On an emotional day when Mansfield said farewell to one of their most loyal and loved fans, it was fitting that they marked the occasion with victory.
Arthur Arnold, who supported the club for many years and was well known for sounding his car horn to greet every score, has died.
A minute’s silence was observed for one of Mansfield’s favourite sons before the National League, Midlands 3 East (North) match at home to Rolls-Royce, which the blue-and-whites won 24-19.
Coach Wayne Robinson said: “Arthur will be much missed, and it’s always a relief that if you dedicate a game to someone, you actually win it. The lads did us proud today, and this one was for Arthur.”
With the club flag flying at half-mast out of respect, Mansfield started uncertainly and conceded the game’s first try. Rob Marsden did register their first score, which was converted by Regan Hubbard, but it wasn’t long before they trailed 19-7 as Rolls recorded two more converted tries.
The deficit seemed to galvanise Mansfield, however, and they prevented their mid-table visitors from adding any more points to their tally.
Nathan Jones slammed the ball over the line, and Hubbard again converted, to pull it back to 19-14 by half-time, and although Rolls unleashed a relentless assault in the second half, Mansfield not only withstood it but also added matchwinning scores. A 50-metre run by Emmanuel Ogunode saw him dot down for a try, converted by Hubbard, who then kicked a penalty.