Mansfield Town will have been delighted to go in 0-0 at half-time in their tough League Two trip to Luton Town this afternoon.
The Stags defended superbly under some intense pressure and had a bit of fortune on 42 minutes when a brilliant Craig Mackail-Smith overhead kick found the net, only to be ruled out for offside.
However, Stags have lost Chris Clements to injury and Nicky Hunt took his fifth booking of the season and a one-game ban next week.
Mansfield found themselves under the expected early pressure, surviving a couple of free kicks and a dangerous Griffiths cross that drifted just wide of the far post.
But on eight minutes Luton forced a good save from Jensen as a low McQuoid cross into the six yard box came off a defender’s leg towards Smith, whose low drive forced Jensen down to parry.
It took 11 minutes for Stags to fashion an attack, Rose setting up Thomas. Thomas should have shot but instead returned the ball to Rose for a low finish that was blocked.
After surviving more home pressure, on 20 minutes Mansfield almost went ahead against the run of play.
Thomas sent in a low cross from the left that bounced off McNulty, who should have done better, and allowed Green to stab an effort from goal from close range that Tyler did well to get in the way of.
Stags skipper Hunt’s trip on McCourt on 26 minutes earned him his fifth yellow of the season and a suspension for next weekend.
Luton were calling for a red card for Green on 29 minutes, alledging he had elbowed Wilkinson in a challenge. But it was right in front of a linesman and the officials were unimpressed.
Smith was booked on 33 minutes for catching Hunt from behind.
Mansfield then had a big let-off on 42 minutes as Luton had a goal disallowed. And what a goal it would have been.
McQuoid sent over a cross from the right from which Mackail-Smith, with back to goal, crashed home a superb overhead kick, only to see an offside flag raised.
A minute from the interval, Stags lost the influential Clements to an injury, replaced by Jack Thomas.