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Match Reports

Match report: Carlisle United 1-1 Stags

2 September 2017

Match Reports

Match report: Carlisle United 1-1 Stags

2 September 2017

Deadline Day signing Calum Butcher rescued a point for Mansfield Town as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Carlisle United at Brunton Park this afternoon.

During a first half in which the Stags struggled to create any clear cut chances, the hosts went ahead through frontman Hallam Hope, as he slotted the ball past Conrad Logan after carrying it from halfway on the counter attack.

Stags came out looking much better in the second half, however, and missed a great chance to draw level in the 53rd minute. Winger Paul Anderson was fouled in the box and Oxford United loanee Kane Hemmings saw his penalty saved by Carlisle stopper Jack Bonham.

But five minutes later, midfielder Calum Butcher lofted the ball over Bonham from 25 yards out just two minutes after replacing Jacob Mellis to ensure Stags left Cumbria with a point. 

Stags' boss Steve Evans opted not to alter his starting XI from last Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Luton Town, but did make changes to his bench.

Defender George Taft, who joined Cambridge United on loan on Deadline Day, midfielder Paul Digby and striker Omari Sterling-James were replaced by defender Hayden White, winger Alfie Potter and Deadline Day signing Calum Butcher on the Stags' substitutes' bench.

Centre-half Krystian Pearce headed an early Danny Grainger free-kick out of play for a throw and the hosts had their first sight of goal directly from that throw-in.

Right-back Tom Miller hurled a long throw into the box and centre-half Mark Ellis met it head-on, but goalkeeper Conrad Logan claimed it well under his bar.

The opening five minutes was an end-to-end affair as Carlisle got two crosses into the box, which were dealt with by the Stags, before the visitors won the first corner of the match.

Stags strung a lovely passage of play together in the seventh minute and midfielder Jacob Mellis whipped the ball out wide to skipper Paul Anderson, who curled a left-footed cross into the box, but it fell to the feet of Danny Grainger, who cleared.

The away side were looking good in possession and the creative Mellis clipped an excellent reverse pass into the feet of the on-rushing Will Atkinson, he laid it off for striker Kane Hemmings but he was dispossessed.

In the 14th minute, the Cumbrians went close to taking the lead. Right-back Miller again hurled a long throw into the box and it was met by the head of Ellis, who powered an effort against the crossbar.

And a minute later, the home side were ahead. Stags won a free-kick through Anderson on the left and midfielder Mellis angled it into the box. Pearce's downward header was cleared by Carlisle and striker Hallam Hope nipped it past left-back Mal Benning on the halfway line and carried it into the Stags' box before slotting it past Logan.

Stags responded well to going behind but were limited to shots from distance.

First, striker Lee Angol hit a low left-footed effort which Carlisle stopper Jack Bonham did well to hold down to his right, before Anderson rifled one straight at him from 25 yards out.

Manager Steve Evans' men were causing problems for the Carlisle back-line and Hemmings almost got on the end of a long ball over the top, but he was denied by a combination of Bonham and Gary Liddle.

Liddle played a long free-kick into the Stags' box in the 33rd minute, forcing midfielder Joel Byrom to head behind for a corner. Richie Bennett did well to keep the ball alive from the flag kick and Hallam Hope saw his near post header go over the bar.

Stags broke quickly from the goal kick and Hemmings slipped the ball down the right-hand channel to Atkinson and he pulled it back to Anderson, whose shot was blocked by a sliding Tom Miller.

The visitors, all of a sudden, were the better side and Mellis went so close to getting Stags back on level terms in the 36th minute.

Byrom's corner was headed out to the former Bury man on the edge of the box and he shaped to shoot with his left, cut inside and then hit a fizzing effort with the outside of his right foot, but saw it headed over the bar.

Stags' frontman Lee Angol and Carlisle defender both went into the book in the 41st minute after Angol reacted angrily to an over-zealous challenge by the Carlisle man.

From the free-kick that followed, Pearce received the ball on the edge of the box and won a free-kick 22 yards out after showing great ability with the ball at his feet.

Hemmings stepped up to take the set piece and bent it around the wall, forcing an excellent fingertip save by Cumbrians' stopper Jack Bonham.

The final action of the half was a chance for the hosts, as midfielder Luke Joyce executed an acrobatic effort from 10 yards out, which flew over the bar.

Stags came out with renewed verve in the second period and started excellently.

After seven minutes of the second half, Stags were presented with a golden opportunity to equalise. Right-back Rhys Bennett crossed in from the right and Paul Anderson was dragged to the ground by Tom Miller, giving Darren Handley no choice but to award a penalty.

Striker Kane Hemmings, looking for his first goal in Stags' colours, stepped up but had his spot kick saved by Jack Bonham, who dived to his right.

After missing the penalty, Stags' boss Steve Evans made a double change with Will Atkinson and Jacob Mellis making way for Alfie Potter and Deadline Day signing Calum Butcher – and what a substitution it turned out to be.

Two minutes later, former Millwall man Butcher bagged a debut goal. Winger Paul Anderson whipped in a cross from the left and Carlisle 'keeper Jack Bonham punched clear ahead of Hemmings and Butcher produced a magnificent volleyed lob from 25 yards out which looped over Bonham and into the net.

The home side contained the Stags well in the ten minutes which followed the visitors' equaliser, despite Stags dominating possession.

In the 67th minute, Stags and Butcher almost had their second of the afternoon. Joel Byrom curled in a corner which Bonham could only punch out to the penalty spot, where Butcher chested it down but then hit an effort over the bar.

Stags were in the ascendancy and replaced Lee Angol, who was walking a tightrope after being shown a first half yellow card, with Danny Rose.

Carlisle, who had been limited to very rare attacks in the second period, had a good chance in the 70th minute when Richie Bennett found the run of Luke Joyce in the box, but David Mirfin produced an excellent sliding tackle to halt the Cumbrians' midfielder.

From the corner which followed, Stags broke through Alfie Potter and he fed Hemmings down the left channel. The Oxford Untied loanee cut in from the left and bent a right-footed effort towards goal which Bonham beat away to his left, before Anderson fired over on the rebound.

Six minutes later, the ball fell to David Mirfin at the back post but the former Scunthorpe man wasn't expecting it to get to him and the ball bounced off him and fell into the hands of Bonham.

In the 80th minute, Carlisle manager Keith Curle introduced Shaun Miller in place of Richie Bennett and the frontman almost had an instant impact. He received the ball 30 yards out and had one touch to get it out his feet, before fizzing an effort against the post.

As time ticked on, Stags got a free-kick following a push on Paul Anderson in the centre-circle. Midfield maestro Joel Byrom clipped it into the box where Pearce flicked it on to Rhys Bennett, who couldn't get it to sit and it was headed behind for a Stags' corner.

The last few minutes was end-to-end with both sides doing their best to win it. Substitute Jason Kennedy swivelled in the box and saw a deflected effort loop over Conrad Logan, but for the ex-Rochdale man to arch his back and brilliantly tip the ball over the bar. The linesman, however, had his flag up for offside.

As four minutes of stoppage time was announced, Stags came forward through Byrom and he slotted a ball through towards Kane Hemmings, but Gary Liddle came across to clear the danger and preserve a point for the hosts.

STAGS' XI: Logan, Bennett, Pearce, Mirfin, Benning, Byrom, Mellis (Butcher 56), Anderson ©, Atkinson (Potter 56), Angol (Rose 68), Hemmings

SUBS NOT USED: Olejnik, White, MacDonald, Spencer

CARLISLE XI: Bonham, T.Miller, Joyce, Grainger, Liddle, Jones, Hope, Adams, Bennett (S.Miller 80), Ellis, Lambe (Kennedy 70)

SUBS NOT USED: George, Devitt, Nabi, Cosgrove, Brown

ATTENDANCE: 4,677 (280 away)

REFEREE: Darren Handley


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