Mansfield edge five-goal thriller to dent Exeter’s play-off hopes
Exeter’s play-off hopes were dealt a huge blow as they went down 3-2 at home to Mansfield Town.
Mansfield went in front after 11 minutes. Ryan Tafazolli fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area and his effort caught out home goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik, who was late going down and saw the ball squirm through his fingers and into the net.
Exeter failed to register a shot on target in the first half, but Jake Taylor had a great opportunity to equalise early in the second only to drag his shot wide from 10 yards.
Reggie Lamb dragged a shot wide for Mansfield when Craig Woodman’s horrendous backpass gave him a clear sight at goal, but seconds later Malvind Benning made it 2-0 with a brilliant strike into the top corner from 25 yards.
Ollie Watkins reduced the arrears for Exeter with a brilliant individual goal after 64 minutes, firing in from 20 yards, and substitute Christian Ribeiro levelled it up with a stunning 25-yard strike that flew past Scott Shearer.
However, Mansfield went back in front and won the game when Tafazolli rifled in another great long-range shot with eight minutes remaining.