Mansfield Town pushed League One strugglers Oldham Athletic all the way, but had to be content with a replay at Boundary Park after a thoroughly entertaining 0-0 draw in the Emirates FA Cup first round tie at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
But the Stags were the better side over the 90 minutes and had Reggie Lambe put away a glorious chance or Cameron Dummigan not made two goal line clearances, Stags would have taken a deserved place in round two.
Mansfield produced some of their best passing football of the season in this tie with Chris Clements running the show from deep in midfield.
Ryan Tafazolli and Lee Collins were rocks at the back whenever Oldham threatened, Ricardo Fuller missing their best chance of the game.
Mansfield edged the first half possession and chances but after the break were completely dominant against a Latics side with only two wins to their name all season.
It was the second time in three seasons the sides had gone to an FA Cup replay with Oldham triumphant last time out.
The Mansfield side showed two changes. Both were in midfield with Mitch Rose and Clements coming in for Matty Blair and Jamie McGuire.
Youth team player, 16-year-old midfielder Cain Smith, was given a place on the bench for the first time.
Notts County gave permission for on-loan defender Blair Adams to become cup-tied and play in the tie.
The visitors gave a full debut to former Stoke City star Ricardo Fuller up front.
Latics boss David Dunn, short on midfielders, named himself on the bench.
Stags played some attractive early keep-ball. But it was Oldham who were almost gifted a seventh minute opening.
Clements tried to spray the right but asked a lot of Hunt to control under pressure and Yeates robbed him and strode into the box for a shot that deflected over for the first of two corners for the Latics.
Twice in the early stage Tafazolli dealt well with the bulk and pace of Fuller.
And Stags finally threatened after 12 minutes as Westcarr lofted the ball into the box for Green, Mills in with a saving tackle.
Soon after Adams sidefooted a tame finish at Coleman as Stags began to apply some pressure in the final third.
Oldham responded with an attack that came out to Philliskirk 12 yards out and Tafazolli did well to block his on-target effort.
The visitors should have taken a 29th minute lead after carving open the Stag down the centre. Yeates threaded the ball through for Fuller, but the Jamaican international stroked his low finish wide from 12 yards.
Winchester saw the afternoon’s first yellow card for hacking down Clements on 33 minutes.
Mansfield created more danger on 39 minutes after a good run and cross by Adams on the left, Rose meeting it with a vicious shot that Wilson did well to block.
In the first of two added minutes Lambe missed the chance of the game.
Westcarr put over a superb curling cross from the left and picked out Lambe five yards from goal and central from where he volleyed over the bar in what was a golden opportunity.
Even deeper in stoppage time Jensen was safely behind a deflected Winchester shot as an entertaining half ended in stalemate with Lambe’s missed sitter the main interval talking point.
Rose was off target with his header from Chapman’s 52nd minute corner as both sides began the half with attacking intent.
Collins misjudged a high ball and allowed Higdon to get behind him but recovered superbly almost in one movement to rob the Latics man and clear his lines.
Fuller, who had done little on his full debut apart from missing his one good chance, was withdrawn in favour of Croft on 55 minutes.
A Lambe dummy saw Green stride away into the box on 57 minutes, the keeper down well to block his prodded finish and then Dummigan on the line to stop Green squeezing home his follow-up from a tight angle.
Four minutes later sub Croft cut in from the right and was afforded space to try to curl a shot across Jensen, the big Dane down well to his right to palm away.
Nathan Thomas was sent on for Rose on 63 minutes. Then Lambe’s silly trip on Mills deep in the Oldham half rightly saw him booked on 67 minutes.
From a quickly-taken free kick Nathan Thomas drilled a low shot at Coleman.
But Thomas came even closer on 80 minutes as Westcarr missed his kick on a low cross from the right and Thomas fired goalwards where Dummigan was again there to clear off the line.
A minute earlier Oldham sub Croft had to limp off to be replaced by Eckersley.
Stags sent on Blair and Yussuf for Lambe and Green near the end in a last throw of the dice that failed to yield a winner.
STAGS: Jensen, Rose (N. Thomas 63), Collins, Chapman, Clements, Green (Yussuf 82), Westcarr, Tafazolli, Hunt, Lambe (Blair 80), Adams. Subs not used: Shearer, J. Thomas, McGuire, Smith.
OLDHAM: Coleman, Mills, Dieng, Poleon (Rasulo 73), Philliskirk, Winchester, Wilson, Yeates, Fuller (Croft 55, Eckerlsey 79), Higdon, Dummigan. Subs not used: Dunn, Vassell, Byrnes, Renshaw.
REFEREE: Tony Harrington of Cleveland.
ATTENDANCE: 2,886 (512 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Clements.