Magnificent Mansfield Town ended table-topping Notts County’s winning streak at six games with a convincing 3-1 home win in the big Nottinghamshire derby this afternoon.
For the third Saturday is a row Danny Rose was the hero as he followed his winning goals against Lincoln and Cambridge with a second half brace.
A Richard Duffy own goal sealed the points before Notts stole a stoppage time consolation from a Carl Dickinson free kick.
It was the perfect way for Stags to bounce back from Tuesday’s disappointment at Cheltenham and made it 10 League games unbeaten against the Magpies.
Stags had the best of a scrappy first half and wasted several good chances, but from the second Rose netted two minutes after the break, the home side were firmly in the box seat.
The victory also meant Stags had won the inaugural Matt Salmon trophy, to be played for each time the sides meet, in memory of the late Matt Salmon – the 25-year-old physio who had worked for both clubs and died of cancer in the sumer.
For the Stags out went Rhys Bennett, Lee Angol, Paul Digby and Jacob Mellis, replaced by Alfie Potter, Alex MacDonald, Kane Hemmings and Calum Butcher.
Hayden White failed to shake off his groin strain so Paul Anderson moved to right back.
Bennett and Angol were on the bench but had not fully recovered from a virus.
Notts also made four changes - Tootle, Brisley, Grant and Forte in for Hunt, Hewitt, Walker and Hawkridge.
Notts forced a corner in the opening minute, though were penalised for a foul.
But Stags threatened first on six minutes as Hemmings headed on a MacDonald free kick towards Rose, who was unable to control and get a decent shot at goal from close range as the ball bounced wide for a goalkick.
Grant then saw a curling effort deflect over for County’s third corner.
A good throw from Logan sent Rose on the rampage at the other end only to see his shot blocked.
Pearce gave Grant sight of goal on 18 minutes when he conceded a free kick right on the edge of the box, but Hunt got a foot onto Grant’s low kick and hooked it over the bar.
On 20 minutes Collin had his first save to make as MacDonald curled a 30-yard free kick towards the top right corner which the keeper turned round,
Hemmings looked like he might open his Stags goal account on 22 minutes as he chased a high ball forward from Butcher but, 10 yards from goal, he sliced his volley and failed to test Collin.
The 25th minute applause for late physio Matt Salmon was warmly respected by both sets of fans.
But there were immediately groans as Pearce drilled the ball low across the six yard box from the left by-line and Hemmings somehow turned it over from four yards with the goal at his mercy.
Stags lost Potter with an injury on 31 minutes and it took a couple of minutes to get Sterling-James warmed up and into the action.
County almost grabbed the lead out of nowhere on 41 minutes as, following the best succession of passes all game, a loose ball in the box rolled towards Alessandra, who whipped it over from 12 yards.
However, the Stags made the perfect start to the second half as Rose put them ahead within two minutes.
Duffy tried to head a forward ball back to his keeper but Rose nipped in and poked the ball over the stranded keeper and into the empty net.
On 53 minutes County came close to levelling in an almighty scramble, but Mirfin was perfectly placed on the line to deny Forte from seven yards.
On 59 minutes later it was 2-0. This time Sterling-James whipped in a great ball from the right to the far post where Hemmings got in a close range header that Collin turned onto a post.
It appeared to have crossed the line, but Rose made sure as he smashed it into the net to make sure from point blank range.
Incredibly it was 3-0 on 63 minutes. This time Sterling-James took a quick throw on the right to Rose who sent the ball across goal hard and low and Duffy turned it into his own net.
Desperate County made a triple change on 67 minutes as Hewitt, Ameobi and Hawkridge came on for Duffy, Forte and Alessandra.
It could have been 4-0 on 74 minutes but Pearce was too high with his header from a MacDonald free kick from the right.
Spencer was given a late run-out against his former club in place of Hemmings on 86 minutes.
On the restart MacDonald blazed a powerful rising effort over the County bar.
With a minute to go, a lovely flick from Rose put MacDonald in acres of space with only the keeper to beat only to plant his finish wide.
Rose was immediately withdrawn to huge cheers to be replaced by Angol.
Notts had the final say with a 92nd minute consolation as Dickinson curled home a superb 30 yard free kick into the top corner.
Brisley’s far post header deep into stoppage time was turned onto the bar by Logan as Notts ended on the front foot but well beaten.
STAGS: Logan; Anderson, Pearce, Mirfin, Hunt; Potter (Sterling-James 33), Butcher, Atkinson, MacDonald; Hemmings (Spencer 86), Rose. Subs not used: Olejnik, Bennett, Mellis, Angol, Hamilton.
NOTTS: Collin, Tootle, Dickinson, Duffy (Hewitt 67), Alessandra (Hawkridge 67), Grant, Forte (Ameobi 67), Brisley, Yates, Milsom, Stead. Subs not used: Pindroch, Smith, Hunt, Walker.
REFEREE: Darren Drysdale of Lincolnshire.
ATTENDANCE: 7,022 (1,644 away).
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Rose.