Revenge for Stags as Reds left to lament Clayton 'dive' decision
MANSFIELD Town enjoyed ample revenge for their Boxing Day defeat at home to Alfreton Town, netting three times without reply.
The Reds could not match some of their recent fine form but were left aggrieved about referee Ross Joyce's decision to book Paul Clayton for diving when he appeared to be pulled down by Stags keeper Alan Marriott in the 56th minute.
Alfreton were trailing 1-0 when Ross Killock played Clayton through to try to go round Marriott and, within seconds, they were two down.
Mansfield broke, Paul Barnes saved Matt Green's shot with his chest and the ball skimmed off Killock's heel to allow Colin Daniel to net at the back post.
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Exodus Geohaghon had given the Stags a 43rd-minute lead with a close-range header after John Dempster guided a Chris Clements corner across the face of the goal.
And it was Dempster who scored the third, touching home Clements' 72nd-minute free kick.
Yet Alfreton had acquitted themselves well for much of the first half.
Mansfield did not manage to test Barnes until the 32nd minute, when Daniel shot from the edge of the area, whereas the Reds had two gilt-edged opportunities to break the deadlock.
Nathan Arnold had drawn a good save from Marriott after cutting inside from Josh Law's through-ball in the 11th minute and, after 39 minutes, Clayton stabbed the ball wide 12 yards out following another good Law pass.
In the second half, former Alfreton player Anthony Howell had two chances, having a 67th- minute header cleared off the line by Adam Quinn, then flicking the ball over Killock before shooting wide.
A disappointing day for Alfreton got worse when Darran Kempson limped off and, with all the substitutes used, the Reds finished with 10 men.
Even so, in added time, Daniel Meadows had a shot blocked by Geohaghon and Daniel Emerton's effort was parried by Marriott.
ALFRETON TOWN: Barnes; Law, Quinn, Kempson, Killock, Russell (Meadows 64), Brown, Bradley (Emerton 80), Arnold, Clayton (Taylor 64), Tomlinson. Other subs: Streete, Wilson.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Marriott; Thompson, Dempster, Meikle, Green, Howell, Beevers, Clements (Hutchinson 77), Murray, Daniel, Geohaghon. Other subs: Jones, Speight, Rhead, Stevenson.
REFEREE: R Joyce (Billingham).