STAGS boss Paul Cox believes Friday night’s comprehensive victory over Wrexham will have no meaning if the two sides face off during next month’s Wembley play-off final showdown.
Mansfield Town extended their impressive unbeaten home run, which stretches back to 5th November, with a superb display which saw them outfight and outplay the faltering Welsh outfit.
Goal-getting midfielder Anthony Howell set the confident home side on their way after nodding home an Exodus Geoghaghon long throw during what was an increasingly dominant first half display for the Field Mill men.
Wrexham’s misery was then compounded in bizarre fashion on 61 minutes when a clearance by veteran goalkeeper Alan Marriott skidded off the drenched surface and over the head of Joslain Mayebi into the empty net.
In truth there was only ever going to be one winner as Wrexham failed to get to grips with the heavy downpour as well as the battling spirit and creativity of Mansfield.
It could have been more for Stags, with Lindon Meikle unlucky not to double Mansfield’s lead when he hit the side netting shortly after Howell’s opener.
Dyer, Sutton, Stevenson and Briscoe all saw good chances go begging as Mansfield, who secured third spot in the BSP and home advantage in the second leg of the play-offs continued to put the Welsh side under stern pressure either side of half-time.
At the other end all Wrexham could muster up was a wild shot from former Stag Jake Speight on 16 minutes and a long range effort by Harris on the hour mark as Mansfield’s rock-solid defence stood firm.
But the notable win boss Paul Cox is refusing to get carried away.
“This was a great result for us but it has no bearing on the play-offs,” said Cox.
“We are not bothered who we play in the play-offs. We have to just keep our feet on the ground and go into each game working hard. If we keep doing that then we will go into the play-offs in good shape.
“The lads were excellent tonight as always and deserve full credit. I had had words with them this week because I felt they were easing off in training and this was the perfect response by them.
“At times I thought we lacked an end product, but we were missing players like Matt Green and Gary Roberts tonight.”
“Wrexham are still a great team. You have to feel sorry for them that they are in this position with their points total.
“Wrexham have to be considered the favourites, for me they are still the team to watch.”
Stags finish their BSP season next Saturday away to Kidderminster, in a match which could see Paul Cox rest a number of his big names.