MATCH REPORT: Notts County 0 Mansfield Town 0

Mansfield Town's Hayden White heads forward - Pic by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Hayden White heads forward - Pic by Chris Holloway

The big local derby ended all square today as Mansfield Town came away from struggling neighbours Notts County with a 0-0 draw.

In a white hot atmosphere, it was a tight, tense affair with few real chances, Stags keeper Jake Kean not having a save to make.

Mansfield came closest to a winner.

In the first half Ben Whiteman saw a deflected effort almost loop in, keeper Adam Collin doing well to push it away.

Yoann Arquin then missed the best chance of the game when he sidefooted wide at the far post on 51 minutes.

But, with this being such a big day for Notts after their takeover, Stags at least spoiled the party by preventing Notts from winning, though the Magpies did end their club record run of 10 defeats on the trot.

The Stags back four were outstanding as they went a fourth game without conceding and have now not let in a goal for 373 minutes of football.

New boy Hayden White slotted in superbly at right back and central defence pair Krystian Pearce and Rhys Bennett were magnificent.

Mansfield boss Steve Evans made four changes.

Kyle Howkins missed out with a knee injury which meant an immediate debut for on loan Peterborough right back White.

Midfielders Joel Byrom and Ben Whiteman, who were both cup tied in midweek, and striker Matt Green all came back into the starting XI with Chris Clements, James Baxendale and two-goal hero Pat Hoban left out from the side that beat Oldham 2-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.

Baxendale and Hoban were both on the bench, but Clements found himself completely out of the 18.

Notts were looking to end a miserable run in their first game under new owner Alan Hardy and new manager Kevin Nolan.

The afternoon began with a minute’s applause for the late Graham Taylor.

The noise was deafening as the match kicked off with both sets of fans in full cry.

After an early Notts raid ended with a shot that clipped a team mate for a goalkick, Stags went forward and Benning headed just over only to see an offside flag anyway.

Soon after Arquin won the ball well on the left, despite being on the floor, and got up to get in a near post cross that Collin had to grab.

Bennett came up with a timely clearance as Campbell chased the ball into the box as Notts began to enjoy a little momentum.

But Stags won the game’s first corner on 22 minutes, Byrom floated it over and Bennett nodded wide at the far post.

On 32 minutes Collin had work to do in the home goal as Whiteman dribbled into the box and saw his lifted finish take a deflection and threaten to drop in, the keeper clawing away for a corner.

From that Bennett again got there, but again missed the target with his header.

Notts won a corner four minutes after the restart, taken short, which saw O’Connor cut across and make space for a vicious shot that hit a defender and sailed wide for a corner.

On 51 minutes Arquin missed a great chance to break the deadlock. White’s tenacity won him the ball on the right by-line and his low cross found Hamilton at the far post, but he was unable to guide his finish on target.

Stags continued to press and Green had a shot charged down on a breakaway, then Hamilton was wide with a bundled 25-yard shot from a half-cleared Byrom free kick.

It took Notts 68 minutes to get a real shot away, Tootle too high from the edge of the box.

O’Connor pulled another 20 yard shot wide on 73 minutes.

Stags made a double change up front with 15 minutes to go with Green and Arquin replaced by Danny Rose and Hoban.

As play resumed O’Connor curled a free kick well over from a decent position outside the box.

O’Connor finally saw the game’s first yellow card, which he should have had much earlier, for a trip on Rose that halted a Stags breakaway seven minutes from time.

With three minutes to go Baxendale took over from Byrom in the Stags’ midfield.

Duffy sliced down Hamilton in the first of four added minutes to earn a yellow card.

NOTTS: Collins, Tootle, Dickinson, Duffy, O’Connor, Forte, Milsom, Thompson, Campbell (Smith 90), Stead, Audel. Subs not used: Loach, Hollis, Snijders, Hewitt, Osborne, Aborah.

STAGS: Kean, White, Pearce, Bennett, Benning, Whiteman, Byrom (Baxendale 87), Whiteman, Hamilton, Green (Hoban 75), Arquin (D. Rose 75). Subs not used: Shearer, Thomas, Hemmings, McGuire.

REFEREE: Darren Bond of Lancashire.

ATTENDANCE: 11,328 (3,485 away).

CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Krystian Pearce.