Mansfield survived a second-half comeback to beat Northampton 2-1 and take management of their League Two play-off semi-final.
Rhys Oates and Jordan Bowery struck as Nigel Clough’s males established a two-goal lead with simply over half-an-hour on the clock (13, 32), earlier than Ali Koiki pulled one again on the finish of a menacing counter to arrange a tense remaining half-hour (61).
The Stags had been defensive of their strategy as the sport wore on, however although the anticipated onslaught got here, they held agency to take care of their slender benefit, forward of Wednesday night time’s second leg, which is stay on Sky Sports activities Soccer.
How Mansfield held on to safe first leg victory
Jon Brady’s Cobblers missed out on automated promotion on the ultimate day of the League Two season – following Bristol Rovers’ unprecedented 7-0 win over Scunthorpe – and, naturally, there have been fears of an premature lapse in morale.
Mansfield misplaced out to Newport within the play-off semis again in 2018/19 and – backed by a capability crowd on the One Name – they rapidly set about avenging the heartache suffered three years prior.
The hosts managed to get a grip on the sport after an open first 10 minutes and had been quickly in entrance. Bowery’s beautiful by way of ball broke the strains, with Oates retaining himself onside to fireside by way of Cobblers goalkeeper Jonny Maxted’s legs.
Northampton labored their approach again in and constructing a stage of momentum that will see them threaten Mansfield, however no sooner had they constructed up a head of steam, they discovered themselves two objectives down.
Newcastle loanee Matty Longstaff intuitively switched the ball from the fitting to Jamie Murphy on the left, whose cross hit Maxted and dropped kindly for Bowery, who was offered with a easy end from a few yards out.
With an hour on the clock, the guests regarded no nearer to carving a route again into the sport – till an excellent counter, that was. Louis Appere charged down the left, steadied himself and labored the ball to Koiki, whose deflected shot discovered its approach into the web.
It was Northampton who dominated thereafter, with Mansfield compelled to defend as if their lives relied on it. And although it grew to become nervy, they succeeded in seizing management of the tie.
The groups return for the second leg at Sixfields at 7.45pm on Wednesday Could 18, in a sport stay on Sky Sports activities Soccer.