CURLE AND TAIT REACTION
Audio interview with Keith Curle from Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)
Evening Post website
Mansfield boss Keith Curle believes his side are taking 'giant steps' in the right direction after their comfortable victory over Darlington.
The dismissal of Darlington's David McGurk turned the game on its head and allowed Mansfield to score two late goals and claim maximum points.
Tony Vaughan opened the scoring for Mansfield but Darlington's Ian Clark levelled shortly before half time. Following the sending off of McGurk, Wayne Corden and Iyseden Christie wrapped up the win for the Stags.
"It's a very long season but we're taking giant steps on a long journey and we're getting closer and closer to our goal," said Curle.
"We could have moved the ball a bit quicker at times and I was disappointed with the penalty we gave away from a lapse in concentration.
"I won't comment on the referee as we have to react and accept decisions week in, week out. Wayne Corden did well when he came on and that's the beauty of having a quality squad. Players are desperate to get into the team and even into the 16.
"They're a fit bunch of lads and we knew we had to step up the tempo in the second half and that's what they did."
Stags boss Keith Curle said: "It's a very long season and we are taking small steps on a long journey and getting closer and closer to the end.
"We could have moved the ball a bit quicker at times and I was disappointed with the penalty we gave away from a slight lack of concentration.
"I won't comment on the referee. We have to react and accept decisions week in, week out.
"Wayne Corden did well when he came on and that is the beauty of having a quality squad. Players are desperate to get in the team and even in the 16.
"They are a fit bunch of lads and we knew we had to step up the tempo in the second half and that's what they did."
Angry Darlington boss Mick Tait slammed rookie referee Trevor Kettle after the ten-men Quakers received eight yellow cards as their six-match unbeaten run came to a controversial end.
Referee Kettle dismissed David McGurk three minutes into the second half for what appeared a fair challenge - and within 17 minutes Mansfield had grabbed two goals to secure victory.
Tait said: "The sending off was a disgrace. I have asked the referee how he can sleep at night after making such decisions." Half-time substitute Wayne Corden inspired the Stags to their third victory of the week and second place in the Third Division.
The wingman, dropped for the previous two matches, crossed accurately for Iyseden Christie to restore Mansfield's lead in the 59th minute and then curled in a trademark 20-yard free kick six minutes later.
Afterwards Mansfield manager Keith Curle said: "That's the beauty of having a strong, quality squad. Players are now desperate to get into the team and that showed with Wayne." Unchanged Mansfield, now the top scorers in the division, had gone close to a first minute breakthrough when Rhys Day headed Liam Lawrence's floated free kick narrowly wide.
But in the 13th minute another Lawrence cross unlocked the defence. This time Tony Vaughan looped his header into an empty net with keeper Michael Price stranded.
Yet another Lawrence free kick almost doubled the lead, but this time Day's 23rd minute header struck the post.
Christie and Lawrence then squandered clear shooting chances, Christie drilling his low shot on the turn wide from 18 yards and Lawrence seeing his close-range drive blocked by the alert Price.
And the Stags were made to pay for their profligacy in the 45th minute when from their first serious attack Darlington levelled.
Ashley Nicholls was fouled by Day as he burst into the area and although Stags keeper Kevin Pilkington superbly kept out Ian Clark's penalty - his second spot-kick save of the week and his only save in the whole match - Clark reacted the quickest to head in the equaliser from the rebound.
Latest | October 2003