Mellis the hero as Mansfield Town snatch late derby day draw at Lincoln

Picture Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD, Football, EFL Sky Bet League Two, Lincoln City v Mansfield Town, Sincil Bank, 24/11/2018, K.O 3pm''Mansfield's Danny Rose has a shot on goal''Andrew Roe>>>>>>>07826527594
Picture Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD, Football, EFL Sky Bet League Two, Lincoln City v Mansfield Town, Sincil Bank, 24/11/2018, K.O 3pm''Mansfield's Danny Rose has a shot on goal''Andrew Roe>>>>>>>07826527594

Jacob Mellis was Mansfield Town’s hero as he came to the rescue with a stoppage-time equaliser in a dramatic finish to today’s local derby at title-chasing Lincoln City, which ended 1-1.

Kellan Gordon had seemingly wrapped up the points after scoring from the bench in the 85th minute.

But Mellis fired home a last-ditch leveller deep in stoppage time to steal a share of the spoils at Sincil Bank - and moving the visitors third before the 3pm kick-offs.

The result also extended the new club record for unbeaten away league games to 13 as Stags remain unbeaten away from home in League Two.

Manager David Flitcroft made two changes to the side who were put to the sword in their FA Cup replay at Charlton in midweek.

Neal Bishop, who missed the trip to the Valley through illness, returned in place of Timi Elsnik, with Tyler Walker returning at the expense of Calum Butcher.

Hayden White was also named on the original teamsheet, but was replaced by Will Atkinson in the starting line-up, presumably injured in the warm-up.

Midfielder Otis Khan made his first appearance in almost a month after coming off the bench in the second half.

The Stags had the best of the opening half hour as high-fliers Lincoln took their time to get into the game.

Danny Rose had the best chance of the first half when he forced Josh Vickers in to a low diving stop early on.

Vickers was tested by Matt Preston minutes later, this time making an easy stop.

Stags’ shot-stopper Bobby Olejnik breathed a huge sigh of relief after being let off by the hosts. A poor clearance from the keeper was pounced on by Bruno Andrade, who could only fire wide from a tight angle with the goal gaping.

Another Rose effort from distance hit the side netting as the visitors continued to create chances.

Flitcroft’s visitors had to weather a storm after the break after Danny Cowley’s rousing team-talk.

Olejnik denied Andrade’s effort from 16 yards out, before producing the save of the match to keep out big John Akinde with his legs.

The Stags’ stopper punched a Michael O’Connor free-kick over after the hour, before Akinde headed over.

With ex-Stags Matt Rhead and Matt Green thrown on near the end, there was late drama as Gordon stabbed home eight minutes after coming off the bench for what looked like a winner.

But Mellis’ thunderbolt effort rescued a point at the death for the never-say-die Stags.

LINCOLN: Vickers, Shackell, Toffolo, Bostwick, Eardley, O’Connor, Pett, Andrade, Anderson (Gordon, 77), McCartan (Rhead, 80), Akinde (Green, 83). SUBS NOT USED: Slocombe, Wharton, Wilson, Chapman.

STAGS: Olejnik, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, Atkinson (Khan, 50), Benning (Davies, 88), Bishop (Elsnik, 88), Mellis, Walker, Hamilton, Rose. SUBS NOT USED: Logan, Smith, Butcher, White.

REFEREE: Gavin Ward.

ATTENDANCE: 9,773.