Calvin Andrew picked the perfect time to score his first goal for Mansfield Town as he bagged the historic winning goal in this afternoon’s fantastic derby victory at arch-rivals Chesterfield.
Stags spent much of the afternoon under the expected intense pressure of the unbeaten League Two leaders’ attacks, but defended magnificently on their first ever trip to the Proact Stadium.
And against the run of play it was Andrew who leapt high in the 37th minute to head home a Ben Hutchinson corner and become an instant club legend in front of a noisy army of almost 2,000 away fans.
Alan Marriott produced another man of the match display in goal, pulling off a great first half save to thwart Jimmy Ryan, then denying Eoin Doyle twice in one-on-ones.
The afternoon ended with over seven minutes of added time which was almost unbearable, during which home star Gary Roberts sent off for stamping on James Jennings to complete the Spireites’ misery.
For Mansfield this was an eighth game unbeaten and moved them into third place.
Not surprisingly Mansfield were unchange the first league meeting between the side for six years.
The early minutes were tense and nervy with a fantastic atmosphere ringing out from the stands. And it was the home side who forced the pace.
With Beevers out of position, Roberts put in a dangerous left wing cross which Tafazolli missed and was relieved to see Jennings behind him put it out for a third minute corner.
The flag kick was cleverly worked with the ball played short for a far post cross that Hird got on the end of with a header that wasn’t too far over.
Two minutes later O’Shea cued up Ryan for a vicious 25-yard blast that Marriott had to turn out for a corner full stretch to his left.
Marriott also got down quickly to cut out a low cross from Humphreys from the left after another well-worked move from the home side, who were causing a lot of problems down the left.
O’Shea was well wide with a far post header on 11 minutes as the Spireites continued to boss the game.
Sutton produced an important tackle to halt a promising run by Doyle just outside the box before he could get a shot away.
Mansfield finally posed a threat on 14 minutes as McGuire burst past a couple of challengers only to lift a tame half-volley comfortably wide of goal.
On 16 minutes Marriott was jeered as he sliced a difficult Beevers backpass out for home corner number three. But again the Stags survived.
Howell helped on a Marriott kick on 18 minutes towards Clucas, who turned well but lost sight of goal as he fired first time well wide.
Doyle tricked his way towards the by-line on the right and whipped in a swirling cross that Marriott was happy to push over his bar for another fruitless home corner.
Roberts was chopped down 25 yards from goal in a central position on 24 minutes only to see his free kick clip the Stags wall and fly out for another corner.
Home pressure intensified and a low Humphreys cross flew right in front of goal with Doyle and Darikwa sliding in but unable to convert.
Marriott then had to block a dangerous near post cross from Talbot and keep out another effort from Talbot before Roberts finally screwed a finish wide to end the home side’s best spell of pressure so far.
Still Chesterfield streamed forward with Doyle guiding a header well wide on 31 minutes.
But two minutes later the home side really should have broken through as Roberts’ superb pass down the centre cut the visiting defence wide open for Doyle, who, through one on one, saw his finish blocked by Marriott.
Stags replied seconds later with Clucas doing well to win a bouncing ball just outside the home box and whip a shot inches wide.
Mansfield then won a free kick just outside the box on the right. Hutchinson put it over to the far post where Andrew couldn’t control it.
Then Clucas was just prevented getting on the end of a far post cross by an outstretched leg that gave Stags their first corner of the game.
And from that came the opening goal against the run of play.
Hutchinson put the ball in from the left wing corner and Andrew rose highest to nod home his first Stags goal and become an instant Mansfield Town folklore hero.
O’Shea scuffed a low effort well wide of the far post as the stunned home side looked for an instant reply.
A brilliant piece of skill from Clucas on the right by-line put him into space to set up Hutchinson for a powerful shot that came back off the far post as Stags came desperately close to doubling their advantage.
As we entered the one minute of added time the home side also came so close to a goal.
Roberts got to the left by-line and sent in a teasing cross that Morsy headed against the crossbar.
That saw Stags given rapturous applause by the army of away fans as they went into the half-time break with the slenderest of precious advantages.
Doyle fired a low ball across the face of goal in the first incident of note of the second half.
Dempster then felt the full force of a Ryan blast after he was set up by Roberts.
Cooper saw the game’s first booking on 53 minutes for dissent after a free kick was given against him.
The home side made a double change seconds later as Darikwa and O’Shea were withdrawn and Gnanduillet and McSheffrey sent on.
There was controversy as Morsy went down under contact from McGuire. The referee appeared to point to the spot but instead he gave a free kick to Mansfield and booked Morsy.
Stags goal survived a charmed life again on 58 minutes as Gnanduillet had a low shot blocked, Marriott then allowing the ball to run free again to Doyle, who lifted it over the keeper into the danger zone where Gnanduillet blazed over the gaping goal.
Tafazolli’s crunching tackle on Roberts saw him booked on 59 minutes, McGuire joining him a minute later for a late tackle.
Hutchinson was replaced by Meikle on 62 minutes to add some new life to the under-pressure visitors.
McGuire was involved in more controversy on 65 minutes as he went down easily in the home box and then fell as Talbot made contact with him in an angry confrontation afterwards.
McGuire was walking a tightrope, but the second yellow card stayed in the official’s pocket as he lectured the two of them.
Mansfield faced more danger on 68 minutes after Howell brought down Roberts right on the edge of the box in a central position, McSheffrey’s free kick straight into the Mansfield wall.
Gnanduillet was wide after getting his head onto a far post cross seconds later.
On 69 minutes Jennings joined the list of bookings for bringing down Talbot.
On a rare Mansfield sautee out of their own half, Clucas crossed from the right and Andrew jumped to nod a tame header towards Lee.
Andrew then stayed down in some discomfort which angered the home fans who thought he was time wasting.
Marriott was well positioned again as he got down to keep out a low Doyle shot on the turn.
Andrew looked worn out by this stage and on 76 minutes was replaced by Daniel.
A minute later Marriott was again the hero as a shot bounced perfectly for Doyle, leaving them one on one, the keeper again making a crucial block.
Roberts held off the attentions of Howell to cue up Ryan for a low shot straight at Marriott.
Rhead took over from Clucas up front for Mansfield for the final 10 minutes.
Chesterfield were becoming increasingly desperate as shown when Roberts fired a hurried low shot wide of goal from the left of the box. Ryan was well wide a minute later as the home side continued to try their luck from distance with the visitors defending their box so well.
A brief respite saw Rhead head on a clearance to Daniel who set up Meikle for a shot that was blocked.
Meikle then did well to race onto a long clearance down the right and bring it inside to roll it into the path of Rhead, whose first time shot lacked power and went straight to Lee.
Almost inevitably, the referee decided Stags would have to suffer six additional minutes as we reached the 90th minute.
In the second of those Chesterfield forced their eighth corner of the contest, again Stags clearing their lines.
Morsy clipped a tired shot wide from 25 yards.
Four minutes into stoppage time, home playmaker Roberts was sent off.
The game drifted into an amazing eighth minute of added time as nerves were shredded.
But the final whistle finally sounded with police and stewards then having to move quickly to prevent supporters clashing by the corner flag.
It had been a thrilling and exhausting afternoon but one that will live on in the memory of Mansfield fans forever.
CHESTERFIELD: Lee, Talbot (Devitt 86), Humphreys, Hird, Cooper, Ryan, Morsy, Darikwa (Gnanduillet 53), Roberts, O’Shea (McSheffrey 53), Doyle. Subs: Chapman, Evatt, Edwards, Togwell.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli; Beevers, Howell, McGuire, Hutchinson (Meikle 62), Jennings; Andrew (Daniel 76), Clucas (Rhead 80). Subs: Palmer, Murtagh, Stevenson, Speight.
REFEREE: Robert Madley of Wakefield.
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alan Marriott.