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Match Reports

Match report: Stags 1-0 Cambridge United

6 April 2019

Tyler Walker’s 63rd-minute strike proved vital to ensure Mansfield Town emerged as 1-0 victors against Cambridge United at One Call Stadium.

A rather lacklustre first period ended all-square after neither side were able to conjure any clear-cut chances.

However, the second half soon sparked into life when Walker, extending his goal tally to 24 for the campaign, gave his side maximum points to lift the Stags up to second in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Following the scintillating performance against Exeter last Saturday, David Flitcroft left his starting line-up untouched.

On the substitute’s bench, however, both Ryan Sweeney and Jorge Grant were welcomed back after recovering from illness and injury respectively.

It was a measured start to proceedings at One Call Stadium as both sides looked to settle in possession.  

Walker managed to escape the attentions of his marker inside the Cambridge penalty area but his attempted cross was blocked early on.

Neal Bishop was then fed a long ball by his central-midfield partner, Will Tomlinson, yet was unable to pull the trigger following a neat touch.

Mansfield were evidently in the ascendency and almost reaped the rewards when CJ Hamilton looked to sprint clear.

The frontman – released by Alex MacDonald’s pass – captured a momentary sight at goal before George Taft ushered the ball from danger.  

Cambridge themselves were not without threat, though, highlighted when Brad Halliday’s goal-bound effort had to be punched clear by Conrad Logan.

Soon after, the U’s tried their luck once more but were thwarted by Ben Turner’s block.

Walker then shaped to curl an effort of his own towards Dimitar Mitov’s goal, yet he could only watch as it sailed wide of the mark.

This marked the end of a goalless first half that lacked any gilt-edged chances.

Flitcroft opted to replace Turner with Sweeney at the interval as the Stags chased their latest victory in Sky Bet League Two.

But it was the visitors who almost found the opener when Alex Jones’ neat flick, that looked to be sneaking in, was grasped by Logan.

Both Danny Rose and Jacob Mellis then entered the fray on the hour mark in a bid to break the deadlock.

The former almost made an immediate impact when his flick-on found Walker – only for the striker to be denied by the offside flag.  

Walker, though, was not to be denied in the 63rd minute when his first gilt-edged chance presented itself.

Played through by Mellis, the on-loan striker bent a precise strike beyond the sprawling efforts of Mitov and into the far corner.

Cambridge looked for an instant response to falling behind but could only find a resolute Stags' back-line in their path.

Mal Benning then played a neat one-two with the Stags’ goalscorer, Walker, but the latter’s prodded attempt was deflected wide.

The last few moments expectedly saw the U’s pile on the pressure for a late equaliser.

Substitute Rushian Hepburn-Murphy received possession inside the Stags’ penalty area, but Logan arrived with a huge save to thwart the youngster and keep his side in the driving seat.

The Cambridge striker would have raced clear minutes later, too, had it not been for a heavy touch.

Into the 94th minute, Walker looked to return the favour for Mellis, but his reverse pass was intercepted at the last.  

The Stags’ next league outing takes them to the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday to face Northampton Town.

STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Benning, Preston, Pearce ©, Bishop (Mellis 60’), MacDonald, Tomlinson, Walker, Jones (Rose 60’), Hamilton, Turner (Sweeney 46’).

SUBS NOT USED: Smith (GK), Atkinson, Grant, Hakeem. 

CAMBRIDGE UNITED XI: Mitov (GK), Halliday, Carroll, Taft, Taylor ©, Amoo, Maris (Deegan 12’), Lambe, Brown, Jones (Hepburn-Murphy 71’), Doyle-Hayes (Coulson 74’). 

SUBS NOT USED: Forde (GK), Darling, Davies, John.  

REFEREE: Craig Hicks.  

ASSISTANTS: Matthew Parry & Steven Plane.


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