Report: Stags 1-1 Wycombe
Mansfield Town hitman Matt Green climbed off the bench to earn Stags a point in this afternoon's 1-1 draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers.
The Stags' frontman netted his fourth goal in three matches as his 81st minute strike cancelled out Matt Bloomfield's first half opener.
Despite fighting back to earn a draw, Stags will be disappointed not to have claimed maximum points after creating the better scoring opportunities.
And Wycombe had their goalkeeper Jamal Blackman to thank in the dying moments, who leapt across his goal to keep out Darius Henderson's header.
Midfielder Jamie McGuire missed out after a mid-week training ground injury while frontman Matt Green looked set to start, but illness at the start of the week halted his preparation heading into the contest.
Wingman Kevan Hurst was moved to the bench while there were fresh starts for imposing defender Kyle Howkins, returning after injury, as well as cultured midfielder Oscar Gobern.
Inside the third minute, Stags’ midfielder Chris Clements floated a free-kick on the left flank well over the bar from 16 yards out.
Five minutes later, Clements threaded a good-looking forward pass to Danny Rose who advanced towards the Wycombe box. But Wanderers’ centre-half Anthony Stewart recovered to take the ball from the Stags’ frontman in a composed fashion.
Rose then turned provider for Mansfield. Spotting the run of Pat Hoban, he laid it to the Irish striker, who sidestepped the outrushing Wanderers’ goalkeeper, but his shot was cleared off the line by Danny Rowe.
But after Stags’ spell of dominance, the pendulum swung in the visitors’ favour.
On 18, Wycombe registered their first effort on goal. Stags failed to clear the danger inside their penalty box and as it fell to Dominic Gape on the edge of the area he struck it through a crowded box, but Scott Shearer was well positioned to parry, before Lee Collins turned it behind for a corner.
Wycombe missed a golden opportunity two minutes later. A low-left sided cross swept across the goal area, with Paris Cowan-Hall unable to convert as he slid in at the back post.
Gareth Ainsworth’s men then made the breakthrough on 23 minutes. A defence splitting pass from Paul Hayes was latched onto by Wycombe stalwart Matt Bloomfield, who did the rest from 12 yards.
With half-an-hour played, colossal marksman Adebayo Akinfenwa headed over from 12 yards following Joe Jacobson’s left-flank free-kick.
And the same man forced a save from Scott Shearer just a minute later. Connecting with a right-wing cross, Akinfenwa powered a header towards the angle, but Shearer stuck out a hand to deny Wanderers a second goal.
Stags broke forward on 39 minutes in the search of an equaliser. Gobern did well to win it in midfield, before slipping it to Mitchell Rose. And the ex-Ilkeston midfielder picked out the run of Hoban ahead of him, but his shot from the edge of the box flew wide.
In the 44th minute, Danny Rowe cut infield to fire a 30-yard thunderbolt off target to complete the shooting in the first half.
Stags made a double change at the break.
In-form striker Matt Green, who scored two goals after climbing off the bench in the Stags’ 3-1 win at home to Notts County last week, took his place in the XI to deadly effect. And midfielder Jack Thomas made his first appearance of the season after being sidelined with injury as Oscar Gobern and Danny Rose were substituted.
Stags created two opportunities in the opening ten minutes of the second period.
Clements delivered a free-kick from near the touchline towards Bennett and the full back flicked it goalwards to Green whose overhead kick missed the target.
Bennett then planted a header narrowly wide of the far post from Mal Benning’s corner.
Stags had Wycombe penned in their box on 61 minutes as their promising start to the second half continued.
Thomas drifted it in from the right, but Green’s header from the centre of the box was off target.
On 67 minutes, Pat Hoban made way for Darius Henderson in attack.
Two minutes later, Henderson started an unlikely move near the corner flag which ended with Thomas laying it off to Mal Benning as his 30-yard piledriver whizzed beyond the angle.
Chris Clements hit a wild free-kick over the bar with 18 minutes remaining.
Benning then drew a save from Wycombe ‘keeper Jamal Blackman via a sweet strike with the outside of the boot while Krystian Pearce headed wide from the resulting corner
And Stags' heavy pressure paid off on 81 minutes.
Mansfield sent a quick free kick to Benning on the left flank whose cross found Henderson inside the box. And the big forward did well to knock it to Green who rifled it beyond Blackman to draw Stags level from ten yards.
In the dying minutes, Blackman had to push aside a Mal Benning 30-yard free kick and after Henderson pulled back the follow up to Bennett, the right-back sent it into the hands of the goalkeeper.
Moments later Benning left the side net bulging with a left-sided strike.
In time added on, Anthony Stewart headed into the side netting following a Wycombe corner in a rare second half chance for the visitors.
In the final minute of the four added on, Blackman was at full stretch to deny a Darius Henderson header from point black range after Thomas' right-flank assist.
It was an incredible save by the Wycombe shot-stopper, as Stags, despite their late rally, had to settle for a point.
STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Collins, Benning, Clemens, Gobern (Thomas 46), M. Rose, D. Rose (Green 46), Hoban (Henderson 67)
UNUSED SUBS: Jensen, Hurst, Hamilton, Hemmings
WYCOMBE: Blackburn, Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, Hayes (Thompson 78), Bloomfield (Wood 90), Cowan-Hall, Harriman, Rowe, Akinfenwa, Gape
UNUSED SUBS: Richardson, Jombati, Bean, Weston, Freeman
ATTENDANCE: 2,898 (252)
REFEREE: Brett Huxtable