Mansfield Town 1-1 Colchester United: Lewis Brunt strike denies U's victory over Stags

Harry Anderson scored a delightful early goal as struggling Colchester United earned a shock draw at League Two leaders Mansfield Town at a windswept One Call Stadium.

The Stags, who had won four of their previous six games and scored 16 goals in doing so, found themselves a goal down when Anderson took a great first touch, shifted the ball onto his right foot and shot low into the far corner.

Colchester defended resolutely and keeper Owen Goodman was in superb form to keep a dominant home side at bay.

But with frustration growing amongst an expectant home crowd, Lewis Brunt tapped home the equaliser after a goalmouth scramble in the second half.

Both sides had excellent chances to take all three points in the closing stages, the U's going close from a series of corners and hitting the post through Samson Tovide, while Will Swan was crowded out when one-on-one.

The Stags, who could have moved seven points clear at the top of the table before the rest of the Saturday fixtures, also felt they should have had a last-minute penalty when Swan went to ground as he was lining up to shoot goalwards.

But the claims were ignored, with furious Mansfield boss Nigel Clough showing his anger on the pitch at the full-time whistle, while his counterpart Danny Cowley lapped up the applause from the travelling fans after seeing his resurgent side secure a point from a fifth 1-1 draw in the past six games.

Goodman's heroics - notably a breathtaking stop to keep out Baily Cargill's powerful point-blank header - did not tell the whole story, with the U's creating numerous late chances in an increasingly open finale.

Stags keeper Christy Pym made a fine one-handed save to deny Tovide a winner and there were several close calls from set-pieces, the best of which saw Pym tip over Tom Dallison's header.