George Maris strikes as Cambridge United draw with Mansfield Town
U's earn deserved result against the Stags
George Maris left it late to earn Cambridge United a 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town at the Abbey in Sky Bet League Two.
In a keenly-contested match, Danny Rose had given the Stags the lead in the first half and it was not until the 89th minute that Maris finally got the rewards for United’s endeavours.
It was quite a tepid first quarter, with little in the way of goalmouth action until Barry Corr almost opened the scoring.
His header from a George Maris corner got a deflection on the way through, and required a one-handed stop by Mansfield keeper Bobby Olejnik.
CJ Hamilton and Danny Rose had half-chances for the visitors, with the latter heading into the side-netting.
But in the 28th minute, the Stags broke the deadlock.
A long ball into the United box by Olejnik was not dealt with properly, and with Tyler Walker proving a handful, Danny Rose got in unopposed to fire through David Forde’s legs.
The goal spurred United into action and a quick free kick from Maris put Reggie Lambe free in the area. His shot beat Olejnik, but defender Ryan Sweeney got round to clear off the line.
Lambe then went close with a shot wide after a free kick, but United went into the break trailing by a goal.
It was a cagey start to the second half, with Neal Bishop firing wide for Mansfield and Jevani Brown doing similar for United.
Mansfield almost doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Matt Preston’s header from a corner forced Forde to save low at his near post.
From the resulting corner, Preston’s header back across the area was met by an acrobatic effort from Rose, which went over the bar.
United then gained the upper hand and were dictating play as they heaped the pressure on the Mansfield goal.
Substitute Ade Azeez did well to get in behind the defence, but Olejnik was equal to the effort at his near post, and then Sweeney had to make a crucial clearance from a dangerous low ball into the box by Maris.
It was the midfielder who almost equalised in the 88th minute, when his 25-yard shot took a deflection to leave Olejnik stranded but the ball ran just wide.
However, there was no mistake a minute later as Maris let fly from the edge of the area and with a deflection it nestled in the top corner for the U’s.
With five minutes injury time added, Lambe had an effort held by Olejnik from inside the area and from an almost identical position, Liam O’Neil’s shot went just wide.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, John, Taylor, Carroll, Deegan, Maris, Amoo, Brown, Lambe, Corr.
Substitutes: Azeez (Corr, 68), Lewis (Amoo, 81), O’Neil (Brown, 90+2). Not used: Iron, Taft, Osadebe, Davies.
Mansfield Town: Olejnik, Hamilton, Pearce, Preston, Sweeney, Benning, Bishop, McDonald, Khan, Walker, Rose.
Substitutes: Graham (Walker, 84). Not used: Logan, Atkinson, Butcher, Elsnik, Sterling-James, Gibbens.
Referee: Nick Kinseley.
Bookings: Cambridge United – Halliday (foul, 12), Deegan (foul, 65); Mansfield – McDonald (foul, 39)
Attendance: 3,909 (away 475).