Rakish Bingham scored on an impressive debut in depleted Mansfield Town’s 2-1 win at Exeter City on Saturday, 6th September 2014.
Fergus Bell hit the other in a game when he had to leave the field after taking the full force of a shot with a brave block.
Mansfield were down to the bare bones defensively. So when Ritchie Sutton had to limp off on 56 minutes, despite trying to soldier on, and had to be replaced by Rob Taylor, who was on the bench but ill and forced to bravely join the fray.
Bingham’s opener came on 15 minutes as he pounced on the loose ball following a save by keeper Christy Pym from Bell’s shot.
Bingham was outstanding in the first half, though his lack of recent match time told after the break as he tired and was substituted with 12 minutes to go.
He should have added a second on 37 minutes when Matt Rhead’s flick put him clean through only to see the keeper make the save.
On 40 minutes Bell smashed home his first goal for the club after Sutton’s shot from a corner had been blocked out to him.
However, Ashley Grimes pulled one back from a superb 67th minute free kick and injury-hit Stags had to hang on at the end as City piled on the pressure with six nervy added minutes to negotiate.
It was a fine win for Paul Cox’s men. But by the end of that month the Stags went on a nine-game run without a win that saw Cox out the door and Adam Murray take over the reins, eventually keeping Stags in the Football League.
Mansfield’s recent record at St James Park is good, winning five out of their last six outings there and last season a Danny Rose goal earned a fantastic 1-0 win to keep Stags in the play-offs hunt.