MURRAY MOAN AT POOR SHOW
BOSS Adam Murray reckoned Mansfield’s drab stalemate with struggling Cambridge was “worse than putting pins in your eyes”.
There was very little to cheer about for either side in a woeful encounter at a wet and windy One Call Stadium but the Stags manager has urged supporters of the club, some of whom were booing at full-time, to get behind his side.
“I’m not going to make out it was an exciting game to watch,” said Murray. “I won’t be watching that game back and certainly not with popcorn and ice cream. It was worse than putting pins in your eyes.
“But I think we take that point because it was one of those typically tough League Two matches. This could be a really good point come the end of the season.
“There was a small percentage of fans at the end who were booing and I am not too sure why. We want everyone behind us. We were average and got a point.”
Mansfield, playing with a hint of swagger that a strong start to a season brings, weren’t afraid to strike from distance in the early stages – with Mitchell Rose going close with a dipping 25-yard volley. Soon afterwards Darius Henderson found himself a pocket of space but the former Watford man could only drag an effort wide.
The hosts continued to use a direct style to unsettle Cambridge and visiting goalkeeper Will Norris produced a fine save on 24 minutes to deny Rose following strong hold-up play by Matt Green.
At the other end, Conor Newton suddenly tore through the middle of the park only to be superbly tackled at the last possible second by Mal Benning on 31 minutes.
Shaun Derry’s outfit improved after the break and came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 60th minute. Captain Luke Berry skipped down the right before delivering for the onrushing, and unmarked, Newton who side footed the ball wide of a gaping goal.
Mansfield always looked a threat from set pieces and Rhys Bennett nodded over the bar from a Benning corner on 71 minutes. A dull affair was perfectly summed up on 84 minutes when Adam Chapman, stood over a freekick in a promising position on the edge of the area, but fired terribly high and wide. A disappointed Derry said: “I am not particularly happy because I think we should have won all three points. “We were much improved in the second half, especially in an attacking sense. “We are still building as a team. It has been a slow start to the season but everyone is working hard to get that win. I think if we continue to battle and attack like we did, against a really welldrilled Mansfield side, I am sure it’s not too far away.”
MY BALL: Mansfield Town’s Matthew Green gets ahead of Cambridge United’s Will Norris BATTLE BEGINS: Cambridge’s James Dunne tussles with Mansfield’s CJ Hamilton