Briscoe strike tames Tigers
Mansfield Town registered all three points on their first ever trip to Ewen Fields thanks to a fabulous strike from Louis Briscoe.
The 24-year-old netted his third goal of the Blue Square Bet Premier campaign just 15 seconds after the break as Paul Cox’s side dominated in Cheshire.
Hyde rarely troubled the Stags, but came close to snatching an unlikely point when Chris Sedgwick’s set-piece had to be hooked off the line by the outstanding Luke Jones.
On a mild night in Greater Manchester, the hosts enjoyed three early corners, but the closest they came to an opener was when Luke Ashworth flicked Sedgwick’s chipped ball wide of the target.
The Stags tested Chris Dilo for the first time on nine minutes, as Matt Green accelerated away from Ashworth and smashed a low 20-yard drive that was well held by the Tigers shot-stopper.
Skipper Adam Murray fired over from the edge of the area as Mansfield continued to press forward, whilst Lee Stevenson’s ball through the six-yard box was hurridly cleared by Tom Anderson.
Hyde were penned back for lengthy spells, though chances remained at a premium for Cox’s dominant side.
James Jennings wild free-kick drifted well over the woodwork, before Jones rose highest and headed over from a right-sided corner by Jennings midway through the first period.
Mansfield tamed Tigers with relative ease, but there was a brief moment of concern on the half-hour mark.
Briscoe was cautioned for a needless pull on Shay McCartan, which allowed Sedgwick to whip a teasing cross deep into the Stags area, and forced Alan Marriott into action.
The visitors then created a golden chance when Green collected play deep in the final third and played an inch-perfect pass to Stevenson, who saw his thunderous 20-yard drive beaten clear by Dilo.
The Stags continued to dominate play, but remained frustrated as another header from Jones, and Stevenson’s long-range strike, both failed to find the target.
An unmarked Junior Daniel then spurned a gilt-edge chance on 41 minutes, when he screwed a first-time strike wide of Dilo’s left-hand post after he was put through by Lee Beevers.
Meanwhile, Green also punched the air in disgust a minute later, as he hammered another low drive towards goal that comfortably collected by the Tigers custodian.
After a first half of complete frustration, Mansfield made a blistering start to the second period.
Only 15 seconds after the interval, Briscoe hit a teasing right-wing cross towards the back-post, which sailed over a static Hyde shot-stopper and into the far corner.
Buoyed by having established a deserved advantage, the Stags looked venomous as they immediately sought to extend the one-goal margin.
Just two minutes later Hyde’s misery was almost enhanced as Daniel slipped a neat ball through to Green, who fended off the challenge of James Cassidy but ultimately blazed into the side-netting.
Moments later, Briscoe crashed a powerful header against the woodwork from inside the six-yard box after he latched onto Stevenson’s beautiful left-sided delivery.
Skipper Murray then fed Daniel on the inside-left, and after the tricky winger weaved his towards goal, his fine strike had to be turned round the post by a full-stretch Dilo.
The Stags continued to attack with unadulterated menace and soon registered yet another chance as Anthony Howell headed over following a Jennings’ set-piece.
Briscoe, an industrious figure throughout the game, picked out the tireless Green with a long ball over the top, who carved his way through and forced another save from Dilo on 66 minutes.
Hyde, who rarely threatened, threw on Grant Spencer in the closing stages, and the substitute almost found an unlikely equaliser when his low cross trickled through a crowded six-yard box.
Mansfield then endured more nervy moments, as Sedgwick’s left-wing free-kick was mid-read by Marriott and Jones had to make a goal-line clearance, before Howell eventually cleared the danger.
Howell almost put the result beyond doubt on 84 minutes, when he reached Jennings long toe-poked ball into the area and flicked an attempt narrowly wide of Dilo’s left-hand post.
Frontman Green also came close with two separate headers as the game ticked towards stoppage time, whilst Nick Wright failed to test Dilo with a header during three additional minutes.