Hamil­ton’s strike seals vic­tory for the Stags

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Neil Rad­ford

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.”

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