HALF-TIME: Telford 2-2 Mansfield Town

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MANSFIELD Town fought out a thrilling 2-2 first half in which AFC Telford had Liam Chilvers sent-off at Bucks Head today.

It offered the Stags a great chance to pick up an away win in a second half in which Telford face a gruelling 45 minutes a man down.

Lee Beevers put Stags ahead on 12 minutes with a cross from the right that sailed straight in off the far post.

But Ryan Tafazolli put through his own net three minutes later to level and then Richard Davies made it 2-1 with a deflected shot that beat Alan Marriott.

However, Jake Speight was hauled down by Chilvers to gift Stags a penalty kick which Speight tucked away on 39 minutes.

And it still took a fantastic double save from Marriott before the break to deny the 10 men the lead for a second time in a superbly entertaining first half.

Spray bundled a shot well wide in the opening seconds.

Then, after Trainer had wasted a chance to shoot early, he laid a pass to Leslie whose 30 yard effort was only just over the angle with Marriott at full stretch and beaten.

Speight was well over on the turn as the ball ran loose following Geohaghon’s first long throw of the afternoon on six minutes.

A counter-attack on eight minutes saw Telford with a spare man, but St Aimie wasted the moment, shooting hard and low from 20 yards and seeing Marriott block with a completely free Jones screaming for the ball to his right.

However, the Stags were ahead with a little good fortune on 12 minutes.

A quickly-taken free kick by Stevenson in the middle caught the Bucks napping. Beevers weighed up a cross from the right and tried to pick out Speight at the far post. Instead the ball sailed over keeper Young and bounced into the net off the inside of the far upright.

Telford hit back straight away with a cross by Jones from the right picking out St Amie who should have done better than head straight at Marriott.

However, seconds later disaster struck for Mansfield. Spray got down the left and crossed hard and low into the middle of the six yard box where Tafazolli inadvertently turned the ball past his own keeper.

Mansfield were lucky when another good run from Jones ended with a firm cross that hit St Aimie in the face who was unable to do much about it or test Marriott.

Speight, stretching, could only turn a low Daniel cross wide from the left by-line on 28 minutes.

Telford again should have done better with a 32nd minute attack, instigated by the busy Jones, which saw Leslie put a low ball into the middle of the box where Jones scuffed a first time finish straight at Marriott.

But the Bucks were ahead for the first time on 32 minutes.

St Aimie pulled a pass into the path of Davies who beat the chasing Beevers to it and saw his low effort clip Sutton and roll just inside the post with Marriott helpless.

But the drama didn’t end there as Stags won a penalty on 38 minutes which saw Chilvers red-carded as the last man for the home side.

Rhead flicked on a long ball upfield from Marriott and Speight brilliantly turned Chilvers to go goalside of him and was hauled down.

The assistant referee on that side was perfectly placed to see and immediately put his flag up. The home side argued the decision but Speight eventually stepped up to send Young the wrong way and level matters again.

Spray headed well over from the first corner of the game three minutes from the break.

Spray was then sacrificed to bolster the home defence with Brown sent on.

Still the thrills came as Marriott pulled of a sensational double saver on 43 minutes.

Leslie’s initial deflected shot saw Marriott readjust and make a great one-handed stop. The ball ran loose to Jones only to see the keeper stand up big and block the follow-up with his leg.

Stags were angry in stoppage time as Davies, looking for a penalty, went down in the box in vain.

The referee had to be escorted off the field at the break as the home management and players and the home supporters all berated him for his decision on the Stags penalty.

It brought to an end a thrilling and sometimes bizarre first 45 minutes of football with the game all level but the home side short-handed.