That was a brilliant game to play in says John-Joe O’Toole after Mansfield Town win five-goal thriller against Hartlepool United

Mansfield Town man of the match John-Joe O'Toole said today's 3-2 win was as exciting for the players on the pitch as it was for the fans in the stands.

Sunday, 26th December 2021, 6:53 pm
Mansfield Town midfielder John-Joe O'Toole. Photo by Chris Holloway / The Bigger Picture.media

Despite missing eight players, four with Covid symptoms, Stags came from 2-0 down to reel off a 10th win in 11 games in front of a big holiday crowd.

“It was a brilliant game to play in and I think the fans got their money's worth today,” said O'Toole, who scored after being pushed into a midfield role from defence.

“It was exciting and had everything - and we came away winners.

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“We started off quite well but couldn't quite get the goal. Then they scored against the run of play.

“The message at half-time was keep going but convert the chances we get.

“Despite conceding the second we knew we were still in it and once we got the first I don't think we ever looked back.”

On his goal, he said:“The ball in from George (Maris) was incredible – he stuck it right on the money and I just glanced it in. We were firing then.”

Hartlepool were denied a point at the death when they had a goal ruled out for offside.

“It was a little bit nervy at the end,” said O'Toole.

“I am not sure if it was offside but I think we could have dealt with it a bit better. Maybe we got a bit lucky there but over 90 minutes we fully deserved the win.”

Stags are due to play at Harrogate Town on Wednesday night but with Covid biting hard nationwide, it's impossible to know if Stags will have enough fit players to make the journey.

“We are in a good vein of form and don't want any games called off,” said O'Toole.

“We would play tomorrow if we could. We are just getting started.

“We want to get up that league. There are plenty of games to play and we feel like we can definitely get play-offs as a minimum.

“But it's out of our hands and we will see what happens.”