REPORT: Mansfield Town 0-0 Yeovil Town

Mal Benning gets forward for Stags. Photo by Chris Etchells.
Mal Benning gets forward for Stags. Photo by Chris Etchells.

A cold and frustrating afternoon saw struggling Yeovil Town hold Mansfield Town to a 0-0 draw at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.

A game of very few real chances saw the Glovers dig deep to pick up only their second League Two point in six outings.

Indeed, they had the best chances of a poor first half before an even worse second half saw CJ Hamilton denied by a fine save by the visiting keeper.

On a freezing cold afternoon, it was disappointing fare as the home side struggled to get into gear and the visitors frustrated them at every opportunity.

The Glovers hit the bar, forced a save from Conrad Logan and saw another attempt land on the roof of the net in the best moments of the first half.

But there was little in the 90 minutes for either set of fans to get overly excited about as the Stags remained two points adrift of the top seven.

Stags went with a 3-5-2 formation and recalled centre half Krystian Pearce, left wing back Mal Benning, midfielder Jacob Mellis and striker Lee Angol.

Out went Johnny Hunt, Paul Anderson, CJ Hamilton and Jimmy Spencer.

Striker Kane Hemmings had not recovered fully from a calf injury and so was left out again.

Mansfield started well, winning two early corners and asking early questions.

MacDonald was then wide with a low shot from 25 yards in the sixth minute – the first goal attempt of the game.

At the other end a minute later Zoko forced Logan to turn a low effort away for a corner, though it did look to be going wide anyway.

Bennett halted a Yeovil break with a trip on Gray on 11 minutes, rightfully earning a yellow card.

But it was the visitors who twice came close in as many minutes to breaking through.

On 16 minutes Khan crossed for Surridge to get in a header that hit the crossbar. A minute later Logan had to get down quickly to parry a smart 20-yard piledriver from Worthington.

Stags finally tested Krysiak on 21 minutes as MacDonald swapped passes with Benning to get behind the right back and into the box where he smashed a finish straight at the keeper.

Diamond then got in an important block on a Zoko shot in the box as home fans began to grow impatient.

On 28 minutes Benning was just too high with a looping shot after a series of passes with Mellis to make space at the edge of the box.

Surridge came close again on 29 minutes as he raced into the box on the left, went inside Pearce and lifted a dipping finish onto the roof of the net.

In added time at the end of a poor first half MacDonald fed Angol into space on the left of the box, but his low finish deflected wide as the half ended on a few boos from the stand.

The second began in ill tempered fashion as Surridge and Pearce collided off the ball and Pearce stayed down holding his face,

Both teams ran in and shoved each other. In the end the referee bizarrely booked both players.

White played a good ball into the box for Mellis whose low cross deflected just wide and almost flew into the net off a defender on 53 minutes.

On 56 minutes Surridge's low 20 yard shot was straight at Logan with home fans now booing the Yeovil man's every touch.

MacDonald whipped in a first time cross to the far post from the right only to see Benning jump well but head wide on 58 minutes.

Benning was then just wide with a first time shot from a half-clearance before MacDonald was replaced by Anderson on the hour.

Both sides had shots at goal at either end, but Zoko and MacDonald's efforts were both easy for the keepers.

Stags then sent on Hamilton for Bennett on 66 minutes

Surridge was roundly booed as he left the field three minutes later, to be replaced by the dangerous seven-goal Olomola.

Mansfield came desperately close on 70 minutes as Hamilton volleyed a MacDonald cross powerfully at goal and Krysiak acrobatically pushed it away.

Soon after Pearce reached a Benning free kick on the by-line and sent it skidding across the face of goal with no one able to turn it home.

With nine minutes to go the Stags made their final change with Butcher on for Mellis in midfield.

Krysiak punched away a goalbound Anderson header from a tight angle on 83 minutes as the frustration grew.

Seven minutes were added with Benning booked in the fourth of them for his foul on sub Green.

The final whistle produced the inevitable boos from the stands.

STAGS: Logan; Pearce, Diamond, Bennett (Hamilton 66); White, Mellis (Butcher 81), Atkinson, MacDonald, Benning; Rose, Angol (Anderson 60). Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Spencer, Potter.

YEOVIL: Krysiak, Smith, Worthington, Khan, Gray (Green 84), Dickson, Zoko, Surridge (Olomola 69), Bailey, Sowunmi, James. Subs not used: Maddison, Mugabi, Davies, Olomola, Nelson, Santos.
REFEREE Martin Coy of Durham.

ATTENDANCE: 3,032 (86 away).