Mansfield let Noble do all the talking
PRE-GAME fighting talk does not always have the desired effect and Mansfield manager Adam Murray admitted it was not his words but those of Notts County midfielder Liam Noble that riled his side up ahead of their derby-day victory.
Goals either side of half-time from Chris Clements and Ryan Tafazolli proved the difference, as an impressive Stags display fulfilled the manager’s pre-match promise to ‘play without fear’ against a side relegated from League One last term.
The two-goal margin could have been even greater were it not for County stopper Roy Carroll, who twice denied an energetic Nathan Thomas, while Matt Green also headed just wide of the upright in the second period.
And Murray was adamant after the game – the first league meeting between the Nottinghamshire rivals since 2008 – that Mansfield were well worth three points after Noble had claimed the Magpies would ‘definitely’ win.
“We were excellent from start to finish and got exactly what we deserved,” he said.
“If I am honest one of their players has done the team talk for us, and what he said has backfired big style as we were the better side from start to finish.
“We passed it well in the right areas and Clements and Tafazolli have taken their goals superbly well to be honest.
“I am delighted for the fans and I stand here slightly emotional after such a massive win for this great football club.
“We showed superb endeavour and looked like we wanted it more, but while it was a great performance, it is just one game and we need to push on and go again.
“We go to Accrington on Tuesday looking to improve and looking at how we can get better than we were tonight, which was very good.”
Meanwhile, County boss Ricardo Moniz could do no more than hold his hands up and applaud the Stags’ desire.
His side barely tested Brian Jensen – who became the oldest ever player to play for Mansfield at 40 – in the Stags goal, while three injuries to Civard Sprockel, Curtis Thompson and Kyle De Silva have given him food for thought.
Moniz said: “We were isolated up front and to be fair to Mansfield Town they wanted it so much more than us.
“We were limited in attack and in the first half Jon Stead was on his own practically the entire time, there was just no link up play from the midfield at all.
“We are hurting in the dressing room for the simple reason we know we need to be better than that.”
STAR MAN MALVIN