STAGS SCRAP PAST STOCKPORT
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Stockport County
Peers 26, Barker 31. Easter 80
Attendance: 2994 (447 from Stockport)
STAGS SCRAP PAST STOCKPORT
Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at Field Mill
The Stags earned a scrappy win over a dire Stockport side at Field Mill this afternoon, to lift the team out of the dreaded bottom two. The Stags were impressive in the first half and deservedly led 2-0 at the break, but the second was poor fayre and Stockport's 80th minute goal out of the blue led to a very nervy final 10 minutes.
Stagsnet report now in the Match Centre.
Crucial win lifts Stags out of drop zone
MANSFIELD Town clawed themselves out the relegation zone with a crucial 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Stockport County this afternoon.
As at Stockport on the opening day, Stags dominated the first 45 minutes and led 2-0 at the break with goals from Gavin Peers and Richie Barker.
But County, knowing they would be replacing Stags in the bottom two, battled hard after the break and finally broke through 10 minutes from time through Jermaine Easter.
But there was to be no fairytale comeback like the opening day 2-2 draw as Stags held on to claim all three points.
It was a cold day and the second half was far from pretty after some excellent play from the home side in the first half hour. But Stags knuckled down, did the job and held on.
Manager Peter Shirtliff, said "I was delighted with the three points but we had to do some battling for them.
"There were certain aspects of our play I wasn't too pleased with. As a manager it is my job to be critical and there are certain things we will be working on next week.
"But, apart from the goal, I don't remember Kevin Pressman having any saves to make which was good.
"We got out the blocks well in the first half hour which was pleasing after the poor start we made against Bury. I thought we played some excellent football at times in the first half and took our goals well.
"But at 2-0 down Stockport made changes and you knew they were going to try to affect the game. You expect that and to be fair to them they got the ball forward and their two front men were a handful.
"We have now taken 12 points from our last six League games which isn't bad by anyone's standards. Credit to the players. They have worked hard and stuck at it."
Stags went with the 16 players named for last weekend's ill-fated game at Shrewsbury.
That saw one change from their last outing against Bury with Dawson in for the injured Brown.
The home side made a powerful start and D'Laryea was unlucky when a strong Rundle cross bounced off his chest and wide of goal in the first minute.
Birchall fired over from 20 yards, then Peers glanced a header wide from Rundle's corner before Spencer had to produce his first save from Barker's powerful 25 yard effort.
Stockport finally created some danger with three successive corners. And Easter might have done better when he found himself in the clear with no offside flag as Stags tried to clear the third, but sent his low finish wide of the far post.
Stags threatened again as Rundle set up Dawson for a fierce shot straight at Spencer.
On 24 minutes they came even closer as a short corner found Coke whose shot deflected onto the top of the crossbar and out.
But the big breakthrough finally arrived two minutes later as Peers managed to get a decisive head onto Rundle's free kick from the left, just helping the ball inside the near post.
It was 2-0 within five minutes as Barker beat Spencer to a Dawson through ball, edging it wide of him before finding the empty net.
Desperate Stockport made a double tactical change on 39 minutes as Bramble and Briggs were withdrawn and Wolski and Malcolm were sent on.
And they dominated the latter stages of the half but were unable to find a way through.
Birchall went on a good run early in he second half. But Spencer was there at his near post to grab the ball as Birchall drilled it into the danger zone.
But the early stages of the half were poor with neither midfield able to get a grip.
Raynes got good blocks in on shots by Birchall and Coke.
But Stags were struggling to find a killer third goal and on 67 minutes Russell, on loan from Macclesfield, was given a Mansfield debut in place of Birchall.
Dawson battled hard to win the ball off Clare on the edge of the box but pulled his low shot wide of goal.
Dawson managed to get on the end of a Rundle cross but found Singh in the way.
But Stockport grabbed themselves a lifeline with 10 minutes to go.
Malcolm cut Mansfield open with a low through ball down the centre. And Easter added to the two goals he scored against Stags on the opening day of the season as he guided the ball through Pressman's legs and into the net.
County threw on Allen for Boshell for the last five minutes as Stags hung on.
In the final minutes Rundle arrived just too late to reach Dawson's long cross from the right.
The referee decided to add a minimum of three minutes on at the end, stretching the tension.
D'Laryea was booked for time wasting after kicking the ball after the whistle.
A high ball into the Mansfield box saw home breath held as Easter tried an overhead kick but failed to cleanly connect and the points were safe.
Mansfield 2-1 Stockport
Mansfield dragged themselves out of the League Two drop zone with a narrow win over relegation rivals Stockport.
Gavin Peers broke the deadlock when he guided home Rundle's floated free-kick from close range.
Richard Barker doubled the advantage when he latched on to Stephen Dawson's through-ball before flicking the ball past James Spencer.
Jermaine Easter set up a tense finale when he shot home but the Stags held on for the points.
Latest | November 2005