Report: Orient 1-2 Stags
Mansfield Town striker Matt Green kept his name in the headlines after a dramatic late winner ensured Stags' sensational start to the season continued at Leyton Orient.
On the eve of this encounter, media reports had linked Green with a £500,000 move to Orient, before the Stags' corrected the rumours later that evening by saying no such bid had been made.
And Green, who verbally committed his future to chairman John Radford and manager Adam Murray in a meeting between the trio, helped fire Stags' to another win.
The same man refused to be disheartened after missing a first-half penalty, after Stags' defender was Krystian Pearce was upended in the box.
It looked like the game was heading for a draw when two goals within six minutes of the second half saw Leyton Orient and Mansfield Town head into the final stages locked at 1-1.
Stags' midfielder Mitchell Rose netted his third goal of the season and has already surpassed his goal tally from last season whilst Orient responded with a 20 yard strike by Dean Cox.
But Green was to have the final say with his late strike to send 217 travelling Stags' supporters into ecstasy.
Stags’ boss Adam Murray made two alterations from the side which lost 2-0 at Plymouth a week ago.
Krystian Pearce made his first start of the season in defence, while striker Darius Henderson gained a starting place after an impressive second half display in the aforementioned encounter.
Midfielder Chris Clements has a hamstring injury and could be out for three weeks. Winger Ashley Hemmings was moved to the bench.
Mansfield created the better clear cut openings in the first half, with defender Pearce in particular causing the hosts a flurry of problems from set-pieces.
Orient fired first at goal from a corner earned in the fourth minute.
From it, Sandro Semedo stabbed it goalwards from 22 yards but it hit Tom Parkes, the Orient defender.
Stags’ first set piece came a minutes later. Hurst delivered on the left flank, however it was to no avail as Matt Green’s looping header was collected on the goal line by Orient shot stopper Alex Cisak, rising to claim.
With ten minutes played, former Stags’ front man Ollie Palmer rose well inside the penalty, only to head over following Harry Cornick’s right-wing cross.
Palmer had a better chance four minutes later. Semedo’s left-flank assist found Palmer who did well to turn his marker before firing over.
Within the blink of an eye, Stags’ leading marksman Green steered a shot wide, after a flick-down by Henderson.
Orient probed again with 15 minutes played when Gavin Massey curled an attempted shot off target.
Stags forced their first corner of the match five minutes later after good work by Green.
Hurst’s flag kick was met by Pearce who powered his way around the Orient box before being bundled by Yvan Erichot.
But after a delayed run up from 12 yards, Green blasted the spot kick from over the bar, on 22 minutes.
Stags refused to be discouraged by the miss and moments later Kevan Hurst stung the Orient keeper’s hands with a rasping 21 yard strike which had to be put over the bar for another Stags’ corner.
From the flag kick, Pearce’s bullet header was cleared off the line as Stags’ pressure mounted on the home goal.
On 35, Collins pushed forward to slip it to Hurst on the left. And after a teasing floater towards the goal area, Darius Henderson was only able to head it across the face of goal.
At the other end, the lively Semedo cut infield to fire wide from 22 yards.
Harry Cornick and Dean Cox then linked up well on the right side, but Stags’ keeper Brian Jensen again went untested.
Semedo then conceded a clumsy free-kick, bringing down Mitchell Rose on the right of the Orient box as he looked to power his way through.
And Benning’s delivery earned another Mansfield corner in the last minute of the first half, but it came to nothing.
Hurst then earned another corner in the dying moments of the first half. The same player took the corner and Pearce powered another header forward in the direction of Kyle Howkins, but he could only stab it over.
Stags made their first change of the match just four minutes into the second half as CJ Hamilton replaced Henderson.
Orient’s first corner of the second half saw Tom Parkes head behind for a goal-kick, after Dean Cox’s drifted assist.
Then as Stags broke forward, Hamilton used his speed to ride the challenge of Parkes on the touchline but he couldn’t supply the final ball into the Orient box.
After a neat move by Hamilton and Hurst, Stags forced another corner.
After Hurst’s right-footed kick, Pearce, typically, was the target and directed another strong header at goal, only to be denied on the line by an Orient stopper.
As the game passed the hour mark, Jordan Bowery and Paul McCallum came on for Ollie Palmer and Harry Cornick.
With the game now into the final quarter, Orient’s Tom Parkes looked dismayed when he failed to find the target from Dean Cox’s inswinging corner.
Stags’ found the breakthrough on 67 when Mitchell Rose slammed the ball into the net.
Hurst supplied from the left and as it ghosted over the head of Matt Green, Rose was in the right place at the right time to drive it into the net from the right side of the box.
Stags' joy was shortlived, however, when Orient replied six minutes later. Working the ball outside the Stags' box, Nigel Atangana laid it to Liam Kelly who struck from inside the D to beat Jensen.
With 10 minutes remaining of normal time, Stags' boss Adam Murray made a double substitution. Adam Chapman and Kevan Hurst departed the field, as Jamie McGuire and James Baxendale took their place amongst the XI.
Clear openings then dried up for both sides after the equaliser.
But that all changed with a dramatic winner from Matt Green in the 89th minute. Benning's left wing cross found Mitchell Rose in the box, who chested it down for Green to place it home left-footed.
Green's delight was obvious, as was the travelling Stags fans, sent into raptures by their striking hero.
Stags' still had to be alert, however,as four minutes of stoppage time was added on.
In Orient's last charge forward, McCallum couldn't connect with Massey's cross, when he was only yards away from heading in.
With Stags' still purring from their second goal, Jamie McGuire had a well hit pot shot which sailed over.
Then as the referee signalled full-time, Stags' staff and players celebrated with the amber army - a united spectacle at the end of a hugely impressive month for Mansfield which started with Green's goal at Newport and ended by a strike from the same man at Orient this afternoon.
ORIENT: Cisak, Kelly, Parkes, Cox, Massey, Hunt, Atangana, Cornick (McCallum 61), Semedo, Erichot, Palmer (Bowery 61)
UNUSED SUBS: Sargeant, Kennedy, Weir, Pollock, Koroma
STAGS: Jensen, Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Benning, Collins, Chapman (McGuire 80), Rose, Hurst (Baxendale 80), Henderson (Hemmings 49), Green
UNUSED SUBS: Shearer, Taft, Hemmings, Hoban
REFEREE: Kevin Johnson
ATTENDANCE: 3,996 (217 Stags’ supporters)