A spirited Mansfield Town secured an important 2-1 win against Morecambe in tonight’s Sky Bet League Two fixture at Globe Area thanks to a late Adi Yussuf winner.
The Stags initially went behind in the second half after Paul Mullins’ penalty put the home side ahead after Kevin Ellison was brought down in the area.
However Chris Clements’ well-earned equaliser and Yussuf’s late strike from close range sealed a vital three points away from home for the Stags.
Manager Adam Murray made four changes as his side made the journey to the north-west with defender Lee Collins, striker Chris Beardsley, midfielder Jamie McGuire and winger Matty Blair all taking their place in the starting eleven.
Left-back Sean Kavanagh, winger Reggie Lambe and midfielder Adam Chapman, who all appeared against Luton Town, took their places on the substitutes’ bench while midfielder Mitch Rose was absent from the squad completely.
The home side got proceedings underway and in the third minute the Stags created their first attacking opportunity. Matty Blair played a well-timed pass down the wing to striker Matt Green who managed to win his side a corner. The ball was played to McGuire on the edge of the box but his volley was blocked by the studs of the Shrimps’ defender.
With the match still in the early stages, the Stags managed to sustain a good spell of attacking possession as Green continued to make his presence felt by the Morecambe defence.
The first clear-cut opportunity of the match came in the 15th minute when Morecambe’s Lee Molyneux found space on the left side of the pitch and threaded a through ball to striker Kevin Ellison, but his shot couldn’t beat Stags’ goalkeeper Scott Shearer who parried to safety.
With the scores still locked at 0-0, the speed and intensity of the match stepped up a notch as the first half neared the halfway point as Green and Beardsley continued to establish themselves up front for Adam Murray’s side.
The first real glimpse at goal for the Stags came in the 28th minute when centre-half Krystian Pearce’s shot from distance went just wide of the left post after the ball broke to him on the edge of the penalty area after a Chris Clements corner.
Shearer was called into action in the 36th minute when he dived to his right as midfielder Andrew Fleming found space and attempted to curl his shot from distance into the top corner of the goal, but Shearer palmed the ball away.
The first half came to an end with the scores level at 0-0.
Nigel Miller got the second half underway and immediately the Stags’ defence was called upon to halt some promising attacking play by the home side.
Mansfield had a promising opening themselves in the 48th minute when Green received the ball from Hunt on the left side of the penalty area, but he rifled his shot into the site netting.
Another opportunity presented itself in the 53rd minute as Clements’ shot from distance was blocked and fell kindly to Beardsley on the edge of the penalty area. The ball wouldn’t quite ‘sit’ for the striker and his right-footed shot was subsequently blocked by the trailing boot of Andy Parrish and flew over the crossbar for a Stags’ corner.
Jim Bently was the first manager to go to his bench as he made a triple change with Tom Barkhuizen, Jamie Devitt and Alan Goodall coming on in place of Ryan Edwards, Molyneux and Alex Kenyon respectively.
Morecambe looked to press for ascendency on the hour mark as Fleming’s shot from the edge bobbled dangerously into the arms of Shearer.
With 20 minutes remaining in the contest, Morecambe experienced a sustained period in Mansfield’s half as Pearce was forced to clear the ball to safety on a number of occasions.
The home side received a fortunate opportunity when the referee deemed that Ellison was brought down inside the penalty area and subsequently pointed to the spot. Paul Mullin made no mistake, firing the ball hard to the left of Shearer to give the home side a 1-0 lead
Adam Murray reacted by making his first change of the evening as he replaced Beardsley with fellow striker Adi Yussuf.
Morecambe looked to seal the three points in the 75th minute, but substitute Barkhuizen dragged his shot just wide of the right-hand post.
Looking to find the equaliser, Adam Murray made his final two substitutions deciding to introduce midfielder Jack Thomas in place of McGuire and Sean Kavanagh in place of Matty Blair.
The equaliser came for the Stags with five minutes remaining as substitute Yussuf’s commanding header was saved by Barry Roche, only for it to fall into the path of Clements who bundled the ball over the line to make the scores level.
After a sustained spell of attacking possession, Mansfield took the lead. The Shrimps’ defence failed to clear the ball after Lee Collins poked the ball goalwards which allowed Yussuf to punch the ball into the back of the net and give the Stags an incredible lead.
After a tense final moments, the match concluded with the score at 2-1 and the Stags returned to winning ways.
Mansfield Town: Shearer, Hunt, Pearce, Tafazolli, Collins, McGuire (Thomas 82), Clements, Baxendale, Blair (Kavanagh 82), Beardsley (Yussuf 76), Green.
Substitutes not used: Jensen, Lambe, Westcarr, Chapman.
Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Kenyon (Devitt 59), Dugdale, Edwards (Barkhuizen 59), Molyneux (Goodall 59), Ellison, Mullin, Fleming, Wilson, Parrish.
Substitutes not used: O’Hara, Miller, Doyle, Conlan.
Attendance: 1047 (77 away supporters)