Report from PORT VALE 2-2 MANSFIELD TOWN as Stags are denied at the death

Kellan Gordon celebrates his goal at Port Vale.
Kellan Gordon celebrates his goal at Port Vale.

A dramatic Nathan Smith 94th-minute equaliser forced battling Mansfield to settle for a point at Port Vale on Saturday.

Danny Rose’s contentious 75th-minute penalty had seemingly secured all three points for the Stags.

But Smith ensured Vale’s unbeaten home start to the season remained intact by the skin of its teeth.

It was the second time in the game Mansfield agonisingly conceded in added time after Mark Cullen cancelled out Kelaon Gordon’s opener deep in first-half stoppage time.

The stuttering Stags had lost two on the bounce before ending Port Vale’s three-game winning streak at Vale Park, manager John Dempsey making two changes after Tuesday night’s home hammering by Cambridge United.

Hayden White returned from injury to replace the suspended Matt Preston, whilst Otis Khan made his first league start in three games as Omari Sterling-James was dropped to the bench.

Stags’ shot-stopper Conrad Logan made a fine early save to deny Cullen in the ninth minute.

After Logan’s stop, the visitors piled on the pressure as Ryan Sweeney saw his header pushed past the post by Scott Brown after being found by Mal Benning.

From the resultant corner Conor Shaughnessy nodded inches wide of the target.

But Gordon made no mistake in the 14th minute as he put the Stags ahead. Brown could only parry CJ Hamilton’s initial strike into the path of Gordon to tuck home the opener.

Danny Rose nearly doubled the advantage when he headed wide, and Mansfield were dealt a cruel blow before the break when Cullen fired home at the back post in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

The first big chance of the second half fell to Benning who inexplicably fired over from inside the box after Hamilton’s cutback.

On the hour defender Leon Legge went close with an audacious overhead kick for the hosts.

Rose then contentiously earned the Stags a penalty before sending Brown the wrong way from the resultant spot kick to reclaim the lead.

But Smith salvaged a point for the hosts late on after scrambling the ball home following a corner.

Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Crookes, Legge, Smith, Joyce, Worrall, Montano (Lloyd, 15, Bennett, 82), Taylor, Pope, Cullen.

Unused subs: Burgess, Kennedy, Brisley, Pugh.

Mansfield: Logan, White, Pearce, Sweeney, Benning, Bishop, Shaughnessy, Gordon, Khan (MacDonald, 86), Hamilton, Rose.

Unused subs: Stone, Smith, Afolayan, Cook, Mellis, Sterling-James.

Referee: Josh Smith

Attendance: 5,109 (679)