A Point In The Right Direction - Mansfield 1-1 Carlisle.
A late Stephen McLaughlin free kick rescues a point for Nigel Cloughs men after Carlisle thought they had all three points, Offrande Zanzala getting the goal in the second half goal for the visitors but it would be Cloughs men who would have the last laugh as Harry Charlsey was fouled inside the D and McLaughlin found the net for his first Mansfield goal in over two months.
The game was delayed by half an hour after a road traffic collision made getting to the ground difficult for the teams.
Boss Nigel Clough made two changes to the team that lost out late on at Crawley on Saturday, 'keeper Aidan Stone and midfielder Harry Charsley came in for Marek Stech and Ollie Clarke respectively.
Defender James Perch taking the captains armband for the game.
The first real chance of the game fell to Carlisle as stand in captain James Perch put in a brilliant tackle on Dickenson but the ball falls to Jon Mellish but his shot is wide of Aidan Stones goal.
Seconds later Carlisle would waste another golden opportunity with Zanzala finding enough space to get his shot away but Aidan Stone managed to get a finger tip to the ball and turn it behind for a corner.
The first chance for the Stags fell to Jamie Reid, Reid receiving the ball on the edge of the box and a brilliant turn but his shot lacked power and rolled straight into Carlisle 'keeper Magnus Normans arms.
A move straight off the training ground nearly came off for the Stags, Harry Charsley's cut was cut back towards the onrushing Mal Benning but he fails to make a good connection with his shot and the attack fizzles out.
Another chance would go begging for the Stags as Reid brings down Bennin'gs cross and lays off to Jason Law but his shot is blocked by the Carlisle defence.
Not long after the break the Stags could've had the lead, Jason Laws shot being saved by Norman before the Cumbrians custodian is able to claim Harry Charsley's tame header.
The deadlock was broken just after the hour mark and it was the hosts to make the break through, Jordan Bowery stumbles and Carlisle rush forward and Jon Mellish's shot is deflected by Farrend Rawson and the ball falls to Offrande Zanzala who makes no mistake from six yards.
Harry Charsley nearly had the equaliser four minutes later but his shot had too much power and wizzes just over Normans goal.
Minutes later the Stags would come even closer but the bar comes to the rescue for Norma in the Carlisle goal. A bouncing ball finding its way to captain James Perch but his powerful shot is tipped onto the bar by Norman and the ball comes crashing back off the woodwork and is cleared away.
Jamie Reid would try his luck again but his volley goes over the bar from 15 yards.
The goal would finally come for the Stags and it came direct from a Stephen McLaughlin free kick.
Kellan Gordons first time delivery isn't dealt with by Norman the ball is spilt and falls to Harry Charsley and he's brought down inside the D. Oliver Sarkic and McLaughlin standing over it and McLaughlin hits it low and hard and the ball flies into the bottom left corner and the Stags had the goal they so deserved.
The first goal direct from a free kick since 2019, Jorge Grant finding the net on that occasion against Tranmere.
A point in the right direction in their fight to stay in Sky Bet League Two.
Nigel Cloughs men are back in action on Saturday as Grimsby are the visitors to the One Call Stadium in the second of three back to back home games.
STAGS XI: Stone (GK), Gordon, Rawson, Perch (C), Benning, McLaughlin, Quinn (Sarkic 75’), Charsley, Law (Clarke 89’), Reid, Bowery.
UNUSED SUBS: Stech (GK), Sweeney, Wright, Ward, Sinclair.
CARLISLE XI: Norman (GK), Tanner, Bennett, McDonald, Armer, Riley, Guy (C), Mellish, Dickenson, Alessandra (Walker 85’), Zanzala.
UNUSED SUBS: Breeze (GK), Anderton, Hayden, Charters, Patrick, Touré.
REFEREE: T. Kettle
ASSISTANTS: R. Smith and J. Wilson
FOURTH OFFICIAL: A. Howson