A second half John Akinde goal was enough to see Barnet to their first win at Mansfield Town in 16 years with a 1-0 victory this afternoon.
As last weekend, there were few clear chances throughout the game, but the Bees netted from their first on-target shot from a breakaway on 57 minutes to punish a misplaced pass from Mitch Rose in the Barnet half.
Matt Green did have an effort cleared off the line in the first half and Bees keeper Josh Vickers saved well from Mal Benning and Darius Henderson.
But, for all their promising approach play and the moving of players’ positions throughout, Mansfield simply didn’t create enough in the final third and there were boos at the end from disappointed home fans.
Mansfield sprang a surprise when they announced striker Danny Rose would start the game today against Barnet.
Rose suffered a fracture to his eye socket a week last Tuesday and was rated ‘highly unlikely’ to play today, but was named on the team sheet and wore a protective mask on the injury.
He was electric for the first half-hour but did little after that.
Also into the side for an impressive debut was Forest loanee defender Alex Iacovitti with Ashley Hemmings restored to midfield.
Left out were Adam Chapman, suffering from a groin strain, Henderson and Kevan Hurst.
Stags began well but on three minutes Taft let Akinde turn him on the right and his low cross was aimed for Batt, Shearer doing just enough to push it away before he could turn it home.
Green then steamed into the Barnet box down the left on a counter attack. Vickers came out to meet him and made himself big, Green only able to lift the ball into the keeper’s frame and win a corner.
There was brief concern after a high boot seemed to catch Danny Rose in the face near the protective mask, but he played on and didn’t appear hurt.
Benning then put over a cross from the left which Mitch Rose controlled and got away a powerful shot that Nelson did well to block.
Mitch Rose was booked on 14 minutes for a clumsy challenge on Batt.
Stags suffered a blow on 22 minutes as Taft went down twice in a few minutes after heavy collisions with first Akinde and then Batt and had to limp off.
Iacovitti moved across into the centre and Benning dropped back into the left of defence.
Rose did well to flick a header on down the left for Hamilton and he drilled in a low cross that Vickers grabbed just ahead of Green.
Stags continued to press and Hamilton did well to sneak between two defenders on the left and fire a shot that was deflected for a corner.
After 36 minutes we finally had our first save by a keeper as Green nodded a tame header straight to Vickers from the corner.
Two minutes later Vickers was down to his right to keep out a shot on the turn by Benning from just outside the box.
From the corner Green headed downwards and Johnson
was forced to head off the line inside the post.
Hemmings was added to the book on 48 minutes for a late challenge on Akinde.
Home fans were incensed when Akinde was late in on Shearer and the referee didn’t even speak to him.
But the half ended goalless with Stags the happier of the two sides with the first 45 minutes’ action.
Hemmings almost gave Stags a perfect start to the second half as within two minutes he launched a shot from 25 yards that just failed to dip in time.
A minute later he tried his luck again, curling one over the far angle from a similar distance.
On 53 minutes Barnet came close as Batt crossed long from the right and Gamin slid in late but couldn’t divert the ball on target.
Stags broke upfield and Green tried a cheeky chip from the right which sailed over the bar.
However, Barnet grabbed the lead on 57 minutes. It all stemmed from a loose pass from Mitch Rose that failed to reach Bennett.
Barnet broke quickly and Gambin sent Akinde on his way down the left. He got into the box, went easily past Pearce and lifted a calm finish over Shearer inside the far post.
On 61 minutes Hamilton put a good cross over from the left, finding Green who failed to make enough contact with his header as it span well wide.
Hurst replaced Hemmings on 63 minutes as Stags tried to up the ante.
Immediately he was wide with his first touch from a 25 yard free kick.
Gambin was added to the book for dissent on 66 minutes as Barnet disputed a throw.
Gambin then went down under a Hurst challenge on 69 minutes and his rolling around managed to get Hurst booked with home fans livid.
He was then substituted by Campbell-Rice, though showed no ill effects of the tackle as he walked round the pitch.
Mansfield added to their attack with 15 minutes to go as Henderson came on for Mitch Rose.
There was more anger as Campbell-Ryce grabbed the ball at a Stags free kick and held onto it, Collins wrestled the ball from him, but the referee’s cards stayed in his pocket.
But Campbell-Ryce was booked on 82 minutes for a shove on Collins.
A minute later Vickers got down well to make a good save from a Henderson header after Hurst had put the ball in from the left.
However, time ran out on the Stags at the end as home fans vented their displeasure.
STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Benning, Collins, Pearce, Taft (Hamilton 22), Green, M. Rose (Henderson 73), Hemmings (Hurst 63), Iacovitti, D. Rose. Subs not used: Jensen, Hoban, Baxendale, McGuire.
BARNET: Vickers, Johnson, N’Gala, Nelson, Weston, Akinde, Gambin (Campbell-Rice 70), Togwell, Batt (Akpa Akpro 59), Nicholls (Sesay 75), Vilhete. Subs not used: Stephens, Watson, Taylor, Tomlinson.
REFEREE: Sebastian Stockbridge of Tyne & Wear.
ATTENDANCE: 2,523 (122 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Lee Collins.