REPORT: Mansfield Town 0-0 Stevenage - Slow start to the season continues for Stags

Picture John Hobson/AHPIX LTD, Football, Sky Bet League Two, Mansfield Town v Stevenage, One Call Stadium, Mansfield, UK, 24/08/19, K.O 3pm''Mansfields Mal Benning with a shot on goal''Howard Roe>>>>>>>07973739229
Picture John Hobson/AHPIX LTD, Football, Sky Bet League Two, Mansfield Town v Stevenage, One Call Stadium, Mansfield, UK, 24/08/19, K.O 3pm''Mansfields Mal Benning with a shot on goal''Howard Roe>>>>>>>07973739229

Mansfield Town’s slow start to the season continued after a 0-0 draw with Stevenage.

Stags, who have already drawn three of their opening five games, enjoyed plenty of possession but were unable to create enough clear cut chances.

Alex MacDonald, Danny Rose and Mal Benning all had early first half chances before Mansfield began to fade.

And it was a similar story in the second half as Stags bossed the game but lacked a killer pass in the final third.

Mansfield ended the match on a high as they continued to pepper the visiting goal without finding their reward.

In form Danny Rose came close to winning it for Mansfield but was denied by a brilliant one handed reflex save by Paul Farman.

Stags were denied a spot-kick when Omari-Sterling James was fouled, with the referee ruling it was inches outside the box.

And Stags knew it was not going to be their day when Luther James-Wildin pulled off a blinding goal-line clearance to keep out MacDonald.

Conrad Logan played a key part in making a point safe in the first half after he brilliantly spread himself to keep out Paul Taylor on 12 minutes.

Stags were forced to make four changes going into the game with right-back James Clarke making his first EFL start in the place of the injured Hayden White.

Matt Preston returned from a three match ban in place of Krystian Pearce, who was suffering from a sprained ankle.

Jacob Mellis, who made a full apology ahead of the game for his breach of club discipline, was recalled to the first team.

Winger CJ Hamilton also started in place of injured front-man Nicky Maynard.

Alex MacDonald failed to get a proper connection on his shot following a brilliant flowing move involving Mal Benning and CJ Hamilton on six minutes.

Danny Rose headed straight at Paul Farman two minutes later as Mansfield kept up the pressure.

Conrad Logan pulled off a brilliant smothering save to keep out Paul Taylor on 12 minutes.

Will Tomlinson fired a long range effort just wide two minutes later as the open start continued.

Farman beat away a powerful effort from Benning on 23 minutes following a well worked corner.

But, the good start, began to fade, as Stags started to drop their tempo and lack ideas, allowing Stevenage to gain a good foothold into the game.

Ryan Sweeney had a goal ruled out for offside on 36 minutes as Stags continued to be frustrated.

CJ Hamilton saw a shot deflected for a corner, before Mal Benning fired well wide as Stags showed some early attacking intent right after the restart.

Otkis Khan and Rose had goalbound shots blocked before Stevenage managed to scramble the ball to safety on 58 minutes.

Rose again headed wide from 12 yards minutes later, before Benning could only find the side netting with a deflected shot.

Matt Preston failed to connect with his header following a 70th minute corner as time started to run out.

Farman pulled off a brilliant one handed reflect save to deny Danny Rose on 77 minutes.

Stags thought they had won a late penalty when Omari Sterling-James was fouled - only for referee Marc Edwards to rule it had taken places inches outside the box.

MacDonald was then denied by a stunning goal-line clearance by Luther James-Wildin with two minutes to go.

Mansfield Town: Logan, Clarke, Preston, Sweeney, Benning, MacDonald (Knowles 89), Tomlinson, Mellis, Hamilton, Khan (Sterling-James 68), Rose. Subs: Sinclair, Law, Gibbens, Smith, Stone

Stevenage: Farman, Carter (Fielding 77), Soares, Watts, Wildin, Byrom, Husin (Iontton 55), Stokes, Lakin, Newton, Taylor (Kennedy 45). Subs: Cowley, Bastien, Fielding, Smith

Referee: Marc Edwards.

ATT: 3,982 (97).

Chad MOM: Danny Rose.