NOW JOHNSON PLANS TO STAY IN TOP THREE
Bristol Evening Post.
Mansfield Town 0 YEOVIL TOWN 1 THIRD Division new boys Yeovil Town's fourth straight win elevated them to the dizzy heights of the top three automatic promotion spots.
And manager Gary Johnson has challenged his players to stay there.
"We are up in the top three now, " he said after Saturday's 1-0 win at Mansfield. "The boys have proved themselves, but now they have got to make sure they go all the way through to 46 games and are still up at the top."
Kirk Jackson's goal was the difference between the sides. But equally important was the Glovers' fourth successive clean sheet against a rampant Mansfield attack which had scored 13 goals in their three previous home games.
"Make no mistake that is a big place to go and get a result. It was a fantastic result, " Johnson added.
"We had the first 10 minutes in their box and then they had the next 20. But once we scored we were back on top. The second half was a matter of being professional, which I thought we were, and we got 11 men behind the ball.
"We closed them down even though they were high up the field.
"There is a Second Division mentality at Mansfield and a super Second Division stadium with players who were playing in the Second Division last year.
"We are creeping up with those teams now.We are all very proud to have got our fourth successive zero against as well and now we have two home games to look forward to, although they will both be hard."
Injury-hit Mansfield went with Junior Mendes as their sole striker with the intent of getting their freescoring midfielders up in support as quickly as possible - a system which saw them swamp Bury in midweek.
But it was Yeovil who started the stronger and home keeper Kevin Pilkington had to make saves to deny Kevin Gall and Gavin Williams.
Mansfield were pinned in their own box for the first 15 minutes before they finally emerged as an attacking force.
And when Ronny Bull was relieved of the ball on 31 minutes, Liam Lawrence set up Junior Mendes for a shot that cannoned back off the foot of the far post.
Yeovil keeper Chris Weale also did well to force Mendes wide in a one-onone situation shortly afterwards.
The breakthrough came for Yeovil three minutes from half-time.
Pilkington turned a Nick Crittenden shot from 25 yards round the post. The home side struggled to clear the resulting corner, Colin Pluck drilled the ball back in low from the left and Kirk Jackson reacted first to turn home his fourth goal of the season from five yards.
Tom Curtis and Liam Lawrence tested Weale from outside the box, but Yeovil got men behind the ball and sat comfortably on their advantage in the second half.
Frustrated Mansfield threw three men up front for the final 10 minutes and Neil MacKenzie and Chris Beardsley both went narrowly wide, while Lawrence's 18-yard blast forced another save from Weale.
But Yeovil were excellent value for all three points and hung on for the whistle under the late presure.
MANSFIELD: Pilkington, Mendes, Corden, JohnBaptiste, Cur tis, Clarke (Mitchell 80mins), Vaughan (T Cur tis 90mins), MacKenzie, Lawrence, Day, Disley (Beardsley half-time). Subs not used: J. White, Buxton.
YEOVIL: Weale, Lockwood, Pluck, Way, Johnson, Gall (Stansfield 90mins), Crittenden (Gosling 90mins), Bull, O'Brien, Jackson (Terry 85mins), Williams. Subs not used: Rodrigues, Collis.
REFEREE: Kevin Friend (Leicester).
CAUTIONS: Mansfield - Disley 43mins, Clarke 45mins, Vaughan 56mins. Yeovil - Johnson 45mins.
Latest | September 2003