Morecambe 1 Mansfield Town 1: Shrimps and Stags share the spoils
Honours ended even at the Mazuma Stadium as Morecambe and Mansfield Town played out an entertaining draw.
Adam Phillips had given Derek Adams’ Shrimps players a dream start with a third minute goal, only for Harry Charsley to level midway through the half.
Adams had made three changes to the side beaten 4-0 at Crawley Town 72 hours earlier.
In came Nat Knight-Percival, Yann Songo’o and Toumani Diagouraga with Harry Davis, Alex Kenyon and Carlos Mendes-Gomes the men to make way.
Looking for back-to-back home wins for the first time since winning three in a row in March 2019, the Shrimps had the ideal start.
A throw-in reached Cole Stockton, who held off his marker, drove into the box and squared for Phillips to score his fifth of the season from close range.
Mansfield had gone into the game sitting second-bottom of the table but they should have drawn level on nine minutes.
Andy Cook sent Stephen McLaughlin’s inswinging corner back across the face of goal but Ryan Sweeney could only head over when well placed.
An open game saw Stockton shoot over from 20 yards before Mansfield drew level on 26 minutes.
Kelland Gordon received the ball on the right-hand side, got the better of Liam Gibson and his cross was converted by Charsley.
That said, they were lucky to avoid being down to 10 men moments later as McLaughlin was only cautioned when his raised foot made contact with O’Sullivan’s upper body.
Seconds after that and Morecambe were inches away from leading again.
Sweeney made a mess of a high ball, allowing Stockton to race into the area but, on this occasion, his cross was just too far ahead of the stretching Aaron Wildig.
The second half started in the same vein with both sides having opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes.
Mansfield had the first effort on 50 minutes, McLaughlin’s free-kick being tipped behind by Shrimps keeper Jake Turner.
Play switched to the other end where Morecambe seized upon a loose clearance and Wildig crossed for Stockton, whose header was well saved by Marek Stech.
Seconds later, Phillips sent in a first-time effort which narrowly cleared the woodwork.
Both sides took the opportunity to refresh their line-ups as the half progressed with one goal increasingly looking like it would make all the difference.
Ryan Cooney chanced his arm from distance but his curling effort was always drifting off target.
It was the visitors who came closest late on when Farrend Rawson headed in Corey O’Keeffe’s free-kick but, to the Shrimps’ relief, referee Marc Edwards ruled there had been a push.
That was as near as either side came to scoring again as, despite four minutes of added time, the spoils were shared.
Morecambe: Turner, Cooney (Hendrie 85), Knight-Percival, Lavelle, Gibson (Mellor 60), Songo’o, Diagouraga, O’Sullivan, Wildig, Phillips (Slew 76), Stockton. Subs not used: Halstead, Leitch-Smith, Pringle, McAlinden.
Mansfield Town: Stech, Menayese, Rawson, Sweeney, O’Keeffe, Perch, Maris, McLaughlin (Sinclair 70), Gordon, Charsley, Cook (Bowery 73). Subs not used: Stone, O’Driscoll, Reid, Maynard, Smith.
Referee: Marc Edwards.