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Season 03/04 Stagsnet Match Report
Nationwide League Division 3
Swansea City  
4 - 1
 Mansfield Town
Durkan 16, Robinson 58, Trundle 70 (pen), Nugent 71
 Vaughan 44
Attendance: 6,991 (approx 230 from Mansfield)
Date: 30th August 2003

Christie sent off, 8. Williamson sent off, 73.

The Stags were beaten 4-1 in a dramatic encounter at Swansea this afternoon. The Stags were incensed by a number of refereeing decisions which ultimately led to the game boiling over and a mass brawl involving everyone bar Pilkington.

Mansfield were unchanged from the side which well and truly stuffed Scunthorpe on Tuesday. The Stags were backed by a following of about 230, with surprisingly about 50 tickets of the allocation of 280, having been returned. The home side included dangerous striker Lee Trundle, who had remarkably joined on a free from Wrexham.

The Stags had an early attack when Christie had a weak header. But the game was to be massively influenced by an incident on 8 minutes. The ball was in play in the middle of the park, when we were suddenly aware that a Swansea player had gone down next to Christie, and the linesman was flagging. The ref went over to the linesman and promptly showed Christie the red card. At the time, we assumed an elbow must have been used. However after the game, Keith Curle explained that the Swansea player stuck his finger in Christie's mouth, and Christie bit it. If true, Christie was unlucky.

A few minutes later, Swansea were in front when a ball was swept over to the left for Durkin to volley past Pilkington. It was a good finish. During the whole of the first half Durkin gave Hassell the run around, right in the front of the Stags fans.

Corden was then sacrificed much to his displeasure, as he had been at QPR last season, with Larkin joining Mendes up front. The Stags held their own for the remainder of the half and played pretty well. On 43 minutes, Vaughan netted his first goal for the club for a deserved equaliser. Lawrence's corner was fluffed by the keeper, and fell for Vaughan who rifled home through a crowd of player from 15 yards. The Stags players celebrations showed how much they were fired up. The Stags fans went wild.

Half time 1-1

Swansea were on top at the start of the second half, and after a couple of near misses, went ahead on 58 minutes. A free kick was awarded right on the edge of the box, though it seemed harsh as Williamson did not appear to commit a foul. Williamson stupidly protested and was promptly booked. The free kick was beautifully curled into the corner of the net for 2-1.

Curle brough on Disley for MacKenzie and Andy White for Hassell, moving to a bold 3-3-3 formation. But on 70 minutes the home side were awarded a penalty when Trundle, who had looked a class above anything else on the pitch, rounded Pilkington as he was well out of his area, and was tripped by Vaughan. It was just outside the area (as conclusively proved by video replays) but the penalty was given, and scored by Trundle, though Pilkington got a hand to it - probably the nearest he has ever got to saving a penalty for Mansfield. Vaughan had been shown yellow as Trundle was running slightly away from goal.

Just a minute later, Stags ill fortune was summed up when Pilkington's clearnce down by the touchline bizarrely cannoned off the tireless Trundle and luckily ran straight across the pitch to Nugent, who rolled the ball into an empty net for 4-1.

Two minutes later, the game simply boiled over. A Swansea player made a run in midfield and was tripped by Vaughan. As the player went down on top of the ball, Williamson tried to win the ball and kick at it as it was still in play. As the Swansea player got up, Williamson was grabbed by the throat and all hell broke loose, as 21 players were soon involved in a mass brawl. Williamson deserved a booking, which would have been his second of the game, but was given a straight red. But the Swansea player should also have seen red, and nothing was done. Lawrence was shown a yellow even though he seemed to be trying to pull Williamson away.

The game calmed down after that and little else happened, though both Lawrence and Larkin went close.

A very bad day at the office for the Stags, not only for the loss of points, but looming 3 match bans for two players who have been in great form lately: Williamson and Christie. It could prove to be a very costly day. After the game, manager Curle told the media: "My players were let down badly by having officials who couldn't handle the pressure of League football." Curle was quite correct, though his players should also have shown more discipline.

Man of the match: Rhys Day

Report by: Martin Shaw at Vetch Field

Line Up:
Pilkington 6 Not at fault for the goals, even the fourth which was just bad luck. However didn't command his area well.
Hassell 5 Given the run around by Durkin.
Day 7 Solid and assured in defence.
Artell 6 Three or four surprising mistakes, though otherwise defended well.
Vaughan 6 Scored a good goal, but gave away a penalty (which was outside the box). Defended ok.
Lawrence 7 Some good movement. Has to learn to curb his petulance on the pitch.
MacKenzie 6 Not really in the game.
Williamson 7 Had a very good first half. Worked hard, but always looked as though he could get himself carded. In the end was unlucky to get a straight red, though probably deserved his second yellow.
Corden - Sacrified early in the game after the first sending off.
Mendes 6 Showed good pace, but created little.
Christie - Appears to have been unlucky to be sent off.
Sub Line Up:
Larkin (for Corden, 19) 6 Looked fit. One good shot in the second half.
Disley (for MacKenzie, 58) 6 Did ok.
AWhite (for Hassell, 62) 6 Little chance to get involved.
Subs not used: JWhite, Clarke.
Opposition Line Up:
Freestone, Jenkins, O'Leary, Jones, Iriekpen, Britton, Hylton, Durkan, Robinson, Nugent, Trundle. Subs: Howard, Thomas, Duffy, Murphy, Corbisierso.
L.Probert (Bristol) 4 Only his third game in league football. Was heavily influenced by the home fans and had no idea what he was doing. Pathetic.

Season 03/04 Reports