Mansfield Towns poor October continued this afternoon at the One Call Stadium as a below par display saw Cox’s men draw 1-1 with Bristol Rovers. Lee Stevenson had headed the Stags into a 1-0 lead midway through the first half however it was slender against the Pirates who fought throughout.
The equalising goal was surrounding in controversy as the offside flag stayed down against substitute Alefe Santos who was subsequently denied by the excellent Alan Marriott, from the resulting corner Santos’ tight angle effort cannoned off Murtagh and then Marriott to find the net and level the match.
In truth, Rovers deserved at least a point as they out passed and over stretched Mansfield throughout the match, had it not been for the excellent positioning and focus of gloves-man Marriott the visitors may well have had Stags comfortably beaten – defenders Martin Riley, Ritchie Sutton and captain John Dempster also put in key blocks to keep the pirates at bay.
With Jamie McGuire suspended Anthony Howell came into the starting line-up to partner Keiran Murtagh in midfield, Stags were otherwise unchanged from the side who were beaten 1-0 by Chesterfield in midweek.
It was the visitors who began the brightest and tested Alan Marriott on numerous occasions, the best chance falling to Oliver Norburn on 10 minutes as he shot wide from the edge of the box – at the other end Sam Clucas, Lee Stevenson and Calvin Andrew all saw efforts go astray.
After riding the rough waves of numerous Rovers counter attacks, the Stags played one of their own on 22 minutes as Calvin Andrew latched onto a directional pass down the right channel, the front man played an excellent cross into the box which sat perfectly for Lee Stevenson who rose above the keeper to head Mansfield into the lead.
Captain John Dempster looped a header wide from Sam Clucas’ corner minutes later but as the half went on, it was the visitors that tested Marriott thrice but failed to beat the determined gloves-man.
After the break, the visitors maintained the pressure again calling Marriott into action, eventually they found a way back into the match with six minutes to go, Alefe Santos looked offside but the play went on to see the visiting substitute subsequently denied by the excellent Alan Marriott, from the resulting corner Santos’ tight angle effort cannoned off Murtagh and then Marriott handing the visitors an equalizer.
FULL TIME: Mansfield Town 1-1 Bristol Rovers
Attendance: 3,275 (432)
Referee: Scott Duncan
Stags: Alan Marriott, Ritchie Sutton, John Dempster ©, Martin Riley, Lee Beevers, Sam Clucas, Keiran Murtagh, Anthony Howell, Junior Daniel (Ollie Palmer 85), Lee Stevenson (Lindon Meikle 71) Calvin Andrew (Matt Rhead 59)
Unused Subs: Liam Mitchell, Godrey Poku, Ben Hutchinson, James Jennings
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