MANSFIELD Town’s amazing winning streak continued at in-form Woking tonight, but the night ended in uproar with a brick hurled through the away dressing room window.
Keeper Alan Marriott was hit by the brick and manager Paul Cox spat at by a home fan through the broken window in a disgraceful end to what had been a gutsy night by the visitors who had to dig deep for the win.
There followed a confrontation in the car park involving the away players and manager and doubtless there will be repercussions down the line.
Luke Jones headed a 77th minute winner after Bradley Bubb’s 69th minute penalty had wiped out Louis Briscoe’s first half goal and threatened to see the points shared.
Instead Mansfield rose to the occasion on a poor home surface and that made it six wins on the bounce, 10 wins out of 11 and eight away wins in nine trips. And that against an in-form home side who had won six and drawn one of the last nine games.
It also pushed Stags back into third, three points from leaders Wrexham with a game in hand.
However, the night was marred at the end when the Stags players became involved in an off-the-field incident, chasing out into the car park after a brick was thrown through their dressing room window and home fans then spat through the window.
New loan signing Adam Chapman made his a superb Mansfield Town debut as the Stags team sheet showed two changes for tonight’s tough trip to Woking.
Chapman, signed on a month’s loan from Oxford United earlier today, replaced Chris Clements in central midfield while, with one eye on the size of the Woking strikers, big Exodus Geohaghon returned to the centre of the defence.
Chapman linked up superbly with former Oxford team mate Adam Murray in the centre of the park as the pair ran the show with Jones and Lee Beevers also outstanding on the night.
Briscoe’s opener on34 minutes was shrouded in controversy as the referee over-ruled his assistant who though Green had got a touch from an offside position with the home side believing Green was interfering with play in that position anyway.
The game kicked off with worries over the floodlighting which had caused problems before the game when the stadium lights all went out.
But they were shining brightly as Daniel won a corner in side the first minute as the game began in heavy drizzle and thankfully held out for the evening.
Chapman took the flag kick and home keeper Brown had to fist it off the incoming head of Jones for a second corner, taken by Jennings, which was cleared.
Woking tried to initiate a break, but Geohaghon was on hand to prod the ball off the shins of Budd for a goalkick.
Beevers then had to head clear a Nutter free kick, conceded 25 yards from goal by Murray.
On 12 minutes Betsy broke well down the centre and played a decent pass towards Bubb to his right, Marriott safely behind his powerful on-target shot.
Newton did well to beat Daniel to Briscoe’s far post cross to concede a third corner for the visitors, which was headed away.
Chapman’s tackle on Betsy just inside the box saw the veteran unsuccessfully asking for a penalty.
Back came Stags with a powerful cross from Briscoe that zipped across the face of goal from the right after a neat succession of passes.
Woking survived another Stags corner on 21 minutes and then half-cleared a throw from the right towards Daniel who smashed a powerful first time effort wide of goal from 20 yards.
Beevers was back in the wars after being flattened by a challenge from Cestor, but was able to continue after treatment.
The Cards won their first corner of the night on 24 minutes, but, taken short, they were unable to make it count.
They came closer two minutes later when Bubb went past Jennings on the right and whipped a low cross in front of goal which was just too hard for Cestor to get there and turn in.
then Jennings quickly got his body in the way of a Bubb chance to concede a corner, which Stockley headed at Marriott, as the home side enjoyed their best spell.
On 31 minutes Chapman almost marked his debut with a goal as Stevenson nodded a loose ball in the box down to his feet and Chapman bundled a finish wide from 10 yards.
On 34 minutes the visitors went ahead – eventually. Chapman showed off a great long throw from the left which bounced towards Briscoe on the right of the box.
He lifted it to the far post where the referee thought Green had got a touch in an offside position and ruled the goal out.
However, the visitors continued to protest, the referee consulted his assistant at length and the pair eventually decided Briscoe’s far post cross had bounced straight in and the goal should stand.
Marriott needed treatment after Bubb slid in on him as he gathered the ball, but he was able to play on.
Cestor sent a tame shot straight at the keeper, then Daniel saw a deflected left wing cross finish up on the roof of the net as we entered the last four minutes of the half.
Three minutes were added on which the Stags safely negotiated to retain their 1-0 lead at the break.
Chapman almost made it 2-0 within 55 seconds of the restart as Beevers fed him just outside the box and Chapman tried to curl the ball round Brown with his right foot, the keeper turning it round his left post for a corner.
From that Stevenson leapt to head against the post, a scrambled unfolded which saw the ball cleared as far as Chapman who was too high with his effort.
Betsy then went down easily in the Stags box under the challenge of Murray, the referee unimpressed.
A Jones header set up Murray for a powerful blast that Stockley did well to get himself in the way of. Then Briscoe set up Green for an 18 yard shot that he curled straight at the keeper as the visitors continued the search for a crucial second goal.
Briscoe almost netted on54 minutes with a superb left footed effort that looked set to curl under the far angle. However, Brown stretched high to make a great save and turn the ball over, the referee then awarding Woking a goal kick to the visitors’ disgust.
Murray sliced a long range first time effort well off target as Stags continued to shoot on sight.
Green couldn’t quite manage to control a fast, curling forward ball in from Beevers at the vital moment.
Then, on a Stags break, home keeper Brown did well to recover and spread himself on the by-line as Green tried to go round him with other yellow shorts arriving in the middle.
From the corner, Briscoe’s header sailed over the far angle.
A rare Woking raid saw sub McCallum, only on for six minutes, send a tame low effort well wide of the far post after a poor clearance from Geohaghon.
Meikle replaced Briscoe on the Mansfield wing on 64 minutes and seconds later a great long ball forward by Murray picked out Green in the box. He had Daniel to his right or he could have shot but his first touch laid the ball straight to the keeper and the chance was gone.
Geohaghon was booked on 65 minutes for his block on Bubb, Bubb joining him a minute later for his constant complaints to the referee.
Stockley was not far wide of the far post with a fine volley from Nutter’s ball in from the right
The referee having found his cards brought out the yellow again within a minute as Daniel brought down Betsy, though it didn’t seem worth a card.
And Daniel’s night worsened on 69 minutes as he conceded a penalty that led to the Cards’ equaliser.
In trying to clear the ball Daniel swung out a leg which caught Johnson as he challenged and brought him down.
Bubb stepped up and, although Marriott went the right way, he was unable to make the block.
Chapman’s late challenge on Stockley on 75 minuets saw the new boy mark his debut with a booking.
Stags sent on Rhead for Stevenson a minute later as they waited to take a free kick, Chapman seeing his effort deflect out for a corner.
But from that corner, Mansfield were ahead.
Jennings put it over from the right and Jones rose to power a header high inside the angle.
Wright was given the last eight minutes in place of Green for Mansfield.
A needless challenge by Rhead through Johnson as the Cards man shepherded the ball out for a goalkick saw the yellow card back on show.
Beevers yelped as Stockley caught him in the face right on his broken nose but soon recovered to soldier on to the end.
The referee added four minutes at the end which saw Woking throw the proverbial kitchen sink into the Stags’ box.
A great catch by Marriott, then a challenge into the back of Rhead slowed things down and took the heat out of the home onslaught as Mansfield edged over the finishing line.
WOKING: Brown, Newton (Frith 88), Cestor (McCallum 58), Ricketts, McNerney, Parkinson, Bubb, Betsy, Johnson, Stockley, Nutter (Francis 82). Subs not used: Putnin, Griffiths. STAGS: Marriott; Beevers, Jones, Geohaghon, Jennings; Murray, Chapman, Stevenson (Rhead 76); Briscoe (Meikle 64), Green (Wright 82), Daniel. Subs not used: Sutton, Clements. REFEREE: Lee Swabey of Plymouth.
ATTENDANCE: 1,179 (140 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Adam Murray.