Mansfield Town got back to winning way's yesterday in beautiful Barrow as the coolly saw off a resistant and tough Barrow side by four goals to nil.
Paul Cox's Stags responded brilliantly to defeat in Wrexham less than 42 hours prior to kick-off at Barrow to break yet more club records, the victory at Holker Street is the clubs 12th away win of the season - the most ever collected in a single single, beating the previous total of 11.
Four goals at Holker Street added to the EIGHT scored at the One Call Stadium in early February also totals up to make another record, the 12 in total scored against Barrow is a new club high for the most goals scored against an opponent (combined home and away) in a season.
It could have been oh so different had Alan Marriott not put in a man of the match performance, his penalty save and subsequent save of the rebound on 27 minutes from Richie Baker completely changed the swing of the game as lady luck switched sides. Barrow struck the post twice, hit the bar and forced Marriott into a number of fine stops throughout the match.
Matt Green grabbed his 21st of the season to open the scoring on 29 minutes as a fluent move saw Junior Daniel unselfishly pull the ball back across the six yard line allowing Green a typical poachers strike. Louis Briscoe was then upended on 41 minutes earning the Stags a penalty which Green coolly tucked home before three players laid claim to Stags third goal on the hour mark. Adam Murray claims his free kick went in whilst Lee Stevenson claimed a touch and celebrated as if he'd scored, sprinting to the away support of 300 and ripping his top off, whilst John Dempster slammed the ball into the net at the far post - he awarded the goal by the Press Association who had the same view as us inside the press box, blocked by the numerous pillions.
Stevenson then wrapped things up in the final minute, tapping over the line following Matt Rhead's unselfish assist - the late goal keeps Stags level on goal difference with Kidderminster as they ran out 3-0 winners at home to Lincoln. The Harriers remain top but have SIX points to play for now whilst Stags are a POINT behind with a huge TWELVE to play for, the first of two remaining games in hand comes on Tuesday as Stags host Macclesfield.
Matt Green's 20th strike of the season, his 50th club goal in all competitions for Stags, didn't prove enough for Stags to put another three points on the board as their winning run came to an end at Wrexham last night.
Luke Jones controversially saw a goal ruled out five minutes into the second half before his thunderous header bounced off the bar and saw Green tap home on 53 minutes.
Alan Marriott then fumbled Dean Keates' free kick as Wrexham levelled on 68 before a fluent move saw Danny Wright smash home the winner eleven minutes later.
Defeat for Stags leaves them as they were, in second place a point behind Kidderminster however they now have TWO games in hand, against Macclesfield on Tuesday at the One Call and then the trip to Hereford the following week.
The returning Anthony Howell rounded off a man of the match display yesterday with an opening goal against Gateshead, helping Stags onto a 12th consecutive win to equal the all time Football Conference record, held jointly by Hereford and Burton.
Howell's fourth goal of the season came on 21 minutes after Gateshead keeper Adam Bartlett had tipped the impressive Adam Murray's free kick onto the cross bar and proved the only goal at half time.
Louis Briscoe doubled Stags' lead on 73 with a well hit left footed effort before Matt Green added his 19th of the season five minutes later.
Substitute Ben Hutchinson then sealed the win late on, netting a penalty in the last minute after his free kick was handled inside the box.
Another three points for Stags keeps them in second as Kidderminster again won, however on Thursday Mansfield play their first game in hand on the Harriers as they travel to Wrexham, who now drop down to fourth and trail behind by ten points. The victory, the 12th on the spin, also seals Stags place in the play-offs as 6th place Forest Green, are behind by 18 points with only 15 left to play for whilst goalkeeper Alan Marriott has now secured 50 clean sheets for the club.
Luke Jones was the man of the moment once more yesterday as his 7th goal of the season proved the decisive factor for the Stags 11th straight victory, this time seeing off Tamworth at The Lamb ground.
It was yet another scrappy game which could have pivoted either way, Tamworth threw everything at Stags in their quest for safety but Paul Cox's side stood firm in keeping up the pace with Kidderminster.
At the other end Liam Mitchell kept out his former club on countless occasions as Mansfield knocked on the door so hard, they came away with bruised and blooded knuckles. Jones, outstanding at the heart of the Stags back four, proved his menace at the other end too, driving home debutant Greg Taylor's deep free kick on 61 minutes in front of over 1,100 Stags fans, who out numbered the home fans 3 to 1.
Jones vital goal keeps Stags in a frustrating second as Kidderminster came from behind to beat Braintree with the fortune of an Iron own goal, they remain top but have the agony of watching on as Stags have three games in hand, the first coming on Thursday night when Cox's men goto Wrexham who now trail Stags by eight points in third - having played the same amount of games as us and of course us still to play twice.
Louis Briscoe came from the bench last night to keep Stags on course for the title, netting the only goal of a frustrating game against relegation threatened Nuneaton Town.
Briscoe's 67th minute minute free kick earned Stags' tenth straight win, equaling an all time club record set in 1915/16 and moving them within a point of Kidderminster who stumbled at home to Woking.
It looked like it wasn't going to be as Stags spurned numerous first half efforts including three off target headers from Junior Daniel, a Luke Jones thumper crashing against the bar and Matt Green striking the post - the Striker also saw a 63rd minute spot kick saved after substitute Matt Rhead was felled following a Chapman corner.
A solid defensive display from Luke Jones helped Stags move to top of the Blue Square Premier last night as they triumphed over promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers by two goals to one at the New Lawn.
An own goal from Rovers' Eddie Oshodi following Lindon Meikle's 29th minute effort opened the scoring before Lee Stevenson doubled Stags' lead two minutes into the second half following an interchange with Matt Green.
James Norwood set up a tense finish as he netted five minutes from full time to make it 2-1, however determined as ever, Stags hung on and claimed top spot in the blue square premier, remaing their tonight (Saturday) after Wrexham's goalless draw with Luton - this sets up a classic encounter midweek when Stags travel to Wrexham.
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Substitute Matt Rhead helped the Stags onto a new post-war club record for consecutive victories last night as both he and the impressive Adam Chapman stuck to move Stags up to second place in the league by beating rivals Grimsby 2-0 at the One Call Stadium.
The big front man thundered in his 5th goal of the season on 64 minutes to send the crowd wild as he nodded home James Jennings corner, a goal which Stags thoroughly deserved in a tense but entertaining encounter.
The 64th minute bullet header sparked a refreshed confidence into the players after a first half which in truth could have gone either way, the belief spread to the stands too as the on watch Stags supporters raised the noise levels and silenced The Marrieners early taunts of the 4-1 hammering at Blundell Park earlier in the season.
The most impressive goal came seven minutes from full time and gave Stags complete control over their rivals who now seem to be slipping away from the title race, Adam Chapman curled home a left footed effort from 25 yards from Matt Green's pass at the first time of asking, a goal which wouldn't look out of place in the premier league.
The full time whistle set a post-war club record for consecutive defeats and kept Mansfield in buoyant news despite the news Wrexham had come from behind at Lincoln to win 2-1 and remain top of the table. The result last night effectively means a five horse race for the title and one automatic promotion place becomes a three horse race between Wrexham, Stags and Kidderminster - Stags gave games in hand over both of their rivals plus Wrexham to play home and away.
Stags moved to joint top of the division yesterday with a convincing 4-1 win over Stockport County at the One Call Stadium, a match in which Adam Chapman became the first player to net a hat-trick on his home debut since Keith Cassells during the 1984/85 campaign.
The Oxford loanee delighted Stags fans with a fine performance and netted the opening goal after 13 minutes, stabbing into the empty net after Matt Green was denied by an excellent one handed save from Stockport's Richard O'Donnell.
Seven minutes later Chapman doubled the lead from 18 yards following a deep James Jennings free kick before Matt Green added the third goal of the afternoon eleven minutes into the second half.
Stockport substitute Paul Marshall netted a sublime goal on 69 minutes from the edge of the area to give the hatters some hope, however the impressive Chapman completed his hat-trick eight minutes later curling home from the edge of the area following Lindon Meikle's assist.
The victory puts Stags joint top but in third place on goal difference ahead of crunch game with Grimsby, Forest Green, Wrexham and Macclesfield over the next two weeks.
Luke Jones 6th goal of the season proved the difference last night as Mansfield claimed their sixth win from as many games at Woking in a drag affair over shadowed by the most match dressing room window smashing incident.
A woking supporter smashed the Stags dressing room window moments after the full time whistle, a incident which saw keeper Alan Marriott suffer a small cut to the head and several staff, including Paul Cox, spat at.
The incident somewhat over shadows another Stags win as they keep the pressure on Wrexham and Kidderminster in the hunt for the title.
Louis Briscoe opened the scoring on 34 minutes which was awarded after huge deliberation before Bradley Bubb levelled from the spot on 67 minutes after Junior Daniel was judged to upend the Cards front man.
Ten minutes later Luke Jones' dominant header from James Jennings' corner put Stags back in the driving seat and ultimately, sealed the points.
Matt Green struck the only goal of the match for the second game running yesterday as Stags moved a step closer to the title by extending bottom club AFC Telford's winless run to 22 games.
Stags thundered the cross bar thrice in the first half but went in goaless despite the visitors rareley troubling Alan Marriott.
Five minutes into the second half Matt Green closed down defender Karlton Watson to open the scoring, clipping an acute shot over the advancing keeper.
Watson's afternoon would get worse with 15 to go as he was dismissed for fouling Adam Murray - Despite the numerical advantage Stags failed to add a second.
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