Stags’ boss Adam Murray dedicated tonight’s last-gasp 1-0 win over Yeovil Town to injured defender Mal Benning.
Murray revealed prior to kick-off at Huish Park that Benning would be out for ‘a long period of time’ after sustaining a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
The game was heading for a stalemate in Somerset before Reggie Lambe popped up with his first goal of the season to head home the only goal of the game deep into injury-time.
The gaffer described how his close-knit squad all wanted to ‘do it for Mal’ tonight, and Murray was delighted to be able to do just that.
“When I spoke before the game about Mal Benning, and I know I speak a lot about this group being like a family, it feels like we’ve lost a member of the family. We spoke before the game and said that we wanted to do it for Mal.
“So that was for Mal today. He’s only been here a few months but the dedication and commitment he’s put in to the football club [has been excellent],” Murray continued.
“That win’s not just for the three points today, that meant more than the three points.”
Although Murray dedicated the win to his injured full-back, he also outlined a number of other factors which were critical to his side’s success.
“That was for the fans, thank you for travelling. We sat on the coach for five hours yesterday, so we know what a journey it is, we owe them one massively, thank you for the support tonight.
“We did it for Mal, we took the frustration out from Saturday and we also did it for the football club.
“[The] chairman and Paul Broughton (Stadium director), they backed me on the decision to come down last night. I know people say it’s a little thing but it does make a difference and when we’re still going in the
90-odd minute there and we score, they’re the ‘one percents’,” Murray said.
“Good teams, they grind results out and that’s a massive win for us.”
Murray was keen to praise second-half substitute Matty Blair, who made only his second appearance of the season tonight after returning from a long-term injury lay-off.
“Matt Blair was excellent today. All the time he’s been out, we’ve been gagging to get him back in but because we’ve been winning, we haven’t had to force his comeback, but I thought he made the difference today. He came on and changed the game.”
The boss was delighted for tonight’s match-winner, Reggie Lambe, who he says is reaping the rewards of his hard work.
“I’m over the moon for Reggie (Lambe). He’s one of these that goes under the radar, but his discipline and work rate on shape is excellent and technically, he’s getting stronger on the ball.
“He deserved that goal, not just for his performance tonight, but for his performances all season.”