Mansfield Town twice briefly led at Cambridge United this afternoon but had to settle for a replay as the home side grabbed a second equaliser two minutes into stoppage time at the end.
The game represented Adam Murray’s first in full-time charge of the club and they got off to the best of starts with Rakish Bingham heading them into a third minute lead.
However, it lasted just seven minutes as Luke Chadwick levelled the tie after a mistake from Simon Heslop.
The second half saw few clear chances before home defender Tom Champion seemed to have the last touch on a Rob Taylor free kick to put Mansfield ahead again with just 10 minutes to go.
Sasha Studer’s 90th minute save from Kwesi Appiah seemed to have sealed victory.
But League Two rivals United were not done and Appiah made it 2-2 from Michael Nelson’s flick on 92 minutes as Cambridge staged a grandstand finish.
Annoyed to let the game slip twice, Stags will still be happy to come away from the Abbey Stadium with a replay and into the hat for Monday night’s third round draw when the big guns enter the competition.
The sides will now replay at Mansfield a week on Tuesday.
Murray made two changes to his line-up and employed a different formation.
With Derby County not wanting loanee Keiron Freeman to become cup-tied, Ritchie Sutton made a surprise return to the side at right back after recovering from a broken jaw.
Jamie Sendles-White was left out of the midfield as Murray decided to employ a 4-4-2 formation with a boost up front where on-loan Vadaine Oliver was allowed to play by parent club Crewe, now they are out of the competition, after not being permitted to play in the first round ties with Concord Rangers.
Coming back in to partner Oliver down the centre was Rakish Bingham.
There was also a place on the Mansfield bench for teenage striker Dan Fletcher, whom Murray gave a first professional contract to yesterday.
Stags came out in their new third kit of red and white hoops and red shorts before mingling with the United players for a photograph to mark the famous ‘truce’ World War One football match of 100 years ago.
Stags began in confident fashion and with two minutes and 18 seconds gone found themselves in front.
Lambe switched play from right to left with a low pass that Oliver allowed to run past him to Taylor.
Taylor then curled in an inviting far post cross from which Bingham rose to plant a firm header past Dunn from six yards.
Oliver was then very close to getting a toe onto a Beevers cross, but Dunn’s handling was safe.
It took United nine minutes to threaten as Appiah turned on the right by-line and crossed low and hard into the middle where Sutton was on hand to hack clear.
But Mansfield gifted Cambridge a 10th minute equalise.
Heslop, in trying to play his way out of trouble, held onto the ball far too long and his loose final pass was picked up by the home side, Hughes sending Chadwick striding through to slot a low finish under Studer.
Riley did well to get a header back to Studer before Appiah could threaten on 15 minutes.
Cambridge threatened again on 21 minutes as Appiah spread the ball wide to Chadwick down the right, he helped the ball back into Appiah’s path, Studer down bravely to smother the finish from close range.
That spurred a crestfallen Stags back into action and Taylor put in two good crosses from the left, the first inches too high for Bingham, the second seeing Dunn just able to concede a corner as Oliver tried to head home.
Tafazolli headed away a long Kaikai free kick, then Bird won the home side’s first corner on 29 minutes, which Clements tried to hook clear.
The ball didn’t get far and Beevers brought down Tait 25 yards from goal, just to the right of the D which saw Kaikai curl it to the right of the wall and the ball deflect wide for another corner.
This was a good spell for the home side and, after Sutton brought down Kaikai, Stags survived another good chance for United on 33 minutes as a half clearance was whipped first time just wide by Appiah from 15 yards.
On 35 minutes Lambe floated in a superb ball from the right and Bingham had a free header from six yards which he sent over, though an offside flag was quickly raised anyway.
A minute later Taylor sent a half-volley at Dunn before Kaikai forced a corner at the other end from which Coulson headed well wide.
Oliver tried to get a head onto a Beevers cross on 40 minutes, but the ball looped harmlessly off his body towards Dunn.
Tafazolli was in well to get a block on the ball after it had bounced invitingly in the box for Bird.
United almost went in ahead with a great chance in the one minutes of stoppage time as Chadwick beat Beevers on the right and paid the ball inside for Appiah, who whipped a powerful finish across goal with the ball just too fast for bird to turn home as he slid in on the far post.
Mansfield began the second half on the attack, with Taylor winning a corner to the left that Bird was able to clear.
Tafazolli then headed away a home corner two minutes later.
Kaikai then produced the first chance of the half as he came inside from the left and tested Studer with a low right-footed shot that the keeper was well behind.
Just eight minutes into the half Kaikai was replaced by Blair for the U’s.
Palmer then came on for Bingham for the Stags on 56 minutes.
Three minutes later Tafazolli was booked for bringing down Appiah on the right by-line, Mansfield able to clear the free kick from what looked a dangerous position.
United then won a corner on the hour which ended up in a real scramble at the far post with Appia unable to turn home and the ball eventually hacked clear from a flurry of bodies.
A minute later Bell came into the action in place of Oliver for the visitors as they went 4-4-1-1.
Clements almost got Palmer away with a measured through ball, Dunn just getting there first.
Another home corner ended with Blair flicking the ball at goal and Studer clutching high just below his crossbar.
On 72 minutes McGuire was sent into midfield in place of Clements.
Ex-Stag Taylor was booked 12 minutes from the end for bringing down Bell on the right.
At this stage it didn’t look like either side had a winner in them. But Stags finally snatched the lead for a second time 10 minutes from the end.
Taylor floated a long free kick to the far post where a group of players leapt to meet it and the ball somehow came off a defender and back across his keeper inside the post, seeming to come off Champion last.
Four minutes from time, Taylor forced Dunn into a save and Bell saw his follow-up deflect just over for a corner as Murray’s men made attack their best form of defence.
On the 90th minute Studer made what looked to be the save of the game as he beat away a shot from Appiah.
Rob Taylor was booked for a foul wide on the right.
Five minutes were added on and it took Cambridge just two of them to snatch a dramatic late equaliser.
A long free kick from the right was flicked on by Nelson and Appiah was there to control and apply the finish.
Suddenly it was all Cambridge and Donaldson had a rising shot deflect narrowly over.
We went into a sixth added minute in which Cambridge forced a corner. But when Studer held Nelson’s ball to the near post, the draw was secure and it was back to One Call Stadium a week on Tuesday.
CAMBRIDGE: Dunn, Tait, Taylor, Coulson, Champion, Hughes, Nelson, Appiah, Chadwick (Donaldson 67), Kaikai (Blair 53), Bird (Simpson 75). Subs not used: Norris, Atkinson, Taylor, Naylor. STAGS: Studer; Sutton, Tafazolli, Riley, Beevers; Lambe, Heslop, Clements (McGuire 72), Taylor; Oliver (Bell 61), Bingham (Palmer 56). Subs not used: Rhead, Marsden, Waterfall, Fletcher. REFEREE: Darren Bond of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,869 (343 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Tafazolli.