DESPITE being comfortably the best side for the first half hour, Stags succumbed to a 3-0 defeat on Tyneside as Gateshead ended Tuesday night as early league leaders, reports John Lomas.
After Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 home draw with Bath City, it has become a miserable start to the Paul Cox era and, to make matters worse, young defender Tom Naylor was red-carded near the end of the game.
Looking comfortable in their 4-3-3 formation, Mansfield played some good football in the first half hour without seriously stretching home keeper Paul Farman.
But the game swung on two home goals in eight minutes, ex-Stag Jon Shaw netting on 33 minutes and Yemi Odibade doubling their advantage with a high quality second.
Mansfield never recovered from that double blow and gifted James Curtis a third from a corner early in the second half to end their hopes.
Louis Briscoe was Stags’ most inventive player and had an effort cleared off the line before Naylor saw red for his tackle on the livewire Odibade 10 minutes from the end of a miserable night at a stadium where Paul Cox’s last visit saw him lose 4-0 when Eastwood boss.
See this week’s Chad, on sale from Wednesday morning, for full report.