Five things we learned from Mansfield Town’s draw at Harrogate Town

Inevitably it was Mansfield Town's bogey team Harrogate Town who ended their club record-breaking winning streak at eight games last night, though Stags did take their first ever point off them in a dour 0-0 draw.

Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 2:40 pm
Oli Hawkins is denied by the Harrogate defender. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media
Oli Hawkins is denied by the Harrogate defender. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

Here are five things we learned from the game.

1: When you are below par and can't win then don't lose – it was a good point

Every point is precious and successful sides, when they can't find a way to win a game, make sure they don't lose it.

Mansfield Town midfielder Ryan Stirk in action at Harrogate. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

Harrogate is a tough, old place to go and a powerful wind further hampered hopes of playing any football.

Despite the disappointment of the winning run ending, based on past results against them Stags know this was a point earned and not two dropped and it could turn out to be a very important one come May.

2: Harrogate Town remain a bogey team for now

That is now five times Stags have played Harrogate since the Yorkshire club were promoted into the Football League and they still have not managed to beat them.

The Stags are denied by Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

At least it was a draw last night after the four previous defeats though Harrogate hit the Stags bar very late on in a moment where it seemed the jinx would strike again.

Accrington built up a strong bogey team reputation against the Stags when they were in League Two and Mansfield had gone an astonishing 13 games without a win against them.

That all ended in spectacular fashion in a Carabao Cup first round game in August 2018 when Stags spanked them 6-1.

That would be a nice way to end this new, growing run with Harrogate next meeting. Or better still, even nicer would be to be a division higher than them next season and worry about it another day.

Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Oxley punches clear. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

3: Stags showed how much breaking the record had taken out of them

Nigel Clough said his side had been desperate to break the club's winning record and, being so close to it, had dug very deep.

To play with 10 men for so long and win 3-1 at Barrow to equal the record was a herculean feat.

And to then battle the gale force wind, difficult pitch, and a stubborn, well-organised Leyton Orient side and achieve the record on Saturday was simply magnificent.

Mansfield Town forward Lucas Akins looks for a way past the Harrogate defence. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

Clough's players were pressing right to the final whistle and gave everything.

So, on another windy night away to a bogey side just three days later it was hardly surprising there were visible signs of tired legs and tired minds.

It was hard to change a record-breaking winning team. But on the night they looked in desperate need of fresh legs which was why Clough made his changes earlier than usual after half-time.

4: Jordan Bowery probably equalised but his luck evened out

Did Jordan Bowery's close range finish cross the Harrogate line in the second half? It certainly looked that way to many.

The linesman did not appear to be where he needed to be and the referee couldn't tell from where he was. But it looked over to many and a still from the video again suggests it was, though is inconclusive.

Mansfield Town defender Elliott Hewitt shoots towards the Harrogate goal. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

As Bowery netted one after handling and it was allowed to stand on Saturday, it would appear his luck evened out over the three days.

But he had no luck with his manager who publicly berated him afterwards for not making sure that his finish bulged the net from that sort of range.

5: This week's break will do Stags the world of good and the new boys can stake a claim

With no game this weekend, Mansfield Town' s record-breakers go into a well-earned week's break on a nine-game unbeaten league run and everything to play for.

Those jaded limbs and minds get a chance to recoup and Clough has said rest is as important as training for those who have played the most and they will be able to get their feet up and shake off niggling knocks.

At the same time the new signings will get their first chances to impress on the training pitch and stake a claim for a starting place against Colchester United on Tuesday night.

With Farrend Rawson also back from suspension, Clough will have an absolute wealth of options to choose from and will select his strongest available side.

Stephen Quinn wins the ball. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media
Oli Hawkins waits for the corner ball. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media
George Maris heads towards goal. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media