Mansfield Town overdue a home win against Hartlepool

Ryan Tafazolli - sent-off against Hartlepool last season.

Ryan Tafazolli - sent-off against Hartlepool last season.

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Mansfield Town have failed to beat Saturday’s visitors Hartlepool United on their last three visits to One Call Stadium.

So they will be hoping the law of averages and another decent performance will see them end that run with a first goal and first win in six outings.

Last year a ding-dong Boxing Day battle saw Mansfield held 1-1 by bottom-placed Hartlepool in an explosive game that saw three red cards at One Call Stadium just an hour before the snow came down after the final whistle.

The Stags led 1-0 at half-time through Oxford loanee Junior Brown’s first goal for the club, but they failed to capitalise on their first half superiority and were undone by a gutsy second half fightback from United.

The visitors believed they should have had a penalty on 10 minutes after Woods and Harewood set up Duckworth. He was challenged as he shot and the ball flew wide.

The referee waved play on and Stags went straight upfield to grab the lead.

Brown made a powerful run from the left, going inside and working a one-two with Oliver on the edge of the box before evading a tackle and stroking a low finish under Flinders.

The fired-up visitors levelled the game on 52 minutes, albeit with the aid of a deflection. The ball came in from the right towards Harewood, who chested it down in the box for Duckworth to swing his right foot at it and see a deflection leave Evtimov helpless.

Ryan Tafazolli didn’t help matters when he was sent off for a needless second bookable offence on 72 minutes.

But it was the Stags who ended up with the man advantage at the death as first Marlon Harewood was shown a straight red on 87 minutes after a clash with Jamie McGuire.

Then in the sixth minute of added time a second yellow for Michael Woods, also for a clash with McGuire, saw him head for the tunnel early.

But the dismissals came too late to give Stags any real advantage in a game they nearly lost at the death when Neil Austin almost grabbed a late winner.

Mansfield were upset when a Matt Rhead header, three minutes after Hartlepool’s equaliser, looked to have crossed the line off the underside of the bar but was ruled not to have gone over by the officials.

In the return game at Hartlepool in March, Mansfield lost 1-0.

The previous season Stags lost 4-2 at home but gained revenge with a 4-1 win away

Before that the sides had been in different divisions and their previous meetings were in 2006/07 when Hartlepool won 1-0 at Mansfield and 2-0 at home.

Overall, Stags have the edge down the years with 40 wins in all competitions and Hartlepool 29 with 16 draws.