MATCH REPORT: Mansfield 1 - 1 United

Match report from the first game of the season

Carlisle United have plenty to be pleased about following a very entertaining opening day display which saw them defend their lines and look to attack whenever they took possession of the ball.

Seven of Keith Curle's summer signings started the game in the sunshine at The One Call Stadium with Miller, Hery, Raynes and Ibehre taking their bow for their first team debuts.

Luke Joyce returned to the club where his career had kicked off some ten years ago, and Kennedy, Asamoah and Atkinson celebrated their new deals with a place in the starting eleven.

Mansfield started at pace but it was United who almost found a way through with just three minutes on the clock when Kennedy fed the ball through for Asamoah to chase. Shearer had to race off his line to clear before the nippy front man could sneak in.

The Stags had their fair share of possession as they peppered the box from deep but the United defence picked up the pieces as the challenge for the second ball became more and more important.

A run from Miller brought a cross for Ibehre to look at and his touch sat up nicely for the off-balance and late arriving Patrick Brough. He went for an early volley but he couldn't keep it down. 

The Stags were quick to counter and a raking pass from Pearce brought a neat touch from Lambe. He cut back inside but he scuffed his shot and Gillespie was able to gather.

Mansfield were suddenly on top and an error from Atkinson allowed Lambe to make the bye line. His fierce cross had too much on it and Rose had to wheel away to prevent it from going out. 

The hosts stayed forward and a misunderstanding between Brough and Grainger left Rose with unexpected space. His shot hit Raynes and spun over the bar. 

A quickly taken short corner routine caught United on the hop and Lambe was disappointed to see his thunderbolt ricochet away to safety. It was all about Mansfield and Rose almost set the first half alight when he tried his luck from 35 yards. Gillespie was beaten but it curled just past his upright.

The Cumbrians settled and Brough used his pace to break clear on the left. His low cross was just in front of Ibehre and Tafazolli stepped in to hook it behind. The corner was half cleared by the same player and Miller couldn't get any purchase on his shot on the spin as Kennedy nodded the looping ball back into the box.

Asamoah was unlucky not to make more a 40-yard run, when he turned defence into attack, but it was Mansfield who drew first blood when Benning took control of a 35-yard free kick. He let fly and Gillespie could do nothing as it sped into his top corner.

Thomas almost doubled the lead moments later when he skipped past two and ghosted into the area. Gillespie had to dive but the shot lacked power and he was able to draw it into his chest.

Carlisle had to pick their moments to get forward but a good run from Hery suggested better was to come as he put it on a plate for Kennedy. Shearer had to readjust to beat the powerful effort away.

A half chance for Ibehre followed, as he tried a lob from 18 yards, and Kennedy went close as he arrived late in the box. He had to stretch to reach the cross and he nodded it over the bar.

United had to survive another Benning free kick in time added on for the half, but it was the springboard for a counter attack as Asmoah and Ibehre combined to make their way to the edge of the area. Hesitation from Asamoah made the decision for his strike partner and Shearer could do nothing about the volley which followed.

Both sides probed without making headway after the break but Carlisle had to concentrate just before the hour when Thomas recovered a loose pass and put it into the area. Chapman and Rose had punts at the half clearance but Kennedy and Joyce combined to get it away.

Carlisle thought they'd grabbed the lead moments later when Brough stayed strong to muscle his way through two challenges. He strode forward and crossed low but Asamoah and Miller were both inches away as they threw themselves at it in an attempt to finish it off.

Mansfield continued to play their part and Clements was a millimetre away when he unleashed a crunching shot from distance. A deflection took Gillespie out of the equation and he was relieved to see it edge past the angle of post and bar.

Miller had another great opportunity at the other end when he was left unmarked for a Hery corner. He was underneath the flight and could only send his attempt high.

Clements was close again with another long range shot, but the visitors were denied what appeared to be a certain penalty when Asamoah was barged off the ball as he challenged for a Balanta cross. The pressure levels rose as United started to enjoy their football and Joyce was next to test the target with a volley which took a touch as it headed wide.

United survived a late scare when a Rose cross brought touches from Green and Thomas, but Rose could have seen red when he raised a hand to push Grainger away as the pair disputed a free kick. 

Yussuf rattled a fierce shot wide with just seconds left to play but it was a deserved share of the spoils from what had been a very good game to watch.



Mansfield - Benning (29)

United - Ibehre (45 +1)



Mansfield - Rose (86)

United - Raynes (45)



Mansfield Town - Shearer, Benning, Rose (J Thomas 90), Pearce, Chapman, Clements, Green, N Thomas (Yussuf 75), Tafazolli, Hunt, Lambe (Westcarr 85). Subs - Jensen, Beardsley, McGuire, Caton.

Carlisle United - Gillespie, Miller, Atkinson, Raynes, Grainger, Brough (Balanta 72), Joyce, Kennedy, Hery (Dicker 87), Ibehre, Asamoah (Osei 79). Subs - Hanford, Wyke, Archibald-Henville, McQueen.


Referee - Mr Lee Swabey

Attendance - 4,146 (722 away fans)
Read Time: 6 mins