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Bell proud as his Crewe side end Mansfield’s long unbeaten home record
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Lee Bell led Crewe to victory at Mansfield
Lee Bell led Crewe to victory at Mansfield

Crewe boss Lee Bell was delighted to see his side end Mansfield’s unbeaten home record and strengthen their own promotion claims.

Joe White’s finish just over a minute into the game proved enough for Bell to make a winning return to his former club and prevent them going top of League Two.

And a second win of the week moved Alex to within five points of the automatic promotion places.

“That was a really hard-fought three points,” said Bell, who spent a year of his playing career with the Stags.

“We had to ride our luck at times which has been missing. But we didn’t give away any real clear-cut opportunities.

“Mansfield have not lost at home since April so this was a fantastic three points.

“Our gameplan worked for large parts and the players carried out their instructions without the football to a tee.

“The effort, fire and desire we showed was frightening. That’s what you need to do when you come to Mansfield. For me they are the best team in the league and have a bit of everything.

“We defended our box brilliantly to a man, blocking crosses, not allowing their man to get across us and the keeper coming up with saves when needed.

“We stood up to everything on the physical side, so credit to the players for showing another side to a Crewe team that I don’t think we have seen for a long time.”

Mansfield were punished for trying to play the ball out of their box under pressure after 75 seconds as they lost possession and Newcastle loanee White drilled home a low finish.

Lucas Akins should have quickly levelled but sent a free header wide from eight yard.

After that Crewe defended magnificently and goalkeeper Tom Booth saved superbly from George Maris and Stephen Quinn in the first half and, crucially, tipped over a Baily Cargill free-kick in stoppage time.

Mansfield boss Nigel Clough was upset by the early goal conceded and said: “We are bitterly disappointed to lose for only the second time in 24 games or not get even a point. Sometimes even a point at home is a good result.

“The goal we conceded after 90 seconds or so cost us the game today.

“I don’t know if complacency is the word, or sloppiness crept in.

“The reason we have the best defensive record in the league is that we don’t give goals away like that.

“The ball is in our penalty area, it goes away – it’s cleared, no second thoughts or questions whether it’s 90 seconds in or 90 seconds to go.

“That has been our principle and why we haven’t conceded.

“Maybe one or two are getting carried away with the result last week at Stockport. We certainly weren’t staff-wise. And we knew this would be a harder game in lots of ways.

“They are a good team in the top seven.

“I thought we were OK after the first 20 minutes and controlled the game.

“We put an awful lot of balls in the box and won a lot of corners. We just needed someone to finish one off or a break in the six-yard box which we didn’t get today.

“I think we deserved to level. But when you give any team a 1-0 lead almost from the start of the game it doesn’t half incentivise them and give them something to hang on to.”


League TwoCreweMansfield
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