Mansfield Town 0 Cambridge United 0 - half time

MANSFIELD Town are currently being held 0-0 against Cambridge United in the BSP at Field Mill

Stas begun the game slowly and nearly fell behind on 14 minutes when Luke Berry cracked an effort against Marriott’s post.

But Mansfield came back into the game and should have taken the lead on 30 mins when new signing Nick Hegarty blasted over from close range when it was easier to score.

Boss Paul Cox made three changes to his starting line-up as Stags looked to erase the bad memories after their midweek hammering at Fleetwood Town.

Top scorer Matt Green made a welcome return to the side at the expense of Louis Moult after shaking off the sickness bug which swept through Field Mill this week.

Defender Kieron Freeman, signed on loan from Nottingham Forest on Friday, and winger Nick Hegarty, who was signed from St Mirren also on loan, were given places in the starting line-up.

Cambridge came to Field Mill on the back of a thumping 6-2 win at Hayes and Yeading and with just one defeat in their last 15 outings.

Cambridge had the first effort of the game when an Ashley Carew free-kick clipped the back of team-mate Luke Berry before floating out for a goal-kick.

Stags captain Adam Murray knew he would have to be careful when he was booked after just six minutes for a foul on Kevin Roberts.

The fifth-placed visitors were a breath away from breaking the deadlock on 14 minutes when Berry burst into the box before cracking his effort against Marriott’s right post.

Michael Wylde then saw his strike blocked for a corner as he attempted to steer the rebound home.

The lively Carew then curled a 16th minute free-kick wide of Marriott’s goal as the confident U’s began to turn up the pressure.

Tom Shaw fired another warning shot for Cambridge on 23 minutes after a layoff from Gash left Shaw in space 25 yards out.

At the other end struggling Stags finally managed to register their first attempt on Naisbitt’s goal a minute later when new-boy Kieron Freeman headed an O’Neill cross wide from eight yards.

A flowing move involving Dyer and Meikle down the right wing could have seen Mansfield take the lead on 26 minutes as the home side finally began to come back into the game.

But Meikle’s final ball was poor as he failed to pick out a well-placed Matt Green in the box before the ball was cleared to safety.

Stags should have opened the scoring on the half hour mark when Dyer and Meikle once again combined well.

Meikle whipped the ball in from the left before Dyer knocked the ball down into the path of Hegarty.

But, with the goal at his mercy, the former St Mirren player somehow skied his effort over the bar when it would have been easier to score.

Stags continued to turn up the heat and again came close to opening the scoring on 39 minutes when Naisbitt was caught out of position as he attempted to cut out a long ball through midfield.

Dyer beat the shot-stopper to the ball on the right corner of the box before squaring the ball into the danger area as Green sensed a tap-in into an empty net.

But defender Tom Shaw did just enough to block Green to the ball and his scuffed effort was gobbled up by the hastily retreating Naisbitt.