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Match Reports

Match report: Barnet 1-1 Stags

17 October 2017

Mansfield Town were denied three points by a late Barnet equaliser in a 1-1 draw at The Hive Stadium this evening.

Striker Kane Hemmings opened the scoring, and his Mansfield account, when the Oxford United loanee capped off a well-worked free-kick routine just before the interval.

In first half injury time, midfielder Will Atkinson teed up winger Alex MacDonald who, although slipping, picked out Hemmings with a cross-cum-shot at the far post and he slotted past Barnet 'keeper Craig Ross.

However, five minutes from time, former Mansfield loanee Shaq Coulthirst reacted quickest to a loose ball on the edge of the area to fire home after goalkeeper Conrad Logan had been forced into a low save.

Stags' chief Steve Evans made three changes to the side which slipped to a 3-1 home defeat against Swindon Town on Saturday. Left-back Mal Benning, midfielder Paul Digby and striker Kane Hemmings all returned to the starting line-up, replacing Johnny Hunt, Jacob Mellis and Jimmy Spencer.

Barnet made four changes to the side that lost 2-1 away at Notts County in their last league outing, most notably the return of the Bees' top scorer Shaq Coulthirst.

The hosts, looking for their first win in nine games, had the first attack in the opening minutes but winger Mauro Vilhete sliced his cross into the stands.

In the fifth minute, winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce tested Logan but the Stags' goalkeeper was more than alert to the danger. This was swiftly followed by another chance for the home side with Coulthirst's long distance drive going wide of the right post.

Striker Danny Rose, Mansfield's top scorer with seven goals, had time and space in front of the Barnet goal but the in-form frontman didn't strike the ball cleanly with keeper Craig Ross able to make a simple stop.

Barnet continued to try and build pressure in the opening 15 minutes, but had very little to show for their possession, as the Stags' defence remained compact and organised.

In the 21st minute, the Stags had a brilliant opportunity to opening the scoring as Alex MacDonald saw his powerful effort blocked by the legs of Ross. This came after right-back Hayden White had picked out Rose with a cross and the former Barnsley striker acrobatically volleyed towards goal, but his effort was cleared out to MacDonald.

Shortly after the half hour mark striker Simeon Akinola and right winger Vilhete combined well with Vilhete able to dart into the box, only to blast his effort high above Logan's goal.

At the other end of the pitch, centre-half David Mirfin was pulled to the ground as the Stags earned themselves a free-kick 25 yards out. Kane Hemmings' low but powerful effort was able to find a way through the Barnet wall but went narrowly past the left-hand post.

Referee Craig Hicks showed Mal Benning a yellow card on the 36th minute. The left back had sprinted forward but slipped on the wet surface, bringing down Vilhete in the process.

This allowed Barnet to attack and midfieler Wesley Fonguck curled an effort from distance which was caught and held by Logan who had to be alert with David Tutonda ready to pounce.

Five minutes before the first half interval, Tutonda was able to break free on the left side and whip a low ball across the Mansfield box but none of his team-mates were able to make contact.

Campbell-Ryce then picked out Charlie Clough from a corner but the defender's header didn't test Logan as it floated over the crossbar.

In the only minute of first half stoppage time, Mansfield made the breakthrough thanks to Kane Hemmings' first goal in a Stags' shirt. After White had been tripped, the visitors were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. In a well worked set piece routine, Atkinson teed up MacDonald who slipped but saw his ball veer away to the far post, where Hemmings was able to power his effort past a stranded Ross into the bottom left corner.

Neither manager felt the need to make changes at half-time as Mansfield started the second period the same way they ended the first.

The Stags looked to double their advantage as captain Krystian Pearce headed the ball across goal towards Rose who could only nod the ball past the post.

The visitors had another good chance minutes later when right-back White was able to play the ball through to Hemmings who was narrowly beaten to it by a Barnet defender.

The hosts had chances of their own when Vilhete's cross from the right almost caught out Logan as the ball looped towards the far top corner, but the Irishman tipped it over his crossbar.

Centre-half David Mirfin picked up an injury after a full-blooded challenge on 51 minutes and was replaced by Rhys Bennett.

Ten minutes after the restart, Barnet earned a free-kick after a late challenge from Rose but the ball was cleared away after being lifted into a dangerous area by Tutonda.

The home side then had another spell of possession, earning three corners in quick succession although Logan was ultimately unchallenged by any of the set pieces.

With 25 minutes remaining, Fonguck was able to easily navigate his way through the Stags' midfield but found no way past the defensive line as his effort was blocked.

On the counter attack, substitute Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro was able to play through Coulthirst but Barnet's top scorer dragged his shot wide under pressure from skipper Pearce.

Hemmings had a good opportunity to add his second of the evening on the 70 minute mark, after finding himself in space, but his shot was parried wide by Barnet 'keeper Ross. The resulting corner was met by the head of Pearce but the ball floated over the bar.

Coulthirst brought a save from Logan as he tried his luck from over 25 yards out as the Stags limited Barnet to shots from distance.

It was former Mansfield forward Coulthirst who levelled the game for Barnet, scoring his seventh of the season.

It took 85 minutes for Logan to be beaten, and was somewhat unfortunate in doing so.

The shot-stopper came out well to block Vilhete's effort but the ball was only parried to the edge of the penalty area where Coulthirst powered it home via a deflection as Stags threw bodies at it to keep it out. .

The hosts looked to find a winner and end their winless streak, but despite late pressure couldn't add a second as Stags stood strong to preserve a point on the road.

BARNET XI: Ross, Clough, Santos, Nelson ©, Campbell-Ryce (Akpa Akpro 67), Coulthirst, J.Taylor, Tutonda, Akinola (Mason-Clark 78), Fonguck, Vilhete

SUBS NOT USED: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Bover, H.Taylor, Shomotun, Blackman,

STAGS' XI: Logan, Benning, Digby, Pearce ©, MacDonald, Atkinson, White, Mirfin (Bennett 51), Hemmings (Sterling-James 87), Butcher, Rose (Spencer 90)

SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik (GK), Mellis, Angol, Hamilton

ATTENDANCE: 1,262 (223 away)

REFEREE: Craig Hicks

 


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