sport

Murray hails battling Stags

Mansfield assistant boss Adam Murray paid tribute to his players' defending after seeing them clinch a 1-0 win at Exeter.

Lee Stevenson scored the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time, when he cashed in on some charitable Exeter defending to fire a low shot across goal and into the far corner.

But it was Mansfield's defensive display that proved the backbone for the win as they worked stoutly in a second half in which they repelled an Exeter onslaught.

"I can't remember ever having to defend like that," Murray said.

"It was backs to the wall. You have seen some tired legs out there and it was just sheer determination, team spirit and a hell of a lot of desire to see it through.

"The ball just coming back and in the end we just went for bodies behind the ball to try and see it through.

"We still need to be a lot better with the football, we know that, we are working on it, but you can't argue with three points away from home.

"I'm not going to lie and say it was a great performance because it wasn't the best second half.

"They were getting on top of us, but we did what we had to do.

"It is a massive three points, words cannot express how big they are.

"It was a huge game for us and the next building block to move on. It was a long journey down here and we are delighted."