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Match Reports

Reserves report: Stags 2-2 Peterborough United

7 January 2020

Stags’ reserves drew 2-2 with Peterborough United reserves in windy conditions at The RH Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

Young striker Jimmy Knowles opened the scoring inside the first five minutes before midfielder Alistair Smith doubled the Mansfield advantage in the second-half.

However, a header from Sam Cartwright and a stoppage time Harrison Burrows penalty rescued a point for the visitors in the Central League Cup clash.

It was Peterborough who started on the front foot, as Serhat Tasdemir had his low effort from the edge of the area well blocked by George Cooper.

In the immediate counter-attack, the Stags found the game’s opening goal. The ball was chipped over the defensive line by Smith, and following a defensive error from Connor Peters, Knowles was on hand to open the scoring with a first-time finish.

Peterborough looked to find a rapid response and would have equalised through the head of Cartwright had it not been for a superb diving save from goalkeeper Aidan Stone.

The Posh had another golden opportunity to score in the 12th minute, but the unmarked Burrows could not make a clean connection inside the area.

The windy conditions looked to aid the visitors from a set piece situation, as Stone needed to remain alert to prevent an in-swinging corner from finding the top corner.

Space opened up for Otis Khan at the edge of the area, but the former Yeovil Town man could not keep his effort below the crossbar.

As the half drew to a close, Peterborough went mightily close to finding their equaliser. The dangerous Siriki Dembele released a curling effort which was kept out by the foot of Stone’s right-hand post.

Attacking midfielder Omari Sterling-James had the final chance of an entertaining half, with his long range, speculative curler going just over the bar.

The Stags then once again scored in the first five minutes of a half. Striker Craig Davies lent the ball to Khan, who drove into the area before pulling the ball back across goal.

Young midfielder Smith arrived late and doubled the lead with an emphatic first-time finish.

With chances at a premium for the 15 minutes that followed, the only real opening of note was Joe Ward’s free-kick, which was kept out by the diving Stone.

After going close with a header in the first-half, Cartwright then found the net from a corner situation. He rose above the Mansfield defence to loop his effort over Stone to halve the deficit.

Ward then could have equalised for the visitors, but opted to cross the ball instead of firing at goal, when the latter may have been the more suitable option at the back post.

With the full-time whistle looming, a tangle of legs between Sterling-James and a Peterborough man meant that the visitors had the chance to level the score from the spot.

Burrows stepped up and planted his penalty into the bottom left corner, sending Stone the wrong way, before the final whistle was blown moments later.

The draw means that the Stags have won, drawn and lost their opening three Central League Cup matches.

STAGS’ XI: Stone (GK), Tomlin, Saunders, Cooper, Sketchley, Law, Smith, Khan, Sterling-James, Knowles, Davies (C).

UNUSED SUBS: Campbell (GK), Scott, Hill, Lawson, Molyneaux.

PETERBOROUGH XI: O'Malley, Mensah, Powell, Copping, Cartwright, Peters, Ward, Barker, Tasdemir (Quantrell 63'), Dembele (Rolt 63'), Burrows.

UNUSED SUBS: Allen, O'Connell, Roudette-Gregory.

REFEREE: Peter Henger.


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