STAGS UNLUCKY TO LOSE TO INJURY TIME GOAL
Blue Square Premier
Cambridge United 2 - 1 Mansfield Town
Rendell 48, Reason 90+3. Duffy 34.
Attendance: 2,781 (177 from Mansfield)
Date: 10 March 2009
Martin Shaw at the Abbey Stadium
Mansfield Town turned in their best 45 minutes of football this season in my opinion, at Cambridge United last night, but came away with no points after conceding a winner in the 93rd minute. It was tough to take but there was so much cause for optimism. The Stags were outstanding in the first half and thoroughly deserved the lead on 34 minutes when Ryan Williams' pinpoint cross picked out Duffy at the far post who headed in. In truth the Stags could have been further ahead by the break. But the second half was a different story as Cambridge, unbeaten in 13 games at home and flying in second place in table, piled on the pressure. They equalised with a dubious goal on 48 minutes. Mansfield players remonstrated with the officials that Rendell was offside as he headed home, and the video replay (on youtube) suggests he was offside by a short head. Marriott made a great save, there were some superb blocks and tackles, while at the other end the Stags had a couple of chances on the break. But 3 minutes into stoppage time, a corner was headed across the goal by Danny Crow and on loan Jai Reason turned the ball in from close range to win the game. With Daryl Clare sitting in the stand last night and hopefully soon to be banging in the goals, there is still much to look forward to for Stags fans.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Video of Cambridge's first goal -->
Video of Cambridge's second goal -->
report from cambridgeunitedfc.blogspot.com
Aren't last minute goals great?
There's nothing better than an injury time winner to send you home from a football match in a good mood. Conversely, there's nothing worse than going away and succumbing to a late strike. We've all been there, so it's hard not to feel a little bit sorry for the travelling Mansfield fans who were at last nights match. Only a little bit though.
United put in a display that the comeback kids of 2007/08 would have been proud of to see off the challenge of the swiftly improving Stags. Mansfield have been one of the divisions form sides since David Holdsworth took over just after Christmas, and if they continue to perform as they did last night they will surely be there or there abouts next season. Holdsworth's team play what is probably the ideal style for the Conference; strong, direct, and no-nonsense at the back, but fast and fluid in the final third. The only thing they lacked was a killer touch in front of goal, with neither Mark Stallard nor spot kick king Rob Duffy (pen) doing much in open play. The imminent arrival of everyones favourite camera licker, Daryl Clare, could make the difference in that department though.
The visitors were much the better side in the first, with United flagging, perhaps due to a combination of tiredness, and complacency following Saturday's excellent win. Danny Potter had to turn a free kick from pint size winger Ryan Williams onto the crossbar after it deflected off Hatswell, and from the resulting corner it took a good block from a United defender to thwart Scott Gardner, whose shot from 12 yards appeared to be goalbound.
Too many passes were going astray from a United perspective, and our best moments of the half both came from set pieces, with Rendell turning well but seeing a shot blocked after latching onto a Hatswell free kick, and Willmott heading wide from a Pitt corner.
But just as it looked like United were getting a foothold in the match, Mansfield scored. The referee, who seemed set on compensating for Williams' lack of height by giving him loads of free kicks, awarded another soft one near the left touchline. The winger's cross was a good one, whipped in towards the far post, where Duffy (pen) swooped to head past Potter. He seemed to quite enjoy the goal, and received an inevitable booking for his over-zealous celebration in front of the NRE.
At this time we appeared to be in some trouble, but this team seems to have forgotten how to lose at the moment, and came out for the second half in much more purposeful mood. And as against Burton, our purpose was rewarded with an early goal. Just four minutes of the half had elapsed when a nice move involving Carden and Gleeson saw the ball passed out to Willmott. He cut inside and stood up a tempting cross which a suspiciously offside looking Rendell nodded past Alan Marriott. To misquote Girls Aloud, he's just a goal machine. 1-1.
Now it was all United, with Marriott saving well from Hatswell, and seeing a Rendell volley fly wide. The Stags still looked dangerous on the break, and Nathan Arnold almost scored goal of the season when he ran from the edge of his own box, swapped passes with Jonathan D'Layrea, but shot just wide. But their attacks were becoming fewer and further between, and Reason gave us a taste of what was to come when he volleyed narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
Chris Holroyd, who put in another lively stint up front, was forced to leave the pitch with a bloody nose moments later after taking a blow to the face; hopefully there's no permanent damage done to his boyish good looks. He was replaced by the returning Parky, who came close to a goal when he met Courtney Pitt's cross only to be denied by a lunging block from Paul Mayo.
At this stage the game looked set to end in amber frustration, with Marriott pulling off a great stop to foil Reason's blast, and Rendell just failing to connect properly with a knock down from sub Danny Crow.
But as we entered the third minute of stoppage time, the Ipswich loanee saw another shot deflected behind for a corner. Carden curled the flag kick into the back post, Hats nodded the ball back into the danger zone and Reason raced in to flick the ball past Marriott. Wooooooooo, 2-1.
At almost the exact same moment somewhere in the frozen north, Barrow's Mark Boyd was scoring a wondergoal to sink Histon, a result which made our win even sweeter. With the gap between ourselves and Burton now down to a not-that-big-actually seven points, it will be interesting to see how the Brewers react tonight at Ebbsfleet. They're not really under pressure yet, but if they drop points in their upcoming fixtures against some of the divisions lesser lights, that glimmer of hope which the Brabinator is clinging onto might start to get a bit bigger. Bounce bounce!
Man of the Match: Scott Rendell - After looking off-colour on Saturday, Scotty was back to his best last night, linking play brilliantly and netting the all important equaliser.
Crap celebration of the Match: Although I don't approve of kill-joy ref's carding players for their goal celebrations, Duffy (pen)'s star jumping effort probably deserved a yellow for rubbishness alone.
report from Cambridge official site
Cambridge vs Mansfield Town 2 - 1
Date: 10/03/2009 Venue: The Trade Recruitment Stadium
Attendance: 2781 Referee: N Kinseley
Competition: Blue Square Premier
Weather at kick-off: cool, overcast
United: Rendell 49', Reason 90'
Mansfield: Duffy 34'
Danny Potter, Dan Gleeson, Phil Bolland, Wayne Hatswell, Anthony Tonkin; Robbie Willmott, Jai Reason, Paul Carden (c), Courtney Pitt (Danny Crow 86'); Chris Holroyd (Andy Parkinson 69'), Scott Rendell.
Subs not used: Daryl McMahon, Jon Challinor, Josh Coulson.
Alan Marriott, Gary Silk, Adie Moses, Scott Garner, Paul Mayo; Nathan Arnold (Scott Gardner 81'), Matt Somner, Jon D'Laryea (c), Ryan Williams; Mark Stallard (Aaron O'Connor 58'), Robert Duffy (Louis Briscoe 61').
Subs not used: Jason White, Neil Mackenzie.
Booked: Duffy over-celebrating 34', Mayo foul 38', Garner foul 65'
Cambridge United came from behind against the hard-to-beat visitors as a great comeback and goals by Scott Rendell and Jai Reason secured the points
Gary Brabin named an unchanged side after Saturday's 2-0 win at home to leaders Burton, with the only change on the bench where striker Danny Crow replaced goalkeeper Aaron Grundy.
Mansfield boss David Holdsworth made three changes to the side that won 1-0 at home to bottom club Lewes, calling up former U Matt Somner in place of another former U Neil Mackenzie, Ryan Williams for Michael Blackwood and Mark Stallard in place of Aaron O'Connor, while yet another former U, striker Rob Duffy, started up front.
Before kick-off, Gary Brabin received his Manager of the Month award and Paul Carden collected his Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards to a great reception from the home crowd, but the opening stages were strangely subdued and cautious.
The first effort on goal arrived in the third minute when Mansfield defender Gary Silk fired over the bar from the edge of the area, winger Nathan Arnold advanced and curled an effort wide from 30 yards and former U Matt Somner also launched a long-range shot wide of the far post.
Things weren't quite clicking for United; in the sixth minute Anthony Tonkin released Chris Holroyd into a good position but the young striker lost his footing, then Tonkin tried to send Scott Rendell away on goal but he was flagged offside.
Paul Carden made a great run through the middle but seemed to be caught in two minds and with team-mates racing up in support he was closed down and the chance was gone, and Danny Potter was called upon in the eleventh minute when Ryan Williams' free kick seemed to be going over but dipped at the last minute and Potter had to leap to tip it round the corner of post and bar
After their uncertain start, United began to exert some pressure and on 17 Robbie Willmott made a good run forward but was brought down in full stride by Somner, who escaped with a warning. Courtney Pitt lifted the free kick over the bar but a minute later Wayne Hatswell was fouled and floated a free kick into the area, where Rendell turned smartly and unleashed a shot that was blocked bravely by Garner. Pitt lifted the resulting corner to the near post and Willmott's header whistled narrowly wide.
The crowd responded to the better spell of play and Hatswell tried a shot from fully 40 yards that was sliced behind by Mayo, but the corner was cleared and on 25 the experienced Mark Stallard drew a save from Potter with a shot from the right.
Mansfield were defending solidly, stifling the midfield with their chasing and harrying, while playing some good football on the counterattack, and the atmosphere grew increasingly tense as United tried unsuccessfully to find a way through.
The pressure grew as Stallard made room for a shot that was blocked by Hatswell, although United had a moment at the other end when Marriott spilled a free kick under pressure from Hatswell but blocked the follow-up.
But the visitors capped their pressure with a goal on 34 when Williams' cross was met in the box by the unmarked Rob Duffy, who headed past Potter then ran to celebrate in front of the United supporters, pointing out the name on the back of his shirt and picking up the first booking of the game for his antics.
United threatened from the re-start and Tonkin crossed for Rendell whose shot on the turn was blocked almost before it left his foot, then Mayo brought down Willmott ten yards outside the area, picking up the second booking of the game, and Hatswell drove a low free kick into Marriott's hands.
Courtney Pitt pulled up sharply five minutes before half-time and was hobbling for a few minutes, looking unlikely to finish the hall. Reason had a corner kick cleared as the half wound down and Hatswell tried his luck from three yards outside the area but fired just over the bar with Marriott frantically backpedalling, while Pitt proved he had shaken off his problem with a strong run just before the half-time whistle.
Half-time summary from match commentator Mark Johnson:
"A frustrating half as United did the one thing you don't want to do against teams who don't concede many goals - they went behind. There have been a few half-chances but it has looked, at times, a tired performance from United, and they have work to do after the break."
United started strongly and had the visitors pinned back in their half as Duffy had to head away Reason's free kick, then the young midfielder's powerful drive from 25 yards was blocked by D'Laryea for a corner, and United were back on terms just four minutes in.
The move started with Pitt's free kick and flowed across the pitch involving Hatswell, Carden and then Willmott, who delivered a beautifully flighted cross onto the head of Scott Rendell to nod home the equaliser and his tenth league goal of the season.
Moments after the restart Hatswell met another Willmott cross but Marriott made a save from three yards and launched a counterattack, sending Stallard into space with just Potter to beat, but Tonkin made a superb tackle from behind to win the ball.
United were rampant and Pitt and Tonkin linked to force a corner, which was punched away to Rendell who met the dropping ball on the volley but screwed a a difficult chance wide.
David Holdsworth made two substitution either side of the hour, bringing on striker Aaron O'Connor for Stallard, then Louis Briscoe for Rob Duffy, who had been targeted by the home crowd since his goal celebrations and was getting increasingly wound up.
Mansfield were still pinned back for long periods but a quick break from defence on 62 by Arnold ended with a shot just wide from the edge of the area, while for United Bolland teed the ball up for Reason who fired a low volley inches wide.
The Ipswich midfielder was involved again on 65, his through ball sending Holroyd clear but he was hauled down just outside the area by Garner, who was booked. Marriott punched Reason's free kick away but Pitt crossed the ball back in and as United kept the pressure on Gleeson's cross was headed wide by Rendell.
Holroyd was down on the ground during that last move and he was eventually led off with blood pouring down his face and shirt, to be replaced by Andy Parkinson in the 69th minute. Willmott moved up front with Parkinson slotting in on the right.
Mansfield had a couple of half-chances on 75 as O'Connor volleyed well wide then Arnold got clear but Hatswell won the ball cleanly on the edge of the area. At the other end United streamed forward as Reason picked out Willmott, who cut in and fired wide with Parkinson screaming for the cross at the opposite post, and as the Mansfield defence backed off Hatswell tried a shot from 40 yards that bounced awkwardly in front of Marriott, who smothered it gratefully.
It was still all United as play entered the final ten minutes, Rendell's through ball evading the Mansfield defence as they backed off and the scurrying Pitt almost reaching it before they hacked it away, and Holdsworth made his final change to send on Scott Gardner for Nathan Arnold.
Still United attacked and Pitt linked well with Willmott, who crossed for Parkinson but the winger's shot was bravely charged down by Somner, then Pitt darted into the area to meet a cross and was sent flying but United's penalty claims were ignored and it felt increasingly as though the breakthrough wasn't going to come.
In the 87th minute Danny Crow replaced Pitt, who received a standing ovation from the Main Stand as he left the pitch, and moments later Tonkin's cross was a fraction too high for Willmott, who was now out wide on the left.
Marriott made a superb save to deny Reason, whose volley had been heading for bottom corner, and as play entered stoppage time Reason's cross was flicked on by Crow into Rendell's path but he couldn't stretch far enough to direct it into the net.
A rare chance for the visitors saw Briscoe in the clear with Potter, who made the save, then the ball swung back into the Mansfield half and eventually into the net. Reason's shot was diverted wide for a corner, which was delivered deep by Carden and nodded back across goal by Hatswell to Jai Reason, and the 19-year-old marked today's loan extension by turning the ball home from close-range. His first - and thoroughly deserved - goal was greeted by ecstatic scenes on and off the pitch as he was flattened by his team-mates in front of the Newmarket Road End.
The vital goal came at the same time as news filtered through that Histon had fallen behind to a late goal at Barrow, leaving United still in second place and now four points above the Stutes and eight behind leaders Burton.
Referee: Mr Nick Kinseley
Attendance: 2,781 (away 177)
Match Summary by match commentator Mark Johnson:
"A Jai Reason header three minutes into stoppage time capped a mighty 'come from behind' victory against Mansfield. The visitors don't concede many goals and United did the one thing you don't want to do against a parsimonious defence - fall behind. That's just what happened when Rob Duffy headed home ten minutes before the break. The U's were subdued before the interval but rampant afterwards and Scott Rendell levelled within five minutes of the re-start to set up a half that United completely controlled. But just as it looked as though their efforts would be in vain, Jai Reason stooped to conquer and give United three more points."
Mark's Man of the Match:
"Robbie Willmott - excelled in three different positions, terrified a solid Mansfield defence, and the architect of a vital equaliser too. Honourable mentions to Paul Carden who showed that Player of the Month award wasn't a flash in the pan, Jai Reason who came good in the second half, and Courtney Pitt who showed grit to go with his undoubted ability."
Ref: Mr Kinseley - didn't want to be the centre of attention and controlled the game with quiet authority, but maybe should have given United a penalty in the second half. 7/10."
Evening Post report:
Stags' day is ruined by last-gasp strike
Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 08:06Comment on this story
IT took just a second to ruin what had been a near-perfect day for Mansfield Town manager David Holdsworth.
Hours before their trip to Cambridge, the Stags had pulled of a real coup by landing renowned Blue Square Premier hitman Daryl Clare on loan until the end of the season, with the prospect of a further deal beyond that.
It is hard to recall the last time a Mansfield signing has caused such a buzz of anticipation. If Clare's capture was a source of great satisfaction, more joy seemed on the way as the Stags went into the dying stages of last night's match holding out for a draw at the form side in the Blue Square Premier.
But Mansfield's evening was spoiled by Jai Reason's strike three minutes into stoppage time.
In the face of a determined second-half onslaught by the Us, Holdsworth battlers had defended defiantly. Their efforts were typified in the last ten minutes when Paul Mayo flung himself in the way of Andy Parkinson's goal-bound shot, while goalkeeper Alan Marriott pulled off a top save to preserve the parity.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D761433/acc_random%3D4362050047/pageid%3D/RS%3D10484.10340.10232.10236.10244.10281.10307.10323.10364.10319.10419.10420.10427.10428.10429.10450.10464.10486.10504.10508.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3EYet all that toil was to prove in vain as Danny Crow headed Robbie Willmott's corner back across the six-yard box for Raison – on loan from Ipswich – to divert home. Mansfield players sank to their knees. It was an understandable reaction after the Stags had given so much only to have nothing to show for their efforts.
Holdsworth was rightly proud of his players who ran such well-oiled opponents mighty close. But he was annoyed with what he saw as poor officiating. Not only did he believe Scott Rendell's equaliser to be offside, but he also felt some of Mansfield's bookings were extremely harsh.
As always, though, the over-riding message from Holdsworth was of remaining positive and trying to maintain the progress which has undoubtedly been made since his appointment. In ten games, the Stags have lost just twice.
Much of the conjecture leading into the game was whether Clare would be in the squad but instead, not yet fit, he took a place in the stand. Even so, Holdsworth once again showed his propensity to shake things up by making three changes. Mark Stallard was given his first start since October in attack, while Matt Somner returned from a neck injury to the midfield, displacing Neil MacKenzie.
The other switch saw Ryan Williams play his first full game back in a Mansfield shirt, with Michael Blackwood dropping out.
The Stags emerged with the 4-4-2 system they had utilised against Lewes – and it prospered in the first half as they took a deserved 34th-minute lead. Williams' quality cross found the unmarked Duffy at the far post, who duly headed home.
Aside from Willmott heading inches wide from a corner, Cambridge offered precious little in the first period.
And Mansfield looked capable of inflicting a first home league defeat on the Us since mid-September.
But the Us after half-time demonstrated why they are strongly fancied for promotion. They got just the start they needed when Rendell headed home a pinpoint right-wing centre from Willmott.
From then on, the hosts were constantly knocking on the door, but the Stags continued to threaten on the counter.
Nathan Arnold went oh so close while Stallard was denied by a last-ditch Phil Bolland challenge and Aaron O'Connor blazed wide.
And then, in time added on, substitute Louis Briscoe fired a decent opportunity into the arms of Danny Potter just seconds before Cambridge stole victory.
In truth, a draw would have been a fair result but it's goals, not chances, that make the difference – as Clare will be desperate to show before the season is out.
Cambridge Utd 2-1 Mansfield, Tuesday 11th March
By John Lomas
Promotion hopefuls Cambridge United needed a last gasp winner to end the gutsy challenge of Mansfield Town at the Abbey Stadium on Tuesday night.
Jai Reason popped up from close range from a late corner with 93 minutes on the clock to inflict only the second defeat on David Holdsworth in his 10 games in charge just when it seemed Stags had won an unlikely point.
United were eight games without defeat and unbeaten at home since September, but they were very much second best in a first half in which Stags dominated and led through Rob Duffy's fourth goal for the Stags on 34 minutes.
Mansfield knew what to expect after the break and a recharged United were level within four minutes, though the visitors felt Scott Rendell was offside when he headed home.
It was only the third goal Mansfield had conceded in the 10 games under David Holdsworth.
But, despite having to weather a lot of pressure in a nailbiting second half, Stags looked to have hung on until that late stunner which left them no time to recover.
And it came seconds after Louis Briscoe might have grabbed a late winner himself.
Stags had made three changes from the win over Lewes. Out went Neil MacKenzie, Aaron O'Connor, who were both on the bench, and Michael Blackwood.
In came Mark Stallard for his first start under the new manager, while Ryan Williams made his first start on the left wing.
Matt Somner also came back from his neck injury to play central midfield.
But there was no place in the side or on the bench for new signing Daryl Clare, who did travel to Cambridge, or knee injury victim Curtis Woodhouse.
Marriott came out of his area to clear twice in the opening stages while Silk saw his hopes of going clear from a one-two with Arnold thwarted by a defender, though he still got a foot in there to lift a shot well over.
Soon after Arnold had space from Stallard's pass and curled a right foot effort narrowly wide from 25 yards.
Carden went on a strong run for the home side, leaving Silk standing, but just as he thought about a shot with other options to his left, D'Laryea popped up with a crucial challenge to rob him just inside the box.
Pitt tried to send Tonkin to the by-line but Garner stepped across and showed great strength and timing to see the ball out for a goalkick.
On 10 minutes Hatswell got a head onto a Williams free kick, but it skimmed back towards his own goal and keeper Potter had to tip over for a corner. And Garner met that with a powerful goalbound volley that struck a defender much to home side's relief.
Williams won a free kick just outside the box as Stags continued to impress, but the winger took it himself and skied it well over before angrily stamping down the divot he blamed.
Somner was desperately unlucky to concede a free kick after what seemed a hard but fair tackle on Willmott 25 yards from goal. Pitt's effort was lower than Williams but still cleared the crossbar.
Cambridge might have grabbed a 21st minute lead with the best chance so far. Pitt picked out Willmott at the near post with his corner only to see him head wide from four yards.
Stags cleared another United corner soon after.
Silk headed on a Marriott clearance to Stallard who suddenly found time for a 20 yard effort which he struck low but failed to get any power behind.
Stallard almost put Williams away only for Gleeson to just get there first. Then Hatswell blocked a low Stallard snapshot a minute later.
Marriott came for a Reason free kick but spilled it only to quickly get it the way of Willmott's attempt to put the ball back into the danger area.
However, Stags were deservedly ahead on 34 minutes thanks to an inch perfect cross by Williams from the left.
He launched the ball dipping towards the far post right onto the head of Duffy who couldn't fail to nod home from two yards.
Duffy was then booked for over-celebrating in front of the home fans behind the goal.
Mayo was also booked for bringing down Willmott 30 yards from goal on 37 minutes and Hatswell produced a venomous low free kick on target which Marriott did well to grab onto before anyone could follow up.
A minute from the break central defender Hatswell was only inches over the top with a teasing chip on the turn from outside the box on the right.
But Stags held onto their hard-earned lead at the break.
The home side inevitably started the second half on the front foot and Stags soon had defending to do, including a 48th minute corner.
But United were level a minute later, though Stags felt goalscorer Rendell was offside.
Willmott floated a great cross in from the right and with the visitors defence static, believing two opponents were off, but play went on and Rendell calmly flicked his header past a helpless Marriott.
On 52 minutes Cambridge were almost ahead as another great Willmott cross flew to Hatswell at the far post and his goalbound header was clutched almost on the line by Marriott.
A minute later Stags had a sniff of an opening as Williams tried to put Stallard between two defenders. But he hesitated and Tonkin quickly stuck out a leg before he could shoot,
With the home fans now in full cry, United won another corner which Marriott punched towards Rendell who cushioned a poor volley wide of goal.
Reason caused more worries with a low free kick that beat everyone and went out for a goalkick.
O'Connor replaced Stallard on 58 minutes to offer Stags a bit more pace up front.
A long Cambridge free kick saw Holroyd out-jump Moses to flick a header goalwards which Marriott safely held.
Duffy left the field on the hour to huge boos from the home fans at his former club, the striker sarcastically clapping them as he was replaced by Briscoe.
Within two minutes O'Connor fed Arnold who created space for a decent low shot that wasn't far wide from 18 yards – Stags' first real chance of the half.
Reason was even closer with a well struck volley, also from 18 yards, for United as Stags tried to clear their lines.
Garner looked to have got some of the ball as he slid in to tackle Holroyd as he threatened to speed past him on 65 minutes. But the referee produced a third yellow card for the visitors.
Some head tennis in the Mansfield box then saw Rendell plant a header over from 12 yards as the revitalised home side continued to seek the winner.
Holroyd had to leave the pitch after taking a blow in the face on 69 minutes, former Notts County striker Parkinson replacing him.
Mansfield a right wing corner which Williams floated in, Briscoe headed on and O'Connor, from not the best of angles, sliced a first time shot wide of the near post.
Cambridge threatened on the break down the left as Willmott cut inside Silk but was wide of the near stick.
Gardner replaced Arnold nine minutes from time.
A minute later Pitt somehow poked the ball into space from the byline and Parkinson looked a certain scorer until Mayo produced a simply fantastic block, throwing himself in front of the ball.
Pitt then went down under Gardner's challenge in the box but play continued.
Pitt then had thee chance of a first time shot on a loose ball but completely missed his kick.
Reason almost won it for Cambridge with a powerful shot from 25 yards two minutes from time, but Marriott leapt to his right to parry.
Then Crow almost flicked a perfect ball into Rendell's path and Garner did just enough to allow the ball to run to Marriott.
In stoppage time Stags almost Gardner and Arnold worked a shooting chance for Briscoe which he went straight at Potter which could have snatched it for Stags.
Instead the last word went to United as they grabbed a dramatic last ditch victory in the third of four added minutes when Danny Crow flicked on a right wing corner and Reason threw himself into a close range diving header to sink the Stags.
STAGS: Marriott, Silk, Garner, Moses, Mayo, Arnold, Somner, D'Laryea, Williams, Duffy (Briscoe 60mins), Stallard (O'Connor 59mins). Subs: White, MacKenzie, Gardner.
CAMBRIDGE: Potter, Gleeson, Tonkin, Bolland, Hatswell, Rendell, Pitt, Carden, Willmott, Holroyd (Parkinson 69mins), Reason. Subs: McMahon, Challinor, Coulson, Crow.
REFEREE: Nick Kinseley.
BOOKINGS: Stags - Duffy, 34mins; Mayo, 37mins.
ATTENDANCE: 2,781 (177 away)
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