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Match Reports

Match report: Bury 2-2 Stags

6 October 2018

Nicky Maynard’s 95th minute equaliser ensured the shares were spoiled on an afternoon where both Danny Rose and Matt Preston were on target.

In a pulsating affair at the Energy Check Stadium, Rose and Preston both gave the Stags a lead either side of half-time but were ultimately undone by Maynard’s late minute strike.

David Flitcroft named an unchanged starting line-up for a third-successive match as they sought after their first away victory in Sky Bet League Two.

The only alternation came from the substitute’s bench as Craig Davies was ruled out with a ankle injury – Jordan Graham took his place.

Bury looked to get on the front foot from the outset with Danny Mayor. The midfielder drove forward but was stopped well his tracks by the Stags’ skipper, Krystian Pearce.

Neal Bishop then had the ball nicked away from him by Neil Danns but the following strike resulted in an easy save for Bobby Olejnik.

Full of attacking intent, the Shakers were soon awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. It was taken short and drilled into the box by Mayor, but Mal Benning was on-hand to smother the attempt at goal.

And in an incredibly bizarre turn of events, despite being put under a mountain of pressure in the opening exchanges, Flitcroft’s side took the lead.

Rose – making a return to Gigg Lane – took full advantage after Joe Murphy attempted to bounce the ball as he slotted home into an empty goal on 10 minutes.

Otis Khan then found himself one-on-one with the ‘keeper but was unlucky to see his chipped effort not find the back of the net.

Mansfield began to gain a foothold in the match – epitomised with some more intricate play that resulted in a header over the crossbar by CJ Hamilton.

Both Bishop and Rose found themselves in the referee’s notebook after one mistimed challenge each.

The Shakers were next to threaten at Gigg Lane via Jay O’Shea’s snapshot from the edge of the area. It looked to be on target but it struck the leg of Maynard and trickled harmlessly out for a goal kick.

Tyler Walker then nodded the ball down for his strike partner, Rose, on 27 minutes but the latter was unable to connect with any real purpose.

A minute later saw some brilliant defending by Hamilton as he brought the ball out of the sky, in order to stop Chris Dagnall getting a toe on it at the back-post.

On the half an hour mark it should have been two for the Stags. Khan played a delicate through-ball towards Rose, but the frontman fired wide of the target from just inside Murphy’s area.

Benning then unleashed an effort from a fair distance minutes later but a well-timed block took the sting out of the shot.

Pinball football inside Olejnik’s penalty was eventually cleared by Ryan Sweeney before Walker alleviated Bury pressure by winning a clever free-kick on the halfway line.

Bury swung the ball into the box via a set-piece but, again, it was well defended by the Stags’ back-line.

As the half came to a close, Olejnik still had to be alert as he quickly rushed out to deny Maynard a chance at goal; preserving the Stags’ one-goal cushion as they went into half-time.

The second period started with the same high tempo that the first attained as Rose looked to play a reverse ball towards Benning. Unfortunately, the both striker and left-wing back weren’t on the same wavelength and the hosts were allowed to clear.

Khan then tried a curling effort from 22 yards, which had Murphy scrambling as it fell inches wide of the far post.

The home side looked a threat and were soon level in the 55th minute. Maynard met a header from the near side with an acrobatic volley that flew past a hapless Olejnik from close range.

Bury looked to carry their momentum forward as they continued to put Mansfield under the cosh. Danns drilled a low effort from the edge of the area towards goal, but Olejnik was down well to deny him.

Walker and Khan made way for Will Atkinson and Jacob Mellis past the hour mark in a bid to change Mansfield Town’s fortunes.

In a game that began to stretch as the minutes ticked by, Mansfield won a corner following some neat one-touch football on the far side.

Timi Elsnik whipped the ball into the mix and it was met with aplomb by the head of Preston who put his side back in front in the 73rd minute.

And it should have been a third for the Stags just four minutes later. Rose found himself onside and whilst the striker’s initial cutback was intercepted, it fell kindly to Elsnik who couldn’t keep his effort down from 14 yards.

Hamilton broke forward moments later, beating Will Aimson in a foot race, before crossing to Rose who had an effort from point-blank range blocked. It seemed as though the Stags had earned themselves a corner, however, referee Scott Oldham signalled for a goal kick.

Bury substitute, Dominic Telford, then tumbled inside the area alongside Sweeney but the man in middle was unmoved at the protests from most inside Gigg Lane.

Mellis received the ball from Bishop and tried to wriggle away from a number of defenders. The midfielder made a yard of space for himself but the subsequent effort was tame.

The Shakers, as expected, mounted a final assault on Olejnik’s goal heading into the final five minutes.

There were a minimum of seven minutes added time but the hosts only needed five when Maynard slotted home his second of the afternoon in the 95th minute. The striker found a pocket of space and drilled it past Olejnik to steal a point at the death.

Flitcroft’s side are in action next Tuesday when they welcome Wolves’ U21s to One Call Stadium in the second instalment of their Checkatrade Trophy run.

BURY XI: Murphy (GK), Stokes, Aimson, Thompson, Adams, Mayor, Dagnall (Telford 69’), McFadzean, O’Shea, Danns © (Styles 75’), Maynard.

SUBS NOT USED: Hudson (GK), Miller, Dawson, Cooney, Barjonas.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop, Khan (Mellis 67’), Sweeney, Walker (Atkinson 61’), Elsnik, Hamilton, Rose (Butcher 83’).

SUBS NOT USED: Logan (GK), Sterling-James, Gibbens, Graham.

REFEREE: Scott Oldham.
ASSISTANTS: Graeme Fyvie & Billy Khatib.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Simon Clayton.

ATTENDANCE: 3,880 (640 away).


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