LUCKY goal or wonder finish, much of the post-match talk was about how Danny Forrest’s late dipping 30-yard effort managed to beat David Grof to earn Barrow a 1-1 draw at Field Mill last night.
A review of the match DVD should tell boss Duncan Russell and the keeper how much blame the Notts County loanee should take.
But Grof and Stags know that only a series of fine saves from him denied the Cumbrians all three points in a fine fightback from behind that leaves Mansfield without in a win in three straight games with struggling sides.
“The lad intended it to be a shot,” said Russell. “You could see his intention when he looked up and saw the keeper off his line. There was no one else in there so it wasn’t a cross.
“I am not sure how it beat ‘Groffy’ or whether he thought it was going to go over the bar. It was a freak goal and against the run of play. But it changed the game.
“I will speak to him about it and look at the DVD. I have got to question my goalkeeper’s distances.
“They have not scored a goal in open play, passing round us like we were to them. Nine times out 10 the goalkeeper is in the right position and tips it over the bar.
“He is a typical foreign keeper who likes to play off the line – I have seen him reach the halfway line once!
“But towards the end he made some fine saves.”
Russell added: “It’s no excuse but I spoke to them at the end and there were some tired legs out there.
“Before the goal went in we were totally in charge of the game. We made so many chances and could have scored four or five. So it’s disheartening how we capitulated again.
“Why did we not continue doing the things we were doing? Why change something that’s not broken?
“But when you are mentally tired and fatigued it does affect decision-making.
“I thought the front two did really well in the absence of Paul Connor. They moved their back line about and were really clever.”
Stags’ nighmare run of four home games in eight days continues on Thursday with the visit of Bath and Russell added: “This is all going to take its toll and I need players to be honest with me.
“It’s great some want to be lionhearts and go out there but if the energy levels are not there and the mind is willing but the body isn’t, then they are no use to me.
“I will keep trying to rotate things.”
On Barrow’s equaliser, Grof said: “To be honest it was a great finish.
“I am going to have a look at the DVD to see how far I was off my line, but he has shot from 25-30 yards so obviously I am not going to be standing on my line.
“But I am disappointed to get beaten from so far out.
“As soon as Barrow scored, they came at us and in the end we had to be happy with a point. Our concentration levels dropped and we have lost a lot of points because of that.”
Louis Briscoe, who bagged his 18th goal of the season, said: “We were disappointed not to get three points after dominating for so long, but there were a lot of tired legs out here near the end. We sat back and invited them on.
“My goal fell nicely to me on my lap which happens sometimes. That’s how it goes. But we deserved it.
“They scored a freak goal that’s done ‘Groffy’. In the en he’s saved us from not having any points at all.
“You can’t put a finger on why we didn’t win it. All the lads have put in a shift again but it’s just not going for us at the moment.”