RYAN Bowman’s first goal in ten matches earned York City a fourth successive away win following a 1-0 Sky Bet League Two triumph at Mansfield Town.
The former Hereford striker converted a first-half penalty to extend the Minstermen’s unbeaten run to a seventh game despite substitute Wes Fletcher seeing a second spot kick saved in stoppage time.
York boss Nigel Worthington kept faith with the same starting line-up for a fourth consecutive game and an untidy start to the match saw Bowman fire the first chance of the evening straight at home keeper Alan Marriott from 15 yards.
James Jennings responded with a wayward long-range drive for the Stags that deflected off Keith Lowe for a corner and Lindon Meikle’s control and balance then let him down after he collected a headed flick-on from striking partner Matt Rhead, firing high and wide of Nick Pope’s near post.
At the other end, Michael Coulson took a shortly-taken corner to Josh Carson and then gathered his backheeled return before firing into the sidenetting from a narrow angle.
But the pair combined again on 31 minutes to help their side forge ahead.
After exchanging passes with Coulson through the right channel, Carson burst into the penalty box and tumbled over John Dempster’s challenge.
Referee Darren Drysdale incurred the wrath of a vociferous home crowd when he subsequently pointed to the spot, but Bowman showed great nerve to end his barren run in front of goal when he found Marriott’s bottom left-hand corner from 12 yards.
Shortly afterwards, Mansfield’s supporters and players were venting their collective fury again when Dempster fell to the floor clutching his head following an aerial challenge with Bowman.
But the alleged elbow that Dempster’s team-mates were screaming about was not detected by Drysdale or his nearby assistant Amy Fearn.
Spurred on by a perceived sense of injustice, the hosts came more into the match as the half drew to a close with Jamie McGuire calling Pope into his first save on 34 minutes and then volleying wide from the edge of the box.
A Rhead header was also saved low to his left by Pope and Sam Clucas lifted a 20-yard opportunity over the bar in first-half stoppage time.
Pope was called into action within seconds of the restart when he safely gathered Rhead’s 20-yard volley.
Ex-Stag John McCombe, meanwhile, saw a shot deflected wide for the visitors on 50 minutes before Meikle lofted a tame effort into Pope’s hands.
Mansfield, looking short of attacking inspiration, were struggling to trouble Pope although there was an uncomfortable moment for the on-loan Charlton shot-stopper on 78 minutes when he clattered into his left-hand upright catching a Meikle cross and did well to keep hold of the ball.
A curling 20-yard Coulson effort, meanwhile, drifted wide at the other end before home defender Ryan Tafazolli was punished for handball under pressure from City sub Ryan Jarvis.
Fletcher’s penalty was saved to his left by Marriott, who then recovered to also keep out Jarvis’ follow-up effort.
It mattered little, though, for a City side undefeated since the end of January.
Mansfield 0, York City 1 (Bowman pen 32)
York City: Nick Pope 7, Lanre Oyebanjo 7, Keith Lowe 9, John McCombe 8, Ben Davies 8, Josh Carson 8, Russell Penn 8, Adam Reed 7, Will Hayhurst 7, Ryan Bowman 7, Michael Coulson 7.
Star man: Keith Lowe - dealt with everything.
Subs: Wes Fletcher (for Bowman, 72), Lewis Montrose (for Reed, 77), Ryan Jarvis (for Coulson, 85). Not used: Tom Platt, David McGurk, Michael Ingham, Sander Puri.
Mansfield Town: Alan Marriott, Martin Riley, John Dempster (Ollie Palmer, 58), Ryan Tafazolli, Darryl Westlake (Lee Beevers, 29), Adam Murray (Michael Cain, 73), Jamie McGuire, Sam Clucas, James Jennings, Matt Rhead, Lindon Meikle. Subs not used: Lee Stevenson, Ross Dyer, Chris Clements, Colin Daniel.
Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).
Booked: Riley 43, Clucas 56.
Sent off: None.
Attendance: 2,865 (466 City fans).
Shots on target: Stags 4, City 4.
Shots off target: Stags 5, City 3.
Corners: Stags 6, City 6.
Fouls conceded: Stags 15, City 10.
Offsides: Stags 3, City 1.