SECOND HALF RECOVERY EARNS DRAW AT BOSTON
Boston United 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
N'Guessan 25. Barker 70.
Attendance: 2314 (644 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw at York Street
A stirring second half recovery from Mansfield Town earned a point at York Street this afternoon. The Stags were booed off at half time after a lack-lustre showing coupled with mistakes by Sheehan and the recalled Muggleton handed Boston a first half lead. But a penalty by Barker after 70 minutes was reward for a fine second half display which could easily have earned all three points. The ovation for the players at the end of the game was quite a contrast to the earlier booing. The point kept the Stags 3 points above Boston in the relegation scrap.
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
Stags end away goal drought to claim a point
Boston United 1 Mansfield Town 1
RICHIE Barker's third penalty kick success of the season on 71 minutes ended Mansfield Town's away League goal drought after 470 scoreless minutes and earned a precious point at Boston United this afternoon.
Stags had lost their last four away League games without scoring a goal.
And a dismal first half between two sides shorn of key players today saw Boston ahead at the break through a neat lob by Danny N'Guessan in the 25th minute.
But the second half belonged largely to Mansfield and Barker's goal was little more than they deserved for their possession.
Having not forced a single corner in the first half, Stags earned 11 after the break as they laid siege to Andy Marriott's penalty area and Marriott did produce some excellent saves.
But Mansfield were still indebted to keeper Carl Muggleton for a fine save two minutes from time when he tipped over Simon Rusk's header that would have given Boston an unlikely victory.
Stags boss Peter Shirtliff said: "We are delighted with an away point, though in all honesty it could have been three - but we will take it.
"I thought the first half was poor with not a lot of football played.
"It was just kick and rush from both teams and when we tried to play we kept losing the ball and inviting pressure.
"We managed to get some modicum of control about our play in the second half, though. We were more positive and showed more energy and aggression up front.
"The pace of Nathan Arnold worried them too when we sent him on.
"But once again we gave away a ridiculous goal and until that stops we won't climb the league. Credit to the boy for charging it down. But it was poor play by us in not releasing the ball quicker.
"Also, I was unimpressed by the referee but let's just leave it at that."
The Mansfield starting 11 saw two changes with Muggleton replacing White in goal and Mullins replacing the suspended Matt Hamshaw.
Mullins played right back, Buxton centre half, Dawson wide right and John-Baptiste centre midfield.
Boston were also shorn of five first teamers.
Almost straight after kick-off the game was held up for an injury to Sheehan.
Stags cleared a Boston free kick from their box and, when they sent a free kick of their own into the Boston box, Reet turned well but shot weakly at goal where Marriott gathered easily to his right.
Mansfield also easily cleared another free kick and the home side's first corner.
Albrighton was cautioned on 14 minutes for a tackle from behind on Barker.
The visitors then created the first real danger as Barker chipped a pass inside for Reet who headed into the path of Dawson who sliced his shot wide of the near post.
But the first 20 minutes had elapsed without any real excitement and neither goalkeeper having a serious save to make.
On 23 minutes the home side did test Muggleton as Elding poked in a low shot which found the keeper well placed.
However, two minutes later the Pilgrims were ahead from yet another moment of misfortune for beleaguered Mansfield.
Sheehan tried to launch the ball forward down the left in search of his forwards. But his kick was charged down by N'Guessan and broke perfectly for him behind Sheehan to race away and perfectly lob the stranded Muggleton from just outside the box.
Ellender did just enough with his challenge to prevent Barker getting a head onto a D'Laryea cross from the left on 37 minutes as the visitors began to pressure the home goal in search of an equaliser.
Mansfield were forced into a change-round six minutes from half-time when Sheehan limped off and Coke came on to play on the left of midfield, Jelleyman dropping to left back.
Reet was booked for showing his studs as he stretched into a tackle on Albrighton on 40 minutes.
A minute later Coke was allowed space outside the box and cut inside to get in a shot which took deflection but still forced Marriott to stretch hard to his left to grab the ball.
But Stags went into the break a goal behind.
Boston almost doubled their advantage five minutes into the second half as Talbot's right wing cross saw Elding's glancing header sail across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Foru minutes later Marriott made a good stop to beat away a powerful Dawson shot after the ball reached him on the far side of the box from a Jelleyman corner - Stags' first of the afternoon.
United replied with two corners, followed by two for Mansfield, the first of which saw John-Baptiste have an effort deflect wide.
Shirtliff shuffled his pace again on 61, withdrawing Buxton, sending on Arnold to play wide right, Dawson moving inside to centre midfield and John-Baptiste going to centre half.
Almost immediately Coke got away a well struck shot from just outside the box which saw Marriott get across well to make the save.
Marriott fisted away a Dawson corner and Boston broke quickly, Muggleton leaving his box to clear into the stand as Elding chased forward.
Galbraith was yellow carded for bringing down Dawson as the Stags really began to step up the pressure.
Mariott dealt with two more corners, Dawson saw a volley deflect over and then Jelleyman was way to high with a 20 yard free kick. But this was better from the visitors.
And it was rewarded with a 71st minute equaliser. Jelleyman launched a long free kick into the box where the referee spotted Ellender holding Barker and pointed to the penalty spot.
Barker crashed the kick hard down the centre and, although Mariott did get a hand to it, the power of the kick made sure it ended up in the net.
Stags were furious when Dawson's squared free kick hit the referee. Seconds later Rusk came on for Clarke.
From the second of two more Mansfield corners D'Laryea's drive forced a save from Marriott.
Another corner saw Marriott have to stretch brilliantly to keep out two Stags headers in succession from Coke and Barker.
Boston could not wait to hear the final whistle now as Mansfield took their second half corner tally into double figures when Reet forced a near post save as he tried to turn home a low Arnold cross.
But Boston almost stole an undeserved winner two minutes from time when Rusk was left with a free header from eight yards from a free kick by fellow sub Farrell and Muggleton showed good reactions to tip it over.
Rusk was booked in the final minute as he went for a header but ended up butting Coke in the face.
Stags forced another corner in the four minutes of stoppage time but couldn't find a way through.
But at least they had earned their third away point of the season and, on another day, could have had all three against a poor Boston United side.