Honours Even Between Mansfield Town And Bradford City As Stags’ Unbeaten League Start Continues
Injury-stricken Stags have continued their good start to the Sky Bet League Two season as they held the Bantams to a goalless draw at the One Call Stadium.
Both Mansfield Town and Bradford City came into this clash on the back of wins in League Two last weekend and progression to the Third Round of the Carabao Cup.
Injuries took centre stage for this clash as the Stags were without Rhys Oates and Stephen Quinn amongst others whilst the Bantams were without last season’s top goalscorer and former Stags player, Andy Cook.
Stags boss Nigel Clough named three changes from last weekend’s win against Stockport County as Leicester City loanee Lewis Brunt stepped into the defence, Ollie Clarke replaced Quinn in midfield and Will Swan joined Lucas Akins in the frontline instead of the injured Oates.
Bantams manager Mark Hughes named four changes from their 1-0 win against Crewe Alexandra last Saturday. Kevin McDonald, Alex Pattison, Daniel Oyegoke and Andy Cook were replaced by Richard Smallwood, Emmanuel Osadebe, Brad Halliday and Clarke Odour.
The first chance of the game fell to the Stags as George Maris’ ball found Brunt but the defender’s stabbed effort failed to hit the target.
The Leicester City loanee did brilliantly to prevent a shot on goal a few minutes later as he slid at the feet of Tyler Smith to clear the danger.
Ciaran Kelly looked to latch onto a corner and direct an effort goalwards but the delivery missed his outstretched leg.
In the dying embers of the first-half, the amber and blues had two chances but squandered both of them. Firstly, Maris took aim from 20 yards but saw his shot failed to hit the target, and then, Swan broke into the area but failed to hit the target as he fired his effort over.
Smith fired an effort from the range but failed to test Christy Pym in the Stags goal.
Davis Keillor-Dunn went the closest to opening the scoring as his powerfully struck effort forced a save out of Bantams goalkeeper Harry Lewis.
Mansfield did have the ball in the back of the net as Swan poked the ball home but the goal did not stand as he was adjudged to have fouled Sam Stubbs in the build-up.
Midfielder Clarke had the chance to take aim following Keillor-Dunn’s blocked effort, however, he dragged his effort wide.
The Stags looked to break forward at pace as Maris found Swan who passed the ball into the path of Akins but Kelly did well to stick a leg out and prevent the danger.
Jordan Bowery, filling in at full-back, produced a fantastic cross which was headed out for a corner by Stubbs. From the resulting set-piece, Akins headed an effort wide of the bottom corner.
The final 10 minutes were finally poised as both sides looked to find a breakthrough and the crucial goal, however, neither side could find the winner as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
The point keeps the Stags in the top seven, three points away from rivals and league leaders Notts County. Meanwhile, Bradford slip down to 15th, still two points away from the Play-Offs and five points away from the top of the league.
Mansfield Town XI: Pym; Bower, Flint, Brunt, Macdonald; Reed, Maris (Cargill 89′), Clarke (Williams 80′), Keillor-Dunn; Swan (Gale 72′), Akins
Bradford City XI: Lewis, Kelly, Stubbs, Platt; Richards (Ridehalgh 70′), Osadebe (Oyegoke 80′), Smallwood, Halliday, Walker (Tulloch 71′); Smith (Derbyshire 70′), Odour (Pointon 60′)