DESPITE having star striker Matt Green sent off on 33 minutes, Mansfield Town’s 10 men went into the interval ahead thanks to a 42nd minute Louis Briscoe at Ebbsfleet this afternoon.
Green was dismissed for an elbow on aggressive home skipper Paul Lorraine in a tight game with both keepers largely unemployed.
But Lindon Meikle won Stags the spot kick just before the break and Briscoe tucked away his second goal in five days as Stags stayed on course for a fifth win in six outings.
After six minutes of feeling each other out, Stags won a free kick on the left which Murray floated in, but was cleared.
Lorraine and Green were lectured after a tackle turned into a wrestling match on the ground but the cards stayed in the pocket.
Fleet also defended the vistors’ first corner as Geohaghon’s header was shepherded out for a goalkick.
United’s first threat came on 15 minutes when Stags conceded a central free kick 20 yards from goal. But the wall did its job to block both Enver-Marum’s kick and his follow-up.
Rhead was booked on 21 minutes after clashing with Lorraine in the corner.
Stags forced a second corner on 24 minutes to no avail as we reached the midway stage of the half with neither keeper having had a save to make.
Tempers flared yet again in the hot sunshine as Green reacted angrily to Lorraine steaming into his back for a header by catching him with his elbow which left the defender sprawled on the pitch.
The referee showed Green a 33rd minute red card sparking furious scenes on the Mansfield bench.
On 35 minutes Elder lofted a hopeful attempt just wide from a distance, the ball passing wide of the angle in the first goal attempt of the contest.
Marriott clawed away the home side’s first corner on 39 minutes.
But the 10 men grabbed a 42nd minute lead from their second spot kick success of the week.
Meikle’s burst of pace in into the box caught out Bellamy who brought him down. And Briscoe made no mistake as he slammed the kick home down the centre.
Elder went down in the box in stoppage time asking for a penalty. But the referee disagreed and 10-men Stags went in ahead.
EBBSFLEET: Edwards, Blake, Ada, Walsh, Lorraine, Enver-Marum, Marwa, Elder, Howe, Barrett, Bellamy. Subs: Phipp, Menz, Aseez, Williams, Foulkes.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Jones, Geohaghon, Daniel; Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Meikle; Green, Rhead. Subs: Thompson, Speight, Wright, Clements, Roberts.
REFEREE: Chris Knowles.