Mansfield Town’s play-off hopes took another knock as they were beaten 1-0 at home by relegation-haunted Yeovil Town with a stoppage time winner for Ryan Dickson this afternoon.
Reggie Lambe had hit the Yeovil bar in a game that Stags dominated, but the crucial moment came in the first minute of added time at the end as Dickson turned home a low Brandon Goodship cross.
It was cruel but indicative of Yeovil’s spirit as they extended their run to only one defeat in nine League matches.
Stags laboured long and played some decent football on a difficult surface in a variety of weather, from sun to sleet, but could not find enough firepower up front to grab a goal.
Illness and injury robbed Mansfield of Matty Blair and Jamie McGuire.
Adam Chapman came in as a holding midfield player for McGuire, who was resting his problem knee, while Lambe took over on the wing from Blair, who has taken ill.
Chapman was playing with a broken nose sustained in training yesterday.
Stags were up against a revitalised Yeovil who, despite only being six points above the drop zone, had only lost once in eight League games.
Junior Daniel, back with the club on loan from Port Vale, was making his second ‘home debut’.
Before the game boss Murray tried to gee his side up with compilation videos of their best moments of the season, which were also on view on the TVs around the ground.
Stags began the game well with through balls for Green and Daniel just over-hit and two good tackles from Alfei at the other end.
On 14 minutes Stags had the first real chance as Lambe let fly from 20 yards, forcing Krysiak to parry.
As a defender tried to hook the loose ball clear, it struck Baxendale’s torso and rebounded back past the post to the relief of the visitors.
On 21 minutes Stags had the first corner of the game, which Chapman pulled back from the right towards Lambe. But he failed to control and
ballooned the ball well over.
There was a let-off for Stags on 27 minutes as sloppy defending saw the ball run loose to Smith, who forced Shearer down low to make a
save and Dolan slotted the follow-up wide.
It then took a superb challenge from Roberts to poke the ball away from Green as the striker tried to break clear.
It took the visitors until the one added minute to win a corner, but that was cleared as Stags went in happy with their approach work but knowing they needed to work Krysiak more.
There was almost a disaster on the re-start as Chapman gave the ball to Dickson on the right of the box, but he then did well to recover the situation and make the tackle.
Collins had a great chance to break the deadlock on 53 minutes when he had a free header from a Chapman corner from the right, but he planted his header straight at the keeper.
On 58 minutes Collins was then booked for persistent fouling as the sun gave way to snow with a double rainbow over the ground.
A double change by the visitors was followed on 63 minutes by Yussuf coming on for the rusty and ineffective Daniel.
On 66 minutes Lambe beat two men just outside the box and rolled the ball square to Clements, but his low finish was wide.
Next Baxendale was over from distance with a hopeful effort, then Yussuf got into the box down the right and shot low from a tight angle, only winning a corner.
That was cleared to Lambe 20 yards out and his curling shot hit the bar on 71 minutes with Baxendale unable to get over the rebound and heading it over.
Yussuf burst into the box on the right soon after as Stags went up the gears and he was crowded out as he tried to finish.
The visitors were rarely getting out their half, but on 77 minutes sub Bird got away a fierce shot that Shearer had to parry to his right for a corner.
Three minutes later Campbell saw a low long distance shot skid just wide.
Thomas took over from Chapman for the last nine minutes as Stags gave it one final push and in the 89th minute Thomas slipped Green away on goal but an offside
flag was raised.
However, with a 0-0 draw nailed-on, sub Goodship got to the left byline and pulled it back low to Dickson who hooked a finish beyond Shearer from six yards as Stags left the field to boos.
STAGS: Shearer, Alfei, Collins, Tafazolli, Benning, Chapman (Thomas 81), Clements, Daniel (Yussuf 63), Lambe, Baxendale (Kavanagh 75), Green. Subs not used: Jensen, Rose, Beardsley, McGuire.
YEOVIL: Krysiak, Dickson, Smith, Ward, Roberts, Tozer, Dolan (Campbell 55), Laird, Cornick (Goodship 77), Zoko (Burd 55), Dawson. Subs not used: Weale, Sokolik, Lacey, Lita.
REFEREE: Darren England of Barnsley.
ATTENDANCE: 2,713 (183 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Reggie Lambe.