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Match Reports

Match Report | Crewe 2 Mansfield 2

5 August 2023

  • Railwaymen take a point on opening day
  • Debut goal for Demetriou
  • Adebisi on target for equaliser

Crewe Alexandra fought back from 2-0 down to earn a share of the spoils on the opening day of the 2023-24 season.

David Keillor-Dunn bagged a first-half brace for Mansfield Town, but Mickey Demetriou’s debut goal halved the deficit before the break.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Calum MacDonald was sent off for a rash challenge, and Rio Adebisi levelled soon after.

Both sides had chances to get a winner but neither could find the quality when it mattered, and it finished honours even at Mornflake Stadium.

Manager Lee Bell handed debuts to new signings Harvey Davies, Demetriou, Jack Powell and Shilow Tracey in a 4-3-3 system. Luke Offord captained the side and Elliott Nevitt led the attack.

Mansfield, who named ex-Alex man Jordan Bowery on the bench, had the first shot of the match but Rhys Oates fired well off target.

On 13 minutes the ball broke for Joel Tabiner after good work down the left from Christopher Long, but the midfielder saw his effort blocked by a scrambling Town defence.

But on 22 minutes the Stags hit the front. Keillor-Dunn was allowed to collect the ball in the box and create an angle for a low shot which found the bottom corner.

And on 26 minutes the attacking midfielder made it 2-0 when he again controlled the ball in the box and worked an opening hitting the net.

Davies held shots from Keillor-Dunn and Lucas Akins as the visitors went for the kill, but the Alex were back in it on 32 minutes.

The ball dropped to Demetriou following Crewe’s first corner of the afternoon and he turned and swept home from close range.

Davies made a point-blank save from Oates as the game continued at a frenzied pace.

Long showed some brilliant skill to beat his man before smacking a shot off the bar in first-half stoppage time.

Keillor-Dunn hit the post when he was given acres in the penalty area soon after restart, but the visitors were reduced to 10 men just before the hour-mark when MacDonald’s reckless lunge at Adebisi earned a red card.

And it was 2-2 on 60 minutes when Adebisi flicked home a super header from Powell’s accurate cross.

On 74 minutes Tracey was picked out in the area but he lashed his shot high and wide from close in, while at the other end Akins flashed a shot wide after bustling into the box.

Both sides tired as the clock ticked down, and clear-cut opportunities were few and far between.

Courtney Baker-Richardson and Matus Holicek were added to the attack, but neither outfit could find a clincher.

Crewe (4-3-3): Davies, Adebisi, Offord, Demetriou, Williams (Cooney, 81); Thomas, Tabiner, Powell (Holicek, 81); Long, Nevitt (Baker-Richardson, 70), Tracey.

Subs not used: Booth, O’Riordan, Lunt, Billington.

Booked: Offord, Thomas.

Mansfield (4-3-3): Pym; Johnson, Kilgour, Reed, MacDonald; Cargill. Lewis (Maris, 75), Quinn (Boateng, 75); Akins, Keillor-Dunn (Flint, 60), Oates (Gale, 90+3).

Subs not used: Flinders, Bowery, Hartigan.

Booked: Keillor-Dunn, Kilgour, Quinn, Reed.

Referee: Ben Atkinson.

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