SUPER STAGS MULLER BULLS
Mansfield Town 4 - 1 Hereford United
Mkandawire og 20, Barker 38, pen 71, Reet 49. Connell 68
Attendance: 3242 (382 from Hereford)
Stags 4 Hereford United 1
MANSFIELD Town rediscovered that winning feeling as they ran the Bulls ragged in this largely one-sided affair at Field Mill.
Four League games without a win had been harsh on the Stags, particularly gaining nothing for those excellent displays against Lincoln and Wycombe.
So this victory was a very welcome one for Peter Shirtliff's side.
Hereford, to their credit, did try to play some decent football and Stuart Fleetwood looked a quality player as he sometimes waged a one man battle for the visitors.
But Stags were in the mood and played some superb stuff, ripping the visitors apart time and time again and were unlucky to only finish up with four goals, both Danny Reet and Chris Beardsley having efforts disallowed and debutant Alan Sheehan having a free kick headed off the line.
Richie Barker finished up with two goals, though seemed to want to claim a third which clearly came off the head of Tamika Mkandawire into his own goal as Barker's shot came back down off the crossbar.
Reet netted the other with Alan Connell netting Hereford's sole reply.
Stags manager Shirtliff said afterwards: "We had a bit of luck with the first goal which got us going - but that was the first bit of luck we've had all season.
"Richie Barker had the initial shot which I though he should have got away sooner. But it was a bit confusing after it hit the crossbar and I didn't see who put the ball in the net.
"Overall I thought we were full value for the victory, though.
"We were 2-0 up at half-time and I told the players that Hereford would come out and have a go after their manager had got into them.
"I told them what we needed to do to counter that and they showed good initiative straight away as they put pressure on Hereford and forced them back into their own third before we got a third goal which was very important.
"We created a number of chances and had other good situations where nothing came of it and we should have done better.
"But I was disappointed we didn't keep a clean sheet and I have told them so.
"We have got to keep high standards as if you do that you have a chance of success."
With left back Gareth Jelleyman out with a knee injury, Stags gave a debut to on-loan Leicester City defender Sheehan.
Also, White was given his first League outing of the season in goal in place of Muggleton.
Stags had the first chance of the afternoon from a fourth minute corner which saw John-Baptiste head powerfully over from Hamshaw's right wing flag kick.
The Bulls replied with a good run from Fleetwood who twisted and turned John-Baptiste before letting fly from 25 yards, White diving to his left to make the save.
Debutant Sheehan got forward to play a one-two with Barker on the edge of the box only to drag his finish well wide.
Hamshaw led a Stags counter-attack on 11 minutes which saw him feed Brown whose cross-cum-chip sailed over the far angle.
Mansfield came even closer as Sheehan released Boulding down the centre. He found Brown to his left before running on but was a fraction short of getting on the end of Brown's low cross when it came in from the left by-line across the face of goal.
But there was danger in the home box as Barker headed the Bulls' first corner high into the air in the six yard box to cause a frantic scramble that ended with Fleetwood poking the ball narrowly wide.
John-Baptiste and Buxton got headers on the end of successive right wing corners for the Stags but neither could get the ball on target.
Then D'Laryea and Barker helped the ball on to Brown in the box but Beckwith stuck with him and deflected his finish wide for a fourth home corner.
But Mansfield were finally ahead on 19 minutes. D'Laryea's superb through ball gave Barker a sight of goal in the box. Giles got in a last ditch challenge as Barker tried to finish and the ball span up and over Tynan but came back off the crossbar. However, as it fell, the keeper and Mkanawire got crossed wires and the defender headed the ball past his keeper from point blank range.
Brown might have made it 2-0 on 29 minutes as he raced onto another D'Laryea through ball. But Tynan advanced and did enough to put him off as Brown poked the ball wide of the far post before colliding with the keeper and requiring treatment.
A loose pass by Purdie allowed Brown to go on another run which ended with him lobbing over the bar from 20 yards.
Nevertheless, Stags deservedly extended their lead on 36 minutes. A half-cleared ball fell to Dawson who threaded Brown into the box on the right. Spotting the run of Barker, Brown drilled in a superb low cross in front of goal and Barker got there to finish clinically from close range at the near post.
It was Brown's last involvement as, still feeling the effects of his collision with Tynan, he limped off with a dead leg to be replaced by Reet.
Free kick specialist Sheehan had his first dead ball attempt on 44 minutes but was wide of the near post from over 30 yards out.
It was all Stags as half-time approached with two more corners, Buxton volleying the second one wide as Hereford prayed for the half time whistle.
In stoppage time Reet pulled a left foot effort well wide from Barker's flick on as it remained 2-0 at the interval.
Stags were out on the field for the second half bright and early and it seemed an eternity before the visitors finally came out to join them with Connell on for Purdie. They had also gone to five at the back.
Mansfield soon forced a corner from which Mullins glanced a header over.
Mullins then had a shot charged down from another corner.
But goal number three was not long coming as Reet headed home his first of the season on 49 minutes.
Hamshaw's cross from the right took a deflection off Sills which seemed to wrong-foot Tynan as it came in and Reet was there to send a stooping header home at the near post.
An exciting run down the centre by Dawson ended with a low 20 yard finish skidding wide as the home side turned up the heat.
Then a poor header back from Sheehan almost let in Fleetwood but White ran from his box to head clear.
A superb cross field pass by Boulding picked out the incoming Hamshaw who controlled it before blasting a shot on target that forced a save from Tynan.
The visitors continued to survive further home pressure before puling one back out of the blue on the 68th minute.
Connell's initial 20 yard shot was deflected just wide to force a corner. And when Stags failed to clear that, the ball dropped for Connell to poke home a sharp finish from 12 yards though a crowd of players.
Hopes of a comeback quickly evaporated through as Barker extended Stags' lead to 4-1 from the penalty spot on 72 minutes.
Reet turned and crossed from the right towards Boulding who went down in the box under the challenge of McClenahan behind him. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Barker thundered home his spot kick down the centre.
Hereford's outstanding player Fleetwood wasn't about to give up and he cut in from the left to curl a finish just wide of White's far post.
D'Laryea was unlucky on 78 as his 20 yard thunderbolt came back off the bar and Reet was judged offside as he tucked away the follow-up.
Then Travis had to head a superb Sheehan free kick off the line a minute later.
Stags had yet another goal disallowed on 85 as Reet's shot was well saved and Beardsley fouled Tynan before rolling the ball into the net.
Hereford were relieved to escape further damage as Stags ended the afternoon content that they had finally got a just reward for their efforts.
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