STAGS ON THIS DAY: Ernie Moss the hero as Mansfield Town beat promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday

Ernie Moss in action for Mansfield Town.
Ernie Moss in action for Mansfield Town.

On this day 39 years ago - 11th January 1977 – Ernie Moss began to justify the club record £20,000 fee that Mansfield Town boss Peter Morris had paid for his services with the winning goal in a 1-0 home win over promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Moss, brought in for his aerial power, had only netted once in his first four games, though he had a hand in most of the goals Stags had scored in that time.

But in this important clash with Wednesday he made the difference as he rose to head home the winner three minutes from time to secure a double over the Owls just when the draw seemed inevitable.

Mansfield had begun the game strongly and Moss hit the crossbar as they dominated for the first 20 minutes, failing to net several chances.

But Wednesday clawed their way into the contest and before the break Tommy Tynan hit the Mansfield post.

The visitors had the better of the second half. However, with Mick Saxby man of the match in central defence, the Stags clung on and then snatched the two points to leapfrog the Owls into fourth place, three points behind leaders Brighton.

After the game it was found Kevin Randall had battled on with illness, having a temperature of 102 degrees.

Barry Foster, Colin Foster and Gordon Hodgson all received special mentions for their performances on the night from Chad sports editor Stan Searl.

The game attracted a crowd of 13,716 - a season high so far - and it was a fourth straight win for the Stags.

The run continued after that with 12 wins, two draws and only one defeat in a fine spell of 15 games that set up Morris’ men for the Division Three title by May, Moss finishing the season with 13 goals.