HALF-TIME: Stags 2 Darlington 1

Darlington stunned Mansfield Town tonight with a goal in the first attack of the re-arranged BSBP game on three minutes.

Ramshaw sent a long cross to the far post from wide on the right, picking out Ferguson who put the ball back into the centre where Bridge-Wilkinson popped up right in front of goal to head home from close range.

Almost immediately McReady threatened to jinx his way through the centre with men over either side of him. Dempster couldn’t halt him but Sutton got a crucial tackle in just inside the box.

In reply Smith cut inside and fired harmlessly over on seven minutes.

However, on 15 minutes Stags levelled from a free kick awarded 30 yards from goal to the right of the box after Hutchinson was tripped.

O’Neill floated it perfectly into the danger zone where Dempster happily snapped up a powerful free header from five yards at the far post with keeper Pickford getting a hand to it but unable to keep it out.

The goal settled the home side down and in the next raid Dyer came inside from the right before fluffing his finish, sending a mis-hit bobbling shot wide of the near post.

Ramshaw sent a dipping effort over Marriott’s bar from 30 yards when Stags failed to clear a bouncing ball quickly enough.

Then when Taylor was allowed to run, finally setting up Keltie for a first time shot wide well off target from 25 yards.

When Hutchinson again drew a foul 25 yards from goal in a more central position, O’Neill wasn’t too far away as he curled his kick over the wall and just wide of the left post.

Edwards was almost caught out four minutes from the break when a long hopeful forward ball from inside the Darlington half saw the left back slow to see Ramshaw racing in and beating him to a ball he was favourite to get to but thankfully fire a low shot wide to spare his blushes.

It hadn’t been the best of halves for Stags but they did finally edge their way in front a minute from the break.

Murray’s initial cross from the right was not as sweet as he would have wanted as the ball bobbled, sending it higher than needed into the box.

But Dyer was there first to find Hutchinson and his neat lay-off offered Green a relatively simple finish as he picked out the top right hand corner.

Murray almost added a third a minute later with a good turn just inside the box and a low shot that hit the left post, rolled along the goal line and, unluckily, also hit the right post without managing to cross the line.