BRISCOE GOAL + GREAT DEFENDING &SAVE EARNS CUP WIN
FA Cup 4th qualifying round
FC Halifax Town 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 2986 (564 from Mansfield)
Date: 23 October 2010
Martin Shaw at The Shay
An early piledriver from Louis Briscoe together with an excellent defensive display from a new look back four plus one wonderful save from Mihkel Aksalu won Mansfield Town a hard-earned place in the first round of the FA Cup at the expense of plucky FC Halifax Town from the Evo-Stik Premier League. Briscoe took advantage of a mistake in the Halifax back line to beat one man and score with a thunderous shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the box on 6 minutes. Paul Connor headed over the bar from close range in the first half, and Simon Grand headed against the bar early in the second half, but FC Halifax fought hard throughout and were denied by superb performances from debutants Steve Cook at right back and Simon Grand at centre half, alongside new skipper Rhys Day who was also excellent. Stags Estonian keeper Aksalu made a magnificent save on 89 minutes from a close range header from James Dean, somehow tipping it onto the post when it looked a certain goal. Luke Medley was then guilty of missing a glorious chance to seal victory when he fired wide with only the keeper to beat a minute later, but the Stags hung on to the delight of the wonderful visiting fans.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre.
Man of the Match: Steve Cook
Halifax Town 0 Mansfield Town 1 - FULL TIME
Evening Post REPORT
AN early goal from Louis Briscoe proved enough to edge Mansfield Town through to the first round proper of the FA Cup after a stiff examination at FC Halifax this afternoon.
The Stags were made to fight every inch of the way at the Shay by their plucky Evo-Stik Premier League hosts, who played well above their station.
But Mansfield ground out what was a welcome first win in six games as they defended determinedly.
They were also thankful for a superb save from on-loan goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu in the closing stages.
It was David Holdsworth's team who were quicker out of the blocks, but it was the hosts who got in the first shot on target, Scott Phelan bringing a comfortable save out of Aksalu.
Next to try his luck was James Dean whose shot from a narrow angle from a half-cleared first Halifax corner.
But it was the Stags who drew first blood in the seventh minute after a mistake by the home side's Danny Lowe.
Briscoe did not need a second invitation to nip in, advance to the edge of the box and then drill an unerring finish into the roof of the net.
Halifax responded quickly and Dean's shot on the turn was not too far wide.
But Mansfield were playing some slick football in the early stages and Briscoe drilled right across the face of the six-yard box from the right, just out of the reach of Paul Connor.
Neil Aspin's side were soon back on the front foot as Dean's shot was blocked by Simon Grand.
Holland then got a sight of goal as a long ball forward beat Grand's leap, but his attempted finish was smothered by Aksalu.
A swift break from a Mansfield corner by the hosts saw Dean tee up Tom Baker whose long range effort was always flying wide.
Aksalu went down after punching clear a left-wing corner midway through the first half but was able to recover after a lengthy spell of treatment.
After a lull in proceedings, Dean found space on the left to whip in a dangerous centre that just out of the reach of striking partner Dean.
Holland had a better opportunity when he was played in by Phelan, only to screw his low, angled shot wide of the far post.
At the other end, Adam Smith cut in from the left touchline to try his luck from distance, but the ball was always rising over the top.
As the break approached, Mansfield had two decent openings to go in front.
First Stonehouse dug out a cross from the left byline that was headed back into the danger zone by Duffy then inches over the bar by Connor.
And after good play from Murray, Duffy should have done better when he drilled straight at Hedge.
The visitors went close again three minutes after the restart when Nix's free-kick into the box was met by Grand's looping header that clipped the bar and flew over.
As Halifax stormed back into the attack, Jamie Vardy then stretched to volley wide of the left-hand post before Baker's neat flick took a deflection but was still held by the foot of the left-hand post by Aksalu.
Halifax had strong penalty appeals for an alleged foul on Dean waved away before, from the corner that followed, Liam Hogan headed over when unmarked.
Phelan then latched onto a headed clearance from Day but could only steer his shot high and wide.
Cook and Rhys Day both made important interceptions as Halifax piled on the pressure before Baker curled a free-kick straight into the hands of Aksalu.
But Mansfield responded when substitute Lee Gregory – against his old club – was not too far wide with a header from Nix's floated free-kick.
Halifax fans were unhappy with a number of decisions but one went in their favour as Briscoe looked to have won the ball on the edge of his own box only for a free-kick to be awarded against it.
From it, former Eastwood and Hucknall man Holland went for goal but cleared the bar with his attempted curler.
Two minutes from time it looked as if Halifax had levelled when Dean headed for the right-hand corner from a pinpoint left-wing Nathan Taylor cross.
But that was until Aksalu flung himself across to his left and somehow tipped the ball onto the left-hand post.
Mansfield should have made the game safe in the final minute of normal time when he was put in on goal by Gregory only to shoot wide of the right-hand post.
With five minutes of time added on, Halifax threw everything at the Stags, who were hanging on for dear life.
But unlike Darlington last week, when they conceded late on, the visitors did hold on and now look forward to tomorrow's draw.
FC Halifax Town: Hedge, Hardy, Bower, Hogan, Lowe, Vardy, Baker, Phelan, Garner, Dean, Holland. Subs: Senior, Taylor, Marshall, Metcalfe, Gray, Riley.
Mansfield: Aksalu, Cook, Day, Grand, Stonehouse, Briscoe, Nix, Murray, Smith, Duffy, Connor. Subs: Collett, Istead, Medley, Gregory Thompson Foster Silk.
Referee: Dean Mohareb.
Stags survive stern Halifax FA Cup test - FC Halifax Town 0 Mansfield Town 1, Saturday 23rd October
EVO-STIK Premier Division leaders FC Halifax Town gave Mansfield Town a stern FA Cup examination, but Louis Briscoe was the hero with the match-winning goal in the Fourth Qualifying Round tie at The Shay this afternoon to take the Stags into Sunday's draw for the First Round.
Halifax were unbeaten at home all season, had won 10 games on the bounce and not conceded for 536 minutes before Briscoe blasted an unstoppable finish past Jonathan Hedge after only seven minutes of this tense tie.
The whistle ended Stags' run of five games without a win and eased the growing criticism from supporters who spilled over onto the field at the end to celebrate a place in the next round as they inflicted the first home defeat on Halifax for a year.
Stags just about the edge in the first half but the Shaymen gave David Holdsworth's new-look defence a searching examination in the second half which they came through with much aplomb.
However, it took a fantastic save from on-loan keeper Mihkel Aksalu a minute from time to deny the home side as he clawed a header from burly home striker James dean onto the post.
A minute later sub Luke Medley should have sealed it with only Hedge to beat but fired wide.
There were two debuts for Mansfield among the four changes.
Steve Cook, on loan from Brighton, replaced Gary Silk at right back, while Simon Grand, on loan from Fleetwood, came in for skipper Steve Foster in the centre of defence, Silk and Foster dropping to the bench.
Also left out was midfielder Thompson and winger Cain, with fellow winger Adam Smith returning from a two-game ban and Duffy in to pair up with Connor up front in a 4-4-2 formation.
Cook and Grand made fine debuts with Cook particularly catching the eye and Day led by example as he donned the captain's armband.
With five loan players already in the starting line-up Stags were unable to name new loan signing Peter Vincenti in the squad.
The home side comfortably survived two early Nix free kicks into the six yard box.
Holland sent a free kick into the Mansfield wall at the other end and, when the ball ran loose, Phelan and Baker got in each other's way as both tried to shoot, before Phelan took charge and sent a tame low efforts skidding towards Aksalu.
Stags failed to clear the Shaymen's first corner which ended up with Dean whipping a shot into the sidenetting at the far post.
But Stags grabbed the goal they would so desperately have wanted to ease their cup nerves after only seven minutes.
It stemmed from a mistake by Lowe who failed to control the ball on the Mansfield right and allowed Briscoe to nick the ball away from him, stride purposefully into the box and hammer home a fabulous finish from 16 yards.
Dean was wide on the turn from 12 yards in reply as the home side looked for a swift way back into the game.
Stags won a corner on the right which Murray tried to feed back to Briscoe, making a late run. But the ball was fed back to Murray who laid it along the by-line for Briscoe who crashed a low shot across the face of goal.
Home keeper Hedge was almost caught out by a vicious inswinger of a corner by Nix and did well to hold on at the near post.
Halifax looked dangerous on a 16th minute break but Day blocked Dean's finish. Then Grand was caught out by a high ball that beat his jump and allowed Holland behind him.
He tried to take the ball away from the keeper but couldn't direct it on target and Grand was there to tidy up and clear.
Halifax again broke swiftly from Mansfield's third corner and this time Baker was well wide from long range.
The Shaymen won two successive corners, Aksalu punching clear the second but taking a knock in the face in the process, and staying down for treatment.
Nix was booked on the half-hour for a wild mistimed tackle on Hogan.
Once again Stags came under pressure from a home break which ended with Dean crossing hard and low from the left and Holland just unable to get the vital touch, sliding in at the far post.
A minute later good skills from Phelan saw him make room and hoist the ball over Grand for Holland who fired across goal with Grand unable to touch home at the far post.
In response Smith was well over with an ambitious long-ranger strike for the visitors.
Duffy was twice down for treatment after a clash of heads and then a tackle, but the referee saw nothing wrong with the latter and, seen as time-wasting, he earned loud boos from the home fans.
Phelan then took too long to retreat from a Stags free kick on 45 minutes, earning a booking.
Stags almost went it two to the good but Connor headed over from close range after Duffy had nodded Stonehouse's deep cross back towards goal.
Seconds later Duffy sidefooted a tame effort at the keeper from 12 yards as the visitors ended the half on the front foot and ahead, though Baker was well over with the last kick of the half on another counter-attack.
Three minutes into the second half and Grand hit the home woodwork. Nix floated a free kick towards the far post where Grand's header landed on top of the bar.
At the other end Aksalu just got there ahead of the incoming Grand.
A cross from interval sub Taylor found Vardy at the far post but, at full stretch and from the tightest of angle, he was never going to be able to test Aksalu.
Then Aksalu did have a save to make from Baker's audacious backheel flick while Briscoe warmed Hedge's hands with a powerful drive from 20 yards.
Gregory took over from Duffy up front on 53 minutes.
There was controversy as Cook appeared to bring down Vardy, but the Halifax man was booked for simulation to the fury of the home fans.
Nix did well to wriggle away from his marker and past two opponents only to overhit his through ball for Gregory.
Dean then wanted a penalty as he went down under Day's challenge but the Shaymen were given only a corner from which Hogan nodded over a free header.
Home tempers hotted up as Holland went down and the referee deemed it a dive.
The flow of the game was being hampered now by incessant whistling and continual fouls.
Phelan was well over as he volleyed a headed Day clearance back at goal as we entered the final quarter of the game.
Cook then did well to stretch and nick the ball away from Metcalfe as it threatened to bounce through everyone and send the Halifax sub clear.
Aksalu had to punch away another home corner while Baker curled a free kick straight to the keeper.
Gregory was then wide with a glancing header from a long Nix free kick for the visitors.
Nine minutes from time Briscoe thought he had produced a well-timed tackle that won the ball 20 yards out but the referee thought otherwise and awarded a free kick which Holland curled over.
Dean won yet another header to send a dipping header towards goal which Aksalu clutched just under the bar.
Briscoe headed away another home corner with just four minutes to go and nerves jangling.
Aksalu produced the save of the game to preserve Mansfield's slender advantage with a minute to go as Dean threw himself into a fine header from Metcalfe's left wing cross only to see the Estonian international somehow turn it onto his left hand post.
A minute later Medley should have sealed it on a counter-attack as, with the home side stretched, Gregory laid the ball towards him and Medley, with the keeper at his mercy, planted a low finish wide of the far post.
Five minutes of stoppage were added but the Stags held firm to book their place in the first round hat.
HALIFAX: Hedge, Hardy, Lowe, Baker, Bower, Hogan, Vardy (Metcalfe 66), Phelan (Marshall 77), Dean, Holland, Garner (Taylor ht). Subs not used: Gray, Riley, Senior.
STAGS: Aksalu, Cook, Day, Grand, Stonehouse, Nix, Murray, Brisoe, A. Smith (Thompson 90+3), Duffy (Gregory 53), Connor (Medley 72). Subs not used: Foster, Collett, Silk, Istead.
REFEREE: Dean Mohareb of Cheshire.
Aksalu the hero for Stags as they progress in FA Cup
Evening Post considered report
'ESTONIA'S number one' doesn't quite have the same ring to it, and there are one or two obvious issues syllabically.
But given the heroics of goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu in Mansfield Town's weekend FA Cup win at Halifax, a twist on the chant normally reserved for the injured Alan Marriott may yet get an airing on the Field Mill terraces.
Having seen some incredibly talented keepers down the years – Rod Arnold, Kevin Hitchcock and Darren Ward to name but three – Stags fans are notoriously selective in who they accept as truly trustworthy between the sticks.
It did not take Marriott – currently recovering from a groin operation – long to win over the Mansfield faithful with a string of reliable displays, punctuated with inspired saves.
And temporary replacement Aksalu chose the stage of the world's greatest knock-out competition to show that he is capable of being just as impressive in north Nottinghamshire.
Drafted in on loan from Sheffield United, the 25-year-old had only regulation duties to perform in his first two games against Rushden and Diamonds and Darlington.
Coming into the game at the Shay, it was still hard to judge if Aksalu had it in his locker to shape the outcome of a match.
Even then, in the light of a strong performance from a new-look Mansfield defence it was not until the dying stages that a serious test was put in front of the lanky shot-stopper.
However, when the moment came, Aksalu answered emphatically that, in managers' speak, he could 'step up to the plate'.
It looked for all the world as if a header from James Dean following Nathan Taylor's cross two minutes from time, was bound for the right-hand corner.
But that was without reckoning on Aksalu, who somehow got across by diving full length to his left to touch the ball onto the upright, allowing the Mansfield defence to clear.
Without his intervention, the Stags' 1-0 lead, given to them by Louis Briscoe's second goal of the season, would have been wiped out and they would now be facing a Field Mill replay against the Shaymen.
Instead, the club have pocketed £12,500 for their victory and can look forward to a first round tie with League Two Torquay at Field Mill.
It may have been by a slender margin but it was a job well done by Mansfield, who knew this tie had 'banana skin' written all over it.
Having won their previous ten games, Halifax had swept to the top of the Evo-Stik Premier League and were well-equipped to take advantage of any complacency from a team two divisions higher in the pyramid.
The first evidence of how Mansfield were taking it seriously was the strength of their line-up, switched from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2.
With three new signings at the club, changes to the starting line-up were almost inevitable.
In for debuts came Steve Cook at right-back and Simon Grand in the middle. Adam Smith returned on the left flank and Rob Duffy up front.
Sacrificed were Gary Silk, captain Steve Foster, Tyrone Thompson and Ashley Cain. New boy Peter Vincenti, from Stevenage, was not in the 18.
Halifax had not conceded a goal in 629 minutes ahead of kick-off, yet it took the Stags just seven minutes to make the break through.
Pressure from Duffy forced a mistake from Danny Lowe. Louis Briscoe seized possession, thrust past his marker and rifled an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
It was a near-perfect start and Briscoe was not too far from doubling the lead when he drilled narrowly wide from a tight angle.
The Shaymen also had their moments as Aksalu smothered former Hucknall and Eastwood striker Danny Holland's shot at close quarters.
As half-time approached, the Stags could have twice netted a second, but Paul Connor headed over after good work from Paul Stonehouse and Rob Duffy before the latter shot straight at Hedge.
After the restart, Grand went close when his header from a Kyle Nix free-kick clipped the top of the bar.
But as the half wore on, Mansfield suffered from giving the ball away too easily in midfield areas. Substitutes Luke Medley and Lee Gregory also struggled to hold up the ball as effectively as the men who they replaced.
It meant they had to survive one or two scares, particularly when Dean had appeals for a penalty waved away after a coming together with Rhys Day and Aksalu produced his moment of brilliance.
Medley then somehow missed a one-on-one, which would have quelled stoppage time nerves, augmented by the Stags' late concession in their previous game against Darlington.
This time, though, there was no dramatic ending.
A first win in six will, no doubt, give Mansfield a much-needed injection of confidence going into Saturday's home clash with high-flying Crawley.
A cup run would be enjoyable, but an upturn in league form is what all connected with the club really want.
Match facts: FC Halifax v Mansfield Town
FC Halifax Town: Hedge, Hardy, Bower, Hogan, Lowe, Vardy (Metcalfe 66), Baker, Phelan (Marshall 77), Garner (Taylor 46), Dean, Holland. Subs not used: Senior, Gray, Riley.
Mansfield: Aksalu, Cook, Day, Grand, Stonehouse, Briscoe, Nix, Murray, Smith (Thompson 90+3), Duffy (Gregory 53), Connor (Medley 72). Subs not used: Collett, Istead, Foster, Silk.
Referee: Dean Mohareb (Cheshire).
Goal: Mansfield: Briscoe (7).
Shots on target: FC Halifax 6 Mansfield 3.
Shots off target: FC Halifax 10 Mansfield 5.
Fouls: FC Halifax 13 Mansfield 9.
Corners: FC Halifax 9 Mansfield 7.
Offsides: FC Halifax 5 Mansfield 1.
Bookings: FC Halifax 3 (Phelan, 45, unsporting behaviour; Vardy, 56, unsporting behaviour; Holland, 64, unsporting behaviour) Mansfield 1 (Nix, 30, foul).
Sendings off: FC Halifax 0 Mansfield 0.
Mansfield's man of the match: Simon Grand. The central defender did not disappoint after being given a chance to prove himself. Excellent in the air and more often than not positioned himself in the right place to deal with the threat of the lively James Dean and Danny Holland.
Sat 23 Oct 2010
FC Halifax Town's FA Cup adventure came to an end with a 1-0 defeat in the fourth qualifying round for the second successive season against Mansfield Town.
Halifax put in gutsy performance and pushed the Blue Square North side to the limit, but the visitors held on to record their third consecutive FA Cup win over The Shaymen.
Town showed just one change from Tuesday night's 1-0 win against Bradford Park Avenue, with Simon Garner replacing Nathan Taylor in midfield, although that switch would be reversed at half-time.
After a bright first few minutes, the party atmosphere was suddenly punctured on 7 minutes when Danny Lowe, who played against Mansfield in the 2007 FA Cup for Harrogate Railway, took too strong a touch on the ball and let in Louis Briscoe, who fired the ball over the dive of Hedge to ripple the net unexpectedly early.
Town looked as shocked as everyone else for a couple of minutes, but positive moments from James Dean and Jamie Vardy helped the crowd find their voice again, with the fervent atmosphere quickly restored around The Shay with Town getting an A for effort, but just lacking a bit of composure compared to their higher league opponents.
Briscoe shot low across goal after eleven minutes as the visitors threatened to double their lead before a bustling run by Vardy after quarter of an hour led to a shot by Dean getting blocked.
The hosts' reaction to going behind was improving all the time, with Holland next to go close when Liam Hogan's long-ball was misjudged by debutant Simon Grand, but the striker's pull back was cleared.
Vardy continued to be The Shaymen's main outlet down the right, with Dean and Holland making their presence felt up-front. And perhaps Town's best chance of the first-half fell to Holland after Scott Phelan executed a Paul Gascoigne-style lob over a Mansfield challenge before playing a perfect chip into his team-mate's path, but the striker's shot rolled wide and just out Dean's reach at the far post.
While Halifax were more than holding their own, the bigger chances fell to Mansfield, with Paul Connor nearly sealing an impressive first 45 minutes with a header inside the box from Rob Duffy's knock back, but it looped just over the bar.
The introduction of Nathan Taylor at the interval was perhaps an indication of Neil Aspin's thinking that, on reflection of the first-half, the gap between the two sides was far from insurmountable.
Town set about the second-half in determined fashion despite Grand hitting the bar from a free-kick, with Vardy just arriving too late at the back post to convert Tom Baker's cross before Baker himself tried to back flick Dean's cross past Aksalu, but the Estonian 'keeper saved it on the line.
Then the referee suddenly became the centre of attention as he booked Vardy for 'diving' when he'd clearly been fouled and awarding a certain Town free-kick the other way, provoking the ire of the home fans.
Just when it seemed the hosts were getting on top, even the referee was conspiring against them, with the fact that Vardy limped away from the challenge proof of his innocence.
When Mr. Mohareb then rejected strong appeals for a penalty soon afterwards for a push on Dean by Rhys Day, he only served to add fuel to the fire, which was practically an inferno when Danny Holland was also booked for 'diving' despite appearing to be kicked in the shin.
The stop-start nature of the game also hampered any momentum Halifax tried to build, but Aspin's men couldn't be faulted for commitment as they attempted to keep their FA Cup hopes alive.
While their hopes appeared to be fading as the second-half went on, the final few minutes saw a frenetic spell of pressure on the Mansfield goal, with James Dean coming agonisingly close when he headed Scott Metcalfe's cross goalwards, but Aksalu pulled off a miraculous save to tip the ball onto the post and wide with the home fans waiting for the net to bulge.
Substitute Luke Medley inexplicably missed a golden opportunity at the other end against the run of play when clean through on goal, but it proved inconsequential as Town's effort failed to produce a deserved equaliser and the narrow defeat to Wrexham at the same stage last year came back to haunt them, with The Shaymen suffering their first home defeat for a year.
Halifax: Hedge, Hardy, Lowe, Baker, Bower ©, Hogan, Vardy (Metcalfe 66), Phelan (Marshall 77), Dean, Holland, Garner (Taylor 45). Subs Not Used: Senior, Gray, Riley.
Shots On Target: 4
Shots Off Target: 11
Mansfield: Aksalu, Cook, Day ©, Grand, Stonehouse, Nix, Murray, Briscoe, Smith (Thompson 90), Duffy (Gregory 54), Connor (Medley 72). Subs Not Used: Foster, Collett, Silk, Istead.
Goalscorers: Briscoe (7)
Shots On Target: 3
Shots Off Target: 6
FC Halifax Town 0 Mansfield Town 1: Battling Town denied again
halifaxcourier.co.uk, By Dave Fletcher
FOR the second season in a row Town's FA Cup dreams were ended by a single goal.
Twelve months ago it was a late strike from Wrexham, on Saturday an early one from Mansfield.
But yet again the Shaymen can be proud of their efforts against a full time outfit whose main aim is a return to the Football League.
Town were off the pace in the opening 45 minutes, ponderous on the ball and turning over far too much possession.
But they were the better side by a distance after the break and might have taken the tie to a replay had the Mansfield keeper not got his fingertips to a James Dean header three minutes from time.
Before that, the Shaymen probably realised it was not going to be their day when both Danny Holland and Jamie Vardy were booked for dives which clearly weren't.
Mansfield had a couple of early free kicks, but the Shaymen dealt comfortably with both of Kyle Nix's deliveries.
Holland smacked a free kick into a Stags wall that was never 10 yards back before Scott Phelan's left footed effort was claimed by Mihkel Aksalu in the visitors' goal.
Simon Garner's right wing corner was cleared back to him and when he sent the cross to the far post Dean volleyed wide.
The Stags broke through in the sixth minute after Danny Lowe lost possession on the left. Louis Briscoe picked the ball up and found himself free before hammering his shot into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
Holland's flick at the other end found Dean, but he was unable to hit the target with a left footed shot on the turn.
But Mansfield were starting to look a confident outfit and, when the Shaymen failed to fully clear a corner, Briscoe flashed an effort across goal and wide.
Halifax appeared to be settling as they strung some passes together.
Liam Hogan, Tom Baker and Vardy combined to create a chance for Dean, whose well struck shot was blocked.
And when Aaron Hardy's long clearance bounced over a defender, Danny Holland got in but was denied by the keeper, who was quick to race off his line.
The Shaymen then broke well through Dean after defending another corner, but Baker's 30-yarder never troubled Aksalu.
Steve Cook's speculative effort from 30 yards was sliced behind by Mark Bower and Danny Lowe slid in brilliantly to deny Adam Murray soon after.
Town's best chance came 10 minutes before the break when Hogan did well before Phelan lifted a pass over the top for Holland.
He controlled on the right before sending a shot across the face of goal - just in front of Dean - and wide of the far post.
But Mansfield should have been two-up on the stroke of half time as they created a couple more openings.
The first came from a Briscoe cross that was headed back across goal by John Duffy only for Paul Connor to head over.
And a minute later Duffy had a great chance 15 yards out but his weakly hit shot went straight into Jonathan Hedge's arms.
The Shaymen had a let off three minutes after the break when Simon Grand rose well to meet a Nix free kick only to see his header go over off the bar.
At the other end, Dean helped the ball on to Vardy who cut in from the left, but fired a shot against a defender and Baker's deep cross from the right was met at the far post by Vardy who, on the stretch, volleyed over.
Town were fighting hard and Aksalu knew nothing of the save that he made after 54 minutes when a Baker flick from a Dean cross deflected into his body off a defender.
Vardy was booked for a dive, when he had clearly been brought down, in the 55th minute and spent the next five minutes hobbling round to prove it.
And the Shaymen had good claims for a penalty when Dean appeared to be bundled over by Rhys Day as he tried to get on the end of a Lowe cross.
Bizarrely, Holland was also cautioned for diving when he had been clattered by Day in the 63rd minute.
Two minutes later Vardy succumbed to the injury he picked up when he 'dived' and it appeared it was not going to be the Shaymen's day.
Phelan volleyed high over the bar from 20 yards after the Stags had cleared Hardy's ball into the box.
But Halifax were becoming increasingly frustrated by both their inability to find a way through and increasingly erratic refereeing.
Baker's 71st minute cross was flicked off the head of Holland by Grand and the keeper saved comfortably when Baker tried to beat him at his near post from a free kick moments later.
Former Shay loanee Lee Gregory headed wide on a rare Mansfield foray into the Halifax half.
But the Shaymen returned to the attack, Holland sending a free kick 20 yards out on the left over the Mansfield bar.
Halifax thought they had levelled with three minutes remaining when Metcalfe crossed from deep and Dean launched himself at the ball.
He made a perfect connection six yards out, but Aksalu reacted and tipped it against the post.
It was close, but not close enough as the Shaymen were unable to find a way through in the remaining minutes.
Latest | October 2010