Dickson, Zoko, Surridge (Olomola 69'), Bailey ©, Sowunmi, James

SUBS NOT USED: Maddison (GK), Mugabi, Davies, Nelson, Santos

REFEREE: Martin Coy

ATTENDANCE: 3,032 (86 away)


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