Supersub Matt Green ended Mansfield Town’s patient wait for a win as the Stags downed Port Vale for the first time since 1989 with a 1-0 victory tonight.
The 29-year-old was on the pitch for just three minutes before netting the only goal of the game to end the club’s winless run at the eighth time of asking.
The Stags moved off the bottom of Northern Group E in the CheckaTrade EFL Trophy, as they leapfrogged Derby County U23s, after their victory at Vale Park.
As expected Adam Murray made wholesale changes to the line up that drew to Crewe on Saturday.
Teenage winger Tom Marriott was handed his debut, whilst Oscar Gobern, Ashley Hemmings, CJ Hamilton and Darius Henderson all started.
The Valiants, who were only dealt their first home defeat of the season on Saturday, started brightly in the first meeting between the two sides in over 13 years.
Shot-stopper Scott Shearer had to be alert early on as he flew acrobatically to his left to parry Rigino Cicilia’s powerful strike wide.
Christopher Hamilton and Darius Henderson were both lively during a quiet first period for the Stags.
The only chance for Murray’s men before the break fell to Henderson, who diverted Mal Benning’s cross wide from eight yards out when he should have done better.
Gezim Shalaj showed great trickery to bypass three Stags’ defenders before firing over the bar from outside the box after the restart.
But in minute 66 Green bagged his fourth goal of the season by calmly slotting home from inside the six-yard box after the home defence failed to deal with a Benning cross.
Murray’s men had to show great determination to keep the Valiants at bay with some fantastic last-ditch defending late on.
After going behind Kiko created numerous chances for the hosts, smashing over the bar himself, as they pushed hard to send the game to penalties.
But Murray’s Mansfield managed to hold on for a much-needed first victory since the end of August and a fifth away game unbeaten.
PORT VALE: Santos, Perkins, Smith, Mac-Intosch, Hart, Tavares (Shalaj HT), Pereira, Amoros, Kiko (Mbamba 84), Jones, Cicilia. Subs not used: Pickering, Dennis, Ferguson, Haughton, Brown.
STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Pearce, Collins, Benning, Clements (McGuire 61), Gobern, Hemmings, Hamilton, Marriott (M. Rose 69), Henderson (Green 63). Subs not used: Jensen, Hurst, D. Rose, Shires.
REFEREE: Michael Salisbury of Lancashire.
ATTENDANCE: 1,025 (61 away).