Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox admits today’s 1-1 draw away to Accrington Stanley feels like a defeat – as Kai Naismith’s spot-kick in the fifth minute of added time denied us a fifth straight win.
Our team were firmly on course to climb further up the Sky Bet League Two table, when Jake Speight broke the deadlock with just 15 minutes remaining.
However, James Beattie’s team fought back and earned a share of the soils when Naismith slotted home from 12 yards, after Martin Riley was judged to have fouled James Gray inside the area.
“It was a strange end to the game,” said our boss.
“We tweaked things in the second half and I thought we really came out of the blocks. We scored two good goals, although one of them was called offside, so it feels like we’ve lost to be honest.”
He continued: “The lads are claiming that their lad [James Gray] was three or four yards offside, before the penalty.
“But after we scored, we seemed to panic a little bit and drop deeper. We know from our first game with Accrington [earlier in the season] that they’re going to come at you all the way through stoppage-time, so it feels like a loss.”
Our boss has also conceded that it will be exceptionally difficult for our team to reach the Play-Offs.
Results elsewhere today mean that we have dropped to 12th position – seven points adrift of seventh-placed York City, who won at Oxford United, with just three matches remaining.
“It’s a tough place to come and we’re still in there, although other results went against us, but this is a league where there is always going to be come twists and turns,” said Cox.
“In our last three games, there have been some massive twists and turns and all we can do is get nine points from our last three games and push the teams above us all the way.”
He added: “We want to finish the season as high as possible – especially for the supporters as they came out in force again today.”