2 MISSED PENALTIES COST 2 POINTS IN BIZARRE GAME
Mansfield Town 2 - 2 Accrington Stanley
Hamshaw 57, Boulding 81. Barker missed pen 28. Sheehan missed pen 54. Mullin 15, 85.
Attendance: 3088 (140 from Accrington)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
IN a bizarre and hugely entertaining game at Field Mill today, Mansfield Town missed two penalties, had a goal disallowed, hit the woodwork twice, had numerous other close efforts, scored twice in the second half, and could only draw 2-2 with Accrington Stanley. On another day the Stags could easily have won 5-2, but you really can't afford to be so wasteful, especially from spotkicks, with Barker missing his second penalty of the season, and so-called dead-ball specialist Sheehan also missing from the spot. Accrington looked a poor side, often in disarray at the back, and only shone in short spells with the outstanding Gary Roberts giving the Stags back four several headaches. The Stags came from a goal down to lead 2-1 when Boulding scored after 81 minutes. But Mullin equalised with a soft goal and incredibly Accrington nearly stole the points when they hit the post in stoppage time.
Man of the match: Matt Hamshaw
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
CHAD report:Wasteful Stags stung by late equaliser
MANSFIELD TOWN 2 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 2
MANSFIELD Town were left scratching their heads wondering how they didn't beat Accrington Stanley in this edge-of-seat thriller at Field Mill this afternoon.
Visiting keeper Ian Dunbavin made some great saves, keeping out two penalty kicks, and Stags scorned a host of other chances.
But, having come back from going behind against the run of play to lead 2-1 near the end though Matt Hamshaw and Michael Boulding, they still allowed Paul Mullin to sneak in for his second goal of the game two minutes from time to grab Accrington only their second away League point.
Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff said: "It was a very strange game and we had an unbelievable number of chances to go on and win it. We should have won it - end of story.
"I can't understand some of the decisions made by my players.
"The bottom line is if you don't take chances and score goals you don't win games.
"We have scored two goals at home and that should be enough. We have not kept a clean sheet this season in the League and that is a massive concern.
"I didn't think Accrington did enough to hurt us in certain areas today. But they have ended up scoring two goals and it's too easy.
"Defensively, individuals had reasonable games. But the odd decision they make is costing us at the minute. Maybe I will have to do something about it but I don't know if there is any money available.
"I have told the players there is no point moping about it. They have to come in with a smile on their faces on Monday as we have another game on Tuesday and there is no time for anyone to feel sorry for themselves.
"You can't legislate for missed penalties though credit to their keeper, he got blocks in to keep both of them out."
Shirtliff decided to keep the starting line-up that played so well against Premiership leaders Portsmouth in midweek which meant on-loan Alan Sheehan had to be content with a place on the bench after missing out on Tuesday to avoid becoming cup tied.
Stags cleared an early Accrington corner and White also had to leave his area to clear ahead of the chasing Roberts.
Proctor was booked on nine minutes for a high tackle that chopped down Mullins on the right.
On 11 minutes Stags created their first danger as Barker chested a forward ball down into the path of Beardsley who pulled a 20 yard finish tamely wide.
Mansfield had the ball in the net on 14 minutes as Richardson headed a Dawson cross past his own keeper but an offside flag was already up.
However, a minute later the visitors had the ball in the other net - and this time it stood.
The trouble began when Jelleyman missed a clearance. Eventually Todd pulled a pass back to Roberts inside the right of the box and he chipped the ball into the six yard box where Mullin guided home a close range header.
Barker almost levelled within three minutes but, from Hamshaw's corner, he saw Dunbavin get a hand to his powerful goal bound header.
A minute later Beardsley really should have scored. Coke headed Hamshaw' s long cross back across goal at the far post and Beardsley somehow headed it wide from six yards.
Dawson saw a yellow card for his foul on Proctor soon after as frustration got the better of him.
There was more Mansfield misery on 29 minutes as Barker missed from the penalty spot for the second time this season. Barker had flicked on a White clearance to Beardsley.
Edwards slid in with a tackle on the Stags striker and clearly handled while on the ground.
Barker stepped up and tried to side foot it down the centre. But it lacked height or power and, although Dunbavin has already elected to dive left, he still managed to block the kick with his trailing leg.
The agony continued as Mullins beat Dunbavin with a first time shot from a Hamshaw corner only to see Cavanagh clear off the line.
Stags were forced into a change on 33 minutes as Mullins limped off, Sheehan coming on to play centre half and John-Baptiste moving across to right back.
Jelleyman had a dangerous cross cleared to Coke who stepped inside a tackle before curling a finish just wide of the far angle.
Keeper Dunbavin took an eternity to take the resulting goal kick which eventually earned him a caution.
Mansfield continued to press and Jelleyman had a shot charged down in the box.
Craney made an exciting burst into the home box on 42 but he was crowded out by Buxton and John-Baptiste before he could have a shy at goal.
A great forward run by John-Baptiste saw him put Coke in space on the right of the box. But with team mates queuing up, the youngster overhit his cross and it flew past everyone.
The ball just would not go in for the Stags and Dunbavin made another great stop to keep out a powerful Buxton header from a Hamshaw free kick in stoppage time.
The home side left the field to boos from a section of Stags supporters with Accrington probably wondering how they were still in the lead.
The visitors almost caught Mansfield napping two minutes into the second half as Doherty was afforded far too much space on the left of the box to receive a Proctor cross and lay it into the path of Roberts who prodded a finish straight at White.
Then Roberts danced past everyone to the by-line but sent the ball across the face of the home goal.
Boulding replaced Coke on the Mansfield left on 50 minutes.
The home side forced three corner kicks and Dunbavin did well to just beat Boulding to a high ball in from John-Baptiste.
Unbelievably Mansfield missed another penalty kick on 55 minutes. Williams' miskick saw the ball loop up towards goalkeeper Dunbavin. Beardsley was in quickly to get there first with the keeper committed and he was checked and knocked over.
However, Sheehan's firm low kick was turned away as Dunbavin dived to his right.
The agony intensified as, within seconds from a Hamshaw corner, Buxton's header came back off the bar and Barker headed the follow-up over.
So it was a huge relief when Hamshaw finally found the net for Mansfield on 57 minutes.
In the end it was all so simple as Cavanagh was booked for felling Boulding on the left hand corner of the box and up stepped Hamshaw to drill a free kick through everyone and just inside the far post.
Stanley sub Boco did well to cut inside Sheehan and try a cheeky chip. But it lacked height and was a comfortable catch for White.
From a 64th minute corner John-Baptiste saw his low shot come back off the post.
The home fans had been calling for Reet to be brought on for much of the game and he joined the action to big cheers in place of Beardsley on 65.
But Stags survived a couple of scares as White turned over a Harris header from a corner and then Craney's 20 yard bullet shot only just missed the target.
Reet almost made a quick impact as he met Hamshaw's free kick with a flicked header that Dunbavin had to tip over.
More skill from Boco saw him cut in from the right and force White to save at his near post.
From Mansfield's 12th corner, Barker headed firmly over.
Mangan might have done better when he headed wide from six yards from a Roco cross on 79.
But Stags were finally ahead on 81 as Boulding raced clear through a square defence and flicked a finish past the advancing keeper into the empty net.
Roberts brought a save from White with a 25 yard free kick.
But Accrington were all square again on 88 minutes.
And, having stepped up their game, it was little more than they deserved.
Todd lofted the ball in from the right and Mullin sneaked in to flick a header past White from close range.
It could have been even worse for Stags as in stoppage time Edwards' firm low shot came back off the Mansfield post.
Mansfield 2-2 Accrington
Mansfield paid for missing two penalties as Accrington earned a draw.
Stanley led at the break thanks to Paul Mullin's 15th-minute header and keeper Ian Dunbavin's save from Richie Barker's penalty on 29 minutes.
Dunbavin then repeated the feat, tipping Alan Sheehan's effort away before Matt Hamshaw drilled home a 57th-minute free-kick to level.
Michael Boulding put Mansfield ahead on 81 minutes, but Mullin headed an equaliser two minutes from time.
Mansfield Town 2 Accrington Stanley 2
Accrington snatched a late equaliser thanks to two-goal Paul Mullin to earn only their second away point since their return to the Football League.
The visitors grabbed an early lead, then hung on as goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin pulled off several fine saves - including two penalty stops - before Matt Hamshaw finally hauled the Stags level in the 58th minute.
That set up a frantic finale, with substitutes Romauld Boco and Andrew Mangan close to a winner for the visitors before Michael Boulding struck for the Stags in the 81st minute, breaking clear of the offside trap and lifting his finish over the advancing keeper.
However, brave Accrington refused to be beaten and Mullin ghosted in unmarked to head in an Andy Todd free-kick five minutes from time.
Mansfield had an early effort ruled out for offside, despite it being visiting defender Leam Richardson who got the final touch, before Todd and Gary Roberts combined for Mullin to head Stanley in front.
Dunbavin made a point-blank save to deny Richie Barker, before saving a penalty from the same player with his legs after Phil Edwards had tangled with Chris Beardsley.
The visiting goalkeeper continued to defy home pressure until nine minutes after the break when he brought down Beardsley in his area. He somehow escaped a red card and dived full length to push Alan Sheehan's spot-kick away.
He was finally beaten by Hamshaw's 58th-minute free-kick to set up the thrilling finale in which both sides found the target.
Even at 2-2, Accrington had a chance to snatch all three points, but Edwards hit the post when well placed.
Latest | September 2006