Mansfield Town chuck two points away after Luton Town launch fightback
Mansfield Town chucked away two points after a two late goals and a missed penalty cost them dear against Luton Town.
It looked like Mansfield Town had been cruising to three points following goals from Rhys Bennett and Lee Angol in each half.
But Luton somehow scored two goals in the last five minutes through James Collins and Danny Hylton as they fought back from the dead.
Rhys Bennett had given Stags the lead on 23 minutes when he prodded home from Joel Bryom’s cross.
Lee Angol cooly finished after being put clean through on 71 minutes with what looked like a goal-clinching goal.
But battling Luton gave themselves hope when James Collins tapped home from close range with five minutes left after Stags had switched off.
And the unlikely comeback was completed when an unmarked Danny Hylton headed home from close range.
Even at that stage Stags were given a lifeline deep into stoppage time when Scott Cuthbert was ruled to have handled in the box.
But sub Jimmy Spencer then saw his weakly hit shot straight down the middle saved before the rebound was blazed over the bar.
It was rough justice on a Mansfield side who had bossed 85 of 90 minutes of football and should have emerged with three points to show for it.
New loan signing Kane Hemmings came straight into the Stags squad as part of five changes to the line-up.
And he showed his goal threat within the first two minutes when he broke free down the right before blazing over.
Stags nearly scored a minute late when a clearance hit Paul Anderson and lifted just over the bar.
Rhys Bennett headed wide from a 12th minute corner as Mansfield continued to enjoy the best of the early play.
Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu dragged an effort wide on 17 minutes during a rare attack for the Hatters.
Stags hit the front when Rhys Bennett poked home from close range after Luton failed to Joel Bryom’s cross on 22 minutes.
Lee Angol warmed Marek Stech’s hands with a free-kick on the half hour mark as Mansfield continued to push.
Alan Sheehan floated an inswinging free-kick just wide of the back post on 34 minutes.
Danny Hylton smashed a volley over moments after the restart as Luton came out fighting.
Stech then beat away a Jacob Mellis Piledriver seconds later after a great surging run.
Dan Potts headed over on the stretch on 53 minutes as Luton stepped up the pressure a touch.
Mal Benning dragged a cross/shot a foot wide and out of range of the chasing Stags attackers.
But it didn’t matter when Lee Angol clinically finished on 71 minutes.
Yet Stags somehow managed to switch off and Luton reduced the arrears on 81 minutes through James Collins.
That spurred Luton on as Mansfield sat back to defend their precious points.
And they were unable to hold on when Danny Hylton had the simplest of headers after finding himself all alone two yards out.
Mansfield remained the architects of their own downfall when Spencer, who had only been on the pitch for a few minutes, hit a tame penalty straight at Marek Stech before Danny Rose hammered the rebound over.
Mansfield Town: Logan 5, Bennett 8, Pearce 6, Mirfin 6, Benning 6, Atkinson 6, Mellis 7 (Digby 75, 5) Byrom 7, Anderson 9, Angol 7 (Spencer 89), Hemmings 7 (Rose 82 6).
Subs not used: MacDonald, Olejnik, Taft, Sterling-James.
Luton: (4-4-2): Stech 6, Stacey 7, Cuthbert7 , Sheehan 6, Potts 6, McCormack 6 (Rea 59, 6), Lee 7 (Cornick 75, 5), Mpanzu 6, Shinnie 6 (Berry 59, 6) ) Collins 7 Hylton 7.
Subs not used: Justin, Gambin, Shea, Lee.
Ref: Ross Joyce.
Stags man-of-the-match: Rhys Bennett.