Cambridge United and Mansfield Town shared the spoils in the U’s first game back at the Abbey Stadium of 2018.
United lined up with both loan arrivals Adam Phillips and Billy Waters in the starting eleven, whilst Barry Corr took up a place on the bench. Meanwhile, with Leon Legge out injured following a shoulder problem picked up in training during the week, Harry Darling featured for his Football League debut alongside Greg Taylor.
Danny Rose lashed an early shot wide inside ten minutes in the first opportunity of the game, whilst Mal Benning had the Stags’ only other opportunity of the half, drilling over from 20 yards wide on the left.
Meanwhile, Northampton loanee Waters enjoyed his first 45 minutes in a United shirt and was inches away from heading home a well-delivered Adam Phillips free kick midway through the half.
However, it was Jake Carroll who found himself on the end of the U’s best chance when he played a clever one-two with George Maris to work an opening in the Mansfield box, but the left back was unable to keep his shot down and despite the U’s edging the first period, it remained scoreless.
Waters continued to look dangerous after the break and managed to pick out Uche Ikpeazu inside the six yard box with a cross two minutes into the second half, but the striker was denied with a smart save by Conrad Logan at close range.
Steve Evan’s men dominated for large periods of the remainder of the clash, but the U’s back four was solid including Darling, who had plenty to deal with up against Lee Angol, and kept the Stags opportunities in front of goal to a minimum.
Rose looked to have broken the deadlock and United’s resistance when he hit the back of the net with the deftest of touches, only for the flag to be raised against the Mansfield man for offside.
The only real disappointment for the U’s was the brief appearance of David Amoo from the bench, who was subsequently subbed off five minutes later due to the frustrating reoccurrence of his hamstring problem.
The final moment of note in the afternoon was the much anticipated return of Barry Corr who received a roar from the Abbey faithful, when replacing debutant Waters who himself was the recipient of an ovation for his first efforts in amber and black.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Taylor, Darling, Carroll, Deegan, Phillips (Amoo, 69 mins replaced by Dunk 74 mins), Maris, Brown, Waters (Corr, 78 mins), Ikpeazu
Mansfield Town: Logan, Anderson (Sterling-James, 81 mins), Pearce, Bennett, Benning, Potter (White, 64 mins), Mellis (Atkinson, 88 mins), MacDonald, Hamilton, Rose, Angol
Attendance: 4,324 (499)
Vindis Man of the Match: Billy Waters