Mansfield Town and Oldham Athletic played out a goalless draw at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
Both sides saw final third action in the game, but with clear-cut opportunities a rarity.
Mansfield midfielder George Maris was taken off via a stretcher early in the first half, alluding to 14 added minutes.
George Lapslie’s 75th minute penalty appeal was turned down leading to the midfielder receiving a yellow card.
Mansfield manager Nigel Clough made two changes to the side that were beaten at home to Barrow a week ago.
Right back James Clarke replaced suspended centre back Farrend Rawson, allowing Elliot Hewitt to move laterally into Rawson's vacated position.
The Stags' second change saw frontman Danny Johnson replace Rhys Oates in attack.
Deadline day signing Will Forrester came into the side for the first time having battled an injury since joining on loan from Stoke City.
Mansfield started brightly when Johnson drew a foul on the edge of the box from Latics' skipper Carl Piergianni four minutes in. Stephen McLaughlin’s delivery a minute later tempted ‘keeper Jayson Leutwiler to come from his line as the ball skidded wide of the right post.
Stags found an opening down the right four minutes later when Harry Charsley swung in a cross to meet Lapslie at the far post. Unmarked inside the box, Lapslie struggled to keep his header down, instead skewing his effort vertically.
Maris’ threaded pass to McLaughlin on ten minutes again opened up the Oldham defence. The left back struck the ball first time into Johnson who then fired his volley into the side netting.
Maris’s 11th appearance of the season only lasted another minute as the experienced midfielder took a heavy knock following a coming together, forcing him off the pitch. Forward Oates replaced Maris after a lengthy delay.
Mansfield continued to break Oldham down following the restart whilst struggling to create clear cut chances.
Oldham midfielder Jack Stobbs received the game's first yellow card for a trip on Oates after 37 minutes. Ollie Clarke then received Mansfield’s first a minute later for a trip on Dylan Bahamboula to cynically break down Oldham’s counter-attack.
Towering defender Piergianni nodded down a Latics corner on 40 minutes which was struck powerfully against the cross bar by Harrison McGahey who should have found the back of the net.
Minutes later Rhys Oates received the ball inside the box, shook off the defender and sliced a good opportunity wide of the post with both sides beginning to craft opportunities in front of goal.
Four minutes into added time at the end of the first half, Piergianni again caused trouble in Mansfield’s box. The Englishman’s half-volley on-the-turn was palmed away by Nathan Bishop diving to his near post.
Oldham again found a direct way through Mansfield a minute later. Advancing into the box, Zak Dearnley cut onto his right foot to curl a shot into the body of Bishop before Davis Keillor-Dunn clumsily knocked the rebound effort wide.
Ryan Burke was introduced at the break in the place of Hawkins which meant McLaughlin moved from left back into the centre.
The open nature of the game resumed after the break with both sides able to bypass the midfield with ease before failing to form a clear-cut chance.
Lapslie’s interception in midfield allowed him to lay the ball off to Charsley in the 68th minute. The Mansfield man advanced into the box to see his grounded shot parried to safety by Leutwiler to deny hosts’ best chance of the half so far.
The Stags continued to press for a go-ahead goal as Oates forced an opening on 80 minutes. The forward’s pass into the box found Charsley who saw his shot saved by Leutwiler diving arm despite being one on one.
McLaughlin found Oates arriving at the far post with two minutes to play but the strikers first time effort was held by Leutwiler.
Mansfield’s second half persistence didn’t come to fruition as a resilient Latics defence earned a draw at One Call Stadium.
STAGS XI: Bishop, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Hawkins (Burke 46’), J. Clarke, Maris (Oates 25’), Charsley, O. Clarke (Ward 61’), Lapslie, Bowery, Johnson
UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Forester, Law, Gale
OLDHAM XI: Leutwiler, Clarke, McGahey, Piergianni, Whelan, Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Bettache 85’), Stobbs, Bowden, Bahamboula (Hope 85’), Couto
UNUSED SUBS: Rogers, Fage, Da Silva, Diarra, Sheehan
REFEREE: Craig Hicks
ATTENDANCE: 4,526 (496)