Matt Rhead ended yesterday’s bruising 1-0 win at Morecambe as public enemy number one at the Globe Arena after several clashes with opponents in a bad tempered game.
Rhead was involved in a number of flashpoints, and roundly booed by the home supporters, who believed he should have been sent off for throwing an elbow on more than one occasion.
“It was disappointing as I thought they might have welcomed me,” he smiled.
“But I gave as good as I got today. Their players came out of it the worst to be fair. They were not happy with the physicality.
“I have a few bumps and lumps, though I get that every game.”
Rhead admitted that winding up the opposition is an important part of his game, saying: “That is part of it. But they tried to get me sent off for long periods of the game so it was nice to see one of their players get sent off in the end.
“They had a game plan to try to get me sent off, every header, every challenge they were trying to get the referee’s attention. Luckily he saw through that.
“It was a competitive game and Morecambe is a tough place to come. It was a massive win for us.
“You know what you are getting when you come here. They threw everything at us, but we were the better side and had the better chances.”
Rhead said no one would be relaxing with Stags now all but safe and admitted he had enjoyed his first season in League football.
“We want to get as many points as we can and we are looking up, not down,” he said.
“It (the season) has been unbelievable with every game a real eye opener.
“I have learned a lot this season from sitting on the bench to start with to coming into the team. It should stand me in good stead for next season.”
Shrimps boss Jim Bentley said: “Mansfield are a big, strong side.
“We watched clips of them this week and we knew they had certain players that like to push the boundaries. The lads knew what to expect.
“Today I don’t think we got the protection we deserved, but we are not going to harp on about it.
“Mark Hughes has had eight stitches and Alex Kenyon has a broken nose. Something has got to be done.”