Danny Johnson made an instant impact from the bench to earn Mansfield Town a draw with Rochdale at One Call Stadium in Sky Bet League Two.
The striker netted just two-and-a-half minutes after replacing Rhys Oates to score his third of the season and cancel out Danny Cashman’s 50th minute go-ahead goal.
Johnson’s cool finish ended a run of five defeats on the bounce for Stags.
Nigel Clough made three changes to the side that faced Walsall at Banks’s Stadium last weekend.
Ollie Clarke returned to the midfield in place of Ryan Stirk, having served his one-match ban coming in the home defeat to Harrogate earlier in the month.
Stags’ further changes saw Jordan Bowery and Farrend Rawson come into the XI replacing youngster Tyrese Sinclair and the injured Richard Nartey.
Stephen McLaughlin’s tempting free-kick inside two minutes was looped towards the back post and nodded wide as Mansfield looked to attack early on.
Rochdale soon grew into the game themselves as Matty Done’s shot inside the box was blocked at close range minutes later.
Rochdale stopper Joel Coleman reacted well on 15 minutes to palm away Ollie Clarke’s cross and deny George Lapslie a header from very close range.
Aaron Morley’s in-swinging cross in the 21st minute bounced dangerously inside Mansfield’s box. Fortunately for the Stags Jake Beesley couldn’t control the ball at the back post, turning the chance narrowly wide.
McLaughlin’s long-range effort five minutes later was well handled by Coleman, diving to his left.
The Irishman continued to aid Mansfield’s search for a goal and came close to finding space inside the box a minute before the break. Linking up with Clarke on the left-hand side, the full-back found himself one on one before his heavy first touch dissipated the opportunity.
Stags continued to threaten down the left at the end of the first half. Oates came close to converting Clarke’s cross at the back post before the forward failed to find a teammate inside the box with Coleman off his line a minute later.
Morley’s corner for Rochdale in the 47th minute found defender Max Taylor who headed narrowly over from close-range having shaken off his marker.
Rochdale continued their positive restart from the break and took the lead in the 50th minute. Done dispossessed Gordon on the left off the box to advance forward and find Cashman in the centre, who struck first time into the bottom left corner.
Bowery found space to attack down the left four minutes later before cutting inside to curl a right-footed shot wide of the top corner.
Done continued to trouble Mansfield, linking up with Beesley before the hour mark whose low header was well held by Stags stopper Nathan Bishop.
A powerful George Maris strike on the edge of the box was blocked by O’Connell, reliving Coleman of danger to deal with on 65 minutes.
The boss made a double substitution with 20 minutes to play, introducing striker Danny Johnson as well as midfielder Ryan Stirk in place of the booked Maris.
Johnson made an instant impact by drawing Mansfield level less than three minutes after being introduced. Clarke did well to dribble into the box from the left before teeing up the former Leyton Orient striker whose outstretched leg turned the ball into the bottom right corner.
The sponsors’ man of the match George Lapslie was replaced by Harry Charsley with four minutes remaining.
Ollie Clarke bundled the ball to Charsley in the 89th minute who was played through one on one with the keeper. Coleman’s reaction save denied Charsley’s powered shot to earn a corner for Stags. Stirk’s subsequent delivery was met well by the rising Oli Hawkins but Coleman was again equal to the effort to keep out Mansfield’s late goal-wards push.
This was the last action of a tight contest at One Call Stadium, with the Stags next in action away at Leyton Orient next week.
STAGS XI: Bishop, Gordon, McLaughlin, Hewitt, Rawson, O. Clarke, Bowery, Maris (Stirk 70’), Hawkins, Oates (Johnson 70’), Lapslie (Charsley 86’)
UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Burke, Sinclair, Law
ROCHDALE XI: Coleman, Taylor, O’Connell, Dooley, Morley, Beesley, Newby (Odoh 57’), Dorsett (McNulty 46’), Keohane, Done (White 80’), Cashman
UNUSED SUBS: Lynch, Broadbent, Andrews, Kelly
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson
ASSISTANTS: Robert Atkin & Marc Wilson
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Johnathon Bickerdike
ATTENDANCE: 4,336 (381)