Grecians have keeper Krysiak to thank as they remain unbeaten
Exeter City’s unbeaten start to the League Two season continued with a goalless draw at Mansfield Town.
Goalkeeper Artur Krysiak made two brilliant saves to keep the scores level, but it was a game where defences dominated.
The Grecians were unchanged from the side that beat Bristol Rovers last weekend and the one change on the bench saw Myles Anderson come in for the absent Alan Gow.
It was Mansfield’s first game back in the Football since their relegation five years ago and a raucous Field Mill crowd welcomed the Stags to the pitch. But it was Exeter that threatened first when Arron Davies controlled the ball and hooked it over his shoulder, but the ball went wide of goal.
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Calvin Andrew, making his debut for Mansfield had a similar chance moments later, but he could only hook the ball into the arms of Artur Krysiak.
The travelling Exeter fans remembered the third anniversary of Adam Stansfield’s death on nine minutes with a minute’s applause and the Grecians were forced into a change in 13 minutes when Jordan Moore-Taylor limped off and was replaced by Aaron Dawson.
The home side were getting in top and Craig Woodman came to the Grecians’ rescue with a brilliant goal-saving header off the line to deny Andrew, who then headed over from the resulting corner.
However, that seemed to kick Exeter into gear as they went on to dominate the final 20 minutes of the half. Sercombe was denied a brilliant goal by Alan Marriott as he tipped his free kick over the bar and from the resulting corner, Marriott palmed the ball away off the head of Sam Parkin, who looked ready to pounce.
Another Sercombe shot from distance then clipped the heels of Wheeler and dropped agonisingly onto the roof of the Mansfield net. Mansfield did threaten when Oliver palmer beat Pat Baldwin and Krysiak to the ball 20 yards out, but his first time shot landed in the side netting.
However, the best chance of the half fell to John O’Flynn when he gathered the ball eight yards out, but dragged his shot wastefully wide with the goal at his mercy.
O’Flynn won a free kick on the corner of the penalty box early in the second half, which he took himself, but fired weakly into the keeper’s arms.
Mansfield responded with John Dempster heading over from a James Jennings corner, before Wheeler’s low cross evaded both Parkin and O’Flynn for Exeter and Martin Riley cleared the danger.
Krysiak pulled off the save of the match when Clucas capitalised on Coles’s slip, but Krysiak was off his line quickly to stick out a hand and deny Clucas a certain goal. The Mansfield man retrieved the ball, but his shot went wide.
As the game wore on, chances became fewer. A quick City throw to Davies led to the winger shooting wide of the far post and Krysiak was again at his brilliant best to tip Jamie McGuire’s shot over the bar.
Mansfield Town (3-5-2): Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Riley; Beevers (Murray 79), McGuire, Howell, Clucas, Jennings; Andrew (Rhead 82), Palmer (Stevenson 68). Substitutes (not used): Briscoe, Tafazolli, Speight, Meikle.
Exeter City (4-4-2): Krusiak; Moore-Taylor (Dawson 13), Baldwin, Coles, Woodman; Wheeler, Sercombe, Bennett (Doherty 86), Davies; O’Flynn (Reid 86), Parkin. Substitutes (not used): Pym (gk), Anderson, Gosling, Keohane.
Referee: S Mathieson