MATCH REPORT: MANSFIELD TOWN 0 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0
Cambridge United produced a solid away performance against Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium, in a goalless draw in Sky Bet League Two.
The U’s looked like the side more likely to clinch the win, with Conor Newton unfortunate not to score the decisive goal with a pair of chances either side of the half time break.
Piero Mingoia, James Dunne and captain Luke Berry returned to the starting line-up having been rested in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy clash with Shrewsbury Town, whilst Manager Shaun Derry handed new signing his first start for the U’s.
Skipper Luke Berry found the back of the net early in the match when he headed past Scott Shearer in the Stags goal on four minutes, but the effort was chalked off by referee Dean Whitestone with the ball adjudged to have ran out of play in the build upbefore Joe Pigott had crossed to the U’s skipper in the build-up.
Half chances fell to Mitchell Rose and Darius Henderson for Mansfield but neither could find the target, from two attempts outside of United’s 18 yard box.
Rose did however force a save from Will Norris midway through the first period, when the striker’s low drive at goal looked destined for the bottom corner until the U’s keep interjected with a smart stop down his right.
The best chance of the half fell at the feet of Conor Newton, after good interlinking play between Berry and Joe Pigott sent the midfielder through one-on-one. He had the opportunity snatched away though with an excellent covering tackle by Mal Benning before the former Rotherham man could pull the trigger.
United returned after the break as the outfit in the ascendency, with Elito causing problems down the left flank and Halliday and Mingoia showing signs of an exciting partnership from their days together at Accrington on the opposite wing.
Newton was again unable to find the back of the net on the hour mark, when a cross field ball from Tom Dallison was cleverly played inside by Mingoia for Berry to cross to the far post where the midfielder’s volley skidded fractionally wide.
Shaun Derry introduced more fire power midway through the second half as the U’s looked to clinch the win, adding Ben Williamson and the returning Adam McGurk for his first League appearance for United.
A worrying injury to James Dunne meant the U’s boss was forced to play his final substitution, with Max Clark stepping in at centre mid. Despite strings of positive play and against shaky Mansfield defence the U’s had to settle for a good away point.
Mansfield Town: Shearer, Bennett, Benning, Collins, Pearce, Taft, Chapman, Green, Hurst (Hemmings, 64 mins), Rose (Hoban, 79 mins), Henderson (Hamilton, 54 mins)
Cambridge United: Norris, Halliday, Legge, Dallison, Taylor, Mingoia, Dunne (Clark, 80 mins), Newton (McGurk, 67 mins), Berry, Pigott (Williamson, 60 mins), Elito