CHEAT ROW AS EVANS RAPS REID

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

AN­GRY Mans­field man­ager Steve Evans la­belled Ex­eter’s match­win­ner Reuben Reid a cheat, as the sub­sti­tute’s penalty com­pleted the Gre­cians’ sec­ond dra­matic late fight­back in a week.

Reid burst into the penalty area and went down un­der a Rhys Ben­nett chal­lenge seven min­utes into in­jury-time.

The striker got up to con­vert the spot-kick and snatch vic­tory seven days af­ter the Gre­cians struck three late goals to grab a point at Yeovil.

The win strength­ened Ex­eter’s po­si­tion in the play-offs fol­low­ing two suc­ces­sive draws, but put a huge dent in Mans­field’s own pro­mo­tion hopes af­ter the Stags had led un­til six min­utes from time.

Evans said: “We de­served to win. Their keeper made a fan­tas­tic save to stop us win­ning it and then the ref­eree gives a penalty.

“We have looked back at it and it’s not a penalty.

“The FA can do what they like, but the player has cheated. There is no place for it in the game.

“We dom­i­nated for long spells and they have come up the tun­nel and cel­e­brated as if they have got pro­mo­tion.

“They are a good team, but they have had a lit­tle bit of help.

“It was played like a cup tie and un­for­tu­nately we got a ref­eree who was shock­ing from start to fin­ish.

“The cir­cum­stances are cruel, but we have to dust our­selves down and go again. We will keep fight­ing.

“If we play like that we will win a lot of games.”

Mans­field took a de­served 38thminute lead when Joel By­rom’s pass over Pierce Sweeney picked out Mans­field full-back Mal Ben­ning, who cut in­side and drilled a low fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Six min­utes from time Ryan Har­ley burst into the area on to sub­sti­tute Reid’s re­turn pass and poked a low fin­ish past keeper Jake Kean to re­ward the vis­i­tors for a sec­ond-half fight­back.

In in­jury-time City keeper Christy Pym dived low to keep out what looked like a Mans­field win­ner from Ben White­man be­fore Reid’s last-gasp penalty.

City boss Paul Tis­dale re­fused to get car­ried away by the win, say­ing: “If it had fin­ished a draw we would both have been sat­is­fied, but let’s not be too pleased with our­selves. There are six games to go and a long way to go yet. “We will have ter­ri­ble times. We will have ex­cit­ing times. This was an ex­cit­ing time, but it is not worth get­ting car­ried away. “It was a mag­nif­i­cent save by Christy in in­jury-time. I thought it had saved us a point, but it ac­tu­ally won us three. That was a big mo­ment. “We have gone from what looked like a de­feat to a win. That’s foot­ball for you and there will be more of those to come.”

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Nigel Cole

MATCH-WIN­NER: Reuben Reid is hugged af­ter seal­ing Ex­eter’s fight­back from the spot

OL­LIE’S AWAY: Ol­lie Watkins on the charge

STAR MAN KRYSTIAN PEARCE Mans­field Town

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