SLIDESHOW:Mansfield Town 0 Exeter City 0, 10th April 2013

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Mansfield Town won their first Football League point since April 2008 following a battling 0-0 draw with Exeter City today.

Stags showed they have adjusted to the step up in level after competing with their League Two opposition every step of the way during an entertaining encounter.

Paul Cox makes the final tweakings to his team selection  -Pic by:Richard Parkes

Paul Cox makes the final tweakings to his team selection -Pic by:Richard Parkes

And it could have been so much better for Paul Cox’s men had new-boy Calvin Andrew managed to converted a couple of good first half chances.

The former Crystal Palace forward should have hammered Mansfield into the lead after just six minutes, but fired tamely at Artur Krysiak in the Grecians’ goal.

Andrew, who already looks to have formed a good partnership with strike partner Ollie Palmer, also saw a bullet header cleared off the line after 24 minutes as Mansfield continued to press.

Sam Clucas and Jamie McGuire also went close in the second half as newly-promoted Mansfield tried in vain to break the deadlock.

Exeter did have their chances to spoil the party with David Wheeler, Liam Sercombe and Jamie Reid all testing Alan Marriott.

The point and clean sheet delighted Mansfield boss Paul Cox who said Stags now had some solid foundations to build on as they prepare to travel to Wycombe Wanderers next Saturday.

Mansfield made four changes for the match with Calvin Andrew thrown straight in to the starting line-up to partner Ollie Palmer up front.

And Stags should have taken the lead in the sixth minute when Ollie Palmer showed great strength out wide before picking out Calvin Andrew with a perfect cross into the box.

But Andrew, who was officially signed by Stags on Thursday, fired a weak shot at Artur Krysiak after he had turned his man with ease.

Exeter showed their danger a minute later when a glanced header by John O’Flynn flew inches past Marriott’s upright.

Both sets of fans joined in a special round of applause in the ninth minute in memory of former Exeter striker Adam Stansfield to mark the third anniversary of his death.

James Jennings rifled a shot over the bar from distance in the 17th minute as Stags continued to press for their first goal since their return to the Football League.

The lively Andrew nearly put the home side ahead on 24 minutes when his bullet header was cleared off the line by the perfectly-placed Craig Woodman after Krysiak had flapped at Jennings’ cross.

David Wheeler then warmed the palms of Alan Marriott on 27 minutes after loose play in the Mansfield midfield gave him a sight at goal.

Liam Sercombe brought the best out of the Mansfield shot-stopper in the 35th minute when Marriott tipped his sweetly hit free-kick away for a corner as The Grecians turned up the heat.

Palmer fired against the side-netting from the left corner of the box on 40 minutes after Kysiak and Baldwin had failed to clear a Dempster balll over the top.

The lively Andrew headed a Jennings corner over the bar in the 49th minute as Mansfield started the second half strongly.

Baldwin came to Exeter’s rescue a minute later when he cleared a searching Jennings cross for a corner as Palmer waited to pounce at the back post.

John Dempster rose superbly on 51 minutes to power a header just over the bar from six yards out after a Jennings cross caused more trouble.

A last ditch block by Ritchie Sutton cleared the danger when Sam Parkin seemed certain to turn home a David Wheeler cross from close range for City on 55 minutes.

Winger Sam Clucas was thwarted by a superb save by Krysiak after he broke through the Exeter defence and attempted to dink the ball into the empty net.

But Krysiak stood firm and palmed the ball away before Palmer fired the loose ball wide on 58 minutes.

Parkin came close to getting on the end of a searching Woodman cross on 78 minutes as Exeter looked to break the deadlock.

Kysiak acrobatically turned the ball over from a dipping McGuire volley as Manfsield looked to claim their first win back in the Football League in the dying stages.

Jamie Reid then fired a tame free-kick at Alan Marriott in injury time to confirm a share of the spoils.