Mansfield 3-1 Carlisle: Kane Hemmings double fires hosts into play-off spots
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 01/01/18 8:28pm
Kane Hemmings scored twice as Mansfield stormed into the League Two play-off places courtesy of a 3-1 home win over Carlisle.
Hemmings' double was sandwiched by a Rhys Bennett effort to continue the Stags' fine form which has seen them lose only once in 18 games.
Carlisle had pulled a goal back through Jamie Devitt's penalty but they missed the chance to close the gap on the top seven.
The visitors might have gone ahead in the seventh minute when an unmarked Tom Miller sidefooted wide from seven yards from Danny Grainger's long cross.
That proved crucial as within two minutes Mansfield were ahead as Hemmings latched onto Grainger's poor backpass to sidestep the goalkeeper and slot in from a narrow angle.
It was 2-0 on the half hour when Lee Angol met CJ Hamilton's cross to force Jack Bonham to save under the crossbar, but the keeper was helpless as Rhys Bennett turned the dropping ball in from close range.
United were back in it in the 67th minute through a Devitt spot-kick after keeper Conrad Logan had fouled substitute Richie Bennett.
Then Sam Cosgrove and Richie Bennett somehow hit the woodwork in succession from Hallam Hope's 73rd-minute cross.
They were made to pay two minutes later as Hemmings turned home a low Alfie Potter cross from close range.