Mansfield Town 1-1 Carlisle United (EFL League Two) 16.03.21
Mansfield Town drew at home against Carlisle United to edge a point nearer to safety and towards another season in League Two next year with Manager Nigel Clough encouraged by the way his side played against tough opposition.
There were plenty of opportunities for both sides in an entertaining but goalless first half as Zanzala forced Stone into an early save on eleven minutes before Reid shot straight at Norman at the other end.
Stone was again called into action saving from Bennett at point blank range as the linesman raised his flag, the Mansfield goalkeeper was not to know the player was offside and did incredibly well to spread himself to stop the Carlisle defenders goalward strike.
McLaughlin curled a free kick over the wall and bar for Mansfield before Law had a shot blocked the best of the other opportunities before the break.
In the second half, Law had a shot saved early doors before Charsley headed straight at Norman, Bowery was caught in possession on 65 however and after Mellish’s shot deflected into his path, Zanzala was sent through to fire home and put the Cumbrians 1-0 up against the run of play.
Mansfield might have levelled on 74 when Reid crashed against the bar. The goalkeeper caught in no mans land eventually racing back to tip the strikers goal bound volley against the woodwork, but on 80 minutes the Stags did get their goal, McLaughlin curling home a free kick low and hard as goalkeeper Norman stood rooted to the spot.
The Stags could have nicked it late on too, Bowery volleying inches wide after good work by Gordon but in the end Clough and co were content with a point that takes the Stags eleven clear of Southend United in the second relegation place above Grimsby who are seemingly down and out. The table propping Mariners visit the One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Clough saying after that he was proud of his players “I thought it was a good performance against a top-half side. We created the better chances and more chances, we just didn’t quite finish them.
“It would’ve been a travesty if we didn’t get anything out of the game. Even after the equaliser, we had situations where we could’ve gone on and won the game.”
Mansfield Town: Stone, Gordon, Perch, Rawson, Benning, Charsley, McLaughlin, Quinn (Sarkic 76), Law (Clarke 89), Reid, Bowery.
Carlisle United: Norman, Tanner, McDonald, Bennett, Armer, Riley, Guy, Mellish, Dickenson, Zanzala, Alessandra (Walker 86).
Venue: Field Mill
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Stephen Quinn in action for Mansfield.