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Reserves held by stubborn Pools

24 April 2015

Stags throw kitchen sink at opponents, but can’t get the win.

Luke Armstrong’s equaliser earned our second-string a point in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United at Kirklington Road.

The Stags, who remain at the foot of the Final Third Development League (North/East Division) table, dominated throughout and were extremely unlucky not to pick up all three points.

Trialist Jonathan Margetts twice hit the woodwork and also missed a second half spot-kick, whilst Sam Deadfield was denied what would have been a spectacular goal when his stunning 30-yard attempt came back off the upright.

The Stags also had two efforts cleared off the line in the closing stages, as Hartlepool defended desperately to earn a share of the spoils.

After a largely forgettable opening half-an-hour, the game sprung into life when Margetts, formerly of Hull City, got on the end of a long corner towards the back-post but saw his header come back off the post.

Moments later, there was more frustration for Mansfield when Deadfield collected possession midway inside the visitors’ half, took a touch, and then let fly with a rasping 30-yard attempt which looked destined for the top corner, but agonisingly rattled the upright instead – with Pools’ ‘keeper James Dawson rooted to his line.

In the second half, the Stags initially looked bright, but they were dealt the ultimate sucker punch just shy of the hour mark when Marvin Morgan played a clever through ball towards Jack Blackford inside the area, who slotted home.

Despite being behind against the run of play, Mansfield remained bright and always looked a threat going forward.

With around 20 minutes to play, they won a penalty when Armstrong showed some clever slalom footwork to draw a foul on the edge of the six-yard box.

Margetts took responsibility from 12 yards, but despite sending the ‘keeper the wrong way, his low effort went wide of the bottom left-hand post, and Hartlepool, somehow, remained ahead.

Incredibly, the Pools survived another almighty scare just a couple of minutes later when Aaron Birch’s powerful drive amidst a goalmouth scramble was spectacularly headed off the line by Josh Nearney.

The visitors’ luck soon ran out, however, as the lively Armstrong latched onto a good ball into the area and showed great composure to slot the ball through the advancing ‘keeper’s legs and into the back of the net.

Mansfield continued to throw the kitchen sink at Hartlepool in the closing stages – with Margetts seeing another header clip the post and a further attempt cleared off the line, as somehow, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Team: Bishop, Atkinson, Gilchrist, Green (C), Danquah, Birch, Hendrie, Deadfield (Spencer), Armstrong, Fyfe, Margetts.

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