Murray’s happy to be above
DELIGHTED Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray saluted his side’s battling qualities after they moved out of the relegation zone with a first victory in seven matches to dent Stevenage’s playoff hopes.
Reggie Lambe’s 52ndminute goal clinched the Stags’ first home win since mid-November in a scrappy match of few chances and sent injuryravaged Stevenage to their third successive defeat.
Murray said:“I couldn’t have asked for any more from the boys. Their performance, effort, application and commitment were amazing. They have done themselves proud.
“We set up for the game to be scrappy and it paid off. There wasn’t much football played, but the pitch didn’t allow it. You have to reinvent yourselves for certain games.
“That was a great result.We needed it, but nothing has changed.We are still in a relegation battle.
“Last weekend, everyone hit the panic button because we dropped below that dotted line.
“In the dressing room, it feels like we have won the World Cup, but in 24 hours they will come back down to earth to continue our fight to stay in the league.”
Mansfield flew at Stevenage from the kick-off and Matt Rhead had a shot on the turn blocked in the first 30 seconds. Then, a great block by Dean Wells diverted Vadaine Oliver’s closerange drive for a corner.
Chris Clements’ curling 30-yard free-kick was tipped around the post by Chris Day as Mansfield created the better chances. And the keeper went full length again to keep out Michael Raynes’ header.
The winner came from Lee Beevers’ deep cross, headed back across goal by Rhead and thumped into the top corner by half-time substitute Lambe. QPR loan winger Bruno Andrade and Cardiff striker Danny Johnson made their debuts for Stevenage, who also gave a first start to teenage striker Ben Kennedy.
However, they failed to test Mansfield keeper Lenny Pidgeley on his debut. Stevenage manager Graham Westley said: “They didn’t offer a lot going forward, but neither did we. I’m not sure either side did enough to win it. In the second half they got the early goal and then it was backs to the wall for them.
“I threw everything at it to try to get an equaliser, but we were unable to find the answer.
“Goals change games. It gave them something to defend and a bit of impetus. They did well to hang on.We looked like a side that had a number of debutants.We looked a little disorganised and like a side in pre-season.”
STAR MAN MATT RHEAD Mansfi