Sky Bet League Two | Wednesday 13th January 2021 – Boundry Park [Behind Closed Doors]
It’s long been said that there’s an easy way, a hard way and a Mansfield Town way – well as the Stags make it four league wins on the spin and make up for Sunday’s FA Cup exit – they certainly stuck with that, in an eventful 3-2 victory at Oldham.
There’s been a lot of talk about a chase for the play-offs as with victory last night we moved to just five points behind Crawley in 7th, however they and all the teams above us have a game in hand, some two games, on us. The same too can be said for below us as with last night’s win, there’s now a nine point buffer between us and the drop – BUT, with the exception of Grimsby and Port Vale, all teams below us also have games in hand, some two games.
My point is not to be negative or pessimistic, but to be realistic – this league this season is so tight, a swing of results (like we’re currently seeing) can send huge waves crashing through the table. I’m loving the run we’re on and the potential we have, and I’m not saying the unthinkable can’t happen – I’m saying that we know how poor we have been and what effect that has, keep building that buffer and what will be will be this term, nothing yet – is set in Stone.
A prime time to talk about him, Aidan Stone that is – one of three changes last night. They’ll be a few who criticise the young keeper for his early error to put Oldham 1-0 up, but actually he deserves huge credit for the role he played in the win – making two key saves at 1-0 when Oldham we’re edging the game, and then again when we were 3-2 up and on the ropes.
The changes were a masterstroke from Clough with all three having a big impact on the game. Stone as I mentioned was key when called upon as the game progressed, Kellan Gordon was under pressure after how Perch and O’Keeffe performed in his absence but came back in and gave us real flare down the right hand side, delivery a number of key crosses – whilst Cook, well he was just Cook – strong and articulate in stretching the Oldham back line in open play, and forceful in the air from set plays.
Two quick examples, he wins the initial header for Sweeney’s goal – and then for Reid’s much deserved goal, takes two defenders out of the central positions and creates space for Reid to pounce. The 4-3-3 system real suits him and gets the best out of the supporting midfield.
We still missed Ollie Clarke and James Perch and we’re nowhere near the finished article – I still maintain that we need three more faces to supplement us and help us push on, these are likely to be loans with Clough saying after the match he’s waiting to hear back on one or two enquiries.
Carlisle, the league leaders, at home on Saturday – not an easy game but certainly winnable, for me – I’d take a draw and to keep this momentum going! A gritty win last night which could, and should, have been a little more comfortable than it was – but what really matters, is the points – job done, onto the next one.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Aidan Stone | Kellan Gordon, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Sweeney ©, Stephen McLAughlin | Harry Charsley, George Maris, George Lapslie | Jamie Reid, Andy Cook (Nicky Maynard 90), Jordan Bowery (Mal Benning 80)
Unused Subs: Marek Stech, Rollin Menayese, Aaron O’Driscoll, Corey O’Keeffe, Jason Law
Sky Bet League Two | The One Call Stadium – Tuesday 24th November 2020
Other than defeat, one of the worst feelings in the world is that first morning back at work after a prolonged break – a holiday somewhere hot for example, where the sea breeze lightly brushes your face, the drinks are perfectly ice-cold and the laughter is plenty. Pure Bliss – well Mansfield Town’s refreshed break is now over following defeat at home to Harrogate and now one of two things can happen.
We can either drag ourselves out of the metaphorical bed and spend the next three weeks grumpy and moaning, desperate to get back to the “Happy Place” – OR, use that desire to work that extra bit harder, earn extra rewards and get back to pure bliss city quicker.
Under the former manager, we’d have done the former – take a look at our league position for proof, but under Nigel Clough, I do feel like we can step off the plane with a bounce and start to soar again before we know it.
The 1-0 defeat left us all feeling deflated naturally, especially as we now sit just above the relegation zone on goal difference – but let’s be honest, an average Harrogate side played their game very well, took a lead in what at the time was a balanced game – and then defended well enough to take home all the points. Fair play to them.
I don’t wish to be critical at all, my only feeling is that we lacked freshness – our performance after 15-20 minutes was lethargic and if I’m honest, I was a little miffed at the unchanged starting line-up, BUT to be balanced – the players had been performing well and didn’t really deserve to be taken out for the sake of it.
In the last two games, being back at home, we’ve changed shape slightly going with a flat four in midfield rather than a diamond – for me we become less expressive with that and we lose the talents of the likes of Lapslie and Charsley, plus because we’re not stretching the game as much – other areas of the pitch become exposed and that really showed last night especially at the back.
What was pleasing is that we did respond late on in the second half but we still had that weight of reluctance about us and tried far too often to walk in the ball in, we had one shot on target which says it all – we need to be hungry and expressive, not timid and shy – especially at home.
Essentially on Sunday we have a “free shot” at tinkering as we face Daggenham in the FA Cup. I say “free shot” purely because should we lose, it doesn’t do us any harm in terms of long term LEAGUE projections – yes I’d love a good cup run, but right now given how far we’ve fallen and the mess Nigel Clough has to try and sort out, the League is the only priority.
I would 100% expect a handful of changes – a statement to players, here’s a shirt, here’s a start, here’s a future at this club – go out there and prove to me you deserve it by doing the simple things right and winning a game of football – fail to do so, well January is around the corner, the perfect time to cross that bridge.
Disappointing yes, but sometimes when you’re on a fresh journey – a loss is what you need in order to see the deeper problems, rather than just papering over the cracks.
We go again!
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Marek Stech | Kellan Gordon, Farrend Rawson, James Perch ©, Mal Benning | Harry Charsley (Jamie Reid 77), George Lapslie, Ollie Clarke, Stephen McLaughlin (Tyrese Sinclair 89) | Nicky Maynard (Andy Cook68), Jordan Bowery
Unused Subs: Aidan Stone, Ryan Sweeney, Aaron O’Driscoll, Corey O’Keeffe
Beating Fleetwood on Saturday was hard work for Stags, however last night at the One Call Stadium, Paul Cox’s men un-did all of that hard work as they were buried by Bury, falling to a disgraceful 4-1 defeat.
Fellow struggles Bury to their credit were excellent; they passed the ball and often made it look like they had two extra men – All four goals were far too cheap to give away but were equally deserved and well taken. We were all in agreement last night in Q block that the game was lost not to Bury’s work rate and effort, but to the fact the management completely lost their bottle and failed to change the system when it was clear from the off that it was going to fail.
I remember last January sitting in the commentary box at Stockport in the early stages of our mammoth gallop to the league title, watching the first few minutes and seeing the struggling hosts rip Mansfield apart. We’d started, whether intentionally or not, with a flat five across midfield. Stockport ran riot and should have led thanks to an early penalty, fortunately for us, Danny Hattersley screwed his spot kick wide of the target. Paul Cox then tweaked the formation from a flat five across to the middle to a defensive midfield two (Murray and Howell) and an attacking midfield three (Meikle, Stevenson and Daniel) to support and provide for Matt Green which subsequently worked wonders and sparked THAT memorable run.
I said numerous times in commentary that night that Paul Cox had bottle to change the formation and that, by doing so, he could accept that something wasn’t quite working and give the lads the push in the right direction. In football, you live and die by the choices you make – that night Cox gave us life, last night, we died.
This happened simply because Cox stuck by his guns and continued with a failing system – from the first two minutes it was clear Bury had done their home work and exploited every hole and gap they could find. We allowed the shakers to play out from the back, not once did the keeper take a long goal kick, this is like handing a thief your house keys on Christmas Day and telling them the secret to opening that back door! As soon as you allow the visiting team to dictate play you’ve lost the game, Bury did it all night. Rhead, Stevenson, Daniel and Clucas gave chase when they could but the visitors just kept moving the ball around them making them look silly, it was embarrassing to watch.
Bury’s opener on 25 minutes should have been enough for Cox to shake the pack as Danny Mayor cantered unchallenged a good twenty yards or so before drilling low beyond Alan Marriott into the bottom corner. The opener wasn’t enough for change however the visitors created a number of opportunities for another but fortunately, didn’t find one before the break – Stags created very little of note, nothing that was ever going to change the course of the game.
Had the system changed to a 4-4-1-1 at half time, introducing Hutchinson behind Rhead and perhaps Lindon Meikle to the flanks, we may have witnessed another outcome. Sadly, there was no change and subsequently Bury took full control, adding a second on 56 minutes as Danny Nardiello rattled a shot in-off the post following a crisp low cross from the Bury right, another run which went unchallenged.
Nardiello netted his second and Bury’s third eight minutes later from identical build up play, an untracked run was followed by an unchallenged cross which fell kindly for the Bury hit man to fire crisply home on the half volley.
Still the system remained and still we watched on as Bury kept the ball and dominated play, Sam Clucas’ 71st minute tap in following Junior Daniel’s sweeping cross failed to shake the shaers as Stags clawed it back to 3-1 as a mere 15 seconds from the restart, Jake Carroll made a fool of Marriott as the Bury man lobbed him from distance to make it 4-1.
Laughably, Cox then altered the system, withdrawing Ryan Tafazolli for Ben Hutchinson with eight minutes to play – switching to a 4-4-1-1, Hutchinson went out right, Clucas out left whilst Stevenson supported substitute Ollie Palmer in attack. Question One: How is an attacking midfielder / deep lying forward going to effect the game at 4-1 down on the right hand side. Question Two: If question one can be answered how can he do that in eight minutes and finally, Question Three: why did the change not happen at half time!!
With Martin Riley and James Jennings injured, defensively our options are limited when it’s clear we need a fresh input. Get on the blower too Macclesfield and fetch George Pilkington back, maybe even give Paul Black (left back who signed in the summer for those who can’t remember him) a shot if he’s fit – seriously, what is there too loose?
Drop the system in favour of a 4-4-1-1 and bring in wingers, Junior Daniel playing a wide mans role rather than wingback would be an advantage in my opinion whilst on the right, Louis Briscoe and Lindon Meikle would welcome the opportunity to shine and get at full backs. Bring Murray or McGuire back into the middle and stick the captain’s armband on their arm and you’ve got your flair whilst Hutchinson, just behind Rhead, Palmer or Dyer would provide the goals.
Oh it seems so easy on paper doesn’t it? I’m angry like the rest of you but deep down, I do believe we’ll stay up – I just hope, maybe even beg, that Cox finds the bottle to hold his hands up and admit the system plays into the hands of the opposition far too often and then change it. In January 2013 on a cold night in Stockport he did just that, what followed was something none of us will ever forget, In February 2014 on a cold night in Mansfield, he should have done the same again, don’t let it cost us.
Written by Craig Priest
The views expressed in this blog are those of the writer and not those of Mansfield Matters or its related organisations.
Matt Rhead’s powerful 31st minute header this afternoon secured a vital 1-0 victory over Fleetwood Town and will go a long way in the Stags’ fight for league survival. The big front man set Stags on their way and gave them a deserved lead, heading the ball powerfully enough to beat the keeper following Chris Clements’ pinpoint corner.
The Stags played some good football in the early stages and were unlucky not have led early with Junior Daniel, one of two changes, drilled low at the keeper whilst Darryl Westlake & Sam Clucas also came close.
Mansfield thoroughly deserved the victory and in our opinion, showed superb resilience as the game progressed deeper into the second half. No matter how many times Fleetwood attacked or how far forward their defensive line moved, Cox’s men were determined to hold firm and take all three points, this is exactly the type of attitude needed to move the club away from the drop-zone and the chasing the pack.
Walking out of the match, a few faces were still having the same old conversation ‘we need a striker’ – yes this may well be true but in reality, without a miracle, we’re not going to get one.
We are in a situation where we need a striker, but for whatever reason off the field or finically, it’s not going to happen. We have to work with what we’ve got and play to our strengths rather than letting our weaknesses be exposed – today, we played to our strengths and look at the end result.
Losing players through injury will always be a blow, especially the calibre of Martin Riley and James Jennings, however today being forced into changed also played a part in victory. Ritchie Sutton came into the centre back three and performed solidly, tracking his markers all afternoon and very rarely allowing crosses to come into the area. Junior Daniel, who slotted into left wing back in the absence of Jennings, was fully deserving of the man of the match award. His energy down that left hand side gave Mansfield an extra outlet which they’ve been lacking for a while – every time he got on the ball there was a sense of anticipation and that something was going to come.
Bury will be tough on Tuesday evening but with two back to back home wins under their belts, the players have a bit more of a spring in their step – fingers crossed this time, the victory is not just a one off and our champions can achieve stability.
Written by Craig Priest & Emily Sykes
The views expressed in this blog are those of the writers and not those of Mansfield Matters or its related organisations.
Written by Craig Priest & Emily Sykes
Goals for Sam Clucas and James Jennings helped the Stags on their way to their first home win in twenty weeks this afternoon and despite a late consolation goal for Southend’s Ryan Leonard, Mansfield showed tremendous character to hold on and clinch a massive three points.
It was a nervy afternoon watching on from Q block as Paul Cox’s men looked to respond from last weekend’s gut wrenching last minute sucker-punch at Plymouth, however the disappointment of taking a draw from the cusp of glory, only helped to motivate Cox’s men onto picking up all three points.
We commented several times about how narrow the players looked when they had the opportunity to attack, Chris Clements and Lee Stevenson both looked to pull the strings but often found a forward path non-existent in a system which, for us, fails to get the best out of the players. That said, rather than throw it the towel, the boys kept pushing and eventually found breakthroughs – the opener from Sam Clucas a fine example of a left sided player feeding on scraps from his natural side of the pitch.
There could, and should, have been more throughout with Ryan Tafazolli coming close from a corner and the impressive Matt Rhead being denied by the keeper. The fact the second strike didn’t follow immediately didn’t frustrate the majority of the supporters around us and in turn, didn’t affect the players – instead they dug their heals in and refused to let Phil Brown’s Southend in, whether it be over the top, down the flanks or through the middle the visitors were met by a stern resilience with numerous players putting a foot in and getting in front of stray shots.
Naturally there was always a sense that one goal wouldn’t be enough, Stags were once bitten twice shy and they knew the importance of taking a chance when it came. The prime example came on 64 minutes when a corner came out of the blue – despite being denied with through an initial shot, James Jennings was on hand to bundle home the loose ball to give us all a massive boost.
Southend wouldn’t lie down and came back at Stags in attempt to rescue the game yet the combined force of the Stags’ resilience and the footballing gods saw the visitors hit the bar, via an acute touch of Marriott’s glove, hit the post and fire high into the stands.
Last on Leonards stray effort trickled in to make us all bite the remainder of our nails yet Mansfield hung on and gained a massive three points that will hopefully provide a massive boost going into Tuesday evenings match with Bury.
Remember, it only takes a whisper to start an avalanche – let the points begin to role! COYS
The views expressed in this blog are those of the writers and not those of Mansfield Matters or its related organisations.
Mansfield’s poor league form continued yesterday as they were narrowly edged out in a nine goal thriller, losing 5-4 at Fleetwood Town.
The Stags experienced a torrid final few minutes of emotions as first substitute Ross Dyer, back following a loan spell with Hereford United, popped up to equalise in the 89th minute as Stags clawed back from 4-2 down before elation turned to heartbreak as seconds after Dyer’s leveller, fellow substitute James Jennings conceded a penalty which was tucked away for the hosts to cruelly steal the points.
It was strange really as the Stags afternoon had already got off to a bad start, a mistake from Anthony Howell not once or twice but thrice gifted the hosts an opportunity in the box, Gareth Evans the one to eventually convert firing Fleetwood in front after a mere twenty seconds.
The Stags weren’t deterred by falling behind and staged a turn-around, Chris Clements grabbed Mansfield’s first ever goal at Fleetwood on nine minutes with a driven free kick right on the edge of the box which curled into the bottom corner. Howell then atoned for his early error by putting the Stags ahead on 15 minutes.
Mansfield’s lead lasted twenty minutes and the equalizer came in gift form as Martin Riley, back in the line-up following injury, gave away a spot kick - Antoni Sarcevic converted by drilling straight down the middle.
After the break Junior Daniel came close to putting the Stags ahead again as he smashed against the bar, however it was the hosts who seemed to put the game beyond doubt with two quick fire goals, first Sarcevic netted his second of the game on 64 minutes with a fine run before Evans netted his second two minutes later to make it 4-2.
Fleetwood didn’t bank on a Stags fight back, Sam Clucas relight the fire with a close range header on 77 minutes before Ross Dyer thought he’d written the headlines in the 89th minute, seeing the ball over the line as a shot came in through the crowd.
Elation for Mansfield at 4-4 soon turned to despair as back down in the Stags box, a last ditch challenge from substitute James Jennings saw the hosts awarded a penalty. Alan Marriott guessed correctly but couldn’t keep out Sarcevic’s second spot kick of the game, meaning the Fleetwood man not only took home the match ball, but also the points for the plucky hosts.
FULL TIME: Fleetwood 5-4 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 2,831 (300 Approximately)
Referee: Scott Matheison
Stags: Alan Marriott, Ritchie Sutton, John Dempster ©, Martin Riley, Lee Beevers (James Jennings 60), Anthony Howell (Ross Dyer 78), Chris Clements, Junior Daniel, Lee Stevenson (Godfrey Poku 67), Sam Clucas, Ollie Palmer.
UNUSED SUBS: Matt Rhead, Ryan Tafazolli, Lindon Meikle, Ian Deakin.
Mansfield Town failed to relight their season following last Saturday’s 8-1 win in the FA Cup, slipping to a 3-1 defeat against Oxford United playing the majority of the match with ten men following midfielder Jamie McGuire’s sending off.
The Stags were already a goal down before McGuire’s dismissal, the opening goal coming on twelve minutes as the home defence was sliced apart allowing the visitors to get a shot away.
Alan Marriott failed to deal with the effort and spilt the ball straight into the path of Sean Rigg who slotted into the empty net in front of the visiting fans.
Mansfield fought to get back in the game but soon faced an up hill struggle when McGuire appeared to walk off the pitch following a strong challenge, a fight broke out straight after the tackle and it transpires the Stags midfielder was shown a straight red card in the middle of the crowd.
Oxford used the extra man to their advantage and with pace and fluidity calved Mansfield apart, former Stag Johnny Mullins headed over a deep free kick on 36 minutes with Lee Stevenson collecting a yellow card for giving away the set play.
Shortly before the chance, John Dempster required treatment for a head wound which led to eight minutes added onto the first half, in the first of these Lee Stevenson pulled Stags level with a rasping volley following a deep James Jennings free kick. The game was level for all of five minutes as the visitors threw on James Constable, he slotted home unmarked after former Reading midfielder Dave Kitson’s defence slicing pass to put Oxford 2-1 up going into half time.
Jake Speight was recalled from Alfreton prior to the match and, back in the Stags line-up, came closest to again levelling the match as he drew a save from the Oxford keeper, however with a man less Stags were all over the place and the game was put beyond doubt on 65 minutes as Ryan Williams converted from close range after a drilled cut back from the left hand side.
FULL TIME: Mansfield 1-3 Oxford United
Attendance: 3,831 (769)
Referee: Charles Brakespear
STAGS: Alan Marriott, Lee Beevers, John Dempster (C), Ritchie Sutton, James Jennings (Lindon Meikle 73), Sam Clucas, Jamie McGuire, Anthony Howell, Junior Daniel, Lee Stevenson (Keiran Murtagh 84), Jake Speight
UNUSED SUBS: Ian Deakin, John McCombe, George Pilkington, Matt Rhead, Calvin Andrew
It was a relieving feeling on Saturday when Lee Stevenson finally broke the Stags goal curse, what followed too was a surprising burst of energy infront of goal as Cox’s men went onto grab a total of eight goals to romp through to the FA Cup second round, tomorrow though will be a much sterner test as second place Oxford United come to town.
League form has been frustratingly negative of late and tomorrow, hopefully reignited by the eight goal burst and victory, Cox’s men hope to put it right. Oxford are a good footballing side and stretch teams, the commitment and togetherness has to return if we hope to turn a corner.
Naturally there are still problems and errors with injuries, Ollie Palmer and Ben Hutchinson are both injured and with loanee James Alabi still suspended, the strike forced becomes even more stretched. Sam Clucas will be boosted by his four goals last week but can he bare the weight of expectancy? He’ll have back up presumably from Calvin Andrew or Matt Rhead with Lee Stevenson too however it’s almost critical that the partnership is right to break down what is statistically the best defence in the division.
One positive for Stags is the fact both captain John Dempster and right back Lee Beevers are back from suspension, no doubt this will relieve some tension after a few make-shift back lines in recent weeks.
LAST TIME WE MET
In total Stags and Oxford have met 30 times with the last meeting coming in the conference at the end of the 2009-10 season. David Holdsworth’s Stags lost 2-0 to an Oxford side who went onto gain promotion, whilst the reverse fixture at the One Call Stadium saw Stags edge the game 2-1 with Ryan Williams and Jake Speight (who scored again for Alfreton at the weekend mr Cox!) getting the goals.
At the One Call Stags have eight wins and have slipped to just three defeats.
Striker Ollie Palmer joins Ben Hutchinson on the sidelines whilst James Alabi is suspended and coming to the end of his months loan spell. Chris Clements is close to fitness but is unlikely to feature this weekend.
When Darren Locke headed St Albans City into an eighth minute lead yesterday, fans of Mansfield must have wondered if their goal-shy sides luck would ever change. Going into the match Stags were without a goal in 428 minutes so you can imagine the relief when Lee Stevenson slotted home to stop the clock, ending what was a 472 minute spell without a goal to level the FA Cup encounter.
What followed was an outburst of Stags attack as they dumped their part-time non-league opponents out of the cup by eight goals to one, midfielder Sam Clucas the star man bagging half of the Stags goals.
As mentioned, the Stags began skating on Banana Skins as Locke headed an eighth minute David Keenleyside cross beyond a bewildered Alan Marriott. The Stags were rocked by the saints opener and fought hard to respond and end the goal drought, Lee Stevenson the scorer after being restored to the line up after a man of the match performance for the reserves midweek.
Stevenson was teeded up by a low pass from captain Jamie McGuire a minute before the break and after levelling the match, were soon in front as a second goal followed just a minute later – goal scorer Stevenson turned provider for Anthony Howell who converted low to put the Stags ahead.
After the break the Stags showed no mercy on the hosts as they grabbed a third on 70 minutes thanks to Junior Daniel’s well struck tight angled volley, Sam Clucas got the fourth just four minutes later as he curled beyond Paul Bastock in the home goal.
Ollie Palmer added the fifth minutes later with a fine solo effort, twisting and turning from the half way line before driving a low effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
From then it was the Clucas show as he added goals six, seven and eight taking home the match ball in the process. Goal six came on 81 minutes as substitute Lindon Meikle sent Clucas clean through for a simple tap-in, the former Hereford man grabbed his hat-trick five minutes later, this time clipping the keeper from another Meikle pass before right at the death grabbing his fourth and Stags’ 8th of the tie racing through the middle onto a loose ball before cooly finishing.
FULL TIME: St Albans City 1-8 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 3,251 (450 Approx)
Referee: Mark Heywood
Stags: Alan Marriott, Ritchie Sutton, John McCombe, George Pilkington, James Jennings (Paul Black 88), Sam Clucas, Jamie McGuire (C), Anthony Howell, Junior Daniel, Lee Stevenson (Lindon Meikle 78), Ollie Palmer (Godfrey Poku 90+1)
UNUSED SUBS: Matt Rhead, Calvin Andrew, Keiran Murtagh, Ian Deakin.
Mansfield Town’s miserable run continued last night as they were beaten 3-0 by Southend and had debutant loanee James Alabi and defender Lee Beevers both dismissed. Hosts Southend also had Conor Clifford sent off during the first half however in truth, the hosts were well in control from the off.
Paul Cox threw youngster Alabi straight into the mix as one of three changes, the stoke striker came close early on as he turned Ben Hutchinson’s cross wide however he was soon watching on as Anthony Straker converted Kevan Hurst’s 24th minute cross to put the hosts ahead.
Seven minutes later, Alabi went in harsh on the hosts Luke Prosser and was shown a straight red card meaning he’ll now miss the majority of his month’s loan through suspension. The hosts used their man advantage well and could have had a second had it not been for a fine save from the returning Alan Marriott and an expert block from Ritchie Sutton.
With four minutes to go before the break, the numbers were evened out as Calvin Andrew was fouled by Clifford, who followed in the footsteps of Alabi by being shown a straight red card.
Further controversy was to come before the break, Jamie McGuire sent a backwards header to Marriott who appeared to carry the ball over the line and subsequently concede the games second goal with the linesman ruling Marriott had indeed crossed the line with the ball.
Matt Rhead and Sam Clucas were introduced at the interval for Stags who were chasing a two goal turnaround, the duo linked up well and Clucas had a handful of efforts go astray however the majority of the play belonged to the hosts although Mansfield managed not to concede a third.
Their job was made difficult on 89 minutes as Lee Beevers picked up his second booking of the game for a foul on ex Stags man Will Atkinson, inevitably the hosts grabbed their third goal in the fifth minute of five added as Hurts shot deflected beyond Marriott.
Another defeat for Cox’s men see’s them slip to 12th – with Beevers suspended the defence becomes even more stretched ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup match with St Albans whilst the goal drought stretches to an alarming 428 minutes of football.
FULL TIME: Southend United 3-0 Mansfield
Attendance: 4,824 (199)
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Stags: Alan Marriott, Lee Beevers, Ritchie Sutton, John McCombe, George Pilkington, Calvin Andrew (Sam Clucas HT), Jamie McGuire (C), Jack Blake, Junior Daniel (Lindon Meikle 62), Ben Hutchinson (Matt Rhead HT), James Alabi
Unused Subs: Keiran Murtagh, Lee Stevenson, James Jennings, Ollie Palmer
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