Micky Mellon salutes ‘magnificent’ Tranmere as they return to winning ways
Overjoyed Tranmere boss Micky Mellon saluted a “magnificent” 3-2 Sky Bet League Two win against promotion-chasing rivals Mansfield.
Substitute Elliott Nevitt notched two late goals to fire Rovers back into the automatic-promotion frame.
“It’s a magnificent three points for us,” said Mellon.
“The game seemed to be losing its flow a bit in the second half, but the lads kept battling away, even during what turned out to be 17 minutes of added time I think.
“We knew we had to win tonight.
“We’d laid the cards out on the table and said a draw was no good, so it was a very important win for us.
“To be honest we’re probably grateful for the additional time now, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that long extra being played here before.
“It was a good atmosphere, and the game overall was a great advert for the division.
“Some of the lads had let themselves down recently, they hadn’t really hit the levels required, but they did tonight and we just have to use this and keep fighting.
“It’s about consistency now. We know what we’re capable of, but we’ve shown on a brilliant Friday night here just what levels we can reach.
“We know we’re a really good team.”
Rovers went ahead in only the fifth minute when unmarked skipper Peter Clarke joyfully thumped home a header from six yards.
However, it was deep into first-half added time when the Stags levelled as Matty Longstaff converted Stephen McLaughlin’s cross from the tightest of angles.
Rovers’ Josh McPake thumped a post, before Nevitt’s first goal came with 14 minutes left.
Ollie Hawkins made it 2-2 in the second minute of stoppage time, before Nevitt stole the show and consigned the Stags to a first defeat since November.
“Of course I’m very disappointed, particularly with the fact that I thought both their goals in the second half were offside,” said Mansfield boss Nigel Clough.
“We played well in spells and when we got in at half-time at 1-1, we needed to use that and take that into the second half.
“Some of the players need to tackle better, though.
“I needed to see more desire to win the ball, particularly in that second half.
“We didn’t expect to see lots of pretty football here tonight, but you need to be more alive to the danger at times, and tonight we’ve been punished.
“It’s disappointing as we have done well to stay unbeaten for as long as we have, but a performance like this is frustrating.
“We know Tranmere make it tough for opposition teams, particularly here, but we haven’t really done enough on the night so we’ll have to go back on the training ground and work hard at it again.”
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