STAGS GO 4TH AFTER WIN
An early goal from Junior Mendes plus two first half strikes from Craig Disley were enough to give the Stags the points, despite a 90th minute penalty from Paul Tait.
Bristol Rovers 1 - 3 Mansfield Town
Tait 90 (pen)
Mendes 10, Disley 13, 41
Attendance: 8,451 (307 from Mansfield)
Stagsnet report by Martin Shaw at the Memorial Ground now in the Match Centre
Bristol Evening News:
Rovers saw their unbeaten home record shattered by a rampant Mansfield side who scored three times before the break.
They were shocked after nine minutes when Junior Mendes shot Mansfield into the lead from a Liam Lawrence pass, and they were in a state of paralysis three minutes later when Craig Disley added a second after good work by Mendes.
Mansfield gave them few chances to hit back, and a sign of Rovers' frustration was a booking for Ijah Anderson for a foul on Lawrence.
But the game was as good as decided when Disley scored a third for Mansfield four minutes before the break, again from a Mendes pass.
The Stags seemed content to let Rovers come on to them after the break but they held on comfortably, despite a booking for Tom Curtis for a foul on Lee Hodges.
Danny Boxall, of Rovers, was also cautioned, but the Pirates restored some pride with a last-minute penalty by Paul Tait.
Ray Graydon kept his team in the dressing room after the game before banishing them back out on to the pitch while he sympathised with the suffering Pirates fans.
He said: "I can understand people asking for their money back after that first half. Our performance was abysmal. I thought the fans were fantastic and they deserve an apology for those first 45 minutes.
"Being professional, rolling our sleeves upand putting on a good performance for the supporters is the least I can expect from my players. When you show no fight or spirit you are in trouble. It doesn't take a miracle man to see the difference in the second half. It was nothing to do with the tactics, it's all to do with application."
Stags boss Kieth Curle was a happy man as he returned to his home city. He watched Craig Disley, with two goals, and Junior Mendes put Mansfield into an unassailable 3-0 lead at the break.
His side were able to hang on comfortably after the break, except for a last-minute penalty from Paul Tait which gave Rovers a consolation goal.
Craig Disley struck two first-half goals to send Mansfield on their way to a comfortable 3-1 win at Bristol Rovers.
Junior Mendes shot the visitors ahead in the 10th minute and then set up Disley in the 14th to make it 2-0 with a low drive.
Disley scored again with the aid of a deflection on 41 minutes and Rovers' only reply came from an injury-time penalty by Paul Tait after Luke Dimech had handled.
The home side paid for a woeful first-half display in which they defended weakly and barely featured as an attacking force.
Mendes was a bundle of trouble, opening the scoring with a fine 20-yard shot and giving central defenders Christian Edwards and Adam Barrett a nightmare time.
Rovers improved after the break, but never suggested they could get back in the game.
Tait's spot-kick brought his sixth goal of the season, but it was scant consolation.
Mansfield looked slick going forward and defended their lead admirably to make it a happy return to one of his former clubs for manager Keith Curle.
Latest | October 2003