Mansfield’s poor league form continued yesterday as they were narrowly edged out in a nine goal thriller, losing 5-4 at Fleetwood Town.
The Stags experienced a torrid final few minutes of emotions as first substitute Ross Dyer, back following a loan spell with Hereford United, popped up to equalise in the 89th minute as Stags clawed back from 4-2 down before elation turned to heartbreak as seconds after Dyer’s leveller, fellow substitute James Jennings conceded a penalty which was tucked away for the hosts to cruelly steal the points.
It was strange really as the Stags afternoon had already got off to a bad start, a mistake from Anthony Howell not once or twice but thrice gifted the hosts an opportunity in the box, Gareth Evans the one to eventually convert firing Fleetwood in front after a mere twenty seconds.
The Stags weren’t deterred by falling behind and staged a turn-around, Chris Clements grabbed Mansfield’s first ever goal at Fleetwood on nine minutes with a driven free kick right on the edge of the box which curled into the bottom corner. Howell then atoned for his early error by putting the Stags ahead on 15 minutes.
Mansfield’s lead lasted twenty minutes and the equalizer came in gift form as Martin Riley, back in the line-up following injury, gave away a spot kick - Antoni Sarcevic converted by drilling straight down the middle.
After the break Junior Daniel came close to putting the Stags ahead again as he smashed against the bar, however it was the hosts who seemed to put the game beyond doubt with two quick fire goals, first Sarcevic netted his second of the game on 64 minutes with a fine run before Evans netted his second two minutes later to make it 4-2.
Fleetwood didn’t bank on a Stags fight back, Sam Clucas relight the fire with a close range header on 77 minutes before Ross Dyer thought he’d written the headlines in the 89th minute, seeing the ball over the line as a shot came in through the crowd.
Elation for Mansfield at 4-4 soon turned to despair as back down in the Stags box, a last ditch challenge from substitute James Jennings saw the hosts awarded a penalty. Alan Marriott guessed correctly but couldn’t keep out Sarcevic’s second spot kick of the game, meaning the Fleetwood man not only took home the match ball, but also the points for the plucky hosts.
FULL TIME: Fleetwood 5-4 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 2,831 (300 Approximately)
Referee: Scott Matheison
Stags: Alan Marriott, Ritchie Sutton, John Dempster ©, Martin Riley, Lee Beevers (James Jennings 60), Anthony Howell (Ross Dyer 78), Chris Clements, Junior Daniel, Lee Stevenson (Godfrey Poku 67), Sam Clucas, Ollie Palmer.
UNUSED SUBS: Matt Rhead, Ryan Tafazolli, Lindon Meikle, Ian Deakin.
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