Mur­ray’s Mans­field need time to bond

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tim Mor­riss

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.”

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