ACCRINGTON Stanley extended their unbeaten run to five games in League Two with a somewhat frustrating 1-1 draw with out of form Mansfield Town.

A poor first half saw the Reds trail 1-0 only for Terry Gornell to level after the break as Stanley dominated the second period.


John Coleman made two changes for the game, with Steven Hewitt replacing the suspended Scott Brown and Gornell coming into the side in place of Rommy Boco.

The Reds altered their system too, with three centre backs and wing backs deployed by the home side.

They had the first meaningful chance when Jordan Clark tried his luck from range and saw his effort fly wide, setting the tone for a scrappy opening half an hour.

Mansfield full back Rhys Bennett was well off target with a shot, Stanley captain Sean McConville headed a Malv Benning free kick over his own bar and Pat Hoban headed straight at Elliot Parish as Adam Murray’s visitors looked to take the lead.

Stanley were enjoying plenty of possession but without penetrating, with Gornell unable to latch onto a flick from strike partner Billy Kee.

The Stags arrived in East Lancashire without a goal or a win in a month but that wait to find the net ended thanks to Chris Clements in the 31st minute. Mitchell Rose threaded a pass into the box and went down, ref Darren England gave a free kick and Clements smashed the ball home off the underside of the bar.

It was out of keeping with the game, with normal service soon resumed with Kevan Hurst unable to beat Parish from the edge of the box and Paddy Lacey ballooning a free kick well over the bar.

The interval brought a change of system, to 4-4-2, and a change of emphasis in the game as Stanley turned the screw looking for a leveller. Hewitt’s burst to the edge of the box brought a pass deflected just behind Gornell before a fierce drive from Clark hit a team mate and looped over Shearer’s bar.

They didn’t have to wait long for parity to be restored, with Gornell bagging his first of the season to equalise. Janoi Donacien’s free kick in to the box was knocked down by Omar Beckles to the striker who converted from close range to mark reaching three figures of appearances for the club.

Moments later the Reds thought they’d turned it around when Shearer could only push out another Clark strike for McConville to tap home only for the offside flag to be raised against the captain for the night.

It was now one way traffic with Clark lofting a Kee lay-off over the top, Kee drilling across the face and Clark going down under challenge from Malv Benning in the box but getting nothing from Mr. England.

The Stags weathered the storm though, and despite not posing a great deal of threat to the Stanley goal Shearer was also mostly unemployed in the closing stages.

Sub Boco got pulses racing with a run down the right channel in stoppage time but his strike only hit the side netting as the spoils were shared at the Wham Stadium.

Despite the disappointment of not finding the winner, the draw means Stanley have taken 11 points out of a possible 15 in their last five matches.

Stanley: Parish, Vyner, Beckles, Pearson, Donacien, Clark, Hewitt, Lacey, McConville, Gornell (Boco 79), Kee