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League Two

Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox targets home comforts

8 February 2014

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox hopes his side's first home victory since September can be a springboard for further joy at One Call Stadium.

The Stags triumphed 2-1 over high-flying Southend United to celebrate their first win on home soil in 12 attempts. Sam Clucas and James Jennings were the men on target for the hosts.

Southend were unbeaten in their previous eight but had substitute Conor Clifford sent off nine minutes from time for diving in on Matt Rhead, before grabbing a last-gasp consolation through Ryan Leonard on an afternoon of gusting gales and heavy downpours.

Delighted Stags boss Cox said: "We have broken the back of it now and need to push on and we have a big game ahead here on Tuesday (against Bury). We have got the monkey off our backs.

"I would be lying if I said our home form wasn't in the back of my mind and the players' minds.

"In the last two-and-a-half years we had made this place a fortress and had some great times and won some magnificent games. But we have been poor here this season.

"I thought the boys tried to play some good stuff in horrible conditions and we scored two very good goals.

"We probably got a bit nervous and a bit edgy near the end, which you expect when they hold up five added minutes, especially after what happened in the sixth added minute last week.

"But I thought we deserved the win against a very good Southend side."

Southend boss Phil Brown admitted his side did not deserve anything from the game, b ut he was upset with match referee Simon Hooper and his officials.

"Conditions were difficult, but I was disappointed with the decisions by the officials which were nothing to do with the conditions," he said. "It was almost like there was a conspiracy theory going on against us.

"We had a couple of penalty appeals turned down and the red card for Conor Clifford was a disgrace.

"I am not here to berate officials and I am not blaming them for the result as we were not good enough.

"But I was two or three yards away from the incident and the fourth official was only a yard away and he told us no way was it a red card.

"So why did he not translate that to the referee who came rushing over to show a red card?

"They are told to bide their time before they make decisions. For me it was a very inexperienced decision, though it hasn't cost us the game.

"Conor got the ball and came out with the ball and didn't use excessive force.

"Also the corner Mansfield scored from wasn't a corner to start with but, Sod's law, it comes in and it's in the back of our net.

"But we were the reason we got beat, though if we'd had a slice of luck we could have won it comfortably."

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