Mansfield Town 2 Lincoln City 2

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 02 October 2004

Highly-rated teenage defender Alex John-Baptiste grabbed his first goal for Mansfield to salvage a point in a thrilling 2-2 local derby draw with Lincoln.

The Stags fought back from two goals down to extend their unbeaten league run to six games and keep their early season promotion push on track.

Away-day specialists City, still to win at home this season, stretched their own unbeaten league run to five matches to claim another priceless point at the other end of the table.

Imps boss Keith Alexander, back at the club where he was once a player and assistant manager, almost celebrated an early goal from his new signing Martin Carruthers.

Carruthers, making his full league debut two months after being rejected by Mansfield, was cleverly released by Peter Gain and Simon Yeo and his low 20-yard drive beat the diving keeper but rebounded to safety off the foot of the post.

However, Alexander was celebrating in the 15th minute when Gareth McAuley out jumped the home defence at Gary Taylor-Fletcher's left wing corner and planted a firm header past the stranded Kevin Pilkington, who had misjudged the flag kick in the strong, swirling wind.

It took Mansfield 37 minutes to threaten, Alex Neil's incisive pass finding Derek Asamoah racing through on goal, only for McAuley to force him to shoot wide.

After intense home pressure City broke away to double their lead in the final minute of the first half. Taylor-Fletcher was again the provider and this time Yeo curled a delightful 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.

The derby clash looked over, but remarkably Mansfield grabbed a lifeline before the half-time whistle.

Two minutes into injury time Tom Curtis's right-wing cross picked out Mansfield's small midfielder Adam Murray amongst Lincoln's giant defenders and he deflected the ball in for his first goal since rejoining the Stags in the summer.

Just six minutes later Mansfield were level when John-Baptiste headed in Neil's right wing corner after more intense pressure.

Both sides then had chances to win the game in an end-to-end second half, Wayne Corden and substitute Joe O'Neill going close for Mansfield while Lincoln substitute Francis Green twice saw shots saved at the other end.

Mansfield Town Match Reports


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