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Match Reports

Match Report: Mansfield Town vs Port Vale

26 December 2019

The Vale suffered heartbreak on the road as two late goals saw the Valiants held to a 2-2 draw against Mansfield Town.

Both sides started the game well, looking to strike early, with the wingers David Amoo and David Worrall picking up from where they left off against Cheltenham Town, delivering a number of dangerous crosses into the host’s box.

The Stags were first to have an attempt at goal, as the ball was floated into the box where Alex MacDonald met it with his head but sent it over the bar.

The host kept the pressure on as the game entered its eighth minute, but they continued to send their efforts over the bar.

The game remained back and forth with 10 minutes played, and Vale began to grow more inti the match as they adjusted to what was a very heavy pitch.

The pace of the game was slowed also by the stop and start nature, as the referee awarded numerous free-kicks at both ends of the field.

After a spell of solid defending from the Valiants, they launched an attack of their own, leading to a low driven cross by Cristian Montano, but his asking cross was blocked before the ball eventually went out for a goal kick.

With 15 minutes of the half remaining the Stags nearly took the lead, the ball fell to an unmarked CJ Hamilton whose shot was deflected by Nathan Smith, before the ball landed at the feet of a free Danny Rose who scuffed his shot over the unguarded goal.

However it was so nearly the Vale that scored the first goal of the game, as a Worrall was met by Amoo who headed just wide of the near post from close range.

As the half approached its final five minutes, Tom Pope went down in the box claiming to have been pulled down but his calls for a penalty were waved away by the official.

Moments later Luke Joyce curled a shot at goal from 30-yards that was saved by Olejnik, but the parried ball was just inches away from Pope and Amoo who followed the effort in.

As the half entered its final period, CJ Hamilton was played into the box but Leon Legge came across with a brilliant sliding challenge that deflected out for a Vale goal-kick.

With one minute of normal time left in the half, Worrall delivered a dangerous ball from a free-kick that eventually fell to Scott Burgess, but the midfielder was unable to get a shot away as he was challenged before the ball went out for a corner.

The hosts started the second period like the first, bursting out the gates on the attack and Neil Bishop nearly found the games opener as he volleyed just wide five minutes in.

It was the Vale who drew first blood however, scoring an absolutely beautiful team goal after they broke away on the counter in numbers with 52 minutes played.

The ball was moved to the feet of Burgess who laid it off to Amoo on the wing where he drilled a low cross in to the danger area where it was the centre back Nathan Smith who arrived to rifle the ball into the net.

The lead was nearly short lived for the Vale, as the hosts launched a counter attack of their own, which resulted in an unmarked Rose having the ball at the back post, but he may have had too much time as he sliced his shot wide of the post.

In the 65th minute, Pope nearly doubled the lead as he headed on goal from a set-piece but it was blocked for a corner.

The Valiants wait for goal number two wouldn’t be much longer though, as from the resulting corner they found the back of the net.

Pope flicked the ball on from the front post and as the ball fell into a goalmouth scramble, it was Leon Legge who was about to poke the ball over the line and make it 2-0 to the Vale.

The Stags tried to battle back into the game but the defence held strong, Gibbons diving to head the ball away from a striker waiting at the back post with just over 10 minutes to go.

They were able to find a goal in the 81st minute however, as Nicky Maynard slotted a loose ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

Their fight for an equaliser continued, with Gibbon clearing a dangerous ball across the face of goal.

The hosts pressure paid off in added time as CJ Hamilton drilled a shot across the crowded box and found the far side netting to earn a point for his side.

 

Mansfield Town: Olenjnik, Benning, Preston, Bishop (74’ Mellis), MacDonald (67’ Khan), Tomlinson, Sweeney, Cook, Clarke, Hamilton, Rose (67’ Maynard).

Unused Subs: Logan, Pearce, Davies, Knowles

Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Amoo, Smith, Burgess, Atkinson, Pope (85’ Archer).

Unused Subs:, Pugh, Maddison, Evans, Browne, Lloyd, Cullen.


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