Record-breaking winning run ended as Mansfield Town are held by bogey team Harrogate Town

Mansfield Town's club record-breaking run of straight league victories ended at eight as they were held to a 0-0 draw at bogey side Harrogate Town tonight.

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 9:53 pm
Mansfield Town midfielder Ryan Stirk battles for the ball at Harrogate. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media
Mansfield Town midfielder Ryan Stirk battles for the ball at Harrogate. Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

Nigel Clough’s battlers gave it everything on a bitter north Yorkshire evening, but they couldn’t prise a way through a dogged Harrogate defence.

Stags have still never beaten Harrogate in any of their five meetings since the Sulphurites were promoted into the league but this was at least the first time Mansfield had avoided defeat.

Without ineligible newly-signed pair Jamie Murphy and Matty Longstaff, the Stags made a lively start to the game.

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Inside 10 minutes they had gone close when George Maris fired over from inside the box after he met Elliott Hewitt’s measured pass.

At the other end, Harrogate fluffed a terrific opportunity when Rory McArdle blazed over from close range after the Stags failed to clear a corner.

The Stags were on top by the mid-way point in the first half, and they were unlucky when Maris’s low, whipped-in cross just evaded the stretching Jordan Bowery.

Harrogate then threatened just before the half-hour mark when George Thomson saw a powerful effort deflected behind for a corner.

In blustery conditions at the EnviroVent Stadium, Stephen McLaughlin was next to go close for the Stags when his well-struck free-kick was saved by Mark Oxley.

The Stags had impressed in the opening half, but they couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Harrogate created the first chance of the second period, with Josh Falkingham seeing a powerful shot blocked.

Calum Kavanagh was then denied by a superb Nathan Bishop save as the hosts applied some pressure.

Stags sub Kieran Wallace almost made a swift impact just a minute after replacing Ollie Clarke when his close-range effort was bravely kept out by Oxley.

Wallace then smashed narrowly wide from just outside the box, before Bowery was denied by a frantic goal-line clearance with the Stags fans behind the goal convinced the ball had gone over the line.

Ryan Stirk went closest to snatching a late winner, while Luke Armstrong hit the Stags bar from close range after a mistake from Bishop.

Sop, for all their second half pressure, it wasn’t to be on the night for the Stags as they remain in sixth place in League Two.

HARROGATE: Oxley, Thomson, McArdle (Legge, 62), Richards (Burrell, 14), Page, Diarra, Falkingham, Pattison, Kavanagh (Muldoon, 72), Armstrong, Diamond. SUBS NOT USED: Beck, Cracknell, Austerfield.

STAGS: Bishop, Hewitt, O’Toole, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Stirk, O Clarke (Wallace, 55), Quinn (Perch, 90), Maris (Akins, 67), Bowery, Oates. SUBS NOT USED: Johnson, Burke, Stech, Law.

REFEREE: Chris Pollard.

ATTENDANCE: 1,800 (570 away).