Dominant Mansfield Town denied win by stoppage time penalty at Colchester United
A stoppage time Freddie Sears penalty denied dominant Mansfield Town victory at Colchester United after they played out a 1-1 draw at the JobServe Community Stadium tonight.
Sears struck home a heart-breaking spot-kick in the fifth minute of stoppage-time to cancel out Elliott Hewitt’s header on 72 minutes on his full Stags EFL debut.
Stags created a wealth of opportunities on the night with Danny Johnson forcing two good saves and Rhys Oates firing a great chance over and having another effort saved.
Mansfield were looking to chalk up a third straight league win and they started the game well.
Colchester keeper Shamal George made a fine low save to deny Ollie Clarke’s eighth-minute long-range shot and then recovered to save Johnson’s follow-up shot.
It was the Stags who were making all of the running and they came agonisingly close to scoring again in the 17th minute.
Johnson’s far post header was brilliantly pushed away by George after a fabulous sweeping move from the visitors that resulted in Stephen McLaughlin’s deep cross into the area.
Stags kept pressing for an opener and just before the half-hour mark, Farrend Rawson's header from a corner was cleared away from near his own goal-line by Colchester midfielder Cole Skuse.
The hosts were rarely seen as an attacking force in the first half, although they did finish strongly before half-time.
Frank Nouble had a sniff of goal six yards out but could only spoon his shot over the bar.
And just before the interval, Luke Hannant tried his luck with a powerful 20-yard strike that keeper Nathan Bishop did well to hold on to, as the teams went in at the break goalless.
Mansfield againstarted well and came close to scoring early in the second half when Johnson was sent through on goal by Stephen Quinn’s pass only for George to make another vital stop.
And it was the visitors who always looked the more likely side to break the deadlock, as the second half wore on and the rain fell in North Essex.
Oates forced George to make a save low down to his left just after the hour.
Finally Hewitt rose to plant a fine header into the far corner in the 73rd minute from Quinn’s precise left wing cross to the far post.
That looked to be enough as the game entered its fifth and final minute of added time only for Sears to steal an agonising late, late equaliser from the spot, after Stephen McLaughlin had been adjudged to have fouled Nouble in the box.
COLCHESTER: George, Welch-Hayes, Eastman (Coxe 35), Chambers, Hannant (Jasper 74), Skuse, Judge, Chilvers, Clampin (Daniels 59), Sears, Nouble. SUBS NOT USED: Beadle, Wiredu, Tovide, Jasper, Turner.
STAGS: Bishop, Hewitt, Perch, Rawson, McLaughlin, Quinn, Oates (Bowery 87), Clarke, Lapslie (Stirk 79), Maris, Johnson (Hawkins 82). SUBS NOT USED: Gordon, Shelvey, Burke, Sinclair.
REFEREE: Sam Allison.