Mansfield Town keep play-off dreams alive

Mansfield Town's defence holds strong - Photo by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's defence holds strong - Photo by Chris Holloway

Stags pushed one step closer to the coveted top seven as they beat play-off rivals Stevenage 1-0.

The vital goal came a minute before half time from Danny Rose, as Joel Byrom’s shot deflected up, Krystian Pearce headed forward, and Rhys Bennett knocked back out to Rose who volleyed into the roof of the net from six yards.

That goal followed a shot from Rose that was deflected over the bar for a corner.

Just four minutes earlier, Rose had gone close when his header from Byrom’s corner to the far post was cleared off the line.

Stevenage had been on top through much of the first half but really only went close once when a Charlie Lee long throw from the right went over everyone and McKee at the far post fired into the side netting.

The Stags had to deal with an aerial bombardment as Lee hurled massive throw after massive throw into the Stags box, but the defence, with Rhys Bennett and Krystian Pearce outstanding, dealt with everything.

Up until Rose’s header cleared off the line, Mansfield had been disappointing going forward.

The Stags had three glorious chances to seal the game in the second half.

Firstly on 53 minutes, after some good play, Ben Whiteman’s left footed shot from the edge of the box was deflected, but with the keeper wrong-footed, the ball span wide of the right post for a corner.

Then on 59 minutes, a cracking run from Alex MacDonald from inside his own half, he seemed to have lost the ball but won it back, then with just the keeper to beat, he tried to dink the ball over the keeper but got it all wrong and the chance was gone.

And then on 69 minutes, Danny Rose broke forward into the box and as he shot goalwards, a defender slid in with a terrific clearance. Stevenage again put plenty of balls into the Stags box, through a number of puzzling free kicks awarded for very little, but the Stags defence stood rock solid and Stevenage failed to create a single presentable chance in the second half, apart from Ben Kennedy’s shot onto the roof of the net from the edge of the box.

A very generous seven minutes of time added on but the Stags were not to be thwarted and were soon to be celebrating a massive three points with the ecstatic 389 Stags fans behind the goal.

There were some really impressive performances for the Stags, especially in the back line again with Bennett and Pearce both excellent.