It wasn’t the greatest display by a Mansfield Town side in terms of finishing or creating chances, but Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Notts County saw another imperious display at the back.
It is now four games and 373 minutes since the Stags let in a goal and the latest clean sheet had to be achieved away in a local derby by a reorganised back four that included a new face who had only had one training session with them.
Boss Steve Evans once again made positive substitutions to try to win it, but it wasn’t to be on the day.
Here is how the players fared:
Jake Kean 7/10 – The new Stags goalkeeper made it all four games in a row since joining without letting a goal in and I find it unlikely any other new Stags keeper has ever achieved that. True, County’s powderpuff attack and the superb defending gave him an easy afternoon. But he did the things he had to do well apart from one slightly misjudged punch away that needed to go further.
Hayden White 8/10 – An excellent debut for the on-loan Peterborough right back, showing strength and power both in defence and getting forward, creating the best chance of the game through tenacity to force a mistake from the Notts defender.
Krystian Pearce 8/10 – An excellent return to his former club, he and Rhys Bennett snuffed out County dangerman Jon Stead and looked a class above.
Rhys Bennett 8/10 – Pushed across again from right back, Bennett had another superb game in the centre, despite taking a kicking from the opposition on several occasions. Would have been given 9/10 but failed to get either of two headed chances on target from corners.
Mal Benning 7/10 – Defended well and saw off the threat of Curtis Thompson.
Lee Collins 8/10 – The skipper gave another hard-working display in midfield, protecting his defence magnificently and did the simple things well.
Joel Byrom 6/10 – Overall the new midfielder had a decent afternoon in a physical game but was unable to unpick the home defence with a killer pass. Took some dangerous set pieces.
Ben Whiteman 7/10 – Faded as the game went on but enjoyed a busy first half on the right in which his deflected finish forced the game’s only real save.
CJ Hamilton 6/10 – Kept trying, but after some storming games recently, the Stags winger was too easily dispossessed and showed his naivety at time.
Matt Green 6/10 – Battled hard against some physical defending but never really looked like he would test the keeper.
Yoann Arquin 6/10 – A real handful throughout but when his big moment came in the second half, he missed a sitter at the back post that could have won the game. It would appear the ball came out of the shadow of the stand into the bright sunlight at exactly the wrong moment, but you would still expect him to finish those.
Pat Hoban (for Green 75mins) 6/10 – Put himself about for the short time he was on, but missed a good opportunity near the end when he got the ball caught between his feet close in.
Danny Rose (for Arquin 75mins) 6/10 – One good run on the break that was halted by a foul to earn a booking, but little chance to shine otherwise.
James Baxendale (for Byrom 87mins) 6/10 – No chance to influence the game that late on.