PAUL Cox was a relieved man after seeing his Stags side bounce back from two behind to beat nine-man neighbours Alfreton 3-2 at the death in a thrilling local derby rollercoaster.
The Mansfield Town manager acknowledged it had been another poor home showing from his side, but urged fans to embrace any sort of victory as Lady Luck evened things out from one or two games earlier in the season when Stags didn’t get what they deserved.
“We have got out of jail today – there’s no doubt about that,” said Cox.
“Getting three points was the only positive. The result didn’t just paper over cracks, it papered over crevices.
“If we’d played until next week we’d not have scored against 11 men. With nine men I thought they were excellent and we didn’t look scoring still.
“We could have been two up with more composure but we keep giving sloppy goals away.
“Alfreton showed amazing spirit and deserved at least a point today. But this game is very unforgiving. I am sure we will be on the receiving end of something like that this season while teams like Wrexham, Fleetwood and Alfreton will all fluke three points at some stage.
“However it came, we must always embrace a win no matter how fluky as they are so hard to get. We are securely in the top 10 and averaging just under two points a game which is very acceptable.
“But I know there are things that need to be sorted and I need to find the right payer to bring in at the right time.
“We seem to have a high level of anxiety playing at home at the moment.”
Hearbroken Reds manager Nicky Law said: “I have to be honest, the penalty wasn’t a penalty and their third goal was offside. Added to us going down to nine men, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
“I can’t speak highly enough of my players – they gave me everything today.
“I never felt in any danger in the first half. I am not having a go at the referee, but when you get a ref that is brandishing cards like he was and the opposition are laying on the floor appealing for every decision, the referee gets dragged into it and you have to be a bit cute and wiser.
“You should know you probably can’t go for that challenge you need to make. For a lad like Anthony Wilson this is a learning curve.
“I look at our position in the table and can’t believe it. In the first half we were streets in front. We absolutely bossed things and they didn’t have an answer to it.
“Even with 10 men we looked comfortable. But with nine men and every decision going against you it’s hard.
“We just have to keep on believing. We have come to an intimidating place and given a god show of ourselves. With the injuries and suspensions we’ve had, any squad would struggle, let alone ours.”