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Swans Beat Indisciplined Stags
By Martin Williams
Swansea City are back on top of the pile in Division Three after a convincing win over an indisciplined, Mansfield Town. The visitors were down to 9 men by the end of the 4-1 win. The goals came from Kieron Durkan (pictured), Andy Robinson, Lee Trundle and Kevin Nugent.
Swansea City looked convincing in a 4-1 win over Keith Curle's Mansfield Town at The Vetch today. The win sends Brian Flynn's side back to the top of the league! And to make matters worse for the visitors, their indiscipline earned Iyseden Christie and Lee Williamson red cards.
Lee Trundle had the first real attempt at goal with a free kick tipped over the bar by Stags keeper Kevin Pilkington from 25-yards out.
Then in an off the ball incident on 8 minutes, new Swans defender, Izzy Iriekpen went down clutching his arm after seemingly being struck by Mansfield forward, Iyseden Christie. Referee, Lee Probert consulted his linesman before deciding to show the player the red card.
Swansea took full advantage of their extra player seven minutes later. Roger Freestone, starting for the first time this season, knocked a free kick long for Kevin Nugent to head it down into the path of Trundle. The former Wrexham man crossed over to the unmarked Kieron Durkan who struck the ball superbly into the far corner with his left foot.
Trundle troubled the Stag's keeper with another free-kick on 17 minutes, this time a dipping effort into the bottom corner, but Pilkington saved comfortably.
Leon Britton, getting closer and closer to finding the back of the net each game, created an opening for himself on 24 minutes. However hiss effort rose over the bar.
Mansfield earned a corner a minute before the break which Roger Freestone pushed away only to find Liam Lawrence 12 yards out. His sweetly struck shot nestled in the back of the net.
The adventurous Lee Trundle came close to putting the Swans back in the lead during first half stoppage time. After intercepting a sloppy Mansfield pass, the shot rolled just past the post.
Swansea piled on the pressure during the early stages of the second half but a goal didn't come until the 58th minute. Andy Robinson curled a free kick into the corner of the net scoring his second goal in three Swans appearances.
Brian Flynn's side grabbed a third on 70 minutes after Lee Trundle was brought down inside the area. He picked himself up to score the resulting spot-kick and make the remaining 20 minutes a little more comfortable.
Just 1 minute later it was 4-1 when Leon Hylton's ball down the left hand side was met by former Manchester United goalkeeper, Kevin Pilkington. However his clearance struck Trundle and, in an unusual stroke of luck for the Swans, the ball fell to the feet of Kevin Nugent who took one touch before completing an easy finish.
But the drama did not end there at The Vetch Field. Wildman, Lee Williamson tackled Leon Britton from behind and after the massive brawl that followed he was shown a straight red card on 73 minutes.
Substitute James Thomas had a chance to make it 5-1 in injury time but his close range header when the ball was going away from him, was saved comfortably.
So a pleasing result for the fans who can now boast their club's league position of 1st again. In some ways though Mansfield beat themselves with their indiscipline today, but take nothing away from the Swans players who reacted superbly to the challenge.
Four More For Swans As They Go Top Again
By Phil Sumbler
Swansea returned to the top of the third division with a comprehensive 4-1 destruction of Mansfield at the Vetch with the visitors ending the game with just nine men. Durkan, Robinson, Trundle and Nugent were on target for the Swans.
Swansea 4 Mansfield 1
Forced into several changes through injury, Brian Flynn sent his new look Swansea side onto the field in an 4-3-3 formation looking like this
Jones O'Leary Iriekpen Hylton
Jenkins Britton Robinson
Trundle Nugent Durkan
This promised to be another big test for the Swans with Mansfield arriving at the Vetch on the back of 8 goals in their last two games. With the influential Martinez and Johnrose both missing through injury and Maylett suspended there was talk about whether we would continue our good run. The defeat at Oxford had affected the crowd with under 7,000 in the Vetch for the game and Mansfield, despite their protests were around 100 short of selling their allocation of 280. Just as well we didn't believe their fans when they estimated 700 could be sold! It does amaze me though as to why our gate was down by 2,000 on the Boston game - maybe too many stay away after just one defeat - an unlucky one at that.
Swansea were given an unexpected boost after just eight minutes when Mansfield's leading scorer Christie was shown the red card for an elbow on Izzy. We can possibly say we were lucky here that the linesman only saw the retaliation as there was no doubt that Izzy made the first blow. Had the linesman seen this then two straight reds would have followed but, in football, these things happen. With the main threat up front off, Swansea were quick to capitalise. A through ball from Trundle found Durkan on the right of the area and he struck a first time shot into the corner of the net to send Swansea into the lead.
From then on, certainly until half-time, Mansfield were marginally the better side. The football that they played was very pretty at times and with the Swans lacking in midfield, they had plenty of possession. On too many occasions, a Swans attack broke down and the Mansfield players found themselves in too much space as the Swans midfield was nowhere but the defence was holding firm with Roger having very little of note to do in the Swansea goal.
Mansfield though drew level just before half time. A corner on the right was played into the box and despite a challenge that many referees would see as a foul, the ball broke to Vaughan who drilled a powerful shot into the net to send the two sides in level at 1-1 at the break.
Worth also mentioning here that had Williamson connected with Robinson on one challenge in the first half then not only would a red card have been produced but we would be looking at another midfielder facing a spell on the sidelines. But that was only delaying (red card wise) what looked the inevitable.
The second half belonged purely to Swansea. Andy Robinson hit a free kick home from 25 yards after 15 minutes of the second half - one that Beckham would have been proud of and Swansea were back in front. At 2-1, Mansfield were probably capable of getting back into the game but Swansea weren't to let this lead slip.
Kevin Nugent sent Lee Trundle away with 20 minutes of play remaining and he rounded Pilkington in the Mansfield goal who was outside his area. Although he seemed to have lost his way slightly he was clipped by the defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Again, a decision that went our way as I would like to see this one again to see if the foul was inside or outside of the area. But we said that same at Oxford on Monday and it made no difference as up stepped Trundle to notch his 6th of the season and to effectively kill the game off for the Swans.
Just 60 seconds later, Pilkington again was on the wander and this time his clearance rebounded off the Mansfield defender and into the path of Nugent who composed himself, had a look around, a cup of tea and a sandwich and rolled the ball into the empty net - Swans had four goals again.
And there looked more coming. Britton was coming into the game more and as he ran at the Mansfield defence he was pulled from behind by Lawrence. As he lay on the floor, Williamson - already booked - took a kick at him and all hell broke loose. Virtually everyone joined in the brawl but it was Williamson who was shown the red card much to his disgust. He can pull all the faces he wants to but the referee had no choice and Williamson can count himself lucky he lasted that long. A further yellow from the incident from Lawrence was the only other punishment handed out by the referee from the incident.
Corbisierio was handed his league debut in place of Robinson and the Swans coasted home with a few more chances and another good display.
Contrast this to the two home fixtures so far and this was not the fluent Swansea but it was a Swansea good enough to win with a little help from the referee but who cares? We lost at Oxford on Monday when we possibly didn't deserve to and these things even themselves out. We deserved to win this one but 11 on 11 who knows what the score would have been.
Man of the match for me? Very hard one to call as there were so many dogged performances but I am going to go for Andy Robinson who never stopped running and looking for the ball and he capped it off with his exquisite free kick. To a man though this was Swansea playing a determined game and how nice it was to see as well.
Expect some comments from the Mansfield fans about the referee but he did the job he was paid to do - Izzy got lucky, maybe the penalty wasn't but Swansea were the better team on the day and that is what counts.
Into the South West next week for our first league trip to Yeovil - you honestly wouldn't bet against another Swansea victory would you?
Swansea leapt back to the top of the table after defeating nine-man Mansfield in an incident-packed match at the Vetch Field.
The visitors had striker Iyseden Christie dismissed for an off the ball incident in the seventh minute and then were reduced to nine men in the 74th minute when Lee Williamson was sent off by the referee for kicking out at Leon Britton.
"My players were let down badly by having officials who couldn't handle the pressure of League football," said Stags manager Keith Curle.
"For the first dismissal their player stuck his finger in Christie's mouth and for the second I thought Lee was fairly kicking out at the ball which was still in play.
"I'm very disappointed with the result as I firmly believe that with 11 men on the field we would have given them a game." The Swans took the lead in the 15th minute with a goal by Kieron Durkan who was making his first start of the season.
However, they failed to make their extra man count in that opening period and Mansfield levelled with a shot from Tony Vaughan after Swans keeper Roger Freestone had palmed away a Liam Lawrence corner.
Swansea boss Brian Flynn gave his side a half time pep talk and in the second period an Andy Robinson free kick (57) a Lee Trundle penalty (69) and a Kevin Nugent strike (71) put the Swans back in charge.
"It's still early days yet but this is a good position to be in," said Flynn.
"We allowed them too much space in the first half but corrected that and fully deserved the victory." Swansea skipper Nugent was delighted with the togetherness shown by his side.
"It was an honour to be given the captaincy of such a good squad and we have a great team spirit going here at the moment.
"It is very frustrating for any side to go a man down and in fairness they battled away well but you have to retain your composure and they didn't.
"It was a rough game but that is part and parcel of Third Division football."
Swansea nightmare for nine-men Mansfield
Mansfield Town's mouthwatering trip to Swansea turned into a disaster this afternoon as they were thumped 4-1 and had Iyseden Christie and Lee Williamson sent off.
Stags also had six players booked as the big occasion proved too much for some of them.
Christie left his side with a huge uphill struggle when he was sent off as early as the seventh minute for an off the ball clash with Emzomo Iriekpen.
And Williamson followed him on 73 minutes after a mass brawl which could and should have seen others from both sides red-carded too.
Referee Lee Probert, it has to be said, did give Mansfield little all afternoon, the home side amazingly escaping without any cards. That certainly helped crank up Mansfield's frustrations.
As for the football, well, the short-handed Stags turned in a brilliant first half in which Tony Vaughan brought them deservedly level just before the break, cancelling out Kieron Durkan's 15th minute opener.
But it was one-way traffic after the break as Swansea broke the 10-men's resistance and composure.
Stags were unchanged from the side which hammered Scunthorpe 5-0 in midweek and full of confidence. But the Swans knew a win could put them top. So the stage was set for a cracking afternoon of football.
Stags supporters, already restricted to just 280 tickets, found themselves housed in a small area near the corner flag after home fans were also given the away end.
And their afternoon was soon going to get much worse.
In a cauldron of noise Stags had an early half chance as Christie headed tamely at the keeper from a Mendes cross.
At the other end Pilkington had to help a 30-yard Trundle free kick over the bar.
But on seven minutes Stags found themselves down the 10 men after Christie was shown a red card for an off the ball incident with Iriekpen.
With the ball a long way up the field the big Swansea defender suddenly collapsed in agony on the edge of the Swans' box with Christie immediately protesting his innocence.
The referee saw nothing but it was right in front of an assistant. A row broke out with the officials, Christie, and several Stags team mates but the red card was lifted and Mansfield were in deep trouble.
Christie later claimed the defender put a finger in his mouth and so he bit it and was then slapped by the Swansea man for his troubles.
Tempers were now very frayed and Hassell was booked for a lunge on Durkin.
But, with the home fans in full cry, Swansea rubbed salt into the wounds with a goal on 15 minutes.
A ball down the centre was helped over the defence by Trundle to Durkan on the left of the box. He looked up and rifled an excellent finish across Pilkington and inside the far post.
Artell was booked for arguing over a decision before Curle decided to reorganise and withdrew Corden to send on Larkin and go 4-3-2.
Britton did go close when he tried his luck from 20 yards and the ball dropped just over.
But by now Stags had regained some composure and, to the frustration of the home fans, began to play their football and cause problems.
Hylton did well to block a volleyed attempt from Williamson while Mendes cut in and sent a tame finish wide of the far post.
A neat string os passes just outside the box ended with a poor low finish well wide from Hassell.
There was danger for Stags when Swansea broke quickly down the right and Jenkins and Durkan found themselves two on one with the last defender.
But Jenkins flighted pass just wouldn't come down in time and Durkan's finish was easy for Pilkington.
Freestone, in the Swansea goal, had his first real save of the half to make on 44 minutes as Mendes cued up Larkin for a shot which Freestone had to turn round his post.
But, from the corner, Stags were deservedly level.
Lawrence's corner was only cleared as far as Vaughan who sent an unstoppable finish through a crowd of players.
In first half stoppage time Trundle somehow managed to weave his way through the whole Stags defence only to bundle his finish inches wide.
On the restart Swansea went straight on the attack and some nimble footwork and a good turn by Trundle saw him make space for a shot that flashed just wide.
Robinson then charged into the Mansfield box before shooting into the side netting.
Stags must have wished half time had never happened as the home side began to boss things and forced a string of corners.
The visitors were taken by surprise when Nugent managed to get up and head an over-hit cross back in front of goal and thankfully Artell was alert to head away from almost on the goal line.
Trundle was then forced wide in the box but, from a tight angle, got in a powerful on-target shot which Pilkington had to push away.
Williamson was shown the yellow card for bringing down the nippy Britton. And his punishment worsened as Robinson stepped up to curl the 20 yard free kick from the left of the penalty box D into Pilkington's top right hand corner.
It had certainly been coming and 10-men Stags now had a mountain to climb.
Curle made a positive move and took off defender Hassell to throw big Andy White up front and bravely go 3-3-3.
Stags breathed a sigh of relief when Pilkington failed to gather a high forward ball and Durkan rolled the ball into the empty net . But the referee ruled that Nugent had impeded the keeper.
However, the ball was in the back of Mansfield's net on 69 minutes and there was no reprieve this time as the visitors' hopes drained away.
Caught by a swift counter attack which saw Nugent end Trundle on his way, Pilkington had run out his box but was beaten to the ball as Trundle sidestepped him and with the goal at his mercy was tripped in the box by Vaughan.
The former Forest man was only shown a yellow card but up stepped Trundle to slot home the spot kick.
If Stags thought that was as bad as their afternoon would get they were very much mistaken.
Swansea were gifted a comedy fourth goal on 71 minutes as Pilkington cleared the ball to the right of his box only to see it hit Artell and spin into the path of Nugent who rolled the ball into the gaping goal with glee.
Stags players' frustrations erupted two minutes later as a huge brawl broke out which saw Williamson red-carded and Lawrence escape with a yellow.
In truth both sides could have been down to one man apiece as virtually every player appeared to throw punches or raise arms.
It was sparked by Vaughan's trip on Britton with Williamson then launching himself into the fallen Swansea man's fallen body as hye lay on the ball.
Larkin let fly from 25 yards on 81 minutes and the ball flew just over - the nearest Stags had come all half.
A Lawrence free kick from 22 yards then took a deflection wide off the wall.
Mendes saw Stags' sixth yellow card of the afternoon for a deliberate trip on Britton as he looked to set up another swift counter attack.
Freestone then saved comfortably from a Day header three minutes from time.
Thomas should have made it five for Swansea at the death but sent his close range header from Durkan's cross straight at Pilkington.
Latest | August 2003