OPINION: Mansfield Town show what a hard team they are to beat

Mansfield Town's Alex
Iacovitti is held back   - Pic Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Alex Iacovitti is held back - Pic Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town continued to show how hard they have become to beat with a hard earned draw at high flying Luton Town on Saturday.

It was a good performance from the Stags, who deserved the draw though Luton finished the game on top.

Mansfield were good value for the lead at half-time, having gone ahead when Matt Green headed in Rhys Bennett’s goalbound header from Kevan Hurst’s fine corner. It was Green’s fifth goal in his last four games and he’s suddenly in a rich vein of form.

Luton equalised on 77 minutes when Cameron McGeehan fired in a terrific shot from 25 yards into the bottom left corner.

My initial reaction was that Scott Shearer had no chance with the goal, but I would have liked to have seen it again from a different angle and maybe he could have done better if we’re being ultra-critical. And Chris Clements probably should have done better in being quicker to close McGeehan down.

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Match gallery: Luton Town 1 Mansfield Town 1
OPINION: Response will have pleased Adam Murray

Shearer then kept Mansfield on level terms with a brilliant save pushing away a shot from Cuthbert. He also made two good blocks from close range.

Mansfield defended extremely well and have still suffered just three defeats all season.

There were several good performances throughout the Mansfield team. And Pat Hoban and Matt Green linked well on their first start together giving encouragement to their new partnership which will surely continue in the coming matches.

There was some disagreement among Stags fans afterwards as to whether Mansfield’s substitutions played a part in the result.

Some fans thought that boss Adam Murray threw away two points with his substitutions as Mansfield looked to sit back.

In my opinion, Mansfield didn’t sit back, they were pushed back as Luton whipped up a head of steam in the final 25 minutes. This coincided with the substitutions but was not caused by them.

All in all it is a good point at a club that I think will gain automatic promotion this season.

Mansfield remain just a point outside the play-offs in a very tight league.

On to the game with Stevenage on Saturday. Stevenage by contrast are a team that I think will be flirting with relegation and I expect Mansfield to look to take the game to them.

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