Mansfield Town 1-0 Northampton Town (EFL League Two) 02.04.22
Mansfield Town made it a club record eleven straight home league wins and more importantly a single goal victory over fellow promotion chasers Northampton has kept the dream well and truly alive of the Stags being well within in the mix come May.
The home side gave an early opportunity to Horsfall before taking the lead through Ollie Hawkins who powerfully headed home a corner on 21.
Sowerby hit back dragging an effort wide for the Cobblers on the half hour before Pinnock clipped the crossbar as the visitors gave chase at getting back into the game.
At the other end McLaughlin fired over the bar from distance with a typical left foot block buster before Liam Roberts produced a fine save from Longstaff and two from Rhys Oates to keep the score at one going into half time.
Akins had a shot deflected wide early in the second half before McLaughlin tried unsuccessfully to catch Roberts out from range, Longstaff then found Quinn who’s shot took a nick off a defender as it looked to be heading goalbound.
Late on the Stags were given a boost as Northampton midfielder Paul Lewis was sent off after receiving two successive bookings for fouls on George Lapslie, this gave Mansfield an extra man advantage going into the last ten minutes and it might have been game wrapped up, when Bowery set up Stirk but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Mansfield however didn’t need a second goal and eventually saw things out with a solid display against a team who’ll certainly be up there in the final few weeks, the win taking Mansfield to sixth in the table on 66 points level with third place Port Vale but with a game in hand.
Nigel Clough’s men next however face leaders Forest Green on Tuesday night, a tough ask but should Mansfield get an unlikely three points, the Nailers might themselves be looking over their shoulders at those beneath them.
Mansfield Town: Bishop, Hewitt, O‘Toole, Hawkins, McLaughlin, Stirk, Quinn (Rawson 90), Longstaff (Wallace 90), Lapslie, Oates (Bowery 72), Akins.
Northampton Town: Roberts, McGowen, Sowerby, Guthrie, Horsfall, Hoskins, Lewis, Lubala (Eppiah 60), Pinnock, Zimba (Appere 71), Mills (Rose 81)
Venue: Field Mill (6,678)
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc the Stags celebrate Ollie Hawkins’ winner.