MANSFIELD Town’s season finally looks to be up and running as they made it six points frfom two homes in four days with a fine 2-0 win over Tamworth.
The Lambs have started the campaign well and caused problems on the break in a tight first half.
But Stags had the better of the chances and finally went ahead through a Matt Green penalty in first half stoppage time.
Mansfield settled down to play some decent football after the break and doubled their advantage when Luke Jones headed home a throw from the impeccable Exodus Geohaghon on 62 minutes to clinch the points.
As welcome as the two goals was a clean sheet for Paul Cox’s men.
Breeden had to race out his box to stop Green reaching a long ball forward by Briscoe.
The Lambs then survived the first two long Geohaghon throws before a raid of their own in which, thanks to a slip in the box by Sutton, Jeffers was given a great shooting chance which Marriott was in the way of.
Green’s first shooting chance, carved out by the muscle of Rhead, was halted by an offside flag.
On seven minutes Barrow curled a free kick over the bar from a promising position just outside the box.
A great cross by Howell forced the home side’s first corner on 15 minutes from which Howell saw a 15-yard shot charged down by Gudger.
The attentions of Jones were enough to prevent Cunnington getting any power behind a shot which proved easy for Marriott.
Kerry was booked for a foul on Meikle on 18 minutes, but Murray over-hit the ball well wide of the far post.
Kerry tried to send Collins clear with a great through ball down the centre only to see Jones slide in with a saving tackle.
Green’s name went into the book too on 23 minutes after he slid in late on Breeden as he was clearing the ball, the keeper staying down and needing treatment.
On 25 minutes the first big chance presented itself to Green as Briscoe curled the ball in off the outside of his boot from the right and Green, six yards from goal, failed to keep the header down.
Two more chances quickly arrived as a poor clearance from Barrow gifted Rhead a first time shot which he sliced badly, then the ball was put back in by Briscoe and Green, in trying to steer, his header wide of the keeper, didn’t get enough on it and saw Breeden make the save.
Tamworth then broke well down the right and Jeffers’ low cross was cut out by the outstretched leg of Marriott who was then relieved as, out of position he saw Kerry curl his follow-up over the bar.
On 35 minutes Green had another chance from a Rhead flick but elected not to take what looked a good first time shooting chance and eventually had to settle for a corner.
A minute later Rhead got his head to a long free kick from the right which was worked to Meikle who blazed over from 20 yards.
Stags turned defence into attack on 42 minutes as Jones sent a long ball to Rhead on the right who quickly fired a low shot across the face of goal.
Murray was booked for knocking the ball away at a Tamworth free kick which saw Barrow head Kerry’s kick wide and then be given a corner by a very generous refereeing decision.
Only three minutes of time were added on, despite some Tamworth time-wasting in the half. But in the last of those minutes, the Stags took the lead at last.
Rhead’s flick from just inside the Lambs’ half set Green on his way into the box where his twisting and turning proved too much for the visitors and he was brought down by Courtney.
Both Courtney and the protesting Barrow were booked before Green stepped up to dispatch a firm low kick just inside the left post.
Murray was left limping after a foul by Cunnington as we entered a sixth minute of stoppage time.
Stags again quickly turned defence into attack as a long ball up to Gtreen was helped on to Rhead who lifted the ball over a defender to get goalside and into the box before slicing a half-volley wide.
Marriott was twice there to gather as Tamworth launched two crosses into the box.
Rhead headed wide from a Geohaghon throw., then Green was again thwarted by an offside flag as Mansfield looked for a second goal.
From another long throw both Murray and Briscoe had shots charged down.
But Tamworth were still dangerous on the break and, when Barrow sent Baldock towards the by-line, his low cross passed right in front of goal with no one able to get the touch.
Yet another Geohaghon throw came in on 62 minutes which was cleared back to his feet.
And, from his superb cross from the left, Stags went further ahead as Jones rose five yards from goal to power home a header straight down the centre.
A long throw somehow eluded everyone in the box and took a deflection for a home corner.
A Geohaghon header went straight to Jeffers, but his hopes of getting a shot away were halted by some sterling defending by Sutton.
Stags were now playing some of their best football of the season so far and Briscoe’s trickery won another corner.
Rhead’s flick almost put Green in again, his outstretched leg just unable to reach the ball.
Kerry tested Marriott from 20 yards with a firm shot that the keeper saw all the way.
Roberts took over from Briscoe for the final five minutes.
Marriott had to turn away a Jeffers effort in stoppage time and was happy to see Barrow screw his low follow-up well wide to sum up Tamworth’s night.