Wednesday, 1st January 2014: Mansfield Town 0 Burton Albion 0

Mansfield Town and Burton Albion shared the points in a dire goalless draw at rainswept One Call Stadium today.

In dreadful conditions, the match survived two inspections.

In the end it went ahead in swirling wind and heavy rain and neither side looked like taking a grip on it.

It was a ninth home game in all competitions without a win for Paul Cox’s men.

But they will take solace from the clean sheet against a side who arrived as one of three teams on the top on the same points, third only on goal difference.

It also underlined Stags’ need for a proven striker in the January window.

Albion were nine games unbeaten coming into this one and provided the few decent moves on an afternoon to be endured rather than enjoyed.

Stags made just one enforced change with injured midfielder Jamie McGuire replaced by Adam Murray.

Otherwise it was the side that won 2-1 at Cheltenham on Sunday to end that horrendous run of 13 games without a League win.

Stags almost gifted the visitors a third minute lead when Sutton was caught out trying to shield the ball into touch.

Kee didn’t give up and managed to win the ball and burst into the box before forcing Marriott into a parry with a fierce finish from a tight angle.

Murray almost sent Rhead clear with a great ball over the top matched by a well-timed run, but keeper Lyness got there first.

McGurk was well wide with a tame effort for the Brewers a few seconds later.

The visitors then enjoyed a spell of pressure which ended with McGurk shooting over from 25 yards.

We saw little of the home side as an attacking force in the first 15 minutes, though a minute later they won the game’s first corner which Lyness grabbed at the second attempt.

After 24 minutes the home side finally managed to get hold of the ball in increasingly difficult conditions until Clements’ clever pass down the right rolled into touch, too far h

ahead of the overlapping Westlake.

Burton came forward again down the right, Edwards whipping in a dangerous cross that Riley was first to, heading clear.

On 29 minutes McDonald’s long throw saw Edwards get away a shot that clipped Tafazoli for a corner.

Marriott eventually punched that clear and it fell to McDonald for a low shot that again deflected for another corner which was cleared.

The game was offering little excitement as the rain again intensified.

McDonald did get himself into a good position on the right, but with Jennings in his way, he screwed a low finish well wide.

Sutton was in the way of a low Kee effort as the end of a miserable half neared.

As the second half started Kee sent a hopeful volley well wide within seconds.

Riley needed attention after trying to see the ball out for a goalkick with Kee in close attention behind.

The central defender was unable to continue and Dempster was forced into the action with the half only four minutes old.

Stags finally had their first shot of the day on 51 minutes as Rhead dragged a low 20 yard effort well wide.

The wind was now gusting at Mansfield, a kick from Lyness making opposite number Marriott stretch and then Marriott’s return not making it two thirds of the way in his own half.

McCrory’s 25 yard effort then came off Murray for another Burton corner which was cleared as we awaited a goal or even a real chance for either side.

McDonald was booked for taking Jennings’ legs late on 57 minutes.

The Brewers won another corner on 63 minutes which was half cleared to Kee whose shot looked to going well wide only to see Marriott palm it aside anyway.

Then Rhead was strong at the far post to stop Sharps getting on the end of a low cross.

Burton made a double change on 65 minutes, but it was the home side who almost broke through a minute later.

Burton didn’t clear a Jennings free kick and Palmer stabbed a low effort across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post.

Murray had already had his final warning for fouling so when he brought down McCrory on 68 minutes out came the yellow card.

Palmer’s free kick then caught on the wind and went straight through to Marriott, who had to keep his eye firmly on it.

On 74 minutes Murray launched a hanging cross towards the far post from the right where Howell leapt to steer a header across goal and out.

A minute later Phillips sent over a high cross from the right which Hussey got on the end of at the far post but could only steer into the sidenetting.

Kee warmed Marriott’s hands soon after as both sides went for the goal that would win it.

On 79 minutes Burton had the best chance of the game as Cansdell-Sheriff was offered a free header from a Hussey corner six yards out only to see it take a slight deflection and pass just over the bar.

Two more corners followed as the pressure mounted on Mansfield.

When Burton’s next raid broke down, Howell was booked on 84 minutes for his foul on Palmer seconds earlier.

Lyness was down bravely as Palmer slid in to prod the ball goalwards between two challenging defenders with six minutes to go.

Dyer replaced Rhead for the last two minutes in a final desperate push for a winner.

Ollie Palmer was booked on 90+2 minutes for not retreating from a free kick.

Sharps joined him two minutes later for his foul on Palmer which offered Stags one last chance from the free kick wide on the right.

But Lyness grabbed Jennings’ kick as the afternoon ended all square.

STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Riley (Dempster 49), Tafazolli; Westlake, Murray, Howell, Clements; Rhead, Palmer. Subs not used: Stevenson, Dyer, Beevers, Meikle, Deakin, Daniel.

BURTON: Lyness, Edwards, Sharps, Weir, MacDonald (Hussey 65), McCrory, Phillips, McGurk (Howe 65), Cansdell-Sheriff (Diamond 82), Kee. Subs not used: Siegrist, Bell, Knowles, Holness.

REFEREE: Trevor Kettle of Berkshire.

ATTENDANCE: 3,266 (729 away).