MATCH REPORT: Oxford United 2, Mansfield Town 2

Mansfield Town's Matt Green celebrates after opening the scoring - Pic Chris Holloway - The Bigger Picture

Mansfield Town's Matt Green celebrates after opening the scoring - Pic Chris Holloway - The Bigger Picture

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Substitute Jack Thomas netted a last-gasp leveller as Mansfield Town climbed to fourth in the League Two table with their draw at Oxford United.

Thomas scored only the third goal of his career to prolong the Stags’ unbeaten run to four games in the League while fellow promotion chasers Oxford stay third – four points ahead of their opponents.

Matt Green headed the visitors in front midway through the first half with his 10th goal of the season.

But eight minutes later the hosts were level, Danny Hylton firing home his first goal of 2016 and the Stags retreated.

After the hour mark Hylton had a second and Chris Maguire’s free-kick hit the post before Thomas’ late intervention from the bench rescued a point.

Click HERE to see Oxford hit the Mansfield post with the score at 2-1

The hosts struggled for any kind of rhythm early on and Mansfield took advantage midway through the first half. Benning’s high ball was not cleared and Green headed home from close range.

That strike shocked Oxford into finding an equaliser in the 31st minute. A swift move down the right ended with Jonjoe Kenny picking out Hylton and the front man made no mistake.

Oxford then took control but the Stags almost stole a second goal just before half-time, James Baxendale’s powerful volley tipped wide.

The hosts were quick out of the traps for the second half, with Liam Sercombe seeing his volley well saved by Scott Shearer before Kemar Roofe’s deflected effort landed on the top of the net.

And with 67 minutes gone, the home team edged in front. Zeli Ismail fired a cross along the six-yard line and Hylton flashed home his second via the crossbar.

Maguire’s free-kick came back off the post with 14 minutes left and that came back to haunt the hosts late on.

Thomas’ initial effort rebounded to him off the bar and he looped the return header home to claim a crucial point.

OXFORD: Slocombe, Kenny, Mullins, Wright, Skarz, MacDonald (Ismail 64), Lundstram, Sercombe, Maguire (O’Dowda 78), Roofe (Bowery 86), Hylton. Subs not used: Buchel, Ruffels, Dunkley, Evans.

STAGS: Shearer, Collins, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning, McGuire, Clements, Baxendale (Beardsley 62), Lambe (Thomas 71), Blair (Alfei 67), Green. Subs not used: Jensen, Yussuf, Kavanagh, Chapman.

REFEREE: Michael Bull of Essex.

ATTENDANCE: 5,346 (174 away).