LOMAS ON STAGS: Did Stags use up their luck over Shearer red card row?

Mansfield Town's CJ Hamilton - Photo by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's CJ Hamilton - Photo by Chris Holloway

A point away at Yeovil Town should never be seen as anything other than a decent result.

But Mansfield Town’s journey home last night felt more like a defeat than a 0-0 draw, such was the number of chances they created to take all three points.

If any one of them had gone in they would be sat in the play-off places this morning.

Instead they slipped a fraction to being a point outside them in eighth place instead of only being out on goal difference.

But, with only 12 games left now, Stags fans and players had better get used to nights like that with some eye-catching results elsewhere topped by Notts County’s shock win at Plymouth.

Click HERE to read the match report

Click HERE to read boss Steve Evans’ post-match thoughts

Click HERE to see video of Yeovil boss Darren Way’s comments on the red card decision

Manager Steve Evans often talks about needing a bit of luck, and maybe his side had used up their share for the night in the first five minutes when keeper Scott Shearer might have been sent off.

After his own poor clearance set Yeovil on the attack, Shearer ran 10 yards out his box and stretched upwards to handle the ball and stop Kevin Dawson lobbing the ball into the empty net.

Home fans and players were furious as only a yellow card was shown.

The big argument was over whether the ball was on target and heading for goal.

Stags boss Evans joked it was going to go so wide it would have headed up at the seaside.

Match referee Christopher Sarginson decided it was off target too and Shearer stayed on the field.

Evans went with three changes in a 4-1-1-1 formation with Alex MacDonald coming in to play just behind Shaq Coulthirst in place of Pat Hoban, and Lee Collins went back into midfield in place of Jamie McGuire, allowing Hayden White to return from suspension at right back.

Shearer also started the game in goal in place of the injured Jake Kean who, thankfully, came through his scan and X-ray with nothing worse than bone bruising from Saturday’s collision.

Evans wanted to see his side take this game by the scruff of the neck from the off. But it was the home side who started on the front foot forcing Evans into a rare half-time ‘hairdryer’ lashing of his players.

It certainly seemed to do the trick as they carved out a succession of chances, but it wasn’t to be on the night.

Colchester began the night in seventh, but dropped to ninth after a 1-0 defeat at Grimsby Town, Stevenage leapfrogging both Stags and Colchester into seventh after their 4-1 demolition of a Leyton Orient side that look increasingly bound for National League football.

Stevenage are the dark horses of recent weeks and need watching closely.

They have won six and drawn one of their last seven to put themselves in the reckoning and Mansfield’s trip down there two games from the end of the season could yet prove a massive occasion.

In the meantime Stags must rest and recuperate from last night’s long journey and prepare for a return down the M5 to take on Cheltenham on a poor playing surface on Saturday.

At the same time Colchester travel to Cambridge, never easy, while Stags will hope neighbours Notts County can continue their improved form and do them a favour at Stevenage.

Strap in - this is going to be a thrilling last 12 games.