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Match Reports

Match report: Stags 0-0 Oldham Athletic

2 October 2018

Mansfield Town were held to a 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic despite a dominant performance at One Call Stadium.

The Stags had an abundance of chances throughout the 90 minutes to claim all three points but lacked the final touch to seal it.

Otis Khan had the game’s best chance after just eight minutes when his effort bounced off the frame of the goal.

After Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Northampton Town – the Yellows’ biggest league win of the season thus far – Flitcroft stuck with the same starting line-up that brought them joy previously.

Jacob Mellis did however replace Jordan Graham on the substitutes bench.

The Stags started proceedings in bright fashion under the floodlights as Danny Rose won a foul 30 yards from goal. The resulting set-piece was almost turned in via an Oldham head, but Daniel Iversen was on hand to smartly tip it around the post.

And in just the eighth minute the home supporters were left bewildered. CJ Hamilton squared the ball towards Khan after some hesitation from Iversen – however, Khan could only strike the frame of an empty goal.

Two minutes later saw some more neat play by Flitcroft’s men. Tyler Walker shielded the ball expertly and flashed it across the face of goal, but it flew past everyone for a throw-in on the near side.

Ishmael Miller tried to run in-behind the Stags’ defence but was imminently halted by the flag of Ken Haycock as he signalled for handball.

Walker then had a great chance to break the deadlock following Rose’s flick-on. The striker found himself one-on-one with Iversen but dragged his left-footed effort wide of the target.

The home side were finding plenty of room to flaunt their attacking prowess inside the first 25 minutes – despite lacking that final touch.

Mal Benning then sought to connect with a pinpoint cross from Hamilton but was unable to get the required touch.

The left-wing back, Benning, then looked to turn provider as he delivered a cross to the far post. Rose leaped highest but his header never looked to trouble Iversen.

In the 28th minute, Hamilton almost netted the evening’s opener in superb fashion. Cutting inside onto his left foot, he curled an effort goalwards that was palmed over by Iversen.

Rose then hurried Christopher Missilou into a mistake and his slide-rule pass found Walker who forced yet another good save from Iversen.

Rob Hunt charged down the right-flank in Oldham’s first meaningful attack of the evening – an attack which resulted in Bobby Olejnik claiming the midfielder’s attempted cross.

But the home side responded immediately with the Stags faithful in fine voice, too. Timi Elsnik picked out Walker with a delicate cross but it fell off-target.

With little over a minute from half-time, Hamilton struck a venomous shot that had to be parried behind by Iversen. The resulting corner looked to be met by Ryan Sweeney but he couldn’t divert his header goalwards.

The Stags’ gaffer, alongside the fans and players, would take plenty of positives into the second-half despite the score remaining goalless.

Flitcroft made a substitution during the interval as Walker was replaced by Will Atkinson.

Picking up where they left off, the home side looked the more dangerous in the opening minutes of the second-half. Hamilton delivered a ball to the back-post which was subsequently volleyed into the side netting by Benning.

Hunt raced behind Benning on 53 minutes, and after some hesitation, fired the ball over Olejnik’s crossbar.

Moments later, Hamilton, involved once more, latched onto a Matt Preston through-ball. He cut inside but saw his attempt blocked by the ankles of George Edmunson.

Elsnik tried to score his second goal in consecutive matches as he unleashed a rasping drive from the edge of Iversen’s area. It took an almighty deflection to only award the Stags a corner.

It was wave after wave of Mansfield attacks but neither side had yet to register that all-important opening goal.

This time it was Rose who powered forward with the ball and had to be chopped down by Andy Taylor; who received a yellow card for his efforts.

Substitute Will Atkinson was adjudged to have been brought down right on the edge of the 18-yard-box, however, Elsnik stepped up and fired the free-kick over the bar.

Hamilton found space after a succession of neat one-touch play by the home side but he unluckily slips as he lines up a cross.

In the 82nd minute, the visitors looked to capitalise on a rare chance with a free-kick 25 yards out. A training ground routine never caused the Stags a problem as it resulted in only a goal kick.

Atkinson then had a glorious chance three minutes later following Craig Davies’ cross. He dived at the back-post to meet it with his head but it rolled just inches past the post!

The Latics looked to threaten on the counter attack just two minutes from time but Sweeney snuffed out the danger with a great challenge on Mohamed Maouche.

There were hearts in mouths for the Stags faithful in the last seconds of the match. Olejnik looked to pump the ball forward but slipped in the process, presenting the ball to Chris O’Grady, who couldn’t make anything of the last-ditch opportunity.

This signalled full-time and ended a night for the home side where the result never quite matched the performance on the pitch.

Next up for Flitcroft’s side is a trip to Energy Check Stadium to face Bury in the Sky Bet League Two.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop, Khan (Davies 67’), Sweeney, Walker (Atkinson 46’), Elsnik (Mellis 74’), Hamilton, Rose.

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

OLDHAM ATHLETIC XI: Iversen (GK), Dummigan (Baxter 46’), Taylor, Edmunson, Gardner, O’Grady, Miller (Maouche 76’), Missilou, Lang (Graham 46’), Hunt, Clarke ©.

SUBS NOT USED: de la Paz (GK), Benteke, Branger-Engone, Nepomuceno.

REFEREE: Thomas Bramall.

ASSISTANTS: Ken Haycock & Paul Graham.

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Robert Akin.

ATTENDANCE: 3,829 (411 away).


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