The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Tim Mor­riss

HIS team may have fought back to sal­vage a point but Don­caster Rovers man­ager Dar­ren Fer­gu­son chose to fo­cus his at­ten­tion on Matt Green, in­sist­ing the Mans­field goalscorer should not have been on the pitch fol­low­ing a head­butt.

The striker de­flected in Mal Ben­ning’s long-range 59th-minute strike to give the Stags a de­served derby lead.

Liam Man­dev­ille con­verted a 77th minute penalty – three weeks af­ter miss­ing against Ply­mouth – as Rovers fin­ished the stronger with Tommy Rowe head­ing against the post two min­utes from time.

But Fer­gu­son, who saw his team re­lin­quish top spot, claimed Green should have been dis­missed for an off-the-ball clash with Rovers cap­tain Andy But­ler ear­lier in the sec­ond half.

“Green shouldn’t be on the pitch. He has head­but­ted But­ler. It is an ab­so­lute dis­grace,” said Fer­gu­son.

“The lines­man has seen it and still not sent him (Green) off. They have to look at that, there was no call for it – and he has scored their goal.

“The play­ers know more than one or two didn’t get to the stan­dards they have re­cently, but we dug in and man­aged to get a point.

“The way the game went I sup­pose a point was not a bad re­sult. We have had two tough away games in a week, lo­cal der­bies, so four points is not a bad re­turn.”

Mans­field, who have not net­ted at home in the first half this sea­son, were the bet­ter side for an hour.

CJ Hamil­ton’s low drive was beaten away by Marko Marosi and Rhys Ben­nett headed over Green’s cross be­fore the striker flicked in Ben­ning’s 25-yard shot, adding his deft touch in­side the area for Mans­field’s first goal for 343 min­utes.

John Mar­quis blazed into the side net­ting and Man­dev­ille curled wide as Rovers chased an equaliser be­fore the lat­ter lev­elled from the spot, send­ing Scott Shearer the wrong way to fire into the bot­tom left cor­ner.

Shearer had brought down Rowe to con­cede the spot kick fol­low­ing a fine ini­tial block to deny Man­dev­ille and Mans­field man­ager Steve Evans ad­mit­ted: “I think it was a penalty at first sight, al­though Tommy Rowe has got the ac­tor of the sea­son (award) for play­ing for it.

“We don't fear any team in this league, and when we get bet­ter per­for­mances we will be a match for any­one. “For 78 min­utes we were the bet­ter side by a long way and prob­a­bly should have put it to bed. You have to pun­ish the bet­ter teams as they are al­ways go­ing to be res­o­lute and come back at you. “To be fair to Don­caster, when your man­ager is Dar­ren Fer­gu­son you are al­ways go­ing to be res­o­lute and have a go. We go into the New Year with char­ac­ter and dis­ci­pline in the team’s per­for­mances and we need to add some qual­ity to it.”

PIC­TURES: Richard Parkes

NO GO: Liam Man­dev­ille is kept at bay by Mans­field's Rhys Ben­net

SPOT ON: Liam Man­dev­ille scores his penalty


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