Full Time Score Mansfield Town 0-0 Oldham Athletic
Competition Sky Bet League Two
Venue One Call Stadium
Stags Goal Scorers /
Attendance 3,829 (411)
Craig Priest writes…
After such a high at the weekend with a flurry of goals, lady luck opted against smiling on the Stags again – this time cursing them with the same old story: missed chances and the case of what could have been.
I don’t think its apt to be drawn into the whisperings of we can’t finish under Flitcroft or we can only beat lesser, lower ranked, teams – tonight two factors played a part and as frustrating as it is, I accept that its football and take the point on the chin.
The first factor is the same old story, we created so many good and clear chances but for whatever reason just aren’t getting the rub of the green! The visiting keeper has pulled off three solid saves, we’ve put as many wide and Tyler Walker, well I thought it was his Dad Des up front when he hit that one v one – wow.
The second factor, and this sometimes gets lost in anger and frustration, is that the opponents did there homework. We were going to start strongly and attack, Oldham were happy to soak that up and then when inevitably our legs got heavy and tired, they closed the game off and left us chasing lumps.
To our credit we kept trying to run and finish the game off but we just couldn’t find the killer bounce, summed up with a fine bit of play where we head one wide after great build up.
If we weren’t creating chances I’d be concerned, but we are and I’m not – a week or two ago we’d have given up and lost that game – I firmly believe that whilst it’s a frustrating point – it’s a positive one, with no time for dwelling or pondering – we focus on the trip to Bury and putting lady luck back in the amber and blue.
Walking away from the ground there was a few, naturally, slating the manger – we’re playing good possession based attacking football and creating chances – I’d be far more worried being an Oldham fan right now having somehow survived a battering.
That’s the way football is sometimes! It’d be boring if it was the same old story, the season isn’t a poem or a few short lines of text – it’s a story, one which keeps you guessing until the end! I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Naturally it was an unchanged side from the 4-0 win over Northampton, but with his suspension completed, Jacob Mellis returned to the bench.
The Stags started extremely well with attacking intent, Otis Khan was first up to try and break the deadlock from CJ Hamilton’s square ball, the attacking midfielder striking the bar on eight minutes, before three minutes later Tyler Walker sent a ball flashing across goal – no Stags body could get their first.
Tyler Walker should have hit the back of the net on 19 minutes as he connected with Roses’ flick on, but the young loanee turned wide of the mark as Oldham looked to recover, Danny Rose also sent one over from distance as the Stags had all the pressure.
Oldham were clinging on by a thread and saw Benning and Rose come close before having to thank Daniel Iversen – he denying a beautiful curling effort from Hamilton, before saving from Walker with ten minutes of the first half to go.
As the game crept towards half time, Iversen again rescued the visitors – denying Hamilton as second goal in as many games.
At the break Tyler Walker made way for Will Atkinson moving Hamilton up front, the Stags again looked to take the lead as Benning fired into the side netting from a testing right sided cross.
The visitors saw their first real sight of goal on 53 minutes as Robert Hunt curled one over from distance, whilst at the other end Hamilton saw an effort blocked before Timi Elsnik teed up Rose on the hour mark – Rose firing over from the edge of the box.
The game entered a scrappy period where both sides struggled to get into a flow, the visitors saw sights of goal but the Stags were untroubled, late on the Stags nearly gifted Oldham an undeserved goal as Olejnik made a poor clearance – the visitors squandered that golden opportunity and could only watch on as the Stags thrice came close to stealing a late goal – Rose, Atkinson and fellow substitute Craig Davies all in the mix to score – but lady luck, just wasn’t playing ball.
FULL TIME: Mansfield Town 0-0 Oldham Athletic
STAGS [3-4-1-2]: Bobby Olejnik, Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce ©, Ryan Sweeney, CJ Hamilton, Timi Elsnik (Jacob Mellis 74), Neal Bishop, Mal Benning, Otis Khan (Craig Davies 67), Tyler Walker (Will Atkinson HT), Danny Rose
Unused Subs: Conrad Logan, Lewis Gibbens, Omari Sterling-James, Calum Butcher
Referee: Thomas Bramall
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