Substitute Akins earns Mansfield last-gasp win over Colchester
Lucas Akins’ 100th senior goal earned Mansfield a 2-1 stoppage-time victory over Colchester.
The 33-year-old forward headed in just moments after being summoned from the bench by Nigel Clough, a decision which was greeted with howls of derision by home supporters due to earlier goal-scorer Will Swan being the player to make way.
Swan had cancelled out Alex Newby’s third goal in seven outings for the visitors – a spectacular free-kick – but Akins turned the jeers to cheers and ensured the Essex visitors still have taken only one point on their travels this term.
Colchester forged ahead in the 10th minute when Stephen Quinn tripped Alan Judge and Newby curled the subsequent 30-yard free kick inside Christy Pym’s right-hand post.
But Clough’s men were back on terms before the break when Swan headed in his seventh goal of the season at the far post from Elliott Hewitt’s excellent 34th-minute cross from close to the right touchline.
After long periods of frustration for Mansfield in the second half, the introduction of Akins in added time then proved the game’s pivotal moment.
First the former Burton striker blasted a great chance straight at away keeper Kieran O’Hara, but he then made no mistake when given a second opportunity at the death, heading in Stephen McLaughlin’s left-wing cross from five yards.