HARD EARNED VICTORY FOR STAGS OVER BOSTON
Mansfield Town 2 - 1 Boston United
Mendes 32, 51. Wetherstone 27
Att: 5,161 (610 from Boston)
Martin Shaw at Field Mill
Mansfield Town earned an important victory over Boston United at Field Mill this afternoon thanks to a hard-working performance and two cracking goals from Junior Mendes.
Stagsnet Report continues in the Match Centre.
14 Goal Attempts 4
9 On target 3
4 Off target 1
1 Woodwork 0
8 Corners 2
7 Fouls 12
1 Offside 1
Press Association report:
FT: Mansfield 2 Boston Utd 1
Mansfield came from behind to claim three valuable points in a 2-1 win against in-form Boston thanks to two-goal hero Junior Mendes.
The Pilgrims had gone six games unbeaten before their visit to Field Mill and should have got something from an out-of-sorts Mansfield.
Botson took the lead just before the half-hour when Simon Rusk's cross was smashed home by Simon Weatherstone after a mistake by David Artell.
But their lead lasted only a matter of minutes before Mendes shrugged off two challenges to blast home from Liam Lawrence's through-ball.
Soon after the break Mendes headed a second from Lawrence's cross.
Stuart Balmer forced a good save from Kevin Pilkington for the visitors on the hour and Weatherstone headed over from Ben Chapman's cross as they searched for an equaliser.
Stags hit back to sink Pilgrims
JUNIOR Mendes netted twice as Stags came from behind to pull off a gritty 2-1 win over in-form Boston United at Field Mill this afternoon.
Simon Weatherstone had put Boston ahead on 21 minutes as they looked to extend a sequence of four wins and two draws in their previous six games.
But Mendes levelled six minutes later - the first time Boston's defence had been breached in 258 minutes of football. And the same player netted the winner six minutes after the break.
The first half was a scrappy affair with Boston also having a goal ruled out for offside.
But Mansfield dominated the second and should have been comfier winners, having to endure two late Boston chances and three nervous minutes of added time.
Stags boss Keith Curle said: "Boston made it hard for us as I knew they would.
"They tried to play narrow which meant our two wide men were playing outside the game and our middle two couldn't get a grip on the second ball.
"Half time came at the right time for us as we were able to reshuffle, reorganise and get some balance.
"But I always thought we had enough to win the game.
"Bringing Tom Curtis on at half-time was important. Not taking anything away from Neil MacKenzie but we needed someone out there who could influence the players around him as it wasn't a game in which we had that much time on the ball.
"We are firmly back on track now. Those who thought we were suffering a blip when we lost two games have to remember we have now won six out of eight League games.
"There is a belief in our changing room. For the first time since I came here, when Boston got that injury time corner I knew I had players out there that would get a head on it for me.
"I was pleased for Junior to score twice as he worked so hard last week without getting a goalscoring opportunity."
After a seven-game absence Hassell returned to the side after recovering from his ankle injury with Dimech dropping to the substitute's bench. Otherwise the team was unchanged with youngster Beardsley surprisingly on the bench ahead of out-of-favour Iyseden Christie.
There was good news for the Stags when veteran Boston star Neil Redfearn did not arrive, apparently out with illness, though rumours continued to link him with the manager's job at Macclesfield.
The early minutes were very scrappy. But Stags threatened first on seven minutes when Lawrence found Hassell overlapping and he drilled the ball in hard and low. Keeper Bastock was quickly at the feet of Mendes and the ball rolled harmlessly wide.
Boston mounted a raid down the right but Pilkington was out his box quickly to clear ahead of Jones.
Vaughan was booked in the 11th minute for a nasty tackle on Ellender in the centre circle.
Corden won a free kick just outside the box in Stags' next raid and Lawrence rolled the kick into the path of Mackenzie who was unlucky to see his firm low drive flash narrowly wide of the left hand upright.
Pilkington and Day got in a mess as Jones tried to reach a through ball, both leaving it for each other and Pilkington eventually toe-poking it clear.
Boston did have the ball in the net on 21 minutes as Duffield tucked away after a fine Thompson pass but were thwarted by an offside flag.
A minute later Corden forced a good save from Bastock with a low shot from 18 yards that he had to turn round his post.
Boston had the ball in the net again on 27 minutes and this time there was no rescue for Stags.
Artell tried to clear Rusk's cross from the right but the ball went straight into the path of Weatherstone who blasted his finish past Pilkington.
However, Stags were level within six minutes. Lawrence sent Mendes through with a pass down the right and the striker showed his pace to go clear before cracking home a superb low shot across Bastock and inside the far post.
Three minutes later Mendes again got in a loow shot from the right but Bastock was down well this time to save.
Weatherstone did well to beat Pilkington to a bouncing ball and hooked it over the keeper's head in front of goal where Artell was quick to clear.
Stags needed to boss the midfield more and Curtis replaced MacKenzie for the second half.
Boston suffered a blow within three minutes as the dangerous Jones went off injured, Douglas coming on as substitute.
Stags had not started the second half well but carved out a goal on 51 minutes.
Hassell set up Lawrence on the right for a superb far post cross which Mendes headed firmly past Bastock.
And they might have extended that lead twice within a couple of minutes.
First Larkin brought a brilliant save out of the keeper, forcing him to turn round a curling shot bound for the top corner.
And, from the corner, Boston could only clear as far as Vaughan who put the ball back into the box.
Mendes sent a firm shot at goal which was cleared off the line. And, as some of the Stags players were calling for a penalty for handball, Lawrence blasted the loose ball well over the bar.
Boston threatened down the left with a fast counter-attack shortly after but Vaughan reached Weatherstone's low cross before the incoming Douglas.
Then a Williamson cross-cum-shot from wide on the left almost crept inside the far post.
As Stags kept possession on then left, Rusk felled Vaughan to earn a booking.
Stags had a let-off on 79 minutes as Chapman's fine cross from the left offered Weatherstone a free header from 10 yards which he put over.
A minute later at the other end Vaughan met a Lawrence corner with a firm header to bring a superb reaction save from Bastock.
Beardsley replaced Larkin in the Mansfield attack for the last nine minutes.
Williamson sent Mendes on his way down then left after switching play to the left And he skipped past three challenges before crossing low to the far post where Beardsley, at full stretch, could only hook into the side netting.
Three nervous minutes of time were added on, stretched when Curtis and Douglas suffered a clash of heads.
And Stags were forced to defend a late, late corner before the whistle finally blew.
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