MELLIS EQUALISER PRESERVES UNBEATEN RUN AT LINCOLN
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Lincoln City 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Gordon 85. Mellis 90+3
Attendance: 9773 (1654 from Mansfield)
Date: 24 November 2018
MELLIS EQUALISER PRESERVES UNBEATEN RUN IN FABULOUS ATMOSPHERE
Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank
Mansfield Town rescued a point with a terrific volley from Jacob Mellis into the bottom corner of the net from 17 yards 3 minutes into stoppage time at Sincil Bank this afternoon. It was a fabulous moment for the 1,650 Stags fans behind that goal, especially coming so late in the game. The draw protected Mansfield’s unbeaten away record which now stands at 13 away games, extending the club record. The draw also extended Mansfield’s unbeaten record (home and away) to 12 games, the best since 2013 in the Conference and since 1991 in the Football League (both of which were also runs of 12 games). But it was much more than just about records, it was about getting something from a game played in an incredible atmosphere created by a sellout crowd, and about not dropping too far behind Lincoln, who went back to the top of the table. The Stags are in 4th place, 5 points behind Lincoln and MK Dons, and level with 3rd placed Colchester.
The Stags had fallen behind on 85 minutes. Lincoln sub Matt Rhead flicked on to dangerman Bruno Andrade on the left, Andrade crossed into the middle where sub Matt Green laid off to another sub Kellan Gordon who smashed into the net from 9 yards. It looked like that would be the winner but the Stags were determined not to lay down and die. The first half had been an even affair, with one near miss for either side, Danny Rose bringing a fine save from Lincoln keeper Vickers, while Andrade missed from 25 yards out on the left with Bobby Olejnik well away from his goal, after Olejnik’s poor kick out from Matt Preston’s poor back pass fell straight to Andrade. In the second half, Lincoln started to get on top without creating golden chances. After the game, Stags boss David Flitcroft said that Lincoln looked fresher from 60 to 85 minutes, with the Stags having played in midweek and last weekend, when Lincoln didn’t have any games. The Stags were also getting through the game with Sweeney and Hamilton suffering from tonsillitis, Bishop also having recovered from illness, and with scorer Mellis who said after the game that he was “only 60% fit” following his hamstring tightening at Charlton on Tuesday. Pearce also revealed after the game that Preston was also under the weather. Hamilton was so out of sorts that he was even out-paced on a couple of occasions. So even more credit to the Stags players for their battling spirit to come up with that late fightback.
In truth, the Stags didn’t play particularly well. Flitcroft described his team as “untidy on the ball”. That was an accurate description, several players gave the ball away too often, perhaps typified by that chance gifted to Andrade in the first half. Jacob Mellis, in the end the hero, admitted that his passing had been poor. My choice of man of the match is fairly straightforward, with Krystian Pearce quite simply magnificent in defence, including twice in the space of 60 seconds rescuing his side after teammates had given the ball away.
Incidentally, after the game, Lincoln boss Danny Cowley claimed the ball was “a yard out of play” in the build-up to the Stags goal as Danny Rose made his way down the right. From our pitchside video footage, it didn’t go out of play at all.
The Stags go again on Tuesday at home to Crawley, and might need to freshen things up a bit with players carrying niggles and illness.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mellis the hero as Mansfield Town snatch late derby day draw at Lincoln
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Saturday 24 November 2018
Jacob Mellis was Mansfield Town’s hero as he came to the rescue with a stoppage-time equaliser in a dramatic finish to today’s local derby at title-chasing Lincoln City, which ended 1-1. Kellan Gordon had seemingly wrapped up the points after scoring from the bench in the 85th minute. But Mellis fired home a last-ditch leveller deep in stoppage time to steal a share of the spoils at Sincil Bank - and moving the visitors third before the 3pm kick-offs. The result also extended the new club record for unbeaten away league games to 13 as Stags remain unbeaten away from home in League Two.
Manager David Flitcroft made two changes to the side who were put to the sword in their FA Cup replay at Charlton in midweek. Neal Bishop, who missed the trip to the Valley through illness, returned in place of Timi Elsnik, with Tyler Walker returning at the expense of Calum Butcher. Hayden White was also named on the original teamsheet, but was replaced by Will Atkinson in the starting line-up, presumably injured in the warm-up. Midfielder Otis Khan made his first appearance in almost a month after coming off the bench in the second half. The Stags had the best of the opening half hour as high-fliers Lincoln took their time to get into the game. Danny Rose had the best chance of the first half when he forced Josh Vickers in to a low diving stop early on. Vickers was tested by Matt Preston minutes later, this time making an easy stop. Stags’ shot-stopper Bobby Olejnik breathed a huge sigh of relief after being let off by the hosts. A poor clearance from the keeper was pounced on by Bruno Andrade, who could only fire wide from a tight angle with the goal gaping. Another Rose effort from distance hit the side netting as the visitors continued to create chances.
Flitcroft’s visitors had to weather a storm after the break after Danny Cowley’s rousing team-talk. Olejnik denied Andrade’s effort from 16 yards out, before producing the save of the match to keep out big John Akinde with his legs. The Stags’ stopper punched a Michael O’Connor free-kick over after the hour, before Akinde headed over. With ex-Stags Matt Rhead and Matt Green thrown on near the end, there was late drama as Gordon stabbed home eight minutes after coming off the bench for what looked like a winner. But Mellis’ thunderbolt effort rescued a point at the death for the never-say-die Stags.
LINCOLN: Vickers, Shackell, Toffolo, Bostwick, Eardley, O’Connor, Pett, Andrade, Anderson (Gordon, 77), McCartan (Rhead, 80), Akinde (Green, 83). SUBS NOT USED: Slocombe, Wharton, Wilson, Chapman.
STAGS: Olejnik, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, Atkinson (Khan, 50), Benning (Davies, 88), Bishop (Elsnik, 88), Mellis, Walker, Hamilton, Rose. SUBS NOT USED: Logan, Smith, Butcher, White.
REFEREE: Gavin Ward. ATTENDANCE: 9,773.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mellis-the-hero-as-mansfield-town-snatch-late-derby-day-draw-at-lincoln-1-9460402
Lincoln City pegged back at the death in derby as Mansfield Town pinch point
Kellan Gordon gave the Imps the lead late on before Jacob Mellis's added time leveller
By Mark Whiley
Lincoln City and Mansfield Town traded late goals as an absorbing derby ended in a 1-1 draw.
Substitute Kellan Gordon looked to have secured three points for the Imps when he struck four minutes before the end of normal time.
But Jacob Mellis rescued a point for the Stags when he volleyed home in the third of five minutes’ added time.
The game got under way amid a cracking atmosphere with the Imps - refreshed from a two-week break from action - eager to try and take advantage of a potentially weary Town side, who were playing their fifth game in a fortnight.
But it was the Stags who had the first opportunity, although it came gift-wrapped by the home side, who sloppily gave the ball away in a dangerous position on 11 minutes.
The Imps were momentarily outnumbered at the back and the ball was worked to Danny Rose, but his drive was palmed away by Josh Vickers.
It was roles reversed on 19 minutes as Town presented a chance to their opponents. A weak clearance from keeper Robert Olejnik - under pressure from John Akinde - landed at the feet of Bruno Andrade, but from a tight angle he dragged his effort wide.
The Imps were unhappy with some of referee Gavin Ward’s decision-making, with Danny Cowley earning a ticking off from the official for complaining to vigorously on one occasion.
The pace of the game slowed in the run-up to half-time and a scoreline of 0-0 was a fair reflection of the half.
The Imps made as bright start to the second half with Olejnik making important saves to deny Andrade and Akinde inside the first ten minutes.
First, he did well to hold an angled drive from Andrade which came through a crowd of legs. He then repelled Akinde with his legs after the big striker had broken into the box.
Olejnik was called into action again on 65 minutes when he palmed over a driven free-kick by O’Connor from out wide. A minute later, McCartan brilliantly found Pett but his cross was headed over by a stretching Akinde as City began to crank up the pressure.
Akinde went close again when, on 76 minutes, he only just cleared the bar after a smart turn on the edge of the box.
Matt Rhead and Matt Green were both sent on against their former club in the final ten minutes as the Imps attempted to find a winner.
But it was City’s other substitute, Gordon, who broke the deadlock with four minutes to go.
Rhead flicked the ball on to Andrade, whose low cross found Green. He laid it off to Gordon, who fired home to send the Imps fans into raptures.
However, Town hit back deep into added time when the ball broke to Mellis, who volleyed home brilliantly in front of the 1,600 travelling fans.
Imps: Vickers; Eardley, Bostwick, Shackell, Toffolo; Anderson (Gordon 76), O’Connor, Pett, Andrade; McCartan (Rhead 80), Akinde (Green 83).
Subs not used: Slocombe, Wharton, Chapman, Wilson.
Goals: Gordon 86.
Stags not used: Olejnik, Atkinson (Khan 52), Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, Benning (Davies 88), Mellis, Bishop (Elsik 88), Hamilton, Walker, Rose.
Subs: Logan, Davies, Butcher, Smith.
Goals: Mellis 90+3
Attendance: 9,773 (1,654 visitors).
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