Saturday, 12th December 2015: Mansfield Town 1, Leyton Orient 1

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Mansfield Town had to make do with a point as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with fellow play-off chasers Leyton Orient in appalling conditions at One Call Stadium this afternoon.

The game survived a pre-match pitch inspection, but the surface was sodden, the rain continued throughout and a strong, swirling wide gave the two sides little chance to play attractive, flowing football.

Stags have still to beat a side in the top 15 this season, but will take great heart from earning the point the hard way after goal ace Jay Simpson had headed Orient into a 12th minute lead.

Reggie Lambe provided the equaliser on 40 minutes and Krystian Pearce headed a great chance wide after the break as the home side piled the pressure on the Londoners, who have only won once in six League games now.

Jamie McGuire came into the Mansfield midfield for the suspended Chris Clements as Mansfield Town returned to action following a two-week lay-off with the visit of Leyton Orient.

Clements was serving a one-game ban after his two yellow cards in Stags’ last game – a 3-1 win at Barnet two Saturdays back.

Otherwise boss Adam Murray kept faith with his side.

Today’s game survived a pre-match pitch inspection following heavy rain.

Ex-Stags striker Ollie Palmer, who moved to Orient in the summer, was on the bench for the visitors.

Westcarr had a shot blocked and another effort wide from 20 yards from a partially cleared free kick as Mansfield created the first pressure of the game.

The first sliding challenge on the wet surface by Tafazolli was penalised, angering the Stags players as Marquis rolled around on the floor. But no card was shown.

Jensen confidently punched away a long James free kick and then Adams headed clear the visitors’ first corner at the near post.

However, the visitors swept into a 12th minute lead.

McAnuff got down the left and crossed into the middle where, from the edge of the six yard box, Simpson flicked a header past Jensen.

Soon after Marquis was too high from 25 yards.

Then Stags came closer as Lambe drilled the ball across the face of goal from wide on the right, just too hard for Green or Westcarr to make contact.

Stags continued to labour but the visitors defended well with home fans gets increasingly frustrated.

McAnuff saw the game’s first yellow card on 37 minutes for a trip on Rose in the centre of the park.

Stags were finally on level terms on 40 minutes.

Westcarr crossed from the right and Lambe met it with a cushioned volley that seemed to take an eternity to find the net as it squeezed between the keeper’s dive and the post.

Green, for Stags, and Payne, for Orient, were added to the book for fouls near the end of the half.

Just before the break M’Voto headed powerfully over from the visitors’ second corner of the game.

Orient began the second half with great purpose, but on 48 minutes Stags broke well, Green leading the charge.

He fed Westcarr to his right who crossed back in Green’s direction and his header deflected wide for the home side’s first corner.

On 53 minutes James sent a powerful shot at goal which flew straight at McGuire who was adjudged to have handled and booked, even though it was at point blank range.

James’ free was then deflected wide.

Soon after Simpson was too high on the turn from 18 yards.

Boos rang round the ground as Palmer came on for Turgott.

A minute later on 64 minutes Stags should have been ahead as Pearce raced in to meet a Chapman corner but, from six yards, saw his header clip the post and go wide when he should have hit the target.

Stags brought on Blair for Westcarr on 66 minutes and he really livened things up, the home fans getting behind their side.

The visitors also made a double change on 78 minutes.

But, though Rose tested Cisak from distance, neither side was able to carve out a winner.

STAGS: Jensen, Rose, Pearce, Collins, Chapman (C), Green, Westcarr (Blair 66), Tafazolli, Lambe, McGuire, Adams. Subs not used: Shearer, Marsden, Beardsley, N. Thomas, Yussuf, J. Thomas.

ORIENT: Cisak, Clohessy, Baudry, James, McAnuff, Payne, M’Voto, Turgott (Palmer 63), Kpekawa, Simpson (Kashket 78), Marquis (Pritchard 78). Subs not used: Grainger, Shaw, Essam, Dunne.

REFEREE: Darren England of South Yorkshire.

ATTENDANCE: 2,935 (444 away).