Former Mansfield Town striker Ollie Palmer grabbed a last minute equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Lincoln City at Field Mill.

Palmer steered home the equaliser in an action-packed ending to a game which saw both sides end with ten men.

He cancelled out Joel Byrom’s opener to prevent Danny Cowley’s side from being beaten in three games in a row for the first time since he took over at the beginning of last season.

Ollie Palmer’s last minute goal salvaged what could prove to be a vital point for Lincoln City at Mansfield

The Stags had a new man at the helm, with David Flitcroft’s appointment by the club following the resignation of Steve Evans who moved to League One side Peterborough United.

Cowley made three changes to the team that was defeated 4-1 by Crewe last time out. Scott Wharton, Neal Eardley and Jordan Williams came in for Sean Long, Danny Rowe and Tom Pett.

The first ten minutes set a standard for the first half in which not much action occurred. However after ten minutes Adam King flew in on Alex Woodyard with a dangerous looking high tackle and received a yellow card.

Two minutes later the Imps had a good chance to take the lead through Matt Rhead. Sam Habergham crossed from the left, the ball fell to Rhead but his effort was cleared off the line by Krystian Pearce.

The Stags produced a good chance in the 20th minute. Alfie Potter found space by beating two City defenders, he squared the ball for Alex MacDonald but his powerful strike was wide of the post.

On the half hour mark, Rhead found Jordan Williams on the edge of the box but his turning shot was deflected behind for a corner. The resulting corner led to a free header for Luke Waterfall but he couldn’t force the ball through the crowded six yard box.

Minutes later Mansfield had their own opportunity to take the lead. CJ Hamilton and Kane Hemmings played some clever passing down the left wing which led to a through ball for Danny Rose who shot inches over Ryan Allsop’s crossbar.

Just before half-time a long ball up the pitch from Allsop found Rhead, he flicked the ball on for Matt Green but the City striker couldn’t quite control the ball as it rebounded off the keeper.

That brought the end to a rather tame first 45 minutes with only a solitary shot on target for either side. Mansfield had looked the better of the two sides but not many chances were created.

Stags manager Flitcroft made a half-time substitution bringing on Joel Byrom for Hemmings and it didn’t take long for the striker to impact the game.

Just four minutes of the second half has been played when Mansfield took the lead. Hayden White’s cross found Byrom at the front post who produced a glancing header to score his first goal for the Stags.

On the hour mark Habergham’s corner found Michael Bostwick who headed on for Rhead, the ball then fell to Green but his extravagant overhead kick from six yards out went over the bar.

With Lincoln now looking at a third straight defeat, Cowley decided it was time to change things up by making two quick substitutions: Rowe came on for Williams and Harry Anderson replaced Lee Frecklington.

The Imps were now firing and from the 70th minute they dominated the game. Cowley’s side kept knocking on the door with balls flying in to the box from all angles.

It was certainly a day for the ‘super-sub’, we’d seen that from Byrom’s goal earlier on. And with ten minutes to go Cowley took off former Mansfield striker Matt Green and replaced him with another former Mansfield striker, Ollie Palmer. A chorus of boos followed as Palmer entered the field of play.

With five minutes to go a corner taken by Habergham produced a goal mouth scramble with as many as three City players trying to force the ball in to the back of the net at the far post but none of them could convert the chance.

And with time running out, it was time for the second ‘super-sub’ of the evening in the final minute of normal time. Eardley’s long ball from the halfway line found Rhead in the box who headed on for Palmer. Conrad Logan got a hand to the ball in the Mansfield goal but he couldn’t stop Palmer’s shot on the turn from finding the back of the net.

The goal sent the 1,700 travelling Imps fans into raptures but Palmer decided to celebrate in front of the Mansfield fans who had been booing him since he came on. A bottle was thrown from the fans which Luke Waterfall duly picked up and threw back in celebration, but this was to be his last action as he was given his marching orders.

And there was still time for some more late drama. The Stags couldn’t hold on to their man advantage for long and in the third of five minutes added on, Rhys Bennett was sent off for a second bookable offence.

A minute later, City fans thought they might have grabbed all three points as the Imps had the ball in the back of the net but Rhead was judged to have fouled the keeper.

But though they couldn’t find a winner, it was a well-earned draw snatched from the jaws of defeat. The Imps move back above Carlisle in to ninth, and focus for Danny Cowley’s side now turns to Saturday’s away game at Chesterfield.