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GREEN HAT-TRICK AS STAGS WIN 5-2
24th February 2012 10:29


Mansfield Town 5-2 Darlington
Dempster 14, Green 43, 70, 75 pen, Briscoe 86. Bridge-Wilkinson 2, McReady 72.
Att 1697 (80 from Darlington)

Stagsnet/StagsPlayer text commentary:

Stags make one change from the side that started at Newport, with Paul Edwards in for Riley. Edwards was the Stagsnet man of the match for his second half performance at Newport, while Riley got a rating of 4. On the bench: Redmond, Riley, Briscoe, Meikle, Matt Rhead.

So: Marriott; O'Neill, Dempster, Sutton, Edwards; Dyer, Murray, Roberts, Smith; Hutchinson, Green. Subs: Redmond, Riley, Briscoe, Meikle, Rhead.

Darlo: Pickford, Arnison, Keltie, Taylor, Bowman, McReady, Ferguson, Bagnall, Ramshaw, Harrison, Bridge-Wilkinson. Subs: Nixon, Lambert, Barton, Rundle, Hopson.

Dave Rhodes tweets: twitter.com/radiorhodes "#stags FM update: Club determined to have a ten year lease in place by March. I understand buying FM will be sorted later. 10 year priority. Negotiations have been slow in recent weeks due to Mr Radford being out of the country. Told things will pick up soon"

2 mins 0-1 Bridge-Wilkinson header from 6 yards after neat ball from McReady. Goal well-worked, Stags defence static.

14 1-1 Dempster powerfully heads in from Luke O'Neill free kick. First attempt on goal.

15 Stags appeal for handball in the box, ref waves away appeals.

19 Dyer dreadful effort well wide; may have got a bobble.

22 Darlington effort from distance lands on roof of net.

Stags playing 4-4-2 though Hutchinson dropping back when Stags defending and Green left on his own up front.

29 O'Neill free kick from 25 yards is four yards wide. Roberts wanted to take it, but O'Neill appealed to the Stags bench who instructed O'Neill to take it.

37 Murray shot following free kick is blocked, Murray appeals for penalty in vain.

43 2-1 Green left footed into the top left corner. 19th of the season for Green.

45 Murray hits both posts - hits right post and goes along line and hits left post. Unbelievable.

HT 2-1

20:52

HT Sub: Briscoe for Hutchinson

46 Good play by Briscoe, and Smith sidefoots straight at keeper. What an opportunity.

48 Terrific cross from Briscoe, just misses Dyer. Urgency about the Stags now.

50 Green through on goal, but its parried for a corner.

60 Bridge-Wilkinson looks to be through, but a late flag rescues the Stags.

Darlington having a good 5 minutes.

70 3-1 Green steps inside one challenge and scores. Made it look very easy. 20th goal of the season.

71 Ryan Bowman misses a free header from 3 yards for Darlington. What a miss.

72 Meikle for Smith

72 3-2 McReady scores a brilliant solo goal.

75 4-2 Matt Green brought down. Penalty. Green scores. Hat-trick. 21st of the season.

Att 1697 (80 from Darlington)

80 Meikle shoots wide after a good move.

81 Bridge-Wilkinson shoots wide from 8 yards.

86 5-2 Ball played through, Briscoe smashes it into the net.

88 Rhead for Dyer

90+1 Roberts free kick hits the top of the stand!!

FT 5-2

Kidderminster lose. Stags 3 points behind the play-off positions with a game in hand, and 2 points behind sixth with no games in hand.

------------------------------------------------

mansfieldtown.net report - Andrew Webb reports from Field Mill

Matt Green grabbed his first hat-trick for Mansfield Town as the Stags came from behind to take all three points in an entertaining game at Field Mill.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/page/MatchReport/0,,10325~60324,00.html

Paul Cox's men fell behind early on when Marc Bridge Wilkinson nodded the Quakers ahead, but Green's hat-trick, along with goals from John Dempster and Louis Briscoe, proved more than enough to earn the win.

Victory also maintains the Stags 100% home record at Field Mill in 2012 and will give supporters renewed hope that the club can reach the end of season play-offs.

One change was made to the team that were defeated by Newport County on Saturday as Paul Edwards was handed his first start in favour of Martin Riley.

Only three minutes of the game had elapsed when Darlington stunned the Stags by taking an early lead thanks to Bridge-Wilkinson.

The goal came about after Rob Ramshaw's heavy right-wing cross reached David Ferguson in the penalty area, allowing Ferguson the chance to head the ball across the six-yard box and straight into the path of Bridge-Wilkinson who found the net with ease.

Mansfield struggled to respond and only moments later John McReady skipped past Dempster on the edge of the box after a mazy run through the middle, but just as the youngster was about to unleash a shot on goal Ritchie Sutton managed to avert the danger with a strong challenge.

Adam Smith was unable to find the target with the Stags first shooting opportunity as his speculative drive from distance drifted high over Jordan Pickford's goal.

Nevertheless, on 15 minutes Cox's team were back on level terms. Luke O'Neill's perfectly floated free-kick reached an unmarked John Dempster lurking inside the six-yard box, who powerfully headed home despite Pickford's desperate attempts to keep the ball out.

Ross Dyer scuffed a shot wide five minutes later, before both Ramshaw and Clark Keltie fired over Alan Marriott's crossbar at the other end.

On the half-hour mark, O'Neill tried his luck with a centrally positioned free-kick about 25 yards out after Ben Hutchinson was fouled. However, his shot lacked accuracy and Pickford wasn't called into action.

Both teams opted to take a conservative approach in the minutes leading up to the half-time interval, meaning that clear cut chances were few and far between.

Four minutes before the break, a speculative downfield punt almost caught out Edwards as it found Ramshaw deep on the inside right. The Darlington man crafted his way into a shooting position, but ultimately flashed a disappointing half-volley wide of the target to spare Edwards' blushes.

As the game meandered towards half-time without incident, the Stags set about on an attack that resulted in Matt Green notching up his 19th goal of the season.

Adam Murray's cross from the right wing found Hutchinson, who battled hard and played a short pass for Green which the striker hammered into the roof of the net from close range to leave the visitors stunned.

Sixty seconds later, Murray could have grabbed a goal himself to further extend the Stags lead.

Following some intricate work from Hutchinson and Green, the Stags skipper received the ball and turned his marker inside but hit a low shot that ricocheted off both posts without crossing the line, before Pickford was able to bring an end to the danger.

Briscoe replaced Hutchinson at the break and almost created a goal within seconds of the re-start as it was his pass that found Smith advancing into the area, but a tame effort was blocked by a back-peddling defender, before eventually being cleared.

Green almost found himself clean through on goal following Gary Roberts' lofted ball over the top, but Kris Taylor produced a perfectly timed challenge at the expense of the corner, which was disappointingly headed onto the roof of the net by Smith.

With an hour gone, Bridge-Wilkinson sneaked in behind the Stags defence and chipped a shot over Marriott that had to be hooked from the line by O'Neill - even though an offside flag would have saved the Stags had the ball gone in.

Paul Arnison's long throw forced Marriott to punch the ball away the danger as Darlo enjoyed a prolonged spell of possession against the backdrop of a nervous Field Mill crowd.

On 70 minutes, Green found himself on a one-on-one with Pickford following O'Neill's teasing ball down the right. Bearing down on goal, Green turned Scott Harrison inside-out before hitting a left-foot shot past Pickford to chalk up his 20th goal of the season.

Darlington almost replied immediately when Liam Bagnall's pinpoint cross was met by the head of Ryan Bowman, but somehow the former Carlisle United striker delivered a wayward header that went across the face of goal.

McReady didn't waste an opportunity that came his way a minute later though. His jerking run through the heart of the Mansfield defence came to an end when he produced a low right-footed shot that evaded Marriott and halved the Stags advantage.

By this point what had been a relatively quiet affair was becoming a thrilling contest and there was more drama when the hosts were awarded a penalty after Green was fouled by Keltie inside the box.

Green stepped up and sent Pickford the wrong way with his spot-kick to grab his first hat-trick since joining the club in August and effectively seal all three points.

With 76 minutes played, Keltie was booked for a strong challenge on Roberts, before Adam Rundle replaced Bowman in a tactical change for the visitors.

Further gloss was added to the scoreline in the final five minutes when Briscoe reached the end of a long ball that was flicked on by Dyer. Charging down on goal, Briscoe unleashed a thunderous strike into the top corner that gave Pickford absolutely no chance.

Matt Rhead was given his home debut in the final few minutes as he replaced Dyer, but the night will be remembered for a win that will give Stags supporters renewed hope of reaching the end of season play-offs.

Attendance: 1,697 (80 away supporters).

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Mansfield Town 5 Darlington 2, Tuesday 21st February chad.co.uk report

SHARPSHOOTER Matt Green's first hat-trick for the club helped Stags quickly banish their weekend Welsh woes and destroy crisis club Darlington at Field Mill.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-fc/mansfield_town_5_darlington_2_tuesday_21st_february_1_4270432

But the North-East crisis club, in administration and heavy debt, made Mansfield fight all the way, grabbing a third minute lead, quickly pulling back to 3-2 after going 3-1 down and showing great spirit for a side well behind on their wages.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's strike set the tone for a tough first half for Stags in which they had to dig in hard to level through John Dempster, signing off in style from his three-month loan from Crawley, and then edge ahead through Green just before the break.

The introduction of Louis Briscoe saw Stags start to fire on all cylinders in an exciting second half as three goals rained in inside four minutes, Green taking his season's tally to 21, before Briscoe crowned a superb cameo with a goal of his own near the end.

After Saturday's poor display at Newport, this result was just the tonic Mansfield needed as they begin a crucial spell of three successive home games, moving to eighth, three points off the play-offs with a game in hand.

For Darlington it was a ninth game without victory and they still face an uncertain future.

Darlington stunned the home side with a goal with the first attack of the game on three minutes.

Ramshaw sent a long cross to the far post from wide on the right, picking out Ferguson who put the ball back into the centre where Bridge-Wilkinson popped up right in front of goal to head home from close range.

Almost immediately McReady threatened to jinx his way through the centre with men over either side of him. Dempster couldn't halt him but Sutton got a crucial tackle in just inside the box.

In reply Smith cut inside and fired harmlessly over on seven minutes.

However, on 15 minutes Stags levelled from a free kick awarded 30 yards from goal to the right of the box after Hutchinson was tripped.

O'Neill floated it perfectly into the danger zone where Dempster happily snapped up a powerful free header from five yards at the far post with keeper Pickford getting a hand to it but unable to keep it out.

The goal settled the home side down and in the next raid Dyer came inside from the right before fluffing his finish, sending a mis-hit bobbling shot wide of the near post.

Ramshaw sent a dipping effort over Marriott's bar from 30 yards when Stags failed to clear a bouncing ball quickly enough.

Then when Taylor was allowed to run, finally setting up Keltie for a first time shot wide well off target from 25 yards.

When Hutchinson again drew a foul 25 yards from goal in a more central position, O'Neill wasn't too far away as he curled his kick over the wall and just wide of the left post.

Edwards was almost caught out four minutes from the break when a long hopeful forward ball from inside the Darlington half saw the left back slow to see Ramshaw racing in and beating him to a ball he was favourite to get to but thankfully fire a low shot wide to spare his blushes.

It hadn't been the best of halves for Stags but they did finally edge their way in front a minute from the break.

Murray's initial cross from the right was not as sweet as he would have wanted as the ball bobbled, sending it higher than needed into the box.

But Dyer was there first to find Hutchinson and his neat lay-off offered Green a relatively simple finish as he picked out the top right hand corner.

Murray almost added a third a minute later with a good turn just inside the box and a low shot that hit the left post, rolled along the goal line and, unluckily, also hit the right post without managing to cross the line.

Briscoe emerged for the second half in place of Hutchinson with Dyer pushed up front.

And he almost immediately created a goal as he slid in to win the ball just outside the box and roll it to his left towards Smith who wanted too long before trying what was a tame finish that was blocked.

Then Dyer just failed to get on the end of a wicked Briscoe cross in front of goal.

Roberts almost managed to thread Green clean through the centre, Taylor coming up with a well-timed tackle. And from O'Neill's corner, Smith's backheader dropped onto the top of the net.

There was a moment's worry on the hour as Ramshaw helped the ball on to Bridge-Wilkinson who flicked it over the advancing Marriott. But O'Neill was there to kick away before it crossed the line and then a raised offside flag meant it wouldn't have counted anyway.

But suddenly the visitors had the bit between their teeth again and Stags looked nervy with their single goal advantage.

They desperately needed a third - and it came on 70 minutes courtesy of hot shot Green.

O'Neill sent a teasing ball over the defence down the middle and Green showed typical acceleration to burst onto it and check onto his left foot for a crisp low finish for goal 20 of the season.

But a minute later the Quakers should have pulled a goal back as Bowman, unmarked at the far post, guided a completely free header wide of the target from three yards from Bagnall's pinpoint cross from the right.

Stags quickly sent on Meikle in place of Smith.

But seconds later the visitors grabbed themselves a lifeline as McReady dribbled his way through the middle of the defence to tuck away a finish to cap a quite brilliant solo effort.

But that stung Stags back into action and when Green pulled his foot back to get on the end of a Briscoe cross, Keltie failed to get a touch on the ball as he upended him.

Greem stepped up and confidently found the bottom left corner, giving Pickford no chance, as a third goal in four minutes found the net in what was becoming a thrilling second half.

Soon after Keltie took his frustration out via a nasty lunge on Roberts to earn the night's first yellow card on 76 minutes.

Meikle wasn't far wide from 18 yards for the home side while Ramshaw guided a first time effort just wide from a half-cleared cross, then Marriott had to reach up to grab an on-target header from Harrison as Darlington refused to give in.

But Briscoe slammed the final nail on their coffin on 86 minutes as Dyer helped on a long forward ball and Briscoe beat Pickford with a finish that almost burst the net from 10 yards before celebrating wildly with the Quarry Lane fans.

STAGS: Marriott; O'Neill, Dempster, Sutton, Edwards; Dyer (Rhead 90), Murray, Roberts, Smith (Meikle 72); Hutchinson (Briscoe ht), Green. Subs: Redmond, Riley.

DARLINGTON: Pickford, Arnison, Keltie (Lambert 85), Taylor, Bowman (Rundle 81), McReady, Ferguson, Bagnall, Ramshaw, Harrison, Bridge-Wilkinson. Subs:
Nixon, Barton, Hopson.

REFEREE:

ATTENDANCE: 1,697 (80)

SCORELINE: Stags - Dempster, 15; Green, 44, 70, 75pen; Briscoe 86.
Darlington - Bridge-Wilkinson, 3; McReady 72.

BOOKINGS: Darlington - Kelti 76, Bridge-Wilkinson 90.

STAGS MAN OF MATCH: Green

----------------

Green bags a treble as Stags get back on track
Nottingham Post report by Matt Halfpenny

COMETH the hour, cometh Matt Green – certainly as far as Mansfield Town are concerned this season.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15291918-detail/story.html

There have been so many occasions when the predatory striker's goals have been so key to his side's fortunes in a brilliant 2011-12 to date.

Never was that the case more than last night when a first hat-trick in amber and blue was pivotal in helping the stuttering Stags claim an important victory.

A third home win in a row was never guaranteed, despite Darlington's well-publicised financial troubles.

Indeed, for much of the game the Quakers gave an excellent account of themselves and such a heavy defeat was rough justice on them.

But after a spell in the doldrums at Oxford United, he has been buzzing ever since moving north in August – and Darlington could not hold him.

He slammed home his 19th, 20th and 21st goals of a prolific season just when Mansfield were wobbling, securing a third home victory in a row.

It meant that despite not being at their best, the home side found the perfect response to their weekend defeat at Newport.

Despite that 1-0 setback in South Wales, manager Paul Cox resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes and instead made just one.

Paul Edwards was drafted in at left-back, meaning Luke O'Neill moved across to right-back and Ritchie Sutton into the middle of the defence alongside John Dempster, with Martin Riley making way.

Yet Mansfield were stunned as Darlington went in front after just three minutes.

Rob Ramshaw's cross from the right wing was slightly over-hit but played quickly back into the near post by David Ferguson for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson to head home from close range.

It might have been 2-0 seconds later as John McReady, in acres of space, chose to go it alone when he had a better placed team-mate and was eventually dispossessed by Sutton.

However, the Stags were back on level terms with 15 minutes gone from a set piece that came from a foul on Ben Hutchinson.

O'Neill swung over an inviting far post delivery and as the Darlington defence went to sleep, Dempster was left unmarked to nod home his third goal for Mansfield from just inside the six-yard box, despite keeper Jordan Pickford getting a touch.

Ross Dyer might have tested Pickford soon after but he dragged his shot horribly wide from the edge of the box after cutting in from the right flank.

Casual defending from the hosts was almost punished midway through the half when Ramshaw tried his luck with a dipping volley that beat Marriott but landed on the roof of the net.

An oversight by Edwards let in Ramshaw through the right channel with half-time approaching but his resulting shot failed to test Alan Marriott.

But the Stags went in front in the 44th minute – with a goal that had a touch of good fortune about it.

Skipper Adam Murray sliced his cross from the right high into the air, but Dyer made the best of the situation by battling to win the flick.

Hutchinson was backing him up and had the presence of mind to pick out Matt Green whose 12-yard short found the roof of the net.

In the dying seconds on the half, Murray could not have come much closer to putting Mansfield 3-1 ahead and giving them a cushion as he turned adroitly on the edge of the area to get off a low shot that struck first one post and then the other before rebounding straight to Pickford.

The Stags made a change at the break when Louis Briscoe replaced Hutchinson and he immediately slid the ball into the path of Adam Smith whose shot was blocked after he dithered too long.

The home crowd were relieved on the hour mark as Bridge-Wilkinson lobbed over Marriott only to be denied by a clearance from O'Neill, although an offside flag had already been raised.

Darlington, though, were not about to give up and a tense atmosphere enveloped Field Mill as the visitors enjoyed a prolonged spell of possession.

The third goal the hosts craved came in the 70th minute – and it was that man Green who provided it. He raced onto O'Neill's long ball forward, turned his marker inside out and drilled under Pickford with his left foot.

That was not the end of the drama as within two minutes, Darlington had reduced the arrears.

Mansfield were given a warning as Liam Bagnall picked out Ryan Bowman unmarked in the six-yard box and he somehow headed wide.

But that was not heeded and McReady took advantage to run unchecked through the Mansfield backline and drilled just inside the left-hand post from 12 yards.

However, the two-goal lead was restored in the 75th minute by Green. A hungry looking Briscoe fired in a cross that the striker took it on his chest, only to be tripped by Clark Keltie.

Green dusted himself down, picked himself up and found the left-hand corner precisely with a low kick that gave Pickford no chance.

Still the Quakers did not surrender and Scott Harrison went close with a header before Briscoe sealed the points with a ten-yard strike from Dyer's flick on – a goal he celebrated with unadulterated glee.

But it was Green who took the man of the match plaudits and rightly so. Not for the first time either.

Mansfield: Marriott, O'Neill, Sutton, Dempster, Edwards, Murray, Roberts, Hutchinson (Briscoe 46), Dyer (Rhead 90), Green, Smith (Meikle 72). Subs not used: Redmond, Riley.

Darlington: Pickford, Arnison, Keltie (Lambert 85), Taylor, Bowman (Rundle 81), McReady, Ferguson, Bagnall, Ramshaw, Harrison, Bridge-Wilkinson. Subs not used: Nixon, Barton, Hopson.

Referee: Rob Merchant (Stoke-on-Trent).

Attendance: 1,697 (80 visitors)

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Quakers trampled by Stags
thenorthernecho.co.uk, By Craig Stoddart, Deputy Sports Editor

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/football/darlington/9544691.Quakers_trampled_by_Stags/

DARLINGTON suffered their heaviest defeat of the season when they lost 5-2 at Mansfield Town, yet there is renewed hope as the team put in a spirited display worthy of much more than a heavy loss.

It was their third defeat in eight days and they remain fifth-bottom, yet this was easily their best display in recent weeks and it saw them applauded from the field by the Mansfield fans.

They had seen their play-off chasing team given a tough test by Quakers who, while losing at Field Mill, simultaneously saw the total raised by the share-selling initiative head closer to the £250,000 mark.

Reaching that figure will enable the club to exit administration and allow Craig Liddle to make additions to a team who, although vastly improved on Saturday's defeat to Alfreton, are inexperienced and badly in need of a striker.

However, Darlington got off to a remarkable start with one of their rookie players, David Ferguson, marking his first senior start by teeing up a goal in the third minute.

Rob Ramshaw and John McReady combined on the right, Ramshaw swung the ball towards the far post where Ferguson returned the ball for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson to head past Alan Marriott from close-range.

Bridge-Wilkinson's sixth goal of the season made it a fantastic opening to the match for Quakers who were low on confidence following Saturday's disappointing defeat.

But by the quarter-hour mark the Stags were level with a close-range header of their own.

Ross Dyer's free-kick from the right was met at the far post by centre-back John Dempster who had evaded the Darlington defence.

It was a blow to Liddle's side, but his team quickly regained their composure against the play-off hopefuls.

Quakers started with a 5-3-2 formation that saw Paul Arnison used as a centre-back while, with midfielder Ramshaw was pushed up front alongside Bowman and the pair linked up nicely.

A Ramshaw dipping volley landed on the roof of the net after a lay-off from Bowman who has struck an isolated player recently, while Robshaw's battling qualities highlighted Mansfield's frailties.

They were less than convincing, but Marriott was rarely called into action in an otherwise encouraging first half for Darlington that almost ended with Ramshaw scoring.

He rifled a volley wide after being given too much space by Mansfield left-back Paul Edwards and that was the cue for restless home supporters beginning to jeer.

But they were soon cheering thanks to an unlikely goal with Matt Green making it 2-1.

The ball fell to him ten yards out after O'Neill's miscued cross and it was soon almost 3-1 as Adam Murray's shot that rebounded off the post before Jordan Pickford gathered.

The second half started with Mansfield again on the attack and only an Arnison block, when Adam Smith dallied on a shooting chance kept it at 2-1.

During a sustained spell of Darlington pressure, Bowman was felled in the penalty area but referee Rob Merchant played on.

It turned into a bright period for Quakers as they continued their play from before the break, but it was suddenly 3-1 with Green on the scoresheet for the second time.

The striker, who had a short loan spell with Darlington in 2007, latched on to Murray's ball over the top, evaded both Taylor and Scott Harrison to fire past Pickford.

It was harsh on Darlington and Bowman wasted an opportunity pull one back almost immediately when he headed a Bagnall cross wide.

Soon Quakers pulled one back, however.

McReady fine's 35-yard run saw him slice through midfield and waltz past a flat-footed Edwards before slotting past Mariott.

But then came the third goal inside six minutes, this time a penalty, conceded by Arnison for a foul on Green who completed his hat-trick and in doing so made it 4-2.

With ten minutes to go and two goals behind, Liddle sent on Adam Rundle and pushed Scott Harrison up front, but there was no late drama as it was the hosts who added to the scoreline.

After losing possession in midfield, Briscoe lashed home his team's fifth goal and surprisingly celebrated with the sort of jubilation normally reserved for a last-minute Wembley winner.

Despite the scoreline, it had been a valiant effort by Liddle's team

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Mansfield 5 Darlington 2
The Journal
DARLINGTON'S weaknesses were exposed again when they were beaten 5-2 at Field Mill to leave them above the Conference bottom four on goal difference.

Quakers played some good enterprising football at times, but they were beaten by the powerful Mansfield forwards, one of whom, Matt Green, scored a hat trick to take his goals tally for the season to 21.

Read More http://www.journallive.co.uk/newcastle-sports/football-news/non-league-football/2012/02/22/mansfield-5-darlington-2-61634-30379284/#ixzz1n6LEJF5i

Darlington manager Craig Liddle used a 5-3-2 formation for the first time, and it paid immediate dividends when Quakers took the lead after just three minutes.

John McReady crossed from the right for 17-year-old David Ferguson to turn back across goal for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson to head into the bottom corner.

But the lead didn't last long. Quakers lack height throughout their side, and the Stags exploited that weakness when Paul Murray swung a free-kick over to the far post where John Dempster headed firmly past Jordan Pickford.

Despite having the majority of the possession, Mansfield lacked the killer instinct inside the Darlington box, and Quakers, with Rob Ramshaw and Ryan Bowman up front posed danger, and nearly took the lead when McReady found Ramshaw in a good position, but the youngster blazed his shot wide from ten yards.

Mansfield took the lead just before the break, when Ross Dyer completely miscued his cross, but Ben Hutchinson still managed to head the ball down for Matt Green to fire into the top corner.

And it could have been worse for Quakers, if Murray's right-foot effort from ten yards hadn't hit the inside of both posts before ending up in Pickford's grateful hands.

Darlington kept battling away, but Mansfield went 3-1 up on 70 minutes when Green got away from Kris Taylor and scored with a left-foot shot.

After Ryan Bowman missed an easy header from a couple of yards, John McReady scored the goal of the game when he ran 40 yards past three defenders and beat Alan Marriott with a low shot, but Green almost immediately completed his hat-trick at the other end from the spot after he was brought down.

And Green again proved he was the difference between the two sides when he set up Louis Briscoe to blast the fifth near the end.

MANSFIELD: Marriott, O'Neill, Sutton, Dempster, Edwards, Smith (Meikle 71), Roberts, Murray, Dyer (Rhead 90), Hutchinson (Briscoe 46), Green.

Not Used: Redmond, Riley.

Goals: Dempster 15, Green 44,70,75 pen, Briscoe 86.

DARLINGTON: Pickford, Bagnall, Taylor, Harrison, Ferguson, Arnison, Ramshaw, Keltie (Lambert 85),McReady, Bridge-Wilkinson, Bowman (Rundle 81).

Not Used: Nixon, Barton, Hopson.

Booked: Keltie, Bridge-Wilkinson.

Goals: Bridge-Wilkinson 3,McReady 72.

Att: 1,697

Ref: Robert Merchant (Staffordshire)

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