Grimsby boss Paul Hurst was left frustrated by a late miss from George Williams which might have given Sky Bet League Two’s bottom club an unlikely victory.
Substitute Williams netted a spectacular stoppage-time equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Mansfield with a 25-yard free-kick a minute into added time.
However, four minutes later he sent a close-range header against a post and Hurst said: “He’s got to score the header.
“I am not taking away from his wonderful free-kick, but in the position we are in we’ve got to put those chances away.”
Hurst continued: “It was certainly a deserved point in my eyes.
“We looked like we were affected by their first goal and at half-time felt we had to change the personnel – and the subs again had a good impact. But we need that from the start.
“That’s a four game unbeaten run but we’ve only got four points and that is frustrating – we could quite easily have actually won all four of them.
“We have had chances. It shows we have taken steps forward.”
Grimsby are now 10 points adrift at the bottom and Hurst said: “We were written off a couple of weeks ago and in some senses that will only grow with the games ticking down.
“But I promise we will keep fighting and we will have to see if that ends up being enough. We will keep pushing the players and demanding from them.”
Mansfield led at the break through a superb 25-yard free-kick by George Maris on 20 minutes.
But the Mariners were level on 63 minutes after Lenell John-Lewis was allowed a free header from a Williams corner.
Four minutes later Jason Law poked the hosts back in front when the ball broke to him seven yards out after Grimsby failed to clear a Mal Benning cross.
But Williams had the last say with his superb free-kick a minute into added time, before almost snatching victory.
Mansfield boss Nigel Clough said: “I was disappointed with the result, having led twice in the game. And we conceded from two set plays.
“When you get into the lead twice against the side bottom of the league you expect to win the game.
“We had to scrap and battle when you’re playing a team in the position they are. We knew what sort of game it was going to be.
“Generally we dealt with the vast majority of things. But their lad hit a brilliant free-kick and they’ve had a header from a corner.
“I think we missed our opportunity in the first half to get more than one goal. We had good situations but once again didn’t make the most of them.
“I didn’t feel too threatened from open play but set plays are a strength of theirs.”
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