Saturday, 28th March 2015: Mansfield Town 1, York City 4

Matt Rhead. Picture by Dan Westwell.
Matt Rhead. Picture by Dan Westwell.
  • Stags still not safe after poor display
  • Struggling York coast home with 10 men for the last hour
  • Rhead reply too little too late

A dreadful home showing by Mansfield Town saw them blown away 4-1 by 10-men strugglers York City on a humiliating afternoon at the One Call Stadium.

York arrived just a point from the drop zone and without a win in four games.

But the Stags were on the back foot from the off as York took the game to them, Lenny Pidgeley forced into two good saves before he was beaten twice in the first 17 minutes.

After Rakish Bingham had hit the bar, Mansfield were offered hope when York keeper Bobby Olejnik was sent off on 31 minutes for leaving his box and then handling as he stopped Bingham lobbing him.

But, instead of being the lift they needed, the lethargic home side continued to hit the ball long on a windy afternoon and send loose passes all over the park

The game was settled on 52 minutes as the head of Jake Hyde beat Pidgeley to a corner.

Sub Matt Rhead did pull one back on 77 minutes, but it was too little too late and the final word went to Spurs loanee Shaq Coulthirst, who crowned a man of the match display with his second goal a minute from the end.

That opened a gap of three points between York and thr drop zone and pulled Mansfield back to within seven points, leaving alarm bells ringing with trips to Southend and Plymouth sandwiching a home clash with Shrewsbury.

Skipper Jamie McGuire turned in his usual gutsy display in midfield and tried to rally the troops. But Bingham and Lee Beevers aside, few came out of this game with much credit.

Boss Adam Murray made three changes. Vadaine Oliver, Ryan Tafazolli and Bingham came in for Simon Heslop, Terry Hawkridge and the suspended Junior Brown.

Mansfield were also without the services of winger Reggie Lambe, away on international duty with Bermuda.

York included former Stags defender John McCombe, but ex-Mansfield winger Lindon Meikle began the day on the bench.

Stags needed a great save from Pidgley after only 90 seconds. Elder gave the ball away and Halliday sent in a cross to the near post where Hyde turned it on target from close range, Pidgeley tipping away for a corner.

Olejnik then punched away Elder’s first long throw at the other end.

We had a hold-up for treatment to McGuire, but he was soon back on his feet.

On nine minutes Pidgeley had another top drawer save to make as Carson’s 20 yard first time shot took a deflection and forced him to stretch across goal and save.

But York were rewarded for their bright start with a goal from the resulting corner.

It was poor marking from Mansfield as Carson sent the ball into the middle of the goal where Lowe was allowed to head home from close range.

Oliver scuffed a poor shot at goal from a Beevers cross as Stags looked for a quick reply.

Coulthirst was well over with a hurried shot from 30 yards in the 16th minute.

A Riley backheader failed to reach Pidgeley and Platt nipped in and made space for a shot that Riley managed to head behind for a corner.

However, City were 2-0 up on 17 minutes after a poor clearance by Tafazolli gve the ball away.

York broke well through Coulthirst, who twisted and turned just inside the box and then somehow squeezed a low shot through the defenders surrounding him and past Pidgeley.

Stunned home fans booed another long hopeless ball forward seconds later as Stags stared at a mountain they suddenly had to climb.

But they almost pulled one back on 19 minutes as Oliver nodded the ball down into the path of Bingham who, from 15 yards smashed a great shot against the crossbar.

Murray had seen enough and decided to tweak the formation to a 4-4-2, taking off Riley and installing home debutant Hawkridge on the wing.

Soon after Oliver’s jump caused problems for York as the ball rolled back towards Kee, whose first time shot was well over the heads of the jeering City fans behind the North Stand goal.

But Stags were offered a glimmer of hope when York keeper Olejnik was sent off on 31 minutes.

Hawkridge launched the ball down the middle for Bingham to chase. The Stags man got there first as Olejnik raced to the edge of his box and lobbed the ball over him.

However, the keeper stretched up a hand to tip it inches off target but was out of his box by this point and had to go.

On came sub keeper Ingham for Penn as York braced themselves for a long afternoon, clinging on to the 2-0 advantage.

Finally the free kick was taken by Clements, but ended up low and wide.

Kee was then wide on the turn after a Hawkridge cross was only partially cleared.

York wanted parity on numbers on 41 minutes as Oliver’s poor touch saw him stretch into a tackle on Winfield, who stayed down injured.

The referee had already seen a foul by Summerfield before Oliver’s tackle and ended up booking both of them.

York survived a real scramble in front of their goal with no Stags player able to really pull the trigger.

Bingham tried to slip Oliver clear in the seven added minutes, but Stags only won a corner that the Minstermen hooked clear.

Kee had a low shot blocked after good work from Bingham.

But York held firm, Carson even lashing a low shot wide at the other end as Stags went in 2-0 down at the break with a few boos ringing in their ears from the unhappy West Stand fans.

An immediate let-off as Stags almost in Coulthirst again and the defenders had to work hard to this time crowd him out.

A poor Clements corner was behind everyone and easily cleared a minute later.

On 50 minutes a McGuire ball was flicked on by Kee to offer Oliver an opening, but the striker clearly fouled a defender before drilling a low shot into the net.

With Beevers down with a head injury, play was allowed to continue and York won a corner – one of two very poor decisions against Stags by referee David Webb.

While he was treated Rhead was sent on to replace Kee.

But from the corner York extended their lead. Pidgeley came for it but failed to make it as Hyde thundered in unchallenged to power home a header from six yards.

Clements was well wide from 20 yards in Mansfield’s next raid. Then Oliver got in the way of a low Hawkridge shot from a corner.

Mansfield continue to struggle to give Ingham any work to do as Tafazolli headed well wide from a Clements free kick.

Elder did curl a superb low cross in front of goal, but Oliver was unable to get there.

Fisher took over up front from Oliver on 66 minutes.

Shortly afterwards a neat move saw Clements and McGuire both shun a chance to shoot and feed Elder, whose blast deflected over for a corner.

A second followed two minutes later, but York cleared both with little fuss.

A long Elder free kick was nodded on towards Raynes, who thought he had least won a corner with his far post header only to see a goalkick awarded.

City wasted a bit more time with their second change, then the ever-unpopular Ingham stayed down after a challenge from Fisher, but failed to get the Stags man in trouble as he was booed from the stands.

Mansfield forced two more corners, making it six in the half so far, but York were defending heroically.

But the Stags finally broke through on 77 minutes as Rhead turned in the box after a scramble and forced the ball home off the inside of the left post.

Fisher sent a glancing header wide from a Clements free kick as the home side piled on the pressure.

The referee again allowed play to continue with Raynes down with a bang to the head and looking unconscious, Coulthirst wriggled goalside of McGuire to force Pidgeley to save with his legs.

Mansfield played on with 10 men as Raynes was treated off the pitch and wasted their ninth corner of the game as it was overhit.

Instead York raced down the other end where, with Raynes still off the field, the skilful Coulthirst drew Tafazolli before stabbing a low finish beyond him and Pidgeley inside the far post from 12 yards.

There were inevitable boos as the final whistle after one of the poorest Mansfield displays of the season and League safety still not assured.

STAGS: Pidgeley, Riley (Hawkridge 23), Tafazolli, Bingham, McGuire, Beevers, Oliver (Fisher 66), Elder, Clements, Kee (Rhead 51), Raynes. Subs not used: Studer, Sutton, Ravenhill, Thomas.

YORK: Olejnik, McCombe, Summerfield, Penn (Ingham 33), Carson, Lowe, Winfield, Halliday, Platt, Coulthirst (Miller 90+4), Hyde (O’Hanlon 73). Subs not used: McCoy, Ilesanmi, Miller, Montrose, Meikle.

REFEREE: David Webb of Lancashire.

ATTENDANCE: 3,133 (565 away).