Yeovil Town's ninth draw in their last 13 matches saw them draw 0-0 against Mansfield Town at Huish Park, in another game of few cutting edge chances. The Glovers' best effort on goal came just five minutes into the match when Stags keeper Scott Shearer handled a Kevin Dawson lob outside his box, somehow escaping with a yellow card, but otherwise long range attempts were the norm of the day. Mansfield had their best play during the second half, but saw excellent blocks from Artur Krysiak and Bevis Mugabi denying them, ensuring that the home side did at least pick up one point from the match, keeping them in 17th place in the table.
The Glovers went into the side making two changes to the team that had drawn against Notts County on the weekend. Both were tactical, with Shayon Harrison coming in for Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro as a striker. The more interesting change was the decision to bring in Ben Whitfield for Matt Butcher. As Butcher had played as a centre-back on the weekend, Whitfield's inclusion meant another formation change - 3-5-2 dropped, and a 4-1-3-2 in its place, with Whitfield operating on the right side, whilst Matt Dolan took the left side of midfield.
What would turn out to be the most significant incident of the entire match happened just five minutes into play. Tottenham Hotspur loanee Shayon Harrison flicked on a header into the path of Kevin Dawson, and when visiting keeper Scott Shearer came out of his box, Dawson lobbed him, with the keeper clearly using his hands outside his area. After a lengthy delay, referee Chris Sarginson decided the offence was only worthy of a yellow card, despite much of the home support believing that it deserved more than that. The big question for Mr Sarginson to answer was whether he believed Dawson's attempt to be heading towards goal - if it was then he needed to be raising a different coloured card.
Matt Dolan's free kick from the set play was saved by Shearer, in what would turn out to be the club's only on target attempt on the night. In terms of open play, the Glovers started quite well, with a Bevis Mugabi attempt going wide, whilst an Alex Lawless shot deflected off a Mansfield defender, leaving Shearer scrambling to avoid the ball going out for a corner.
It took around 25 minutes before the play-off chasing visitors began to find the sort of form that has seen them rising up the table. Chris Hamilton shot well over the bar, before a Ben Whiteman effort was much closer. Hamilton later tried to lob a ball over goalkeeper Artur Krysiak but it landed on the roof of the net. The sense was that the closer you got to half time, the more the Stags had got a foothold in the game.
That theme continued after the break, even if it commenced with Ben Whitfield firing over the crossbar on his 21st birthday, after good interplay with Matt Dolan. At the other end, Mansfield's Ben Whiteman was denied twice within the space of seconds, as Artur Krysiak blocked his shot with his legs. The loose ball span back to the same Stags player, who returned the shot, only to find Bevis Mugabi throwing his body in the part of the goal that Krysiak couldn't cover.
Yeovil's attacking play was beginning to fizzle out, and Shayon Harrison was replaced by Tom Eaves, and the visitors looked the most likely to snatch the points. Krysiak had to produce a strong parried save from Krystian Pearce inside a crowded goalmouth. However, his defence were a tad fortunate when a Joel Byrom free kick found substitute Pat Hoban in clear space, but the striker seemed to mistime his jump, with the ball instead coming off the player's shoulder and wide.
As the game ended, Tom Eaves had a couple of attempts go wide of the goal frame - once when he was set up by Ben Whitfield but put over the bar, and another where he dragged his shot well wide. In the closing minutes, Brandon Goodship was introduced as a late substitute in another formation change - as the most advanced midfielder in a diamond formation, but he never really got a chance to get into the game. Despite plenty of late Mansfield intent, Yeovil managed to hold out for another 0-0 draw, and another week spent in 17th place. Most concerning though will be that they've now gone 282 minutes without scoring, and in the last two matches they've managed only two shots on target. The strikers aren't entirely at fault for that, given they are often feeding on scraps, but it's easy to see why Yeovil are the division's lowest goalscorers at present.
Link: 2016-17 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 0 Mansfield Town 0.
1. Artur Krysiak
2. Liam Shephard 6. Bevis Mugabi 5. Alex Lacey 11. Ryan Dickson (Capt)
8. Alex Lawless
28. Ben Whitfield 7. Kevin Dawson 4. Matt Dolan
39. Shayon Harrison 13. Francois Zoko
Substitutes: 12. Johnny Maddison 9. Tom Eaves (61 mins for Shayon Harrison) 16. Matt Butcher 17. Omar Sowunmi 19. Brandon Goodship (81 mins for Ben Whitfield) 31. Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 32. Tom James
1 Scott Shearer
16 Hayden White 5 Krystian Pearce 2 Rhys Bennett 3 Malvind Benning
4 Lee Collins
18 Alexander MacDonald 26 Joel Byrom 28 Benjamin Whiteman 22 Christopher Hamilton
7 Shaquile Coulthirst
8 Alfie Potter (79 mins for Shaquile Coulthirst) 9 Pat Hoban (66 mins for Alexander MacDonald) 11 James Baxendale 12 Brian Jensen 17 Yoann Arquin 23 Ashley Hemmings 24 Jamie McGuire (54 mins for Hayden White)
Yeovil Bookings: Alex Lacey (foul, 58 mins), Francois Zoko (foul, 74 mins)
Mansfield Town Bookings: Scott Shearer (handball, 5 mins), Hayden White (foul, 44 mins), Shaquile Coulthirst (foul, 52 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 3; Fouls: 12.
Mansfield Town Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 10; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 2; Fouls: 14.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire). Assistants: Mark Derrien (Dorset) and Andrew Laver (Hampshire). Fourth Official: Mark Russell (Somerset).
Attendance: 2,766 (with 111 Mansfield Town supporters).
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