REPORT: Mansfield Town 1-0 Forest Green Rovers

CJ Hamilton crosses against Forest Green.
CJ Hamilton crosses against Forest Green.

Tyler Walker was the Mansfield Town hero with the only goal of an entertaining game as they pipped promotion visiting rivals Forest Green Rovers 1-0 at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.

But Walker ended the afternoon with a straight red card in the fifth added minute, possibly for something he said, and the 21-goal hotshot will now miss three vital games.

After two defeats in a row, Stags desperately needed the win to stay in the top three and thoroughly deserved in on the day with a much better display after the poor show at Notts County.

Walker made the breakthrough with a 69th minute header, though Stags rode their luck near the end as a classy Rovers side threw everything they had got at it.

The Stags side showed one change with last weekend's debutant defender Ben Turner dropped to the bench and Mal Benning moving across from left wing back into the back three with Ryan Sweeney completing his two-game ban.

That allowed Willem Tomlinson to come into midfield for his full Mansfield debut.

CJ Hamilton switched across to left wing back and Gethin Jones to right wing back with Tyler Walker a lone striker, backed by Jorge Grant and Jacob Mellis just behind him.

Mills just managed to head away before Jones could head home a Hamilton cross in Stags' first raid in the opening seconds.

Rovers hit straight back and Stags made hard work out of clearing a low Brown cross.

Grant was unable to direct a finish at goal from a Walker cross as action switched straight back to the other end.

Ward had his first save to make on six minutes as sublime control by Grant saw him then send a cutting pass inside a defender for Hamilton to rade away onto and send a low shot on target that Ward was in the way of.

Stags first corner two minutes later saw Bishop win it at the back post and the ball dropped invitingly for Pearce who sent a tame finish wide from six yards.

But Rovers were dangerous and a neat move down the centre got Williams into the box, Benning coming up with a brilliant saving tackle.

Soon after, a Rovers break ended with Smith having to block a low Mondal finish at his near post.

The game calmed down and went through a much quieter spell, though a Superb low Hamilton cross had Rovers worried until Gunning turned it behind.

Preston was booked on 29 minutes as he halted a Rovers break from a Stags corner by felling Winchester.

Three minutes later Benning was also yellow-carded for a push off the ball.

Out came the card again seconds later as Digby barged over Grant.

Stags' best move so far came on 36 minutes as Grant slipped Hamilton into the box on the left and he pulled back a low cross that Jones fired just wide.

Mansfield were then unlucky on 40 minutes as Benning's long range shot clipped Gunning in the box and, with the keeper wrong-footed, the ball bounced narrowly wide of the gaping goal.

Walker then forced Ward into a superb top-over save from his snapshot from the edge of the box on 43 minutes.

On 45 minutes Smith turned away a low Digby shot from 25 yards as entertaining half endless goalless.

Mansfield came back out all guns blazing and within two minutes Ward was forced to deny Walker with his legs from close range and Jones headed inches over.

Winchester was booked on 51 minutes for a tug on Hamilton as he tried to break over the halfway line.

On 59 minutes Rovers had a chance as Williaams cut in from the left in the box only see Preston throw himself superbly in the way of his finish.

Smith was comfortably placed to take a low Digby shot.

Another Stags break was illegally halted as Gunning hacked down Mellis to take a booking on 64 minutes.

Mansfield plugged away and finally made the breakthrough on 69 minutes. Amid a scramble Hamilton turned and forced Ward to push the ball upwards as he saved, Walker quickly jumping in to head home before the keeper could then reclaim it as it dropped.

With just six minutes left a Doidge header dropped just wide from a corner as Rovers searched for an equaliser.

Two minutes later another corner dropped for Mondal to poke wide from 12 yards as home nerves jangled.

Two minutes from time Doidge got a touch onto a Mills shot and it sailed inches over.

Tomlinson was hurt in committing a stoppage time foul and booked before limping off to be replaced by Turner.

Stags suffered a huge blow on 90+5 minutes as Walker was shown the straight red card, which took the shine off a fine afternoon right at the death.

MANSFIELD: J. Smith; Preston, Pearce, Benning; Jones, Bishop, Tomlinson, Grant, Mellis, Hamilton; Walker. Subs not used: Logan, MacDonald, Khan, Atkinson, Ajose, Turner, A. Smith.

FOREST GREEN: Ward, Collins (Godwin-Malife 88), Rawson, Winchester, Doidge, Brown, Williams, Gunning (McGinley 81), Digby (McCoulsky 81), Mills, Mondal. Subs not used: Montgomery, James, Liddle, McCoulsky, Reid.

REFEREE: Matthew Donohue of Manchester.

ATTENDANCE: 5,256 (171 away).