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
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