Mansfield Town held the might of Premier League neighbours Leicester City to a superb 1-1 draw in this afternoon’s pre-season friendly at the One Call Stadium.
The Stags played some lovely football over the 90 minutes and twice hit the woodwork against their multi-million pound opponents.
For a pre-season friendly, it had pace and bite and, with over 1,600 away fans making the short trip up the M1, the game enjoyed a fine atmosphere.
We even had a streaker, though he preserved his modesty with a pair of pants!
Stags fell behind on 10 minutes from a low deflected David Nugent shot – City’s first real raid.
But goal ace Matt Green levelled from the spot on 27 minutes after Mitchell Rose, who got through so much hard work in central midfield, had won the penalty.
Chris Clements and Nathan Thomas then both then saw efforts hit the Foxes’ woodwork as they gave new City boss Claudio Ranieri plenty of food for thought.
Stags had held Milton Keynes Dons to a 1-1 home draw in midweek and again today showed what massive potential this new-look side has this season.
Mansfield were first to threaten on four minutes as Green shrugged off the challenge of Simpson to reach a Chapman through ball and got away an on-target shot that Schwarzer had to save.
But City were ahead with their first shot of the game on 10 minutes.
Nugent sent in a low effort from 20 yards that took a slight deflection and found its way inside Shearer’s left hand post.
The word ‘friendly’ was forgotten on 13 minutes as Rose felt Nugent had caught him in the face while he was on the floor making a tackle and then seemed to tread on him as Rose lashed out a boot.
The two squared up and when calm was restored, Rose was booked.
On 15 minutes Shearer had three saves to make. The first was the most important as he spread himself to deny Croatian star Kramaric after he had gone clear from Okazaki’s through ball.
From successive corners he then had to tip over a dipping header from Moore and block a far post header by Simpson.
We had a brief hold-up for a poor attempt at a streak by a Leicester fan who forget to remove his underwear.
But when the real action returned, Stags quickly levelled on 27 minutes.
Rose was taken out by Hammond’s challenge in the box and the referee pointed straight to the spot.
The crowd chanted Green’s name as he stepped up to drill a powerful, perfect penalty past Australian veteran Schwarzer.
Shearer survived a dicey moment as he tried to dribble past Kramaric, who put in a tackle.
In stoppage time Clements twisted and turned just outside the City box before sending a powerful dipping right foot shot at goal that came back off the crossbar.
It was the final act of a highly entertaining and very competitive first half.
For the second half Stags sent on Westcarr for Green while both sides changed keepers.
Within two minutes Stags had forced two good saves from Schmeichel.
Pearce turned a corner on target at the far post where the Dane got down to turn it for a corner. When that was cleared to Nathan Thomas, 25 yards out, his goalbound shot was turned onto the post by Schmeichel.
Mansfield sent on an unnamed trialist winger on 59 minutes to take over from Lambe.
On 62 minutes City replaced their entire outfield line-up while Stags continued to send on single subs at regular intervals.
Among the City subs were some big names and they certainly pepped up the visitors, who began to enjoy more possession.
Westcarr fired straight at the keeper from a half-cleared Benning free kick with 11 minutes to go.
STAGS: Shearer, Chapman (McGuire 77), Pearce, Clements (Jack Thomas 67), Green (Westcarr HT), Benning, Rose, Nathan Thomas (Beardsley 69), Hunt (Marsden 62), Lambe (trialist 59), Collins (Tafazolli 77).
LEICESTER: Schwarzer (Schmeichel HT), De Laet, Chilwell, Hammond, Barmby, Lawrence, Simpson, Moore, Okazaki, Kramaric, Nugent. From 63mins: Schmeichel; Wasyl, Huth, Fuchs; Albrighton, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez, Schlupp; Ulloa, Vardy. REFEREE: David Coote.
ATTENDANCE: 4,273 (1,608 away).