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REPORT | Mansfield Town 0-0 Yeovil Town

Battling Town pick up a point on their travels

16 December 2017

Francois Zoko is surrounded by Mansfield players PPAUK

A determined performance saw Yeovil Town come away from Mansfield Town with a share of the spoils in Sky Bet League Two.

The livelier outfit in the first half, the Green and Whites went closest to scoring as Sam Surridge saw a header crash off the crossbar. 

Buoyed by a positive opening 45 minutes the Glovers produced a dogged performance after the restart to hold off their play-off chasing opponents and return to Somerset with a point following a 0-0 draw.

Darren Way made one change from the side that saw off Port Vale in the Emirates FA Cup during the week. 

Having replaced the concussed Connor Smith on Tuesday, Matt Worthington claimed the Irishman’s starting berth for the trip to Nottinghamshire.

Ruled out of action, C. Smith joined Rhys Browne (hamstring) and Oscar Gobern (hamstring) on the sidelines, allowing Sid Nelson to feature in the matchday 18 for the first time in the league since the 21st November.

At a close to freezing One Call Stadium the visitors were quick to warm up and almost broke the deadlock on three occasions inside the opening 20 minutes.

Fresh from netting in midweek, Francois Zoko forced Conrad Logan into an early save with a low drive, before strike partner Surridge went even closer.

Determined work from Otis Khan on the left eventually saw a cross to the back post which the Bournemouth loanee turned onto the crossbar with a looping header.

With the woodwork still wobbling Worthington’s venomous strike from 20 yards took a deflection on the way through forcing Logan into a good reaction save, as Town started brightly.

Having been on the defensive for most of the opening exchanges the Stags entered the game in an attacking sense, as the diminutive Alex MacDonald fired straight at Artur Krysiak after weaving into the box.

However, that chance failed to swing the momentum in the hosts’ favour as the Glovers went close again on 29 minutes.

Breaking quickly, Khan and Surridge combined again to play in the latter, only for the young striker’s lobbed shot after beating Krystian Pearce to land on the roof of the net.

Becoming an end-to-end affair for the remainder of the half, Way’s side stood strong at the back to dispel a number of balls into the box, whilst the Stags defence had to be alert to twice block goalbound Zoko shots.

Lee Angol’s deflected shot into the side-netting rounded off an entertaining opening 45 minutes, as Town returned to the changing room with plenty to be encouraged by. 

As the temperature plunged in Mansfield the second half became a scrappy affair. 

Moments after the restart, both Surridge and Pearce went into the book for an off the ball tussle, as the hosts looked to inflict their physicality on the visitors. 

Often interrupted by referee Martin Coy's whistle, shots became few and far between as Surridge and Zoko both shot straight at Logan as the match ticked past the hour mark.

After a lull, the game burst back into life on 70 minutes. 

Following a spell of pressure, MacDonald teed up CJ Hamilton on the volley inside the box, but Krysiak was perfectly placed to get a strong hand to the winger's well-hit strike to keep it 0-0. 

As the Stags upped the intensity levels they produced another chance to notch the opener, as Pearce's header back across goal looked to find Paul Anderson who failed to connect just two yards out. 

Entering the final 10 minutes it was Steve Evans' side who remained on the front foot, as the Glovers battled to pick up just their fifth point of the season on the road. 

Having manfully defended for much of the second period the Glovers almost put themselves 1-0 up in the closing stages. 

Jake Gray's deflected shot fell to Nathan Smith in the box, but the defender's instinctive strike was blocked six yards out. 

Indicating the stop-start nature of the second half the fourth official's board indicated seven minutes of additional time, but Way's side stood strong to pick up the point their performance deserved for just the third time on their travels this season.

Mansfield Town: Logan; Pearce, Diamond, Bennett (Hamilton 66'); White, Atkinson, MacDonald, Mellis (Butcher 81'), Benning; Rose, Angol (Anderson 60').
Bookings: Bennett 11', Pearce 48', Benning 90'
Subs not used: Olejnik, Digby, Potter, Spencer.

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; James, Sowunmi, N. Smith, Dickson; Gray (Green 84'), Bailey, Worthington, Khan; Surridge (Olomola 69'), Zoko.
Bookings: Surridge 48'
Subs not used:
 Maddison, Davies, Mugabi, Nelson, Santos.


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