Braintree Town 2-1 Mansfield

Paul Cox

Mansfield Town suffered a surprise defeat at Braintree and missed the chance to remain top of the Blue Square Bet Premier.

The Stags, who had won 14 of their last 15 league games, took an early lead when Matt Green slotted home.

Green was then denied by the woodwork before Matt Paine drilled in an equaliser for Braintree.

And the hosts secured all three points when Sam Habergham set up Kaine Sheppard, who headed home.

Mansfield pushed to rescue a point but substitute Matt Rhead's effort was tipped around the post by goalkeeper Nathan McDonald.

The Stags have now dropped to second, one point below Kidderminster, who won at promotion-chasing Wrexham.

Paul Cox's side have two games remaining, while Harriers only have one.


Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire told BBC Essex:

"I don't know about (whether it was the) best result of the season, but I was delighted with the way we've come back after being one down.

"We didn't play that well in the first half, but I thought we fully deserved our win on that second half performance.

"I'm so proud of them, they put a shift in all the time for me. I'm pleased for the club, we've got 62 points and we're in the top half.

"It has been a great season, I think we were bottom of the league around Christmas time, the second half of the season as been really good, the credit should go to the players."

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