Mansfield Town were cruelly denied all three points when they conceded a 95th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Colchester United this afternoon.
Stags looked to be home and dry thanks to Craig Davies’s 81st-minute strike.
But a long Jackson throw from the right at the death saw Sammy Szmodics get a slight touch and the ball sailed through Conrad Logan’s hands into the net.
After scoring 11 goals in their previous three games, the visitors had shut up shop at the back superbly, Stags’ goal being their first on-target effort of the afternoon.
Davies’ initial shot was blocked, but his 18-yard follow-up zipped into the net.
But the afternoon ended in late disappointment as two points slipped away.
Mansfield boss David Flitcroft rewarded almost the entire side that beat Accrington Stanley 6-1 in midweek with a place for today’s visit of the U’s.
The only change was in goal where first choice keeper Conrad Logan, rested on Tuesday, returned in place of Bobby Olejnik.
Neil Bishop and Craig Davies, rested on Tuesday, had to make do with a place on the bench, while Matt Preston was again left out due to the concussion suffered at Yeovil last Saturday.
After a slow, scrappy start, Stags were first to get a goal attempt away as Hamilton was given room on five minutes after cutting inside and drilled a 20-yard shot just over the angle.
Sweeney was a fraction too late in trying to get his head to Stags’ first corner on 10 minutes after the home side had finally started to string some good passing sequences together.
Logan had to make a save on 18 minutes from the visitors’ first corner as Dickenson floated the ball to the far post where Prosser was allowed to rise and power a header that was heading under the angle until the keeper made the block.
Pearce was booked for a trip on 36 minutes as United broke from what looked to be a foul on MacDonald that had gone unpunished.
Sweeney was added to the book in the minute of added time for a shoulder that halted Noubel’s charge down the right as a dull half ended goalless.
Prosser and White were lectured just before United took the first corner of the second half after wrestling for the ball before the kick could be taken. But not cards were shown as players from both sides joined in a pushing match.
Sweeney then did well to get almost straight back up after blocking a powerful shot with the side of his face.
As United began to warm to their task, Stags elected to go two up top and sent on Davies for Butcher on 58 minutes.
Walker was inches away from turning home an inviting forward ball by Khan as Stags continued to probe hard.
On 75 minutes Pell fouled MacDonald then rolled around like he’d been shot before he finally stood up and was rightly booked.
On 77 minutes Mansfield gave it their last roll of the dice as Bishop and Rose replaced Mellis and Khan.
Prosser was booked on 80 minutes as he brought down Rose as the striker tried to burst clear.
But Mansfield continued to press and were rewarded on 81 minutes.
Davies made space on the edge of the box and saw his first shot blocked, but he met the follow-up with real venom from his left foot and Barnes was left helpless as the ball shot past him into the net, possibly with a slight deflection.
The stadium was now rocking and Rose cut inside the shoot straight at Barnes a minute later.
Four nervy minutes were added on and Walker was booked for a foul.
But right at the death Szmodics’ touch past Logan saw the visiting team and supporters go wild with celebrations as Stags were pegged back.
STAGS: Logan, Hamilton. White, Pearce, Sweeney, Benning; MacDonald, Mellis (Bishop 77), Khan (Rose 77), Butcher (Davies 58), Walker. Subs not used: Olejnik, Atkinson, Sterling-James, Gibbens.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Kent, Prosser, Vincent-Young (Eastman 86), Lapslie, Pell, Dickenson, Szmodics, Senior (Norris 72), Nouble (Mandron 87). Subs not used: Ross, Wright, Comley, Collins.
REFEREE: Michael Salisbury of Preston.
ATTENDANCE: 3,909 (196 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ryan Sweeney.