Hamilton’s strike seals victory for the Stags
MANSFIELD boss David Flitcroft was delighted with another clean sheet and a home win over Port Vale that extended the Stags’ impressive unbeaten run to 14 games.
CJ Hamilton’s 41st-minute effort proved enough to take the three points with a second yellow card and dismissal for Vale’s Manny Oyeleke after 64 minutes making the visitors’ task even harder.
“I am delighted with the club and how we are progressing and coming together,” said Flitcroft.
“We were playing a team in decent form. With Tom Pope and (Leon) Legge’s throw-ins they always have the potential to score goals.
“I thought we dealt with Pope brilliantly – the three centre-halves were superb.
“No League Two side will lie down and Port Vale just kept coming.”
Mansfield had the edge in a poor first half with Hamilton striking a post and Jacob Mellis firing into the sidenetting.
But just before the break Hayden White fed Hamilton into the box on the right and he zipped an unstoppable shot across goalkeeper Scott Brown and inside the far post. Brown made a great stop early in the second half to keep out a close-range Tyler Walker backheel.
But once Oyeleke had gone for a second bookable offence, Vale had to take risks going forward and the Stags missed several chances to kill it off.
A mistake by Brown after 82 minutes gifted Danny Rose the ball. But Brown recovered to save and saw Walker blazed his follow-up over.
Vale manager Neil Aspin said: “If you’re talking about chances then Mansfield had a lot of opportunities in the second half when they could have scored, so there is no way that on chances created we deserved anything from the game.
“But in terms of battling and keeping going until the end I can’t ask anything more from the players.
“I thought we should have had a penalty early on.
“I’ve looked at it again and Tom Pope gets his shirt pulled in the box. It’s obvious to everyone and that changes the game.
“I don’t have any arguments about the score or the sending-off.”