Match report: Mansfield Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1

Mansfield Town v Doncaster Rovers
Mansfield Town v Doncaster Rovers

A Liam Mandeville penalty rescued a point for off-colour Doncaster Rovers in a hard fought clash with Mansfield Town.

Mandeville struck from the spot 13 minutes from time to get Rovers out of jail in a disappointing New Year's Eve performance.

Matt Green had given the industrious hosts a deserved lead on the hour mark.

Darren Ferguson kept faith with the side that started in the win over Notts County.

The match was an open affair which lacked quality from both sides.

While forced into an equally physical battle, Rovers were afforded much more space than they had been on Boxing Day at Notts County but failed to take advantage.

Passes were sloppy and play was ponderous, bringing promising attacks to premature ends and ensuring chances were few and far between.

Mansfield were full of energy and looked to get early balls into the box, from which they struggled to take advantage.

The hosts' first real effort on goal came in the 14th minute when Mal Benning drilled an effort from a short free kick routine but Mathieu Baudry easily headed it away.

Penalty shouts for Mansfield were waved away after Andy Butler clattered into Danny Rose, though the assistant had flagged for offside.

Rovers failed to trouble the Mansfield goal until 32 minutes when Andy Williams flicked a header from a corner over the bar at the near post.

Williams also headed over following good work from Liam Mandeville to make space for a cross.

The first shot on target came on 49 minutes and for the visitors, who started the second half the brighter.

CJ Hamilton powered into space and unleashed a low effort which Marosi palmed away.

Matt Green did well to hold off Butler and unleash a shot which was deflected just wide.

Ferguson switched to a three at the back system, which had worked so well at Notts County.

But Rovers soon found themselves behind.

Benning drilled on goal from 25 yards and the ball was deflected home, with Green claiming credit for the final touch.

Marosi saved well from Hamilton as Mansfield threatened to double their advantage.

Rovers were all too wasteful when an opportunity in the final third was created. Marquis failed to trouble Shearer with a powerful drive from 15 yards.

And Mandeville also failed to hit the target with a curling effort from just outside the box.

But Rovers were gifted their way back into the game when they were awarded a penalty on 77 minutes.

Mandeville had drawn a fine save from the onrushing Scott Shearer but the the Mansfield keeper dove at Matty Blair's feet in recovery and brought him down.

Mandeville stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way in dispatching the penalty.

Following the equaliser Rovers looked the more likely to get another.

Tommy Rowe went agonisingly close to the winner with three minutes to go. Meeting a corner from Harry Middleton at the near post, he flicked a header which rattled to post and rococheted straight to Shearer.

But they had to settle for a point and a wait for the 3pm kick offs to see if they would finish 2016 top of the table.

Mansfield: Shearer, Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Bennett, Collins, Baxendale (Hurst 87), Hamilton, Clements (M Rose 87), Green, D Rose (Hoban 79). Subs not used: Jensen, Thomas, Hemmings, McGuire.

Rovers: Marosi, Alcock (Middleton 63), Baudry, Butler, Mason, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Mandeville (Keegan 85), Marquis, Williams. Subs not used: Jones, Wright, Calder, Beestin, Longbottom.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 5,042 (1,618 away)