Gutsy Mansfield Town again had to come back from 2-0 down for a 2-2 draw and again had a man sent off as they were held at home by a battling Morecambe this afternoon.
In another thriller similar to the 2-2 draw at Newport last week, the visitors came out on the front foot and after Sam Lavelle had headed them into a fourth minute lead, Lewis Alessandra made it 2-0 on 21 minutes while Adam Buxton also hit the home bar from his own half.
Nicky Maynard finally put the rattled Stags back in the game on 39 minutes and, after Morecambe had hit a post, Danny Rose hauled them deservedly level on 72 minutes.
But Stags’ fruitless late push for a winner was hampered by a needless red card for Matt Preston on 82 minutes.
The Mansfield side showed two changes and a tweak in formation for the opening home League Two fixture of the season.
Making his competitive home debut as a manager, John Dempster elected to go 4-4-2.
That saw Kellan Gordon in at right back with Ryan Sweeney dropped to the bench and Otis Khan came into the midfield in place of the suspended Jacob Mellis.
White had shaken off his hamstring injury enough to take a place on the bench.
Morecambe had former Stags defender Ritchie Sutton on the bench.
A minute’s silence was held before the kick-off in memory of Mansfield teenager Liam Peters, who was fatally stabbed last week.
Stags started well and, after Rose had won a header to help the ball on, Khan saw a shot deflect wide in the opening minute.
The visitors replied with a corner of their own on four minutes which saw Alessandra’s low shot from a tight angle on the left deflect wide of the target.
But a few seconds later the Shrimps were ahead as O’Sullivan floated a tempting cross to the far post where Lavelle was able to power in a close range header.
Stags were struggling to get their game going and the visitors came close again on 19 minutes.
O’Sullivan cut inside from the right and angled a fine pass down the centre to Ellison and the veteran’s low finish had to turned round by Logan’s fingertips.
But the warning was not heeded and two minutes later it was 2-0.
Hamilton lost the ball on the right and Ellison looked up and curled a superb long ball into the box where Alessandra stole in to get his head to the ball before the advancing Logan and find the empty net.
Stockton fired over from 25 yards as the visitors continued to come forward.
Buxton almost made it 3-0 with a sensational effort from his own half. A free kick was rolled to him in the centre circle and he lashed it upfield and over Logan only to see it rattle the crossbar.
Preston was booked for bringing down Wildig as the visitors tried to execute a breakaway on 36 minutes as the visitors continued to impress.
Stags needed a foothold in the game and it finally came on 39 minutes from the home side’s first shot on target.
A clearance reached MacDonald 20 yards out and his powerful shot was blocked by Roche only to see Maynard on hand to tuck away the loose ball from five yards as it ricocheted towards him.
A minute from the break a long Logan clearance found Maynard whose goalwards flick saw Roche get enough of a touch to make sure it bobbled wide.
Pearce almost levelled within four minute of the restart. Maynard’s skill saw him win a corner from which Pearce headed just over the near angle.
Buxton was booked for halting Hamilton in full flight on 50 minutes.
A minute later a Khan free kick saw Bishop guide his header just over too.
Bishop then sent Khan to the left by-line, but no one was there to put away his low cross.
A great move on 69 minutes saw Maynard feed Gordon on the right and his dangerous low first time cross cut by Lavelle out before it could reach Rose.
A minute later poor defending allowed the ball to reach Stockton who headed against the post – a let-off for the home side.
Instead it was 2-2 on 72 minutes. MacDonald put over a superb cross from the right and Rose buried an unstoppable header from six yards.
Mansfield began to look for a winner and Maynard sent a close range header straight at Roche from Bishop’s cross.
A deflected Khan cross then sailed temptingly towards Rose, whose header finished on top of the net.
Great work from Rose saw him win the ball, make space and lash a low shot just wide on 80 minutes.
With eight minutes left Stags were again down to 10 men for the second game in a row as Preston was shown a straight red card.
Already in the book, he launched into a needless lunge on Alessandra which merited a straight red.
Maynard was sacrificed for defender Sweeney while the excellent Rose was replaced by Cook for a last push.
In the four added minutes Cook had his shirt tugged in the box, but no penalty was given and Cook was booked for his protests as the points were shared in the end.
MANSFIELD: Logan; Gordon, Pearce, Preston, Benning; Hamilton, Bishop, MacDonald, Khan; Maynard (Sweeney 84), Rose (Cook 87). Subs: Stone, White, Donohue, Sterling-James, Smith.
MORECAMBE: Roche, Buxton, Conlan, Old, Tutte (Kenyon 75), O’Sullivan (Cranston 67), Alessandra, Stockton (Miller 75), Ellison, Wildig, Lavelle. Subs: Halstead, Sutton, Oates, Brownsworld. REFEREE: Christopher Pollard of Bury St Edmunds. ATTENDANCE: 4,465 (110 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Rose.