Report: Mansfield 1-0 MorecambeStriker Alex Fisher scored a last minute winner as Mansfield Town recorded a deserved victory over high-flying Morecambe at One Call Stadium.
The substitute headed home at point-blank range from a looping Liam Marsden throw to give the Stags a much-deserved three points from a match they completely dominated.
Prior to kick-off, the main question heading into the game was could the Stags bounce back from defeat against Wycombe Wanderers, despite the steep challenge that lies ahead of them in facing the team who occupied second spot in the table.
Mansfield were valiant and energetic from the very off.
Despite conceding an early corner, Andrew Fleming wasted the early opportunity for high-flying Morecambe by crossing the ball all the way to Bingham on the halfway line. Making his home debut for Mansfield, the ex-Wigan Athletic player wanted to impress supporters. He took the ball full of confidence and manoeuvred his way past Morecambe defenders only to come to a grinding halt when he was dispossessed.
Five minutes in, Mansfield provided fans with the first opportunity of the game as Liam Marsden skied the ball high and wide of the Morecambe goal with an effort from distance. Moments later, Morecambe returned the favour down the other end of the pitch with a hopeful loft of the ball upfield to Andy Parrish. However, the chance led to nothing for the Shrimps as Evtimov ran a risk that paid off as he ran out to collect and continue proceedings.
Paul Cox's men almost drew first blood when Matt Rhead, scorer in the 2-1 defeat at Wycombe, turned and lashed the ball towards straight at goal from 25 yards out. Barry Roche then desperately parried the ball away only into the path of Bingham who, with the goal gaping at his mercy, smashed the ball high and wide.
As the quarter-hour mark passed, The Stags continued to scare travelling Shrimps' fans when goalkeeper Barry Roche was exposed. He raced off his line to clear the ball however it all went pear shaped for the Morecambe number one as he clashed into Stags' skipper Adam Murray. The ball then fell to the feet of Lee Beevers who curled it agonisingly over the bar.
Just prior to the half-hour mark, Alan McGowan drilled some life back into an almost silent Morecambe side as he met an in swinging ball with his right foot which was heading in the top corner, however, Bulgarian ‘keeper Evtimov displayed incredible agility to deny the midfielder.
The Stags weren't out of the woods just yet though. The expert save produced by Evtimov led to a Morecambe corner the visitors took full advantage of the chance given to them, unlike earlier on and the Shrimps clattered the frame of the woodwork, before Padraig Amond poked the ball over the line. Much to the disappointment of the away fans though, Amond's goal was disallowed and ruled offside.
Momentum then swung back in the favour of the hosts. The yellows won a free kick deep in enemy territory on 31 minutes Liam Marsden delivered the ball into the box only to be met by the in-form Bingham who's header was deflected into Roche's tight grasp.
As half-time drew nearer, so did Mansfield Town to scoring. The time on the clock decreased and the pressure in the Morecambe half increased. A wonderful ball was played out to the right where Marsden played a ball into the box intended as a cross, however, this ended up testing the resilience of ‘keeper Roche who tipped it over the bar.
Just moments later, Beevers executed a delicious pass through to Bingham who had a clear chance through on goal, but Roche controversially reached the ball before he could reach it. This raised alarms for referee Stephen Martin to punish the ‘keeper, but instead he waved away such appeals, despite continuous protests from the home fans.
As the second half got under way, Bingham flirted with goal once again, hoping that his dream of a home debut goal would become a reality. Rhead headed the ball into the forward, however, it was just a bit too powerful for the 20-year-old to reach.
Bingham then continued to set the game alight, determined to make all the headlines as he wriggled his way past more Morecambe shirts only to see his shot fly just over. Murray then followed up on Bingham's effort with a similar attempt of his own, once again seeing his shot blaze on 50 minutes.
On 58 minutes, Fergus Bell continued Mansfield's strong start to the second period with a low drilled strike across the ground however it couldn't find its way past Roche, who clutched the ball comfortably. The Stags continued to make use of the possession they had as they piled on further pressure when Beevers shot was deflected out for a corner.
As the game entered its final third, Clements swung in a teasing corner which eventually fell to the feet of Murray. The captain teed up a timely shot which Morecambe cleared off the line.
On 71 minutes, Rhead let fly from around 30 yards out seeing his strike beat Roche, but at the same time, it also beat the post creeping just wide. Seconds later, Rhead was at the centre of the action again. In repeated fashion to that of the weekend, the big striker tested the goalkeeping testament of Roche with a powerful header towards goal.
The Stags then came closer and closer. Bingham was presented with a view of goal, however, his shot didn't have enough power to defeat Roche. Substitute Fisher then experienced his first taste of opportunity as he headed the ball right into the keepers clutches.
With a little over 10 minutes to play, Kevin Ellison had Morecambe's first sniff of goal in the second half with a snap-shot attempt lacked in accuracy and dragged well wide of the post. Morecambe began to further up the anti as the full-time whistle drew closer with only a spectacular Martin Riley tackle preventing a sure goalscoring Ellison chance.
However, long overdue, in the 90th minute a Marsden throw was launched into the box only to be met by substitute Fisher who headed home for the Stags as they collected all three points and deservedly so.
Attendance: 2,185 (65 away supporters).