Paul Cox said he was proud of his players as they bounced back from Thursday’s defeat at Wrexham to win 4-0 at Barrow this afternoon and take another big step towards the BSBP title.
Kidderminster kept the suspense going with a 3-0 win over Lincoln, but Stags can go top by winning one of their two games in hand on Tuesday at home to Macclesfield.
“That is the mark of a good team after suffering a defeat we probably didn’t deserve on Thursday and I am proud of my players,” said the delighted manager.
“We have come to a place where very few teams get anything and everyone probably expected Barrow to cause an upset.
“But the boys were absolutely tremendous, especially second half. These boys have been on the road since Thursday and not seen their families, but they looked hungry and ground out a result.
“We’ve not just won the game, but we’ve scored four goals as well which is immense. The lads showed they have mental strength and we looked fit, strong and powerful.
“I did think we were going through the motions a bit until their penalty. They had a mouthful at half-time and shoved it back down my throat in the second half.
“But there is nothing achieved yet. Kidderminster have won again, but their games are running out and we are going to have to win our games in hand which takes another kind of mental strength.”
Alan Marriott, who was seen to be at fault for one of Wrexham’s goals on Thursday, made a great double save from a Barrow penalty with the score at 0-0 two minutes before Stags took the lead.
Said Cox: “Alan had the finger pointed at him on Thursday, but the man is an excellent keeper and, not only did he make an excellent save from the penalty, the save he made for the follow-up was out of this world.”
Barrow were unhappy with Mansfield being awarded a penalty when they felt the offence was out of the box, but Cox added: “I am not sure if it was in or out the box, but I think we had some bad luck on Thursday and it does even out over a season.”