REPORT: Hartlepool United 0-0 Mansfield Town

Mansfield Town's CJ Hamilton controls the ball - Pic by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's CJ Hamilton controls the ball - Pic by Chris Holloway
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Battling Mansfield earned themselves a welcome point on the road having been under the cosh for much of this contest.

The out-of-sorts Stags have now not won in their last four matches in all competitions, but this spirited performance shows there’s plenty of life in the camp.

Adam Murray’s side soaked up plenty of pressure, but some resolute defending – and some poor finishing from the home side – meant this one ended in a stalemate.

The visitors found themselves under pressure from early on as Lewis Alessandra saw his goalbound shot deflected wide by defender Krystian Pearce in the 11th minute.

A few minutes later striker Danny Rose had an ambitious overhead kick blocked as the Stags went in search of the opening goal.

But at the other end former Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Paynter had a shot blocked.

Midfielder Josh Laurent should have scored for the Pools, but he blazed over from close range.

And then seven minutes before the break midfielder Lewis Hawkins had a powerful shot blocked as the home side threatened to score once again.

Laurent tried his luck with a shot from distance, but his powerful 25-yard flew wide of the target.

Pools’ were pressuring and Paynter then had a goal disallowed for offside. It was a lucky escape for the visitors.

Rhys Benning went close with a curling shot just before the hour mark, but then Scott Shearer was forced to pull off a fine save to thwart Laurent.

Paynter was proving a nuisance and he rifled wide with a right-foot shot in the 72nd minute.

But despite all the pressure the home side just couldn’t find a way past the Stags.

The visitors broke and nearly scored against the run of play. Mitch Rose played in Matt Green, but keeper Trevor Carson denied the striker with an excellent block.

Laurent nearly scored with four minutes remaining, but he dragged his volley inches wide of the target.

Hartlepool: Carson, Donnelly, Nsiala, Featherstone, Magnay (Carroll 45), Hawkins (Deverdics 80), Harrison, Alessandra, N Thomas, Paynter (Amond 74).

Subs: Bartlett, Richards, Fewster, Heardman.

Mansfield: Shearer, Rose, Benning, Pearce, Bennett, Collins, Lacovitti, Green, McGuire, D Rose (Hemmings 71), Hamilton (Gobern 49).

Subs: Hoban, Baxendale, Jensen, Hurst, Henderson.

Referee: Darren Handley