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Match Reports

Match report: Crawley Town 0-0 Stags

12 March 2019

Mansfield Town were held to a goalless draw by Crawley Town in Tuesday night’s Sky Bet League Two clash.

The visitors created a number of good chances throughout the contest, yet were kept at bay by a resolute Crawley defence.

Results elsewhere, however, means that the Stags move back up into third in the Sky Bet League Two standings.

Stags’ boss David Flitcroft made five changes to the side that featured against Port Vale on Saturday for Tuesday evening’s encounter.

There was a change between the posts as Conrad Logan came in for Jordan Smith.

Defenders Gethin Jones and Ben Turner also started the game, along with Alex MacDonald, who scored a memorable goal against Cheltenham earlier this month.

Top scorer Tyler Walker returned from a two-match suspension to start the game.

The Stags started the clash strongly and almost took the lead inside the first minute. CJ Hamilton was allowed to break down the right-hand side, and saw his pull-back fired just wide by MacDonald.

Despite the early scare, the hosts began to get a foothold in the game, and were the better side in the opening stages.

A corner was cleared directly to Josh Payne, who fired high and wide with his first time effort, and Matty Willock saw his effort go marginally over from the edge of the area.

George Francomb had an opportunity to deliver a cross from a wide free-kick, but Logan claimed well as he was called into action for the first time.

Jorge Grant looked to be penned into the corner by Tom Dallison, yet an unbelievable piece of skill saw the midfielder escape his man and earn a free-kick, which ultimately resulted in very little for Mansfield.

Two key chances then fell to the Stags in quick succession.

Jacob Mellis found CJ Hamilton with an inch-perfect pass, and the winger fired agonisingly wide as he aimed for the far corner.

Hamilton turned provider for Walker just moments after, yet the Mansfield forward was smothered by goalkeeper Glenn Morris, who saved well with his chest from the one-on-one opportunity.

Grant, who was enjoying a strong display thus far, found Mellis in space in the area with a precise pass. The Mansfield No. 8 saw his strike blocked, however, and could not reach the rebound.

Logan was put to the test at the other end, and answered the call of duty in style. Firstly, he pushed away Ollie Palmer’s long range effort, before immediately parrying Lewis Young’s powerful drive from the rebound.

Just seconds before the whistle for half-time, Grant was set up by a Hamilton cut-back, yet the tricky midfielder was bravely denied by Tom Dallison’s block.

Grant was at the heart of the action towards the beginning of the second period as he found Jones, who saw his delivery claimed by Morris.

MacDonald showed sheer determination to intercept in midfield, before releasing Hamilton. The winger’s touch, however, was slightly too heavy to make the most of the move.

A low delivery from Palmer was well dealt with by Turner, who was displaying his best performance in Mansfield colours since joining the Stags.

Turner stood firm up against Palmer once again, forcing the former Mansfield striker to take a heavy touch in a promising area.

Grant was able to find space in a wide area and get to the byline, although Morris was quick to race off his line and claim the low delivery.

The midfielder was once again involved as he singlehandedly launched a promising Mansfield counter, yet the move resulted in a poor cross from Hamilton, which sailed behind for a goal kick.

At the other end, Willock’s looping half-volley was watched wide by Logan, who had his angles well covered.

Logan reacted well to Young’s low cross, claiming the ball to stub out a period of Crawley pressure.

The Stags thought they had a golden chance as Grant was released by Mellis, yet the No.23 was halted by the offside flag.

Right at the death, Mansfield went extremely close to snatching all three points.

Jones delivered a tempting ball into the Crawley area, which was met first time by Walker. The on-loan forward saw his clever effort clip the post, however.

Walker had another chance to fire home the winner from the edge of the area, but his strike was well-blocked by a Crawley body.

The eyes of Grant lit up as Mansfield were awarded a free-kick in a shooting position deep into stoppage time, yet the attacking midfielder’s set piece deflected behind for a corner, which resulted in a home clearance.

Referee Lee Collins brought an end to proceedings soon after, meaning Mansfield had to settle for a point in West Sussex.

Up next for the Stags is a huge game at One Call Stadium, as we welcome Lincoln City for a 7.45pm kick-off on Monday 18 March.

STAGS' XI: Logan, Jones, Pearce, Turner, Benning, MacDonald (Tomlinson 82’), Bishop, Mellis, Hamilton, Walker, Grant.

UNUSED SUBS: J. Smith, Khan, Atkinson, Ajose, A. Smith, Hakeem.

CRAWLEY XI: Morris, Young, Payne (Bulman 66’), McNerney, Grego-Cox, Palmer, Francomb, Dallison, Sesay, Willock, Camara (Morais 75’).

UNUSED SUBS: Mersin, German, Meite, N’Gala.

REFEREE: Lee Collins
ASSISTANT REFEREES: Andrew Laver and Stephen Finch

ATTENDANCE: 1,909 (219 away)

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