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Match Reports

Report: Morecambe 1-1 Stags

8 February 2020

Joe Riley’s first Mansfield Town goal helped his side to a 1-1 draw with Morecambe at the Globe Arena on Saturday afternoon.

After a first half that contained few chances of note, both the pace and tension ascended in the second period.

Full-back Riley was on hand to fire his side into a deserved lead on the hour mark, yet the hosts responded as Alex Kenyon climbed off the bench to salvage a point for his side in Lancashire.

Graham Coughlan made just one enforced alteration to his starting line-up that last faced Carlisle United exactly one week ago.

Alex MacDonald, who suffered a hamstring injury in that first half, was replaced by Will Tomlinson and new signing Jack Evans therefore made the bench.

An assured start by Mansfield marked a near-monopoly of possession as they sought an early breakthrough on the west coast. Danny Rose found himself on the receiving end of Ryan Sweeney’s header but was unable to shift away from Steven Old’s challenge to let fly.

Morecambe eventually found a grip on the contest when Krystian Pearce upended Cole Stockton, although the subsequent delivery was cleared with relative ease.

John O’Sullivan’s attempted one-two with Adam Phillips then broke down on the right flank before the latter was presented with a brilliant chance to make amends.

Inside the penalty area, Phillips latched onto the loose ball ahead of everyone else until Bobby Olejnik instinctively pounced at the feet of the forward, denying him a close-range attempt at opening the scoring.

The No. 31 again found himself in a goalscoring position as he ghosted inwards to meet Stockton’s chip; however, Mal Benning’s pressure from behind kept the eventual header off target.

Mansfield themselves fashioned space when Joe Riley lofted beyond the hosts’ defensive line to find Kelland Watts – the defender nodding into the outstretched arm of Christoffer Mafoumbi.

It was a quicker beginning to proceedings in the second period, which saw the home side carve out an opportunity inside two minutes. Possession was cut back towards Aaron Wildig but his first-time effort looped high over stand looming behind Olejnik’s net.

Coughlan’s side retaliated by beating their opposition’s press and giving Harry Charsley time to curl towards goal, albeit above the bar, before Benning stung the palms of Mafoumbi.

The Stags were evidently growing in stature and they showcased it in the best possible manner on the hour mark.

Pearce’s powerful header forced Mafoumbi into a smart, low save but the ‘keeper was unable to recover when Riley rushed forwards to smack home the rebound.

The travelling amber and blue met the full-back’s first Mansfield goal with collective celebrations but, soon after, were left applauding work at the other end of the field.  

Sweeney spotted the imminent danger transpiring and duly threw himself in the direction of Stockton’s powerful drive as the hosts chased an immediate response.

The Stags were up against a barrage of attacks with the Shrimps grabbing their desired equaliser late on.

Jordan Cranston’s corner from the far side dropped to Kenyon whose neat flick with the outside of the left boot left Olejnik with no chance of preserving his clean sheet in Lancashire.

And the shot-stopper was required to produce heroics in the dying embers.

Morecambe kept their foot on the throttle and the Austrian was needed to thwart Jordan Slew from point-blank range and send his side home with one solitary point.

Mansfield face a quick turnaround as they travel to Leyton Orient on Tuesday evening in Sky Bet League Two.

STAGS XI: Olejnik (GK), Benning, Pearce ©, Bishop, Maynard (Hamilton 76’), Watts, Tomlinson, Sweeney, Riley (Clarke 82’), Charsley, Rose (Davies 90+2’).

UNUSED SUBS: Stone (GK), Preston, Evans, Knowles.

MORECAMBE XI: Mafoumbi (GK), Old, O’Sullivan (Kenyon 61’), Stockton, Wildig (Slew 71’), Lavelle ©, Mendes-Gomes (Mbulu 71’), Cooney, Phillips, Diagouraga, Cranston.

UNUSED SUBS: Halstead (GK), Conlan, Bradbury.

REFEREE: Scott Oldham

ASSISTANTS: Paul Graham & Mark Cunliffe

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Peter Shacklady

ATTENDANCE: 1,965 (337 away)


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