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Late winner boosts relegation battle

Posted onPosted on 17th Mar

Mansfield Town’s hopes of easing away from the League Two relegation zone were boosted by a late Rakish Bingham winner on Tuesday, just when it looked like they would be dashed for the second time in four days at Once Call Stadium.

Following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Bury, the Stags were being held 1-1 by visitors AFC Wimbledon when Bingham struck five minutes from time to clinch a 2-1 win.

Bingham pounced on a defensive error by Winfield when it appeared that though Ryan Tafazolli’s handball, which gifted the visitors a 69th minute penalty to wipe out Lee Beevers’ breakthrough strike 13 minutes earlier, would prove costly.

The second half was more entertaining than a drab, nervous opening 45 minutes and the Stags, who started with a 4-4-2 formation, might have added further goals with Junior Lambe and substitute Jeffrey Monakana forcing saves from the keeper.

Bingham’s late winner was even more vital when it emerged that relegation rivals Tranmere, Carlisle and Hartlepool all won away from home and Cheltenham drew at Portsmouth. The Stags moved two places up the table to 16th, but remained eight points clear of the drop zone.