Mansfield Town 2 Oxford United 1 - 16th August 2014

Mansfield Town fans in full voice -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mansfield Town fans in full voice -Pic by: Richard Parkes

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Adam Murray scored against his former club with just two minutes to go to earn Mansfield Town a 2-1 win at home to Oxford United.

It had looked like the points would be shared after Danny Hylton had levelled from the spot for Oxford on 78 minutes.

But Murray, who had been on the pitch for just three minutes, latched on to a loose ball before drilling a fierce effort from 16 yards low past George Long.

Mansfield had taken the lead on 39 minutes when defender Ryan Tafazolli fired into an empty net after Chris Clements’ free-kick had hit the post.

The commanding defender nearly doubled the home side’s advantage in first-half stoppage time when he headed Clements’ free-kick just wide.

The visitors were then given an unlikely lifeline on 78 minutes when Tafazolli brought down substitute Danny Hylton.

Hylton then stepped up to confidently bury the ball past Sascha Studer into the bottom right corner with a firmly hit strike.

But Murray struck at the death to earn Stags their first win of the campaign.

Stags were dealt a massive blow ahead of the game with the news that striker Liam Hearn has been ruled out until after Christmas.

Scans revealed that the summer signing tore cartilage in his knee in the Capital One Cup defeat against Sheffield United.

Sam Clucas came in to replace Hearn as the sole support to lone striker Alex Fisher.

But there was better news with Ollie Palmer taking a place on the bench after it had been feared he would be out injured for three weeks after going off against Northampton.

John Dempster came in to captain Mansfield and replace Martin Riley, who picked up a groin injury against Sheffield United.

Former Mansfield Town favourite Johnny Mullins lined up at the heart of the Oxford defence.

Neither side threatened the opposition goalkeeper in the opening stages as Stags too often fired long balls up to the isolated Alex Fisher with little success.

Sam Clucas finally registered Mansfield’s first effort on goal after 30 minutes when he stabbed Chris Clements’ flick-on wide of the post in what was a dour first-half.

Mansfield took the lead on 39 minutes when Clements’ long-range free-kick rattled against the post and fell into the path of Ryan Tafazolli.

The centre-back then had the simplest of tasks as he fired home into the empty net.

The commanding defender then headed Chris Clements whipped in free-kick just wide of George Long’s post in first-half stoppage time as Stags ended the half strongly.

Oxford United were given a life-line on 78 minutes when Tafazolli brought down substitute Danny Hylton.

Hylton then stepped up to confidently bury the ball past Sascha Studer into the bottom right corner with a firm hit strike.

But Adam Murray struck in the 88th minute against his former side to wrap up the points after rifling low and hard into the bottom right hand corner.

Mansfield Town (3-5-1-1): Studer, Beevers, Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli, Taylor, McGuire(Murray 85), Clements (F. Bell 85), Heslop, Clucas, Fisher (Palmer 69). Subs not used: Jones, Marsden, Thomas, A. Bell.

Oxford United (4-2-3-1): Long; Hunt (Jakubiak 60), Mullins, Wright, Newey; Collins, Meades (Ruffles 71), Brown, Riley, Potter (Hylton 76), Morris. Subs not used: Raynes, Rose, O’Dowda, Crocombe.

Referee: Richard Clark, of Northumberland.

Man of the match: Simon Heslop.

Attendance: 3,042 (405 away)