MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 1-1 Exeter City - Stags let lead slip at home
Mansfield Town chucked away two more home points after a frustrating 1-1 draw with Exeter City.
Stags looked like they would get all three points after Kane Hemmings put them ahead on 19 minutes in a game they bossed from start to finish.
But they were unable to convert a number of great second half chances to kill the game off and were once again made to pay late on.
Sub Lee Holmes fired home with just three minutes left after Liam McAlinden shot from the edge of the box had been saved.
It was yet another tough lesson for Stags on the need to take chances or be punished and brought back memories of the 2-2 crumble against Luton Town.
The loss sees Stags drop further off the play-off places and leaves them without a win in six matches.
Steve Evans had made five changes from the side which drew last week with Newport County.
Joel Byrom was amongst the changes as he returned from injury, but there was no place in the squad for Zander Diamond, who is now fully fit after a two month lay off.
Mansfield went into the game without a win in four and were well beaten by Swindon Town in their last home outing.
Exeter, who had slipped out of the automatic promotion places following back-to-back defeats, were missing nine first teamers following a bout of illness and injuries.
Danny Rose curled an effort narrowly wide inside the first 30 seconds as Stags came out with a point to prove.
Exeter worked their way back into the game and should have hit the front when Kyle Edwards was denied by the legs of Conrad Logan on seven minutes.
It was a worrying moment after the Grecians easily carved open the Stags rearguard.
But any nerves were settled when Kane Hemmings fired Mansfield ahead with a brilliant first time finish on 19 minutes to complete a superb counter attack by Stags.
They had made the most of a brilliant advantage played by referee Anthony Backhouse, which allowed Jacob Mellis to burst free down the left.
He then delivered a pin-point pass as Hemmings finished in style.
Stags continued to keep up the tempo for the rest of the half without creating the clear cut chances that may bring a second goal.
But it was a superb first 45 minutes, with high energy levels and passion on display, as Stags bossed the game and won the key individual battles.
Logan had to smother alertly after Edwards beat two defenders and got into a dangerous area just after the restart.
Mellis was denied a deserved goal after his goalbound effort was brilliant diverted over the bar by Dean Moxey on 58 minutes.
The opening had been created after another lighting break down the left with CJ Hamilton cutting the ball back right into Mellis’ path.
Christy Pym parried from Kane Hemmings after the Stags goalscorer broke clean through on 61 minutes.
Moxey then hacked the rebound off the line as the visitors continued to desperately cling on.
Pym then beat away a long range Danny Rose effort on 67 minutes as Stags began to really up the pressure.
Logan got down well to block Jake Taylor’s effort from a tight angle on 70 minutes.
And Logan was inches away from actually scoring when he tried his luck from 75 yards out.
But a back-peddling Pym just got back in time to tip the audacious effort over the bar.
His saves proved to be vital when Exeter rescued an unlikely point with three minutes to go when Holmes swept home past Logan.
Kane Wilson was sent off for the visitors in stoppage time for two yellow cards after he booted the ball away.