Report: York 1-2 Stags
Mansfield Town moved up to eighth position in the Sky Bet League Two table, as they came from behind to defeat York City at Bootham Crescent.
The Stags, who didn’t arrive at the stadium until 2.20pm, made the worst possible start as Ryan Brobbel put the hosts’ ahead in the first minute.
But Sam Clucas levelled with a spot-kick before half-time, awarded after James Jennings was fouled by Lanre Oyebanjo.
Ollie Palmer sealed the victory for The Stags, who are now unbeaten in six matches, with a fortuitous goal in the closing exchanges.
Due to traffic chaos caused by the Sky Ride cycling event in York city centre, The Stags didn’t arrive at Bootham Crescent until less than 40 minutes before kick-off.
The visitors made just one change to their side, with Matt Rhead, who was serving a one-match suspension, was replaced in the starting XI by Calvin Andrew.
Paul Cox’s side then made the worst possible start, as The Minstermen attacked with menace from the outset and registered a lead inside the opening 60 seconds.
Ryan Jarvis’ right-footed drive from the edge of the area ricocheted off the woodwork, but fell kindly for Brobbel, who converted at point-blank range.
The Minstermen continued to look lively in the early exchanges, as they enjoyed superior possession and were backed by a boisterous home crowd.
The Stags came close to an equaliser on eight minutes, when Andrew headed straight at York ‘keeper Michael Ingham following Ben Hutchinson’s pin-point cross.
Clucas also had a deflected effort comfortably collected by Ingham, whilst Lewis Montrose was off-target with a speculative attempt at the other end.
Mansfield gradually began to see more of the ball after their slow start and levelled from the penalty spot on 21 minutes.
Oyebanjo brought down Jennings with a reckless inside the area, which allowed Clucas to slam the resulting spot-kick high into the net.
Clucas, who posed a constant nuisance for The Minstermen all afternoon, almost put The Stags ahead soon just a few moments later.
Andrew’s pass released the youngster, whose powerful low drive was spilled by a full-stretch Ingham, before McGurk’s vital clearance brought an end to the danger.
The hosts then enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure prior to the interval, in which they had several set-piece opportunities.
On the half-hour mark, Ben Davies flashed an effort high, wide and beyond the noisy contingent of travelling fans standing on the Grosvenor Road Terrace.
Moments later, a left-sided corner caused pandemonium inside The Stags’ area, and McGurk had a shot blocked, before Parslow’s header was caught by Alan Marriott.
Elliott Whitehouse was also off-target with a 20-yard snap-shot on 39 minutes, whilst Lee Beevers was forced to make a last-ditch clearance in The Minstermen’s next attack.
The Stags’ only other opportunity in the first period was just before the break, when Hutchinson’s far-post header was routinely saved by Ingham.
Just a few minutes prior to the interval, Mansfield also had to make their first substitution as Anthony Howell replaced the injured Chris Clements.
The Stags used up their full quota of substitutes ahead of the second half, as Lindon Meikle and Palmer replaced Hutchinson and Jennings respectively.
Clucas had another chance within three minutes of the re-start, but his attempt following Andrew’s left-wing cross failed to trouble Ingham.
York continued to dominate in terms of possession, but despite this, Stags shot-stopper Marriott was rarely tested by The Minstermen.
Instead, it was Mansfield that created a gilt-edge chance on 68 minutes.
Meikle’s delightful through ball found an advancing Clucas, but despite having already breached the hosts defence, the winger saw his angled effort parried away.
Nevertheless, The Stags sealed maximum points just a few moments later in fortuitous circumstances.
Meikle and Clucas once again combined, before Clucas unleashed a low long-range effort that looked as if it would force Ingham into another routine save.
However, Palmer stuck a foot out towards the ball, which was just enough to divert it goalwards and, more importantly, beyond Ingham’s reach.
York then suffered a set-back in the closing stages when Richard Cresswell, who had only been on the field a matter of minutes, was sent-off.
In an incident which also saw Stags’ centre-back Martin Riley dismissed, the veteran striker appeared to swing an elbow at Riley.
A long stoppage then ensued as the referee consulted with his assistants, but he ultimately produced straight red cards for both players.
The Stags were forced to re-shuffle their side for the closing few minutes, with Beevers moving across to centre-back, whilst Clucas operated at left-back.
But despite five minutes of added time and several set-pieces, York were unable to find an equaliser, and The Minstermen remain in trouble near the foot of the table.
The Stags, by contrast, are just a point off the League Two Play-Off places.
Attendance: 3,513 (897 away supporters).