Cheltenham Town suffered a disappointing blow against Mansfield Town after a late leveller meant the spoils were shared at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
The Robins had to come from behind early on after the visitors took the lead through Tyler Walker, but hit straight back as Ben Tozer got his first goal for the club.
Defender Will Boyle scored his second header of the week to put the Robins into the lead at the break.
They maintained that level of performance up until the last few minutes, but sadly Walker got his second with the last chance of the match to send Mansfield home with a point.
Boss Michael Duff made four changes from the Robins last league game against Stevenage; with Ben Tozer, Conor Thomas, Jordon Forster and Kelsey Mooney all coming in for captain Johnny Mullins, Craig Alcock, Nigel Atangana and Tyrone Barnett.
Cheltenham started using a similar formation to the one that beat a young Arsenal team on Tuesday night, and it paid dividends again with the hosts successfully pressing from the front in the opening five minutes.
Mansfield hadn’t seen much of the ball in the opening stages but took the lead very much against the run of play. Stags full-back Malvind Benning whipped in a cross from the left which striker Tyler Walker met very well to guide a glancing header beyond Scott Flinders in the Robins goal.
But Cheltenham hit back instantly after efforts from Jordon Forster and Will Boyle forced the visitors to concede a corner, and from the resulting set piece Chris Clements worked it out to Ben Tozer who confidently volleyed past Robert Olejnik in the Mansfield net to level the contest.
The Robins continued their fine start to the game and were nearly in to take the lead on the counter-attack, but Matt Preston took out Jacob Maddox just before he had the chance to send Luke Varney through on goal.
Timi Elsnik reminded the Robins of the threat Mansfield posed, though, as his fierce drive from the edge of the area just evaded the crossbar.
However, visiting keeper Olejnik nearly presented Varney with a gift after he took a very heavy touch which looked like it was going to run for the forward, but the away side managed to scramble the ball away.
Kelsey Mooney was the next to test the stopper’s resolve after tenacious play from Luke Varney allowed him space to cross the ball into his strike partner Mooney, but his header was tame and easy to gather.
It wasn’t long before the Robins faithful really started to get behind their team, and they were soon rewarded after goalscorer Tozer put a looping cross towards the back-post, and there to meet it was centre-back Will Boyle with a powerful header to give the Robins the lead just before the interval.
There was no let off from Duff’s men in the second period either as they started the half in the same manner as the first.
Cheltenham’s press was giving Mansfield some real problems, as balls went astray and the visors struggled to get out their half.
The Robins earned an early succession of corners and were on the front foot, but the deliveries came to nothing as the home side looked to increase their advantage.
With twenty minutes remaining, Duff’s side were still running the show and chances fell to both Maddox and Varney after some good footwork allowed them some time and space on the ball - however they failed to trouble the Mansfield stopper.
But the away side pressed hard for an equaliser going into the final ten minutes, and Cheltenham’s defence valiantly saw off a lot of long balls into the area. Although tempers flared towards the end, and Conor Thomas and Mansfield’s Jacob Mellis both received yellow cards.
Unfortunately, the Robins defensive display was undone after an unfortunate deflection meant the ball fell to Walker again who couldn’t miss from a few yards to double his tally for the game and earn the visitors a point.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Flinders, Broom, Forster, Tozer, Boyle, Hussey, Thomas, Clements (Atangana 78’), Maddox, Mooney (Addai 78’), Varney (Barnett 89’. Subs not used: Lovett, Mullins, Field, Alcock.
MANSFIELD TOWN (3-5-2): Olejnik, White (Atkinson 79’, Benning, Preston, Pearce, Bishop (Davies 68’), Mellis, Walker, Elsnik, Hamilton, Rose. Subs not used: Logan(gk), Butcher, Sweeney, Graham, Smith.
REFEREE: N. Hair
ATTENDANCE: 2,828 (404 away)
By Joe Shepherd
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