Delighted Paul Cox says Mansfield Town have more to offer after Oxford United win

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Boss Paul Cox says there is much more to come from Mansfield Town after they beat Oxford United 2-1 to pick up their first win of the season.

Former Oxford player Adam Murray rifled a fierce effort from 16 yards past George Long to secure all three points for Stags with just two minutes left.

Mansfield had taken the lead on 39 minutes when the impressive Ryan Tafazolli fired into an empty net after Chris Clements’ long range free-kick had cracked against the post and fallen at his feet.

Substitute Danny Hylton scored from the spot to equalise for the lacklustre visitors after he had been fouled by Tafazolli on 78 minutes.

But Murray, who had been on the pitch for just three minutes, hit a memorable winner past long Long to the delight of the 2,600 Mansfield fans inside the stadium.

The result left boss Paul Cox full of praise for his injury-hit squad.

“It was good to get our first win of the season and the players deserve great credit,” said Cox.

“We played some good stuff today and the lads had lots of energy and worked their socks off. We showed excellent character to get back in front after the penalty.

“I am not going to say anything about the build up to the penalty or I will get in trouble. I just want to talk about the positives.

“We are still struggling with injuries and the lads have had to work really hard this week. It was a bit of a battle today and there was plenty of passion, it is what League Two is all about.”

“Ryan Tafazolli is getting better and better, he is massive for us right now. For him to go on to bigger and better things he needs to become consistent and that is what he is doing.

“The back three defended well today, but I thought we were also superb as a team and defended well from the front.”

“I was a little disappointed that we panicked a bit in the closing stages, but we showed great character to get ahead again.

“We need to improve our final ball and our movement, but there is more to come from this team.”

It was perhaps an even more impressive result after news that summer signing Liam Hearn is expected to be out until after Christmas broke just 90 minutes before kick-off.

Added Cox: “I feel gutted for Liam as does the whole dressing room. It was not the results that we wanted.

“It is not the same injury that he has had before. It was a nothing challenge and it was just one of those things. It is something we now have to deal with.

“I’ve told him to stay away for a few days so he can try and get his head around what has happened. Hopefully this result helps cheer him up in some way.

“Liam looked amazing in pre-season and scored some great goals for us

“We hope that he will recover fast and can still have a part to play this season.”

Mansfield will look to build on their first win of the new campaign when they face Newport on Tuesday night.

Big Matt Rhead is likely to make timely return to action after serving the final game of his suspension against Oxford.