Murray’s Mansfield need time to bond
MANSFIELD manager Adam Murray is expecting much better from his new-look team after they threw away the chance of a first home win on the opening day in the Football League since 2002.
Murray, who gave a debut to eight players, admitted a lack of understanding led to the poor defending in first half injury time turned the game.
That allowed Jabo Ibehre to cancel out Malvind Benning’s 29th minute thunderbolt free kick and that’s the way it stayed.
“It was a poor goal to concede, but the partnerships in defence will develop and we will gel as the games go on,” Murray said.
“We can get better and this draw gives us a platform that we can build upon. I was pleased with the willingness and work rate of the players.
“The draw was a fair result, but to have played average and still get a point is pleasing. There were new players looking to impress and a tension during the first half.”
Despite the summer upheavals – Carlisle also gave debuts to seven players – the two sides quickly gelled in a pulsating opening half.
Former Mansfield striker Derek Asamoah caused early problems with darting runs behind the home defence, before Patrick Brough hooked over the first chance for Carlisle after good work by Ibehre.
Mansfield’s Nathan Thomas twice went close in two minutes but the home side’s enterprising play was finally rewarded when Benning thumped an unstoppable 30-yard free kick into the net.
Jason Kennedy almost found an immediate reply with a fierce 25-yard drive that was beaten away by Scott Shearer.
But United finally found a way past Shearer in firsthalf injury time when hesitant defending allowed Ibehre to strike from 16 yards.
In a scrappy second half Mansfield midfielder Chris Clements twice threatened a spectacular winner with 25yard drives.
Then in the closing minutes both sides went close, Angelo Balanta’s teasing cross evading everyone while home substitute Adi Yussef was unable to head in Green’s inviting ball. Carlisle boss Keith Curle said:“We got a foothold in the game after sorting out some early problems and looked comfortable.
“The pleasing thing after their terrific goal was our reaction.We didn’t panic, we kept to our game plan.
“The players are looking to take on board our instructions and the things we are working on, which is pleasing.
“They have freedom and licence to go out and play and express themselves. That is very much a part of my football philosophy.”