Half-time substitute Ollie Palmer was the Mansfield Town hero with the winning goal at York City after Stags had arrived at Bootham Crescent very late and gone behind after just 50 seconds.
The Minstermen, with only one win under their belts all season, had made five changes and dominated the first half, though a Sam Clucas penalty did square the game up on 21 minutes.
But Stags boss Paul Cox made a double half-time substitution, changed his formation, and they ran out deserved winners to make it six games unbeaten back in the League to delight an army of almost 900 away fans.
However, the loss of Chris Clements with a potentially serious knee injury and a straight red card to Martin Riley, who joined home sub Richard Cresswell in being sent-off 11 minutes from time, took a little of the shine off the day’s achievements.
Riley was adjudged to have raised his hands to former Stags loanee Cresswell, who had only been on the field for four minutes, after being elbowed by the York sub.
Both players will be a big miss and are definitely out of the big derby at Chesterfield on Saturday week.
It certainly wasn’t the best start to the day with a major city centre cycling event closing down many main routes in York and the team bus unable to get there until 40 minutes from kick-off.But the victory was all the sweeter as the game was a revenge mission for Mansfield after their Conference play-off semi-final heartbreak there two years ago.
Calvin Andrew was handed the vacant striker’s jersey as Matt Rhead served a one-game ban.
But it was City who struck a hammer blow on their first attack after just 50 seconds.
A charged-down shot came out to Fletcher, who squared a pass to Jarvis that saw him curl the ball towards the top right corner.
Marriott was beaten, but the ball came back off the post and home debutant Brobbel was on hand to head over the line on his home debut.
Stags looked for a quick reply and Clements’ accurate low pass found Hutchinson to the left of the box, but he was well over with his hurried finish.
Whitehouse had a shot blocked when City’s first corner reached him on the edge of the box.
On seven minutes Andrew should have hauled Stags level. Hutchinson put over the perfect cross from the right and Andrew, with a free header from six yards, sent the ball straight to keeper Ingham.
A neat Stags move ended with Clements feeding Clucas for a low deflected shot that was easy for Ingham.
Davies was allowed to get in a low strike at Marriott which the keeper failed to hold first time but grabbed before Fletcher could punish him.
Montrose chopped down Clements on 13 minute’s for an early yellow card.
Davis set up Montrose for an 18-yard effort that deflected wide for home corner number two, which Marriott claimed at the second attempt.
Mansfield were on level terms on 21 minutes from the penalty spot.
Oyebanjo’s slip in the box gave Jennings possession right in front of goal and the defender could do little but trip him before he could finish.
That set up Clucas for a spot kick he smashed confidently home high down the centre for his third goal in as many games.
Jarvis’s flailing arm in the face of Sutton saw the game’s second booking on 23 minutes.
A minute later Clucas made space in the box for a good low shot that Ingham blocked with one arm at full stretch.
Brobbel was well over the bar as the visitors endured the first ‘scabs’ chant of the afternoon from the home fans.
City forced two more successive corners without profit, another followed on 32 minutes as they enjoyed a decent spell of pressure.
From that one, Parslow and McGurk had stabs at goal which were blocked and caught by the keeper respectively
Dempster was fractionally late stretching into a tackle on Montrose on 35 minutes, landing him the visitors’ first caution.
Whitehouse screwed a first time shot well wide from a half-clearance after a home free kick on the left by-line as the Minsterman continued to look the more menacing of the sides.
But Andrew’s header on and Clucas’ flick with his heel set Stags on the attack down the right, Clucas’ eventual cross headed firmly at Ingham by Hutchinson.
Mansfield suffered a blow when playmaker Clements limped off two minutes from the interval with what could be a medial ligament knee injury, Howell taking over his midfield role.
Stags survived the sixth home corner of the half, then Whitehouse’s far post cross was only just too high for Fletcher with the net gaping as the sides went in on level terms after an absorbing half of football.
Paul Cox elected to go 4-4-2 for the second half with Meikle and Palmer on for Hutchinson and Jennings.
Meikle and Palmer almost worked an immediate opening, but Palmer fired over and was offside anyway.
Clucas made a great near post run to get a first time toe into a low Clucas cross but couldn’t send it the right side of the post.
Stags, not having won a corner in the whole first half, quickly took their second half tally to five in 10 minutes.
Montrose tested Marriott from 25 yards with a powerful low shot the keeper did well to hold, Clucas wide at the other end with a much tamer effort soon after.
Andrew was booked on 61 minutes for a high boot in a multi-player challenge in which Stags were given the free kick!
McGuire was then booked three minutes later for a high boot as he went up for a header.
Clucas almost put Mansfield ahead on 69 minutes after a superb break down the left by Meikle. With Palmer making a run across him to his left, he fed the ball perfectly into the path of Clucas to his right who took a touch and then saw Ingham make a crucial block on his finish.
However, Palmer nudged Stags ahead for the first time on the afternoon on 76 minutes.
Clucas got a decent shot away from the edge of the box which took a vital diversion off the boot of Palmer and beat Ingham, the striker afterwards insisting it was deliberate.
On the restart, there was a dust-up in the Mansfield box which saw players from both sides square up and, after the referee had consulted his assistant about who had done what, ex-Stags loanee Cresswell and Riley both sent off for violent conduct with 11 minutes to go, Cresswell just four minutes after coming on as a sub.
Meikle wasn’t too far wide with a rocket shot from 20 yards from Palmer’s nod-down with Ingham rooted.
Whitehouse’s 30 yard free kick was straight into the Mansfield wall as the Stags hung on to what they’d got.
Ingham went up for desperate City’s next corner.
The fourth official then held up the board showing five extra minutes, during which sub Carson pulled a low shot just wide of the near post.
But Mansfield deserved their victory after overcoming all the odds of a day that had begin so badly.
YORK CITY: Ingham; Oyebanjo, McGurk, Parslow, Davies; Montrose, Brobbel (Taft 82), Whitehouse; Puri (Carson 62), Fletcher (Cresswell 75), Jarvis, Subs not used: Kettings, Smith, Chambers, Platt. STAGS: Marriott; Dempster, Riley, Sutton; Beevers, Clements (Howell 43), Hutchinson (Meikle HT) , McGuire, Jennings (Palmer HT); Clucas, Andrew. Subs not used: Stevenson, Speight, Daniel, Mitchell.
REFEREE: Jeremy Simpson of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 3,513 (897 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Sam Clucas.