Mansfield 3 Notts County 2

Last updated : 08 February 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Mansfield Town hung on for their first win over neighbours Notts County for 40 years in this relegation six-pointer.

The Stags looked to have secured their first win of 2003 with three goals in 19 minutes, but then two goals from Mark Stallard set up a tense finale as County almost staged their second remarkable fightback in five days.

In the 80th minute Stallard hammered in a flick-on from substitute Paul Heffernan and then three minutes from time shrugged off Rhys Day's challenge to score.

However, after five minutes of injury time, the Stags hung on for only their second win in eight games.

Under-fire striker Andy White tucked in Wayne Corden's 52nd minute cross to break the deadlock and then substitute Craig Mitchell, a 17-year-old youth team player, hammered his first goal for the club into the roof of the net from 18 yards.

In the 71st minute Corden looked to have wrapped up victory with a sensational 25-yard dipping drive into the top corner, his ninth goal of the season.

New signing Junior Mendes twice went close to his first goal for the club, but when Mitchell just missed a fourth goal for the home side County launched their comeback.

Earlier the visitors had lost star striker Danny Allsopp through injury after just eight minutes, but went on to match the home side in a scrappy first half. In the 21st minute County carved out the first chance, Stallard heading straight at the keeper from six yards.

Ten minutes later Mansfield finally created their first opening, White's curling shot palmed away by the diving Steve Mildenhall.

Mansfield were then twice denied in a minute by goal line clearances as Ian Baraclough nodded White's header off the line and then Nicky Fenton scrambled away Matt Gadsby's follow-up.

At the other end County continued to look dangerous on the break away and in first half injury time Heffernan fired across the face of goal.

Five minutes into the second half Ian Richardson's looping header sent Stallard clear of the defence, but with just the keeper to beat he rolled his six-yard shot wide and that miss proved to be the turning point.