After a punishing schedule of eight games this month, Mansfield Town will be so relieved to get a Saturday off this weekend and take stock of their fantastic run of form.
Once again that never-say-die attitude came to their rescue at Lincoln City in Saturday’s derby and saw them snatch a stoppage time equaliser just when it seemed Lincoln’s late goal was going to take all three points.
It’s been many seasons since a Stags side would have got out of that predicament, but David Flitcroft’s men just don’t know when they are beaten these days.
The proud unbeaten away league run of 13 games is testament to that.
Even more impressive was that few in Saturday’s battle-worn side were at their best, carrying knocks and illness.
They even lost Hayden White in the pre-match warm-up with a tight hamstring, but the rest soldiered manfully on and got their reward in the end with a fantastic point away to a powerful side with an eye on the League Two title.
With international call-ups, Lincoln had enjoyed a free weekend to freshen up before Saturday’s derby – and it showed in the second half. But Stags dug deep into their reserves of energy and resolve and refused to go home empty-handed.
This season certainly started as a slow burner with too many draws when Stags needed one or two more wins on the board.
But so often in the past Mansfield have lost those games instead of drawing them and all the draws, clean sheets and staying unbeaten has given them a fantastic, solid foundation to build on as they reach December.
The facts speak for themselves.
Mansfield Town go into tomorrow night’s home clash with Crawley Town - their last game of a frantic November – in fourth place, only out of the top three automatic promotion places on goal difference.
They have only lost one League Two game all season, remain unbeaten away from home, have the second meanest defence and the joint best number of clean sheets at nine along with MK Dons.
After three successive defeats, conceding 10 goals in those games, tomorrow’s visitors Crawley will be lifted by Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Crewe.
But another three points for Stags would be a marvellous tonic to end November.
And players can then look forward to some rest and recovery with no game on Saturday and fringe players likely to start next Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie with Bury so the big guns are fresh and ready for the big derby visit of Notts County on Saturday, 8th December.