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Stags held on opening day

Posted onPosted on 8th Aug

Mansfield Town full back Malvind Benning was an instant hit for Mansfield Town with a spectacular goal in the Stags’ 1-1 opening day draw against Carlisle United in League Two.

Benning, one of eight debutants, crashed in an unstoppable 29th minute free kick to give the Stags the lead, but their hopes of a first win on the opening day in the Football League since 2002 – not counting their fives years in the Conference – were dashed by a defensive mix-up that gifted Jabo Ibehre a first half injury-time equaliser.

Nathan Thomas had two decent shots blocked, Chris Clements saw two second half drives clear the bar and substitute Adi Yussuf just failed to head in Matt Green’s late, teasing cross in an encouraging Stags performance.

Afterwards manager Adam Murray said: “The draw was a fair result and a good outcome. To have played average and still get a point is pleasing.

“There were plenty of new players today who were looking to impress and there was a tension during the first half.

“We made errors and put them on the front foot as a result.

“As the game developed and we kept hold of the ball better, we looked better.

“It was a poor goal to concede and there was a lack of understanding in the defence, but the partnerships will develop and we will gel as the games go on.

“As a team we can get better and this draw gives us a platform that we can build upon. I was pleased with the willingness and workrate of the players to put things right.

“League Two is high tempo and intense and if you are not up to playing like that then you are going to get caught out.

“We wanted the three points, but a point is good to get us off the mark.”