BRAVE 10 MAN STAGS CAN`T QUITE FORCE VICTORY
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Swansea City
Lawrence 51 (pen). Vaughan sent off 18. Robinson 31
Attendance: 4,058 (200 from Swansea)
Ananova: Mansfield 1 Swansea 1
Ten-man Mansfield dug deep to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Swansea on a night of controversy at Field Mill.
Mansfield defender Tony Vaughan's 18th-minute dismissal for a shove on Jon Coates left the Stags with an uphill battle as ill-feeling between the two sides bubbled to the surface.
The visitors took the lead after 31 minutes when Andy Robinson squeezed the ball home from a tight angle.
Mansfield battled back, but were further incensed shortly after the break when Swansea's Paul Connor was only shown a yellow card for a similar offence to that of Vaughan's.
Undeterred, Mansfield drew level after 51 minutes.
Liam Lawrence slipped past three defenders before being upended in the box by Spaniard Roberto Martinez.
Lawrence dusted himself down to tuck away the penalty and register his 18th goal of the season.
Both sides had chances to win the game as Mansfield's Neil MacKenzie crashed a volley off the crossbar while Connor also fired against the Mansfield bar from 20 yards.
Brave ten-man Mansfield Town fought back to snatch a point to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.
The Stags, rocked by full-back Tony Vaughan's red card for violent conduct after just 19 minutes, looked in deep trouble when Andy Robinson deservedly rifled Swansea into a 30th minute lead.
But six minutes into the second half Liam Lawrence was tripped by Roberto Martinez after a mazy run into the area and got up to convert his 11th penalty of the season.
Mansfield again thought they were hard done by when Swansea striker Paul Connor clearly pushed Lawrence over just two minutes later, but after a lengthy delay he only received a yellow card.
However, the Stags went on to dominate the rest of the match although it needed a fine last-gasp save from Kevin Pilkington to deny Robinson a late Swansea winner.
Mansfield had been unlucky not to take a seventh minute lead when Junior Mendes ended a spell of head tennis with a curling header against the post.
But 12 minutes later Vaughan was dismissed for a two-footed lunge and then a push on Jonathan Coates. The red card clearly rocked the home side and Swansea went on to dominate the rest of the half.
Pilkington's acrobatics thwarted Brad Maylett as the winger raced into the area and from the rebound Coates fired narrowly wide.
In the 26th minute Stuart Jones' point-blank header was beaten away by the excellent Pilkington. With Mansfield's ten men run ragged Connor then crashed a dipping drive against the bar.
A Swansea goal seemed inevitable and it finally came on the half-hour, Robinson driving a low shot into the bottom corner from a tight angle.
The goal finally provoked Mansfield into action and they twice went close to an equaliser in the 33rd minute.
First Lawrence raced clear only to see his close-range volley acrobatically turned away by Roger Freestone. From the resulting corner Neil Mackenzie rattled the bar with a 25-yard blockbuster.
Afterwards a delighted Mansfield manager Keith Curle said: "The players were magnificent and gave a great example of how to play with just ten men, keeping their discipline but also playing some good football."
Match Statistics (Stags/Swans)
9 Goal Attempts 15
4 On target 7
3 Off target 7
2 Woodwork 1
2 Corners 1
14 Fouls 12
1 Offside 1
Latest | March 2004