BENNING GOAL SEALS STAGS WIN OVER SPIREITES
English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 7976 (2617 from Mansfield)
Date: 14 April 2018
Martin Shaw at the Proact Stadium
Mansfield Town picked up a massively important win in the big local derby at Chesterfield this lunchtime thanks to a terrific goal from Mal Benning midway through the second half. It was a deserved win for the Stags who shaded the game overall. The 2,600 Stags fans created a magnificent atmosphere to roar their team onto victory and send the sorry Spireites spiralling down towards the Vanarama National League, a fate which seems highly likely now. Mansfield were off to a fast start with an attack inside the first 40 seconds, and then creating a good chance on 3 minutes when a shot from Benning was parried by keeper Ramsdale to Alfie Potter who side-footed wide from 15 yards. The Stags should have taken the lead on 20 minutes. Benning was involved again, cutting past Zavon Hines before curling a superb low cross into the middle where Danny Rose slid the ball towards the net having escaped his marker. It looked a certain goal but keeper Ramsdale somehow saved with his legs. Brilliant defending from Potter at the other end denied Chesterfield a goal on 27 minutes. Kristian Dennis headed down creating a chance for Laurence Maguire to bundle the ball goalwards from 12 yards, Logan was out quickly to block the effort, but the loose ball ran into the path of Hines who would have had an empty net to aim at but Potter slid in with a goal saving challenge to put Hines off and the ball skewed wide. Then on 41 minutes, Dennis cut inside Zander Diamond in the area and fired a low shot towards the net from 14 yards but Logan saved well with his legs despite diving the wrong way. Overall the Stags shaded the first half, though both sides had two good chances. Mansfield took the lead on 67 minutes with a terrific goal. Potter played the ball forward to sub CJ Hamilton, Hamilton turned and laid the ball perfectly into the path of Benning who collected the ball a couple of yards outside the area on the left, took one touch forward, and fired low across the keeper into the right corner of the net from 14 yards. This was Benning back at his best and a wonderful moment as the Stags players slid onto their knees in celebration right in front of the Stags fans. Three minutes later, a great move from the Stags as Benning played forward and a shot from Rose was deflected over the bar. From the resulting corner, MacDonald crossed from the left and Rhys Bennett headed just wide. Chesterfield were close to equalising on 79 minutes as sub Louis Dodds shot from 18 yards and it was deflected by Dennis just wide of the left post. Chesterfield changed tactics and started launching long ball after long ball into the Stags box, but the Stags defence stood firm and headed everything away. A bizarre moment in the third moment of stoppage time as Louis Reed was shown a red card by referee Darren Drysdale for bringing down Danny Rose as the last man with Rose having a clear run through on goal. Reed accepted his fate and was walking off, before the referee spotted that his linesman had the offside flag up against Rose, so Drysdale correctly rescinded the card and Reed was able to continue. It didn’t matter as Rhys Bennett headed away the final long ball into the box and the Stags fans could celebrate wildly. Wonderful celebrations and magnificent scenes at the end of the game, as the Chesterfield fans couldn’t get out of the ground quickly enough. It was Mansfield’s first win since the win at Exeter in February, and the first win for new manager David Flitcroft in his 9th game in charge. Later on in the afternoon Coventry won at Crawley, whilst Swindon and Lincoln lost. So Mansfield are one point behind Coventry, and Coventry have a game in hand. Mansfield are level with Lincoln, but Lincoln have two games in hand. Lincoln are at home to Wycombe on Tuesday and we could do with a favour from Wycombe to repay us for the favour we did for them four years ago. Coventry are at home to Stevenage on Friday. It still looks like Mansfield will need to win all of the remaining three games to have a chance of getting into the play-offs. But for today, it was all about local bragging rights.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE