Saturday saw John Askey pick up his first win as Port Vale boss and left League Two promotion hopefuls Mansfield Town out of the automatic promotion places after a coupon-busting 2-1 defeat at Vale Park.
A second-half Ricky Miller double eased the Valiants relegation worries and dented the Stags automatic promotion hopes in front of 1,430 travelling supporters.
Mansfield should have opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute when they were awarded a penalty after a foul on CJ Hamilton, but Scott Brown saved Charlton loanee Nicky Ajose’s attempt from twelve yards.
Five minutes after the break, Miller, who made eight appearances for Mansfield when on loan at Field Mill last season, opened the scoring after rounding the keeper. The former Peterborough United striker then doubled the Valiants lead two minutes later when smashing home from close range after Mansfield failed to clear their lines.
Ajose made partial amends for his penalty miss when converting an Otis Khan cross on the hour to set up a nervy last thirty minutes for Port Vale, but they hung on for only their second win of 2019.
The defeat left some Mansfield fans fearing a repeat of last seasons collapse which saw them miss out on the playoffs. Others were disappointed in a performance that allowed MK Dons to overtake them and occupy the third automatic promotion place. Manager David Flitcroft also came in for some criticism. Here is a selection of their responses to the shock result.
Bottling it slowly but surely
— Cody (@cody_hood22) March 9, 2019
7 points inside top 3 at one stage, now out of Promotion on goal difference. Last season's collapse was bad enough without a repeat.
— Jax (@CarnorJax87) March 9, 2019
Garnish today. Another dismal performance in front of a great support. Grant can go back to Forest
— Stephen Jewsbury (@JewsburyStephen) March 9, 2019
Time to step up and be counted lads. Cant keep losing to teams we should be beating. Its a setback especially after the late Bury winner. Upwards and onwards though.
— Chris Vasper (@TheQuillPress) March 9, 2019
Sorry DF but with such travelling support the fans deserve better ,now we are hoping MK are going to slip up in there remaining games .Making hard work against a very below par team and an ex Stags does the damage that was stuck on today by them playing him.
— Mr B (@MrGTB2) March 9, 2019
Not good enough. Bottling this big time
— Daniel Jackson (@DB_Jackson1606) March 9, 2019
Why do we always lose to teams that should be facing Harrogate next season? Not good enough Stags?
— Josh Brown (@JoshjwbBrown) March 9, 2019
Someone get Flitcroft out our club. Take Smith and Ajose with him.
— Bayley (@Millington1997) March 9, 2019