DUFFY DOUBLE DUMPS WOKING ALMOST DOWN
Woking 2 - 2 Mansfield Town
Miles 43, Anderson 67. Duffy 41, 79.
Attendance: 2096 (220 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw, Svante Bernhard and Andy Saunders at Kingfield
Mansfield Town's final away game of the season was an exciting affair. After recent dreadful performances at Northwich, Wrexham and Histon, the travelling Stags fans deserved a better effort and certainly got it at Kingfield in a ding-dong second half plus the final few minutes of the first half. Rob Duffy did his chances of earning a contract for next season a power of good with a fabulous overhead kick to give the Stags the lead, and then scored another to rescue a point with 11 minutes to go. In between, Woking scored two soft goals, with Stags keeper Jason White making a horrible mistake for the second. Both teams missed good chances in stoppage time to win it, Nathan Arnold somehow firing over a sitter when it seemed easier to score.
Stagsnet report in the Match Centre
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn:
DOUBLE FOR DUFFY DEALS BLOW FOR CARDS
Woking 2 Mansfield Town 2
The Stags finally put an end to their recent run of poor away form with a well-deserved 2-2 draw at Woking. The result left their hosts in the bottom four and staring almost certain relegation from the BSP in the face.
Stags made four changes from the side that had lost at Northwich Victoria, the main one being a debut in the centre of midfield for young, Curtis Shaw.
The game kicked off in bright early summer sunshine but was clouded over with tension. Stags were obviously eager to end their away journeys with something other than a defeat, having lost 6 of their previous 7 on the road, whilst Woking came into the game desperate for all three points if they were to have any realistic hope of avoiding the drop into the Conference South.
As it was a 'Double from Duffy' dealt the 'Cards' a real blow and it could have been better for Mansfield if deep into injury time, Nathan Arnold had converted his goal-scoring chance.
The home side started the game in the mood you would expect from a team with the threat of relegation hanging over them and it was no surprise when on 3 minutes a free kick was floated over and Domoraud out-jumped Silk but directed his header over the bar.
Ten minutes later and it was that man, Domoraud who again went close, this time with a shot from the edge of the area that forced Jason White to smother at his near post.
The home side were just on top without being too threatening, whilst all Stags had to offer was a bursting run into the opposition box from Briscoe. That was to be Louis Briscoe's last real impact on the game because on 20 minutes he was forced to leave the field injured and was replaced by the speedy, Aaron O'Connor.
The Stags front man didn't waste much time before getting into the game and almost scored after he got on the end of a Duffy flick on only to see his powerful shot cannon off the angle of post and crossbar.
On 32 minutes it was the 'Cards' turn to hit the woodwork when Domoraud's flick hit the foot of the post before White was fouled and play stopped.
On the 40th minute mark, Stags won their first corner of the game and it proved to be profitable. Williams' kick went over everyone but was retrieved by O'Connor who then turned the ball back inside the area where Rob Duffy met the ball with an acrobatic overhead kick that flew into the net.
The Stags goal came on 41 minutes, but the joy was short lived because just two minutes later Woking equalised albeit in scrappy circumstances. A corner was not cleared with any conviction and when the ball was knocked back towards their own goal by a Stags player, there was Miles to back-heal the ball into the net from virtually on the goal line. The half ended with the 2nd 45 promising much more.
The 2nd half began with a change for Mansfield with Curtis Woodhouse being replaced by O'Hare and it was the Stags who started the second period the brighter with Hotchkiss shooting over and O'Connor being denied by a superbly timed tackle from Lorraine.
On the 60th minute mark, Stags almost re-took the lead but O'Connor's shot, although beyond the keeper was also just beyond the post.
Stags had a strong penalty shout turned down by the Referee when it was clear that Lorraine handled Williams' corner. The whole ground saw it bar from one very important person, the Referee.
Then on 67 minutes and slightly against the run of play, the home side went ahead. Ledigster sent over a low cross from the right hand touch line which White missed leaving Anderson the simply task of side-footing the ball home. Kingfield erupted in joy for at that point in the afternoon, Woking were out of the bottom four.
Stags tried to get back into the game and Duffy was unlucky when he couldn't get a decent header on target from a Williams cross.
However on 80 minutes, Duffy found the mark to score his 9 goal of the season for Mansfield and draw him level with Mark Stallard in the Stags top goalscoring charts. It was a goal again of quality but one that was greeted by almost silence, as the home supporters hearts were broken. Hotchkiss providing a superb cross which Duffy met neatly to heading the ball into the top far corner of the net across the face of the rooted keeper.
As the4 game entered its dying minutes it looked for the world that Duffy would be provided with his hat-trick but home man of the match, Lorraine came to the rescue with a brilliantly well-timed tackle that not only denied Duffy but also left the Stags striker in need of treatment.
Desperation gripped the home side as they went in search of a winner but the Stags defence more than held firm.
Five minutes of added on time was shown by the 4th official, incredibly the Referee added eight but rather than the home side having the chance for a late, late dramatic winner that chance fell to Mansfield but Arnold lifted his shot over the bar from close range.
This weekend Stags faced play off chasing Stevenage at Field Mill in what is bound to be a dramatic end to the season. The visitors will be hoping to record a win over Stags whilst hoping that the teams above them slip up.
Observer Man of the match – Rob Duffy – His two goals were both worthy of winning the game, but neither did. Shame.
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