SkyBet League 2
at the One Call Stadium (Field Mill)
Mansfield Town (1) 1
Malvind Benning 29
Carlisle United (1) 1
Jabo Ibehre 45+2
Admission £18 (Quarry Lane End)
Att 4,145 (722 away)
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Shearer, Hunt, Tafazolli, Pearce, Benning, Rose (J. Thomas, 90), Chapman, Clements, Lambe (Westcarr, 85), N. Thomas (Yussuf, 74), M. Green.
Unused Subs - Jensen, J. Thomas, McGuire, Caton, Beardsley.
Gillespie, Miller, Atkinson, Raynes, Grainger, Brough (Balanta, 72), Joyce, Kennedy, Hery (Dicker, 87), Ibehre, Asamoah (Osei, 79).
Unused Subs - Hanford, Wyke, Archibald-Henville, McQueen.
With the two teams fully aware of how important it is to get some points on the board early doors to avoid an unwanted flirtation with the wrong end of the table again, given that they have both spent time outside the Football League in recent years, it was always going to be a close, edgy game.
There is a cautious optimism among the Field Mill faithful that they won't struggle this time around, but also a prevailing sense of pragmatism regarding expectations.
Patience is a virtue... and besides, once the Stags get some momentum going, I'm actually daring enough to believe that a top half finish isn't beyond their reach.
Some of the exhibition stuff witnessed in pre season games at Field Mill was curtailed today, where workmanlike graft was order of the day as opposed to risque flamboyance. But until the seeds are set and the realities of life in the basement division begin to unfold, that is the way it's got to be... for now at least, particularly when you consider, that if you include Matt Green, who recently returned to Mansfield from Birmingham City, the Stags had eight players making their League debuts this afternoon.
|Goal! Malvind Benning 29 minutes.|
The home side shaded the first half, but didn't impose themselves quite as well after the break and Carlisle had the better of things for a while, until the latter stages of the game when Chris Clements had two efforts on goal that both cleared the crossbar... and the Stags were unlucky not to snatch a winner late on when Matt Green put the ball narrowly wide of the upright in stoppage time.
FT: Mansfield Town 1 v. Carlisle United 1
A fair result in the end, by my reckoning, much as I would have preferred Keith Curle's side to have got a good spanking to start the season off.
|He never touched him ref!|
Mansfield Town have nothing to lose and can relax, while the opposition will have all the worry about saving face and preserving their (apparent) big club status and reputations.
Big club's don't play in the First Round of the Capital One Cup or Division Four... just saying!