GIANT defender Exodus Geohaghon popped up with a precious equaliser a minute into stoppage time to deny big-spending leaders Fleetwood Town victory at the end of a thrilling clash at Field Mil tonight, reports John Lomas.
It seemed goal machine Jamie Vardy’s agonising 81st minute goal would be the winner against a Stags side who had been on a five-game winning streak.
Vardy sped away to beat Geohaghon and Alan Marriott to a hopeful ball forward and bag his 25th goal of the season.
However, the gangling Geohaghon then rose to power home an unstoppable header from the immaculate Luke O’Neill’s corner to deny the Cod Army maximum points in what had been a bruising thriller against a talented side that had not lost for 22 games and had won nine of their previous 10.
Stags had opted for caution with their 4-3-3 formation with Jon Worthington brought in for Louis Briscoe and Adam Murray replacing suspended key midfielder Gary Roberts which was a big blow for Paul Cox’s men.
Although they often looked anxious, gutsy Mansfield dug in deep and, despite Fleetwood’s possession and promise, Ross Dyer forced the only real save of a tense first half as Scott Davies kept out his header.
However, overall Fleetwood always looked a class above on the ball and twice Marriott saved Stags’ bacon as he thwarted Fleetwood in one-on-one situations while Jamie McGuire rattled the woodwork.
But, just as it seemed all hope was gone, up popped Geohaghon to spark wild celebrations at Field Mill and grab one of the Stags’ hardest-earned points of the season in a game that the officials sometimes did their best to spoil with a string of decisions that left both camps puzzled.
Don’t miss Wednesday’s Chad for a full ,atch report and lal the latest Stags news.