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04 February 2023

Alfie Kilgour’s stoppage time equaliser cancelled out Andy Cook’s first-half goal to confirm a share of the points for the Stags, in a 1-1 draw at the University of Bradford Stadium. 

Adam Clayton’s corner, just before the half-hour mark, was well met by Cook who headed home to claim his 17th goal in all competitions this season. 

However, Nigel Clough’s side were rewarded for their periods of pressure after Kilgour’s stoppage time header ensured Mansfield did not leave West Yorkshire empty handed. 

The Bantams started the first-half on the front foot. Alex Gilliead created space in the Stags’ half before playing a promising through ball for Abo Eisa, who forced Scott Flinders into an early save just after the five minute mark. 

City continued to ask questions of Mansfield’s backline with a flurry of chances. With Gilliead at the forefront again, his cross was headed clear before falling to Jamie Walker who hit a low-driven shot just wide of the post.

With 29 minutes on the clock, Mark Hughes’ side were rewarded for their first-half dominance. 

Clayton’s corner found Cook, who rose highest to convert his headed effort past Flinders, securing his second goal against his former side this season. 

Carrying the momentum, the Bantams went in search of doubling their advantage before the interval. 

City pressed forward through Walker, who played a pass to Cook, giving him another opportunity to test the Stags goalkeeper with a right-footed shot. Flinders was well matched to his effort this time to keep the score at 1-0. 

In the closing stages of the first-half, Nigel Clough’s side began to have more of a foothold in the game as Davis Kellior-Dunn’s header was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Harry Lewis. 

Immediately after the break, The Bantams continued to apply pressure to Mansfield’s backline. 

Cook created space on the edge of the Stags’ box before rifling an effort on the half-volley, which Flinders did well to palm away for a City corner.  

City’s search for their second goal intensified. Cook weaved through Mansfield’s defence before striking a shot goalward. The deflected effort was well matched by an alert Flinders who turned the shot behind for another City set piece. 

Despite a slow start, Mansfield grew into the encounter as Will Swan came close with a low drilled shot at Lewis. 

Nigel Clough’s side gained confidence and were almost rewarded for their efforts. 

Kellior-Dunn’s free-kick found James Perch, who headed an effort goal bound which looped over Lewis. The Stags looked to have equalised before Tolaji Bola managed to clear the ball off the line to keep the score line at 1-0.  

The hosts struggled to contain Mansfield with Kilgour coming close minutes later, as his header from a corner forced Lewis to clear over the bar for a second time. 

Shortly after the fourth official indicated an additional seven minutes added time, the Stags’ pressure paid off. 

Elliott Hewitt drove forwards down the right-hand side and played a searching cross which found Kilgour free at the back post. He dispatched a headed effort past Lewis to level the game and ensure both sides left with a point. 

CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Matty Platt, Tolaji Bola, Andy Cook (booked 70’), Jamie Walker (Harry Chapman 75’), Alex Gilliead (C), Ryan East (Thierry Nevers 75’), Romoney Crichlow, Abo Eisa, Adam Clayton. Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Vadaine Oliver, Matt Derbyshire, Dara Costelloe, Sam Stubbs.

GOALS: Cook (29′).

MANSFIELD: Scott Flinders, Elliott Hewitt, Lucas Akins, Ollie Clarke (C), Callum Johnson (Jordan Bowery 36’, booked 80’), James Perch, Stephen Quinn (Danny Johnson 45’), Kieran Wallace (booked 30’, Will Swan 45’)), Rhys Oates (Davis Kellior-Dunn 22’), Louis Reed (George Maris 10’), Alfie Kilgour. Subs not used: Owen Mason, Riley Harbottle.

GOALS: Alfie Kilgour (90+1′).

ATTENDANCE: 18,755 (1,852 Mansfield supporters).

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