TWO-GOAL ROSE HAS THE STAGS BLOOMING
Striker ties County up in Notts
NOTTS County’s winning run came to a shuddering halt in a disastrous 16-minute spell at noisy neighbours Mansfield.
Two-goal Danny Rose was the name on the lips of joyous Stags fans, while Notts skipper Richard Duffy gifted the striker his first and put through his own net.
Victory lifted Mansfield’s own promotion hopes against a team manager Steve Evans is convinced are the benchmark for his men.
“We made a good team not look a good team for periods in the second half,” he said. “But Notts County will be up there in the title chase.
“They were up against the best team they have faced so far this season – as individuals if you look down our team sheet. As a group we are still gelling.
“I was disappointed not to be ahead at half-time, both Kane (Hemmings) and Danny (Rose) should have scored.
“They say Calum Butcher and Will Atkinson can’t play together but they’ve bossed the midfield from start to finish.
“I had no qualms about playing Paul Anderson at right-back – he’s played there in a Championship play-off semi-final for Mick McCarthy (for Ipswich), so he can play there in League Two for Steve Evans.”
County’s collapse was surpris-
ing although they were forced onto the back foot in the first half after Jorge Grant had caused Mansfield problems in an enterprising opening ten minutes.
Adam Collin reacted smartly in the 20th minute to tip over Alex MacDonald’s free-kick before Kane Hemmings scuffed his lines with a wild volley.
A minute’s applause in memory of popular former Stags physio Matt Salmon, who passed away from lung cancer in May, coincided with Mansfield buzzing around the Notts goal but unable to find an opening. Terry Hawkridge shot over under pressure in the 41st minute after more pacey work by Grant but Notts trailed soon after the break. Duffy’s back header was tame and short and the alert Rose lifted the ball calmly over the advancing Collin and into the net. Substitute Omari Sterling-James then capped his fine contribution by producing an excellent cross. Hemmings saw his close-range header tipped onto the post by Collin only for Rose to tap home. Rose was heavily involved in the third goal too as his right-wing cross was scuffed into his own net by the unfortunate Duffy.
The disastrous spell sent Notts sliding alarmingly quickly towards their first league defeat since the opening day of the season at Coventry.
Notts boss Kevin Nolan quickly made a triple substitution but the points were well and truly lost.
MacDonald narrowly missed out on a deserved goal after more good work by Rose before full-back Carl Dickinson curled in a 20-yard freekick for Notts in injury-time. Shaun Brisley hit the bar with almost the last kick but there was no denying Mansfield.
Magpies boss Nolan said: “They were the better side from start to finish.
“We didn’t get going at all and got away from the things we are good at.
“Mansfield hit it high and long and we didn’t deal with it as well as we have in previous games.
“They were a bit sharper and buoyed by a crowd that wanted to see them beat the top-of-the-table side.
“There was a bit of tiredness. I’m unhappy with the fixture list that took us to Exeter in midweek and sees us at Swindon and Morecambe in weeks to come. Some clubs haven’t got the resources to cope with that.”
HELD IN CHECK: Mansfield’s David Mirfin, right, challenges Jon Stead for the ball in the air
DOUBLING UP: Danny Rose celebrates his goal that put Mansfield two goals ahead