Mansfield 1-1 Lincoln: John Akinde penalty earns point for Imps to send them six clear at top of League Two
Last Updated: 18/03/19 10:15pm
John Akinde's penalty earned Lincoln a 1-1 draw at Mansfield and moved them six points clear at the top of Sky Bet League Two.
Krystian Pearce's early header had given Mansfield the lead at the One Call Stadium on Monday night, but Akinde squared things up in the 75th minute to take the Imps one step closer to promotion with eight games to go.
They are now also 10 points clear of Mansfield who occupy third spot after moving back above MK Dons on goal difference.
Both sides made two changes from their most recent games last Tuesday night. Matt Preston and Ryan Sweeney came in for Ben Turner and Alex MacDonald for Mansfield.
While Lincoln brought in Michael O'Connor and Danny Rowe for Tom Pett and Matt Rhead.
Mansfield took just three minutes to take the lead. It came from a corner as they packed the six-yard box and Pearce made himself half a yard to head the ball home.
Lincoln's best chance came from a corner as well after 36 minutes as Michael Bostwick's hammered effort was destined for the goal, but he was denied by his own team-mate Luke Anderson, who couldn't get out of the way from the ball on the line.
Anderson would redeem himself, however, as his clever touch saw him taken out by Mansfield goalkeeper Conrad Logan in the box, and Akinde stepped up to slot the resulting equaliser from the penalty spot.
Mansfield: Logan (5), Preston (7), Pearce (7), Sweeney (8), Jones (6), Bishop (6), Mellis (6), Benning (7), Grant (6), Walker (5), Hamilton (6)
Subs: J MacDonald (5), Tomlinson (n/a)
Lincoln: Gilks (6), Eardley (7), Bostwick (6), Bolger (6), Toffolo (7), O'Connor (5), O'Hara (6), Anderson (7), Andrade (6), Rowe (6), Akinde (7)
Subs: Pett (5), Rhead (n/a)
Man of the match: Ryan Sweeney
Man of the match - Ryan Sweeney
It wasn't a vintage night of action at the One Call Stadium, but Sweeney did more than most to help earn his side a point and keep a lethal Lincoln attack at bay. Bonus points for a determined display following his return from concussion.
David Flitcroft: "I think it's a positive point. We needed the three to keep on the coat tails of Lincoln but the team has given me everything tonight and the support, it was a fantastic night for Mansfield Town and we felt the force of the stadium.
"It was two honest teams that went for it, and with a bit more cutting edge early doors when we were on top I think we would have won the game. But Lincoln are fighters and they've drawn today."
Danny Cowley: "We were disappointed with our first-half performance. We didn't execute anywhere near where we would have liked technically or tactically, we were very passive and then conceded a terrible goal, which gave us a mountain to climb at a tough place.
"We did better in the last part of the first half and in the second half, so credit to the players because it's not easy when you haven't played well, particularly in front of the cameras, to have the fortitude to [improve]. I thought we showed real endeavour and if anyone was going to win it at the end it would have been us."
Both sides are back in Sky Bet League Two action at 3pm on Saturday. Lincoln head to Crawley and Mansfield host Crewe.