MATT Green celebrated signing a full-time deal with Mansfield Town with his 16th goal of the season to give Stags a 1-0 half-time advantage at York City today.
Green struck on 14 minutes to crown a decent first half showing from the visitors with debutant Gary Roberts turning in an energetic first 45 minutes in a Mansfield shirt.
Stags kicked off on a wet afternoon on a sodden pitch.
Green made a good early run down the right but then pulled back a low ball to no one.
City forced a scramble on 10 minutes in the visitors’ box which saw Freeman in with a good tackle to stop Kerr getting a shot away on goal.
At the other end Green turned a low ball across the six yard box with no one close enough to capitalise after superb approach work from O’Neill.
However, on 14 minutes Stags grabbed the lead. Meikle set up the move with a run on the left, squaring to the overlapping Freeman whose low ball in was turned home first time by Green at the near post.
Marriott was finally given some work to do on 20 minutes as Blair was halted in the box but, as the ball ran loose and Marriott seemed to slip on the wet surface, it ran to Henderson who fired the ball on target where the keeper still managed to turn it up and over.
McLaughlin tried to send Blair through only to see Marriott alert and off his line quickly to smother.
But Stags were still a menace and Green’s crossfield pass picked out Meikle who came inside before lifting a finish well over the York bar.
The usually impeccable O’Neill was a lucky man on 26 minutes as, having intercepted the ball in his own box, he tried to play it out but, instead, gave it straight to Chambers who, with only Marriott to beat, inexplicably rolled the ball wide of the far post.
Three minutes later Green and Meikle were unable to get a shot away after Green had worked his way into the box, but the ball ran to Howell, who lashed a shot wide.
York defender McGurk, who had struggled on from an earlier injury, was finally replaced by Fyfield on 32 minutes.
Another good burst by Meikle saw him get into the box on the left and lay a pass for Green who saw Oyebanjo just nick it of his toe at the vital moment.
Soon after a warning for another late tackle, Howell tried the referee’s patience again with a late challenge on Kerr on 45 minutes and this time a yellow card was produced.
Marriott safely gathered a low Blair cross into the six yard box in stoppage time.
Howell caught Henderson fractionally late but, as York players crowded the referee calling for a red card, thankfully all that was given was the free kick.
That was floated into the box, Parslow headed across goal and Blair was a stud’s length short of turning home from close range as Stags clung onto a deserved interval lead.