Despite playing most of the game with 10 men, magnificent Mansfield Town pulled off a sensational 1-0 win over Yeovil Town at a noisy One Call Stadium tonight.
Matt Green proved the goal hero with a 64th minute penalty kick success, but Stags’ entire squad ended up heroes tonight with one of their best performances for many a season, despite being up against it so early after Danny Rose’s needless eighth minute red card for a two-footed tackle.
Incredibly, they made light of being short-handed to create most of the best chances of the night and, when tiredness set in nearer the end, sheer willpower saw them through plus the backing of a fantastic home crowd.
Mitch Rose won the penalty kick for Stags and had another storming game as Stags moved up into the top three of League Two.
The Mansfield side showed three changes, most notably keeper Scott Shearer missing out after taking a nasty knock to the head on Saturday.
The club said on Monday they believed he would be fine to play, but it was Brian Jensen on the team sheet with Shearer believed to be recovering from concussion.
Skipper Lee Collins dropped back into defence in place of George Taft with Adam Chapman drafted in to play the defensive midfield role.
The other change was in midfield where Kevan Hurst was left out and replaced by Ashley Hemmings.
Visitors Yeovil had arrived unbeaten after taking four points from six in the League and winning their first round EFL Cup tie at Walsall to book a trip to Everton.
Stags almost grabbed a third minute lead after the visitors struggled to clear a long Danny Rose cross from the right.
Mitch Rose backheeled the ball confidently for Clements, who saw his finish deflect wide.
From the corner Danny Rose headed over the angle of the back post.
However, Danny Rose’s involvement was over after just eight minutes as he was sent off.
Rose dived late into a two-footed tackle on Khan in the middle of the park with no danger and the referee held aloft the red card.
On 13 minutes Green almost gave the 10 men the lead when a long Chapman throw from the right was flicked on and Green hooked a hurried finish over the top from eight yards.
Chapman got Hemmings off the hook after his loose pass set Yeovil on the break, Hedges’ final cross low from the right hooked clear by Chapman.
On 26 minutes Clements swung a boot at the ball from 25 yards but, despite it containing lots of power, it was straight at Krysiak.
A minute later Jensen was behind a shot from Khan from the same distance.
On 32 minutes Yeovil made a change, sending on Lacey for Dickson.
Four minutes later Jensen was down comfortably to his right to grab a low 25 yard shot from Hedges.
However, Stags should have been ahead on 38 minutes. Bennett beat his man wide on the right and put over a teasing cross into the centre where Mitch Rose headed over from eight yards.
We had a lengthy delay just before the break as Smith stayed down with a knock to the head and a minimum of five minutes were added.
At one stage he had his head bandaged up but, with home fans getting irate, then had the bandage removed and was able to continue.
Stags survived some Yeovil pressure before the half ended with Benning just too high with a free kick from the right.
The visitors returned with Campbell on for Smith.
Green had the first effort with an ambitious overhead kick that flew well over from a poor attempted clearance.
On 48 minutes Benning swung over a long cross from the left and Mitch Rose met it on the volley but fired wide of the post.
Home fans were enjoying their side’s efforts and getting behind them.
And Chapman almost carved a goal out of nowhere on 54 minutes as he robbed Khan, rook the ball forward and sent a swerving shot goalwards that Krysiak was equal to.
Howkins was booked for a foul on Campbell on 55 minutes.
Stags made their first change on 61 minutes as Hamilton replaced Hemmings.
The 10 men roared ahead on 64 minutes from the penalty spot.
Green raced into the box and got away a shot that Krysiak could only parry.
The loose ball ran to Mitch Rose, who got there first and was brought down by the keeper’s challenge.
Krysiak was booked and up stepped Green to smash the ball inside the right post and send the keeper the wrong way.
Mitch Rose won huge applause for winning two big 50-50 tackles to clear the danger as the visitors looked for a way back, then Bennett was booked for time wasting.
Campbell was added to the book on 75 minutes for tripping Green and Benning inches wide with a superb curling free kick from distance.
With 10 minutes to go an offside flag went up before Hedges turned the ball into the home net. Soon after Eaves sent a looping header over as Yeovil turned up the heat.
Campbell was on target from 20 yards after Hamilton lost the ball, but it was directly at Jensen.
With five minutes left Stags sacrificed Green for an extra defender in Taft.
Butcher was booked for halting Mitch Rose in the final minute.
Stags then had five added minutes to survive, Chapmana booked for a foul on 94 minutes, Henderson then sent on for Hamilton to shore things up.
With deafening noise from the stands, Stags stood firm and the roar at the end was as loud as when they won the Conference title!
STAGS: Jensen, Bennett, Collins, Howkins, Benning, Chapman, Clements, M. Rose, Hemmings (Hamilton 61, Henderson 90+4)), Green (Taft 85), D. Rose. Subs not used: Baxendale, Hurst, McGuire, Hakeem.
YEOVIL: Krysiak; Dickson (Lacey 32), Mugabi, Butcher, Smith (Campbell HT); Lawless, Dawson, Dolan; Eaves, Hedges, Khan (Zoko 67). Subs not used: Maddison, Sowunmi, Lea, Bassett. REFEREE: John Brooks of Leicestershire.
ATTENDANCE: 2,503 (130 away). CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Rhys Bennett.