FULL-TIME Mansfield Town 0-1 York City, Tuesday, 11th March

MTFC v York
MTFC v York
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Referee Darren Drysdale was in the eye of the storm as in-form York City reeled off a fourth successive away win thanks to a controversial penalty at One Call Stadium tonight.

Stags felt hard done to when Drysdale pointed to the spot after he felt John Dempster had brought down Josh Carson, Ryan Bowman putting the spot kick away.

But the decisions continued to go against the Stags, who felt Bowman should have been sent off for an elbow and should have had two penalties of their own as an otherwise impressive York made it seven games unbeaten.

Drysdale even awarded the visitors another spot kick for a handball spotted by his linesman in stoppage time, but this time Alan Marriott denied Wes Fletcher.

Angry Stags must now lick their wounds ahead of Saturday’s testing trip to relegation rivals Northampton Town.

Manager Paul Cox kept his promise to rest players and freshen things up as he made four changes.

Martin Riley came in for injured central defender Ritchie Sutton while James Jennings took over from Junior Daniel at left wing back.

Jamie McGuire replaced Saturday’s hero Anthony Howell in central midfield while Sam Clucas dropped back into the hole behind the strikers to allow Lindon Meikle to come in and partner Matt Rhead up front

The first few minutes were frantic but with neither goal threatened.

It took nine minutes for either side to produce a shot, Bowman firing a tame, low shot straight to Marriott from the left hand corner of the box.

A poor Jennings shot at the other end then conjured up a fortuitous corner which Jennings curled in superbly and the ball sailed right across the face of goal before ending up out for another corner on the other side.

A Rhead flick offered a momentary hope for Meikle in the box, but his first touch was poor as he helped the ball well wide for a goalkick.

Stags were showing a few nervous touches and, stemming from those, York won their first corner on 14 minutes.

Rhead headed that away for a second which was worked short and saw a backheel send Reed to the by-line for a low shot into the sidenetting.

Stags hit back with their third corner before a break in play for treatment to the injured Westlake.

Marriott then confidently came to claim a Hayhurst free kick from the left.

Westlake was still feeling the effects of his early injury and on 29 minutes had to be replaced by Beevers.

But three minutes later Stags were behind after a controversial penalty decision.

Carson had got goalside of McGuire and raced into the box where he collided with Dempster and went down.

Stags and the crowd were furious to see Drysdale point to the spot and Bowman, cool as a cucumber, slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.

More controversy followed moments later as Dempster went down after a challenge from Bowman, holding his head.

It was right in front of linesman Amy Fearn and she was quickly surrounded by home players claiming Bowman threw an elbow. But, after a quick word with her, Drysdale played on to the home fans’ fury.

McGuire had a couple of efforts, one tamely at Pope and a volley wide while Rhead headed at the keeper at his near post as Stags tried to find a platform back into the game.

Riley was booked for a foul on 43 minutes, then Marriott had to punch away York’s third corner.

In stoppage time Clucas was too high with a dipping 18-yard shot from a Rhead nod-down as Stags went in with work to do.

Drysdale was booed loudly back onto the pitch with Stags boss Cox growling into his ear as he walked on.

Stags cleared a York corner before Rhead’s nod-down at the other end saw Meikle scoop a shot tamely towards Pope.

A shove in the back on Carson by Clucas saw the yellow card out again on 56 minutes.

Desperate Mansfield changed to a 4-4-2 formation on 58 minutes, Dempster withdrawn and Palmer sent on up front on 58 minutes.

A minute later Lowe extended an arm as McGuire lifted the ball in the box and made contact, Stags again furious their penalty claims were waved away.

Soon after Rhead almost had the shirt torn off his back in the box at a free kick and still there was no penalty awarded.

Loanee Cain came on for Murray with 19 minutes to go.

As Stags piled forward, Coulson was not far over the angle from 18 yards six minutes from time.

A minute into stoppage time the linesman flagged for a handball in the home box by Jennings which no one else had seen and Drysdale pointed to the spot for another penalty.

This time Fletcher took it and Marriott saved with his knees before Jarvis sent a follow-up straight at him.

MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott; Dempster (Palmer,58), Tafazolli, Riley; Westlake (Beevers, 29), McGuire, Clucas, Murray (Cain, 73), Jennings; Rhead, Meikle. Subs: Stevenson, Dyer, Clements, Daniel.

YORK CITY: Pope, Oyebanjo, Davies, Coulson (Jarvis, 84), Penn, Carson, Lowe, McCombe, Bowman (Fletcher, 71), Hayhurst, Reed (Montrose, 77). Subs: McGurk, Platt, Ingham, Puri.

Scorers:York: Bowman (pen), 32.

ATTENDANCE: 2,865 (466 away)

REFEREE: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)

STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Rhead