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Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-2 Port Vale

26 December 2019

Match Reports

Report: Stags 2-2 Port Vale

26 December 2019

Nicky Maynard and CJ Hamilton completed a dramatic late fightback that saw Mansfield Town draw 2-2 with Port Vale at One Call Stadium on Boxing Day.

After an electric first period in Nottinghamshire, both sides upped the ante even further in the second half.

The centre-half pairing of Nathan Smith and Leon Legge had Vale in pole position heading into the dying embers but Mansfield remained upbeat.

And it proved decisive as Maynard initially reduced the arrears with a calm finish before Hamilton slammed home his first league goal of the campaign in the 93rd minute.

Graham Coughlan named an identical starting line-up to the one that picked up a point against Northampton Town last Saturday.

The only alteration came on the substitutes' bench with Jacob Mellis replacing Will Tomlinson.

And the latter’s delightful delivery almost had Mansfield off to the perfect start. Hanging the ball in from the right side, skipper Ryan Sweeney leaped but was unable to keep the header under control.

Danny Rose then linked up positively with Hamilton before the winger struck his effort wide of the mark.

The home side had begun in sprightly fashion and were on the hunt for the afternoon’s opening goal – epitomised when Andy Cook stole possession from Smith before hurrying forward and winning a dangerous free-kick.

Soon after, alert defending by Matt Preston denied Cristian Montano an assist with his cross searching for a Vale body inside the penalty area.

Just shy of the half-hour mark, though, both sides should have made their mark on the scoresheet.

First, brilliant work by youngster James Clarke set Hamilton to strike but when his effort landed at the feet of Rose, he was unable to connect properly with the bouncing ball.

Down the other end, Montano’s clip found David Amoo unopposed yet his header from close range was powered harmlessly out of play.

Cook then had to reach around his marker to meet Alex MacDonald’s cross yet it resulted in an easy claim for Scott Brown.

Into the second half and Mansfield came so close to finding an opener through Neal Bishop.  

The midfielder used his chest to bring the ball under his spell before thumping agonisingly the wrong side of the upright.

And for what would have been a fantastic finish, Vale took full advantage in the 53rd minute.

Possession was worked out to Amoo in the right channel and he was able to drill the ball towards Smith who remained calm from 10 yards out.

This sparked the amber and blue into overdrive as several chances came and went within the space of a few moments.

Rose miscued another gilt-edged chance before Hamilton’s pullback was blocked inside the penalty area.

The Stags, however, were dealt another blow 13 minutes later.

A corner from the far side was not dealt with by Coughlan’s side and following pinball on the goal line, it was Legge who was adjudged to have bundled the ball far enough.

The Stags’ boss opted for three substitutions in response to the visitors’ second and it was the first, Maynard, that halved the deficit with the clock ticking towards full time.

Montano thought he’d cleared any imminent danger but the No. 11 latched onto the loose ball and fired into the bottom corner with unerring accuracy.

It meant there would be a grandstand finish at One Call Stadium with four minutes additional time.

The Valiants were content in their duties of sitting back and holding on for victory – that was before substitute Jacob Mellis fed Hamilton.

The winger, from the tightest of angles, drilled into the far corner with aplomb and sent the home faithful into raptures.

There would no time to complete the comeback as both sides therefore had to settle for a point each on Boxing Day.

Next up for the Stags is a trip to face Bradford City on Sunday 29 December in Sky Bet League Two.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), Benning, Preston, Bishop (Mellis 74’), MacDonald (Khan 68’), Tomlinson, Sweeney, Cook, Clarke, Hamilton, Rose (Maynard 68’).

UNUSED SUBS: Logan (GK), Pearce, Davies, Knowles.

PORT VALE XI: Brown (GK), Gibbons, Joyce, Legge ©, Worrall, Pope (Archer 86’), Montano, Atkinson, Smith, Amoo, Burgess.

UNUSED SUBS: Maddison (GK), Cullen, Pugh, Browne, Evans, Lloyd.

REFEREE: Martin Coy

ASSISTANTS: Richard Woodward & Joe Simpson


ATTENDANCE: 5,565 (953 away)

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