Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox defended his side's strong arm tactics after a wonder goal from substitute Colin Daniel inspired his side to a vital victory over struggling Morecambe.

Daniel fired Mansfield into the lead with a stunning 43rd minute free kick that flew past Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche and ended up in the top right hand corner of the Morecambe goal to give the Stags a vital three points in a bruising encounter.

Morecambe's efforts to get back into the game were hit Andy Fleming was given a straight red card for a foul on Adam Murray with seven minutes left.

Cox said: "It was a right old battle and I think we deserved it in the end.

"We knew that Morecambe would come out and go for it. There was tackles flying everywhere but we got the moment of quality that was needed.

"They didn't like the physical battle and if they dish it out they have to receive it. Just because there is a bit of blood it doesn't mean they have been fouled.

"There was a few nasty tackles and their lad deserved to get sent off.

"If was a tempestuous game between two sides going all out for the win and there were some off the ball incidents that were out of order.

"But we won the game through a world class goal from Colin Daniel and if had not been for their keeper we would have won by a greater margin."

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley, who saw his side suffer a third straight 1-0 defeat, was furious with the performance of the officials.

He said: "Mansfield like to push the boundaries and there were several blatant elbows that went unpunished and that was unacceptable.

"We started the game really well and got in great positions but we didn't make the right decisions and didn't take our chances and could have been out of sight before they scored.

"It was a wonder goal and sometime you have to hold your hand up and admit that but I am really disappointed that we have taken nothing from the game which we had the better of for some time.

"When things are going against you you have to show a bit more composure as once you give a team like Mansfield something to cling on to you make it hard for yourself."