Matchwinner Ryan Stirk still believes Mansfield Town can join the promotion hunt

Stags go ahead at Stevenage - Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger Picture.mediaStags go ahead at Stevenage - Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger
Stags go ahead at Stevenage - Photo by Chris Holloway/The Bigger
Mansfield Town matchwinner Ryan Stirk said he hoped today's 2-1 victory at Stevenage would signal his belated start to the season and still believes the Stags can get promotion.

Birmingham City loanee Stirk, back from injury, came on as sub to score the winner – his first professional goal – today and said: “It's been a tough season so far, being out injured for six weeks.

“I think my season starts today. I want to get back and play as many games as I can and keep this run going and move up the table.

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“We have won four in a row now, but we are not satisfied yet. Our one aim is to get promoted this season and we're still going to try to do that

“We will win as many games as we can and see where it takes us.

“The three points were the main thing today. We've won four on the bounce and the lads have been excellent through that little run – long may it continue.

“It was a good win and I got my first goal too so I am really pleased with that.”

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He added: “I was only on for seven or eight minutes. I was playing a bit higher up today – the gaffer has shown trust in me to play me there - and it just fell nicely for me and I put it in, it was a good goal.

“The lads were telling me I had more time than I thought and that I dallied on it a bit. The main thing is it went in and we won.”

Stirk had praise for the big away following as well as John-Joe O'Toole, who netted the other goal and was solid at the back.

“The fans were excellent today as usual. They never let us down away or at home. They were singing all afternoon. They made us feel like the home team,” he said.

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“I think JJ (John-Joe O'Toole) won every header today and shown us how many games he's played in the league and what it takes to win a game of football.

“Stevenage made it scruffy and hard for us but we dealt with it well.”