Harrogate boss Simon Weaver was delighted to see his side mark his return from Covid-19 isolation with a first win in seven as Calvin Miller’s goal secured a 1-0 victory at Mansfield.
Harrogate’s winner came in the 27th minute when Jack Muldoon won a shoulder-to-shoulder tussle with Stephen McLaughlin and zipped in a low ball from the right that Miller turned home from close range.
Mansfield goalkeeper Marek Stech also kept out a Muldoon shot, saw Dan Jones clip the bar and Mark Beck head a great near-post chance wide.
Harrogate keeper James Belshaw dealt with a low Harry Charsley effort but was not seriously tested all night, with Nicky Maynard heading just wide and Andy Cook firing over as the Stags’ six-game unbeaten run fizzled out and a first home win of the season remained elusive.
Back in the dugout after his positive test sidelined him, Weaver beamed: “That was as good as any win, especially having had an indifferent run.
“We would have been happy with a scruffy win, but the lads bounced back in style today and I am very proud of all of them.
“They all put in a terrific amount of effort and the team spirit was evident.
“The front pair were awesome and we made it very hard for their defenders.
“That set the tone and it was infectious throughout the team as they chased and harried.
“It will boost our confidence and hopefully be the start of another good run now.
“We had been hurting and needed that feeling of a good win when getting back on the bus.”
On the winning goal, he added: “I am buzzing for Calvin.
“He was left at home at the weekend and sometimes players need that injection of hurt to bounce back and show true character.”
Losing for the first time as new Mansfield boss, Nigel Clough said: “I think we could have had a point from the game. If we’d have scored one we might have gone on and got a second.
“The biggest disappointment was not hitting the target tonight. I think we registered one shot on target.
“We had more than enough situations in and around their penalty area tonight to create goals. Nothing dropped for us.
“We defended well enough, though we conceded a poor goal. Stephen lost the tussle then we failed to stop the cross.
“You hope you get one piece of something from somebody over the 90 minutes which is enough to get you a result. But not tonight.
“There was bags of scrapping and fighting, tackling and heading. But we have to do more in that final third and put better balls in from set plays.
“There were still positives to take from it and it was good to see the huge disappointment in the dressing room.”
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