ROSE MAKES COWLEY WILT
DANNY COWLEY was left disappointed after Lincoln fell one day short of completing a year unbeaten in all competitions at Sincil Bank.
Mansfield substitute Danny Rose came off the bench to head his side to victory with his first touch while some heroic defending from David Mirfin kept the Imps at bay.
“It’s always disappointing to lose at home – it’s something we’re not used to doing,” said Cowley.
“When we last lost here just shy of a year ago, we responded pretty well, so we’ll have to do the same again this time.
“It’s frustrating because we limited them to just one or two shots at goal, but they’ve still managed to find a way to win the game.
“We’re used to getting on the right side of these tight games but today we couldn’t manage it for one reason or another.”
Former Mansfield striker Matt Green, who moved to Sincil Bank in the summer on a free transfer, added: “Of course it’s harder to take when it’s against a former team but I’m part of Lincoln City now and I am so happy to be part of this great club.
“We have an excellent manager here and a very tight group of lads, so I have no doubt that we’ll dust ourselves down on move on.”
A series of blocks by Mirfin kept the scores level at the break, with the defender twice denying Michael Bostwick and then Billy Knott as Lincoln pressed for an opener.
At the other end, Alex MacDonald went close with a clever free-kick midway through the first half that deceived the Lincoln wall and goalkeeper Paul Farman but crept just wide.
Mansfield manager Steve Evans then introduced Rose just before the hour, much to the delight of the travelling 1,459 supporters, and it was a move that immediately paid dividends.
Hayden White’s marauding run down the right flank resulted in a pinpoint cross to the head of Rose and the substitute made no mistake from close range. It was Mansfield’s first and only effort on target in the whole game.
Another substitute, Lincoln’s Sean Long, almost picked out Knott for an equaliser 10 minutes from time, but the midfielder just failed to connect with his cross.
Evans was clearly delighted with the result. “We’ve had a few disappointing away days so far this season, particularly at Accrington, so it was nice to applaud our magnificent supporters off at the end,” he said.
“I have to say there wasn’t really anything in the game.
“We have come and won at a difficult venue against players that we have enormous respect for.
“I questioned our boys’ character in the week about working hard, but they have come through the week against two strong sides, firstly in Wycombe, and now Lincoln.
“We stood up to both of those challenges well.”
BLOOMING: Danny Rose celebrates his winner and, inset, Mansfield boss Steve Evans welcomes the final whistle