REPORT FROM SPORT FIRST
Sport First match report:
By Tyler Crawford
transcribed by Carole
MANSFIELD manager Keith Curle blamed his side's “soft centre” as Lincoln blasted four second-half goals to coast to victory at Sincil Bank.
The visitors failed to take advantage of a first-half penalty which was created and converted by midfielder Liam Lawrence.
Lincoln dominated the second-half, with striker Gary Fletcher grabbing his 13th and 14th goals of the season.
Francis Green lobbed Mansfield goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington for Lincoln's third, while substitute Simon Yeo wrapped up their best home victory of the season with an effort after 89 minutes.
Mansfield manager Curle admitted a bad second-half performance had cost them.
He said “It is quite easy to see there was a mini collapse, with a soft centre in the team. It is difficult to get consistency, but we have to build on the first 45 minutes.
“If you had asked both managers at half-time who was the happier, then it would have been me; if you had asked us at the end, Keith Alexander would have been delighted.
“As a manager you have to look to get consistency in the back four, for the first 45 minutes it was very good, but in the second-half there were many individuals out there. I said to them at half-time that there would be no surprises from Lincoln, it would be more of the same, they have got belief in the style and the way they play, the back four went as individuals and separated.”
Curle praised Lawrence for having the confidence to take the spot-kick after 36 minutes which gave the visitors the lead.
He said: “The first decision we got in the first-half got us a penalty. Liam has got the confidence that if he puts the ball on the spot he is going to get a goal. We need to get over this as soon as possible.”
Lincoln manager Keith Alexander was delighted with a win which puts the imps back in the play-off hunt.
Alexander said: “It was a good victory against a good side. The players showed much character to come back from last week's defeat at Cheltenham where, with the side we put out, we should have got something, but it means nothing unless we get a result on Tuesday against Southend.”
Alexander thought the penalty award against his side was harsh, but was full of praise for strike partners Fletcher and Green.
Alexander added: “Fletcher has been out for a couple of weeks, but he has taken his goal well. Fletcher takes people on and he is entitled to score. He is not one hundred percent, but he is doing well for us.”
Lincoln City ……………… Mansfield Town
27-----------Possession %---- 73
13-----------Shots on Target---5
1------------Shots off Target---0
Latest | March 2004