Mansfield Town 0-0 Wrexham (EFL League Two) 03.10.23
This past Tuesday night, under the One Call Stadium lights in EFL League Two, saw both Christy Pym and Arthur Okonkwo at their best as Mansfield Town and Wrexham battled out an entertaining, goalless draw.
The hosting Stags, it was another point on the board as they extended their unbeaten start to the 2023-24 campaign to fourteen matches in all competitions (five wins, nine draws), whilst Wrexham are just a couple of points further back in a table that, the top half at least, is a tight affair.
Visiting shot-stopper, Wrexham’s on-loan Okonkwo, showed why he’s registered with Premier League side Arsenal, pulling off several, high-calibre saves throughout, with Pym at the other end, pulling off similar to keep the game goalless.
It would be the visiting Okonkwo who’d be called into action first, he parrying a strike from Aaron Lewis inside twenty minutes whilst shortly after, Pym was on hand to save a goal-bound header from the Dragons’ vice-captain, Ben Tozer.
Mansfield came close to opening the scoring after 25 minutes when great work from Calum Macdonald resulted in a pin-point cross onto the head of top-scorer, Davis Keillor-Dunn, however the effort is straight at Okonkwo from close-range.
Five minutes later and Keillor-Dunn was at it again, showing that perhaps it wasn’t going to be their night when, having beat his marker, proceeded to rifle a shot off Okonkwo’s upright, before Ollie Clarke then saw his 25-yard, goal-bound effort, nine minutes before the interval, pushed onto the post by the inspired visiting shot-stopper, as the sides went in goalless at the break.
Chances were few and far between during the second period, both sides happy enough to claim the point that was on the table for them, although the Stags did have a couple of opportunities in which to break the deadlock.
Just after the hour mark, Stags boss, Nigel Clough, brought on James Gale for Clarke, and the substitute came close to making an instant impact, a drive into the box, followed by a shot, being saved well by Okonkwo at his near post.
Former Stag, Ollie Palmer (made over sixty appearances for the club back in 2013-15), along with former Hammer/Hatter, Elliot Lee, and Aaron Hayden, all had chances for the Dragons, but to no avail, whilst Keillor-Dunn could have snatched the points at the death, his effort from range curling wide of goal.
A goalless draw was what the final whistle brought, it being the second of the season for the hosts, who’ve also now kept half-a-dozen clean sheets in all competitions; the result sees Clough’s charges sitting in seventh place (joint third) in EFL League Two, with four points separating the top eight, and with big games to come.
The top eight in the division currently sees Notts County (23 pts), AFC Wimbledon, Crewe Alexandra, Stockport County, Crawley (20 pts), Swindon Town, Mansfield Town, Gillingham (19 pts), with AFC Wimbledon set to visit the One Call Stadium this coming Saturday (7 October) afternoon.
In addition, and worthy of note, the 8,612 spectators in attendance was the highest at the stadium since owners John and Carolyn Radford took the helm.
Stags: Christy Pym, Jordan Bowery, Aden Flint, Baily Cargill, Calum Macdonald, Louis Reed, Ollie Clarke (James Gale 63), Aaron Lewis, George Maris (Hiram Boateng 75), Lucas Akins, Davis Keillor-Dunn.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc another draw for Mansfield who at least stay unbeaten in League Two.