Following the snowy goalless point away at Luton the previous weekend, and the subsequently postponed away trip to Alfreton Dale Belford's Lambs welcomed title chasing Paul Cox's in form Mansfield Town - with the Stags on the back of a 15 match unbeaten run. Belford made one change to the side that picked up a good point against The Hatters, with Richard Tait replacing the injured Jonathan Thorpe at right back. After a slight delay to get play underway The Stags got the match underway kicking towards the Castle End. Inside the third minute Green pulled the ball back to Stevenson and Marshall blocked the kick for a corner. From the flagkick, one time Lamb Dempster headed strongly, but Mitchell was equal to the effort and Marshall cleared the danger again. A fine move out of defence started by Kelly in the middle of the back line who passed to Lloyd on the left down the wing and his final ball was inviting for Byfield, but the was no fairytale start for The Lambs although the initial signs were very promising. And then on 10 Cunnington was denied by the referees whistle when he was adjudged to have fouled, as it would have seen him clean through on goal. A tidy piece of skill down the right swathe ball pulled back for Hendrie and his ball into the box took a deflection out for a corner on 14 and after a melee in the box the ball skipped to Byfield on the left of the area but his snapshot hit the side netting. On 21 Tait's ball from the right side to Cunnington could have produced a goal but The Lambs leading scorer pulled his shot back and high over the target from 12 yards out. At the other end on 24 Green's attempted shot was pushed away by Mitchell and when the ball came across the box, Briscoe was denied a chance to pull the trigger forcing a corner from Marshall's headed clearance. Jones got his head to resulting corner past the far post but Mitchell was happy to see it out of play with Lloyd covering. Briscoe then struck for goal from the right of the box and it took a slight deflection to take it further past the far post. Hendrie's cross from the right was headed on by Cunnington on 36 and Lloyd fired it back into the box only to see Dempster clear it as it went goalwards. A neat one two by the visitors saw Chapman half volley a chance on the angle down the left at goal but Mitchell was not going to be beaten and plucked the rising shot out of the air. A melee caused by a corner on the left ended with a snap shot and block by Tait after Mitchell had been left on the floor following an attempted punch clear over a crowd of players. one minute added time was shown at the end of the half and although Lloyd tried to weave a way through he was blocked by two covering defenders and the referee ended proceedings.
HT: Tamworth 00 Mansfield Town
After a ten minute delay in kicking off the second half, the referee was forced to restart the second period three times due to encroachments and Cunnington's early ball to Hendrie saw the latter float a shot into Marriott's expectant grasp. Cunnington worked hard to pull the ball back from the right by-line on 49 and Byfield attempted a volley under pressure but it didn't come off. Lloyd took the initiative to have a run at goal on 50 and hit his shot at Marriott after advancing down towards the Castle End while Cox made a double change of personnel for Mansfield. Cunnington was pulled down by Dempster on the right wing on 55 earning the Stags defender a booking, and Kelly saw his curling freekick tipped onto the bar and out for a corner, but nothing came of the flagkick and Hendrie was booked as play commenced by the clubhouse. Mansfield took the lead on 61 through Jones right foot sweeping finish from 18 yards after The Lambs were unable to prevent green from threading the ball across the front of the box to set up his teammate. (0-1 61mins). Courtney picked up a yellow yard for a challenge on the halfway line on 62 and Belford made his first chance of the game shortly after bringing Wright on for Byfield. Wylde struck the bar with a close range effort on 69 minutes and Belford brought the younger of the two Hendrie brothers into the fray for the final quarter of the game. Wylde thought his luck was in again on 80 when Marriott appeared to drop the ball allowing the big defender to stab home from close range, but the referee had spotted an infringement and ruled out his finish from a yard out. Marriott tried to punch the ball clear from a Lambs corner on the left on 84 and ended up outside his area. The keeper clipped Kelly with a stray boot and earned himself a booking, setting up the same player with a freekick from 18 yards out but Kelly just cleared the target. As the clock ticked down towards the end of the 90 minutes Cunnington tried an effort from the left wing and Marriott took it well. Six minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and Perry came on for Gudger with three remaining and Stuart Hendrie was booked for a late challenge as time ran out and 1172 Mansfield fans celebrated.
Liam MITCHELL (GK), Richard TAIT, Marcus KELLY, Michael WYLDE, Tom MARSHALL, Adam CUNNINGTON, Lee HENDRIE, Darren BYFIELD (Tommy WRIGHT 65), Duane COURTNEY (c.), Connor GUDGER (Kyle PERRY 90+), Danny LLOYD (Stuart HENDRIE 73) Subs: Tony BREEDEN (GK), Sam OJI
Mansfield Town Team:
Alan MARRIOTT (GK), John DEMPSTER, Luke JONES, Lindon MEIKLE, Matt GREEN (Anthony HOWELL 85), Louis BRISCOE (Colin DANIEL 52), Lee BEEVERS, Adam MURRAY (c.), Lee STEVENSON (Matt RHEAD 53), Adam CHAPMAN, Greg TAYLOR Subs: Ritchie SUTTON, Ben HUTCHINSON
Man of the Match: Watson's Fuels chose Tom Marshall