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Mansfield Town 1-1 Colchester United

Points are shared at the One Call Stadium

20 November 2020

Luke Norris scored an eighty-fifth minute equaliser for Colchester United, cancelling out Nicky Maynard's earlier effort as the U's move up to sixth in the league.

Nicky Maynard put the Stags ahead with a thumping effort that got the better of Dean Gerken with just over seventy minutes to play, after both sides had cancelled each other out in the first half. 

But the U's fourth substitute Luke Norris was on hand to level the game in the dying moments as he latched on to a through ball from Callum Harriott to loft the ball over Marek Stech and earn United a point. 

Steve Ball made one change from the starting eleven that defeated Leyton Orient at home last weekend. 

Ben Stevenson came in for Michael Folivi after recovering from injury, with Callum Harriott appearing on the bench for the U's for the first time since he pulled up against Marine in the FA Cup tie two weeks ago. 

There was little action in the opening ten minutes with the exception of a couple of crosses from the home side. Aimed towards Bowery and Maynard, Gerken was unworried by any early efforts from the Stags. 

And it was Mansfield who worked to create further chances in the nect ten minutes with Bowery looking a real threat down the right wing. He was set free with a neat through ball and looked to deliver to Maynard, but the U's 'keeper was there to pounce on the ball. 

Harry Charsley went close with another effort from the right hand side when Bowery picked him out on the edge of the area, but he could only curl the ball wide of Gerken's post before a home player could get to the far post. 

The U's created their best chance of the game so far with just over half an hour playerd when Pell spotted Noah Chilvers' run. United's captain sent a looping ball to Chilvers who had sprung the offside trap but was unable to get the power in his header to beat Stech. 

Steve Ball's side had their tails up and looked to open the scoring. Pell was the man striking the ball towards goal this time after he collected from a Bramall corner, but was unable to find a route to goal in the crowded penalty area with a drilled effort. 

The home team came back at the U's before the break though and were close to finding an opener with Bowery arriving at the near post, only for Tom Eastman to hook the ball away before he could tap in. 

Dean Gerken punched the ball away from a powerful Ollie Clarke strike with two minutes left to play in the final effort of the first forty-five before the two teams headed for the dressing rooms for a fifteen minute break. 

The start of the second half was a fiesty affair with the officials at the centre of the action for the opening fifteen minutes. A series of decisions angered both benches, with the referee having to calm things down after a nasty challenge on Ben Stevenson, earning Clarke a yellow card. 

It was the home side that had their noses in front with just under seventy minutes played when Nicky Maynard fired the Stags ahead. Maynard's swerving effort got the better of Gerken before rattling the underside of the bar on its way in. 

The U's pushed forwards to try and get an eqauliser and were creating more with the additions of Bohui and Folivi as substitutes. 

Jevani Brown was free on the right hand side of the box and cut back before his right foot effort deflected off the calf of Rawson before being collected by Stech. 

Michael Folivi went close soon after for the U's after his header from a Josh Bohui cross was deflected behind, before Norris was denied on the line after Stech spilled the ball. 

But Norris would get his goal, and he only had to wait two more minutes for it as he latched on to the end of a lofted through ball before dinking the ball over the onrushing Stech to equalise with five minutes left to play. 

And the U's also looked most likely to get the a winner in the match, with Cohen Bramall going close with a fizzing cross that worried Stech. 

But before either side could add to their goal tally for the evening, the full time whistle blew and the points were shared at the One Call Stadium. 

Steve Ball's side moved up one place to sixth in the table with the point, albeit before Saturday's fixtures had been played in League Two. 

Next up for Colchester United is the long trip to Exeter City next Tuesday evening. The U's will return to the scene of their play-off semi final defeat looking to get one over on the south coast side who have started their season well, sitting comfortablty in the top seven. 

Mansfield Town starting XI: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, Charsley, Clarke (O'Keefe 85'), Lapslie, McLaughlin, Maynard, Bowery. 

Unused subs: Stone, Sweeney, Cook, O'Driscoll, Reid, Sinclair. 

Colchester United starting XI: Gerken, Welch-Hayes (Norris 80'), Bramall, Smith, Senior (Folivi 70'), Pell, Brown, Chilvers, Eastman, Poku (Harriott 61'), Stevenson (Bohui 70'). 

Unused subs: George, Sowunmi, Scarlett. 


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