STAGS BARREN RUN IS ENDED!
DELIGHTED Mansfield boss Steve Evans insisted he had no doubt the Stags would finally end their goal drought after a first win in five matches, sparked by hitting the net for the first time in 438 minutes, reignited their play-off hopes.
Matt Green’s cushioned header and Shaq Coulthirst’s individual effort in the second half sent Carlisle to a fifth defeat in six matches to further dent their automatic promotion ambitions and leave the Cumbrians without a goal for 596 minutes.
Evans said: “As a manger you have to believe the goals will come.
“We have got players who can score at this level, but they were going through a spell when they were missing the simplest of chances.
“We needed to get the first goal here to get a bit of confidence.
“But the supporters would have been shaking their heads again at half-time that we weren't in front.
“Danny Rose has a great instinctive volley and it hits the goalkeeper on the shoulder when he’s going the other way. You think here we go again.
“I'm pleased for Green as he missed a couple of big chances at Colchester in midweek and took a lot of criticism.
“But I stuck with him and it was a fantastic header.
“Coulthirst has got that in his locker.
“He cut in and the goalkeeper didn't move. It was a wonderful finish.”
Rhys Bennett, Coulthirst, Rose, Malvind Benning and substitute CJ Hamilton should have scored before Green headed in his 13th goal of the season from a terrific 63rdminute cross by the twisting Coulthirst.
And 13 minutes later Coulthirst went from goal creator to goalscorer with a fine individual effort.
He bamboozled two players on the edge of the area before curling into the bottom corner.
Carlisle rarely looked like ending their own long search for a goal.
Shaun Miller lobbed onto the roof of the net in the first half and Shaun Brisley headed a second-half cross narrowly wide.
United boss Keith Curle said: “We will come again. At the minute we are being slapped left and right, and rightly so, because we are not doing the simple things well enough.
“It is a very simple game and when you don’t do the simple things well you haven’t got a platform and a foundation to build on.
“So it is back to basics for us. We don’t look like scoring goals because we are not putting the ball in the right areas or retaining possession in the final third.
“We gave ourselves problems by allowing them to get on the front foot through not putting the ball into areas that would have caused them problems.
“We are trying to force play in wrong areas.”
BATTLE: Kyle Howkins and Michael Raynes, tussle. Inset, Danny Rose is substituted STAR MAN DANNY ROSE Mansfield