REPORTS AND REACTION FROM YEOVIL NEWSPAPERS
MANSFIELD GOAL RUSH BLOWS YEOVIL AWAY
Bristol Evening Post, 31 August 2004
Gary Johnson was in no mood to make excuses after seeing Yeovil Town blown away by Mansfield at Field Mill. The Glovers were stunned by an avalanche of three goals in five minutes midway through the second half and manager Johnson blamed poor defending for his team's heaviest defeat in almost 12 months.
Terry Skiverton had cancelled out Derek Assamoah's eighth-minute opener for the home side and Yeovil were pushing for a winner when they were hit by a sudden goal rush.
Dave Artell headed in from set-pieces twice in as many minutes, and Wayne Corden added a fourth soon afterwards to kill off any hopes of a Yeovil comeback.
"We cost ourselves three goals by not marking," complained Johnson.
"Fair play to Mansfield, they used the following wind better than we did and, when they piled the pressure on, we couldn't cope.
"If you don't get tight and mark properly at set plays, you're going to concede goals and that has cost us in this game. It's a bitter pill to swallow and we have to pick ourselves up and hope this is nothing more than a blip."
A shrewd tactician, Stags manager Keith Curle soon worked out how to take advantage of opponents who adopted wing-backs and left three central defenders to guard the back door. Utilising the space behind Michael Rose on Yeovil's exposed left flank, the imp-like Colin Larkin caused the visitors constant problems, his darting forays catching defenders in two minds.
When the livewire striker ran on to Neil MacKenzie's angled pass and delivered a cross towards the far post, on-loan defender Liam Fontaine inexplicably allowed the ball to run across the edge of the six-yard box and Assamoah nipped in to beat Chris Weale.
It was a soft goal to concede and the Glovers appeared temporarily stunned - so much so that they failed to learn their lesson and were indebted to Weale, whose strong wrists kept out Alex Neil's powerful drive moments later. Once again, Mansfield had engineered an opportunity from the vacant left-back berth.
Yeovil knuckled down, gradually gained a foothold in midfield and should have been level on 22 minutes. Darren Way set the pacy Kevin Gall galloping free and his right-foot shot drew a superb fingertip save from Stags keeper Kevin Pilkington.
But there was nothing the keeper could do to prevent the equaliser two minutes later. Lee Johnson's flighted free-kick from the right found Skiverton and Yeovil's captain rose unchallenged to send his header looping over Pilkington and into the net.
Pilkington denied Yeovil the lead when tipping a Phil Jevons drive over the bar, while Larkin should have scored only to delay his shot and allow Weale to save with his feet.
It was Mansfield who engineered the better openings after the break and Weale did well to turn away Scott McNiven's angled drive, while giant centre-back Artell contrived to send a free header over the bar from point-blank range.
But he made no mistake when Yeovil allowed him a similar opportunity on 67 minutes, MacKenzie directing a free-kick towards the far post where Artell was perfectly positioned to power his header beyond Weale.
The same combination put the outcome beyond doubt moments later, Artell again hurling himself at a MacKenzie free-kick to gain a decisive final touch.
Yeovil were still rocking when Assamoah's neat set-up presented Wayne Corden with an opportunity to sweep home number four at the far post.
Mansfield: Pilkington, McNiven, Buxton, Day, Artell, Cordon, Neil (sub Curtis, 74 mins), John-Baptiste (sub Murray, 74 mins), MacKenzie, Assamoah (sub Tate, 83 mins), Larkin.
Yeovil: Weale, O'Brien, Skiverton, Fontaine (sub Caceres, 55 mins), Terry (sub Terry, 79 mins), Gall, Way, Johnson, Jevons, Rose, Tarachulski (sub Weatherstone, 69 mins).
POOR SECOND HALF IS COSTLY FOR YEOVIL AS MANSFIELD HIT FOUR
Western Morning News, 31 August 2004
Mansfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 1
Yeovil Town's four-game unbeaten run was ripped to shreds inside five crazy second half minutes at beaten Play-Off finalists Mansfield Town yesterday.
The Glovers had recovered from going behind on eight minutes to deservedly go in at half-time level through a Terry Skiverton equaliser after a rip-roaring end-to-end first half.
However, it all turned sour as Stags, seeking their third win in four games, hit a purple patch of three goals in five minutes that Yeovil simply had no answer to.
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson admitted: "I have got some thinking to do this week now.
"We have a big game coming up on Saturday and I hope this is just a blip in our season. Now I've got to pick them up.
"Mansfield had a good 10 minute spell that cost us three goals. Or should I say we cost us three goals.
"Two of them came from set pieces and you have got to be able to defend set pieces. Unfortunately we didn't stick with our men and didn't do our jobs.
"The game was won and lost in the penalty areas. We created chances but didn't have the mental toughness to get the ball in the back of the net.
"We didn't have the players out there today that could show the composure you need. Even after Mansfield went 4-1 up we still created enough chances to bring it back."
At half-time there was little indication of what was to come with the sides locked at 1-1 after a thrilling first 45 minutes.
Lee Johnson had crashed an early shot just wide before Mansfield grabbed the lead on eight minutes.
Colin Larkin drilled in a low cross from the right towards the near post where 'keeper Chris Weale allowed Derek Asamoah to touch the ball past him.
The Glovers then survived a torrid 16th minute when Weale managed to parry a Wayne Corden free kick and he recovered to save well from Alex Neil's follow-up blast. As they failed to clear the loose ball, though, and the ball went for a corner, it reached Corden who blasted just wide.
Yeovil then enjoyed a good spell and on 22 minutes Darren Way's throughball put Kevin Gall in on goal. But Gall could only watch in anguish as 'keeper Kevin Pilkington turned his finish wide with his outstretched fingertips.
However, two minutes later it was 1-1 as skipper Terry Skiverton rose superbly to head home a Lee Johnson free kick. That was little more than the visitors deserved at that stage.
The lively Phil Jevons was afforded more time and space than he could believe on 30 minutes as he was found by Skiverton, but again Pilkington was equal to it, turning the ball over the bar as he get his shot on target.
Mansfield finished the first half strongly and Larkin twice threatened, drilling a low ball across the face of goal and then almost going clear until Roy O'Brien produced a great saving tackle.
Inside the first 50 seconds of the second half Larkin should have restored Mansfield's lead. He chased onto an Asamoah ball and went clear, only to see Weale block his finish.
Alex Neil then saw his low shot deflect inches wide, and from the corner by Corden, Dave Artell sent a free header over at the far post when he should have done much better.
The big central defender made amends six minutes later on 67 minutes, though, as Artell got his head firmly onto a Neil MacKenzie free kick from wide on the right to make it 2-1 to the Stags.
Amazingly, another MacKenzie free kick from a similar position was headed home by Larkin three minutes later as Yeovil watched on stunned.
It was now raining goals and within a minute Asamoah crossed low to the far post where Corden was left with a simple tap into the empty net.
To their credit, shellshocked Yeovil continued to press and create chances. But it obviously wasn't going to be their day, as was underlined in the last 10 minutes when Way's powerful low cross hit Gall in front of goal and bounced away. Adrian Caceres forced another good stop out of Pilkington, as did Jevons in the final minute.
After a defeat and a draw last season, this was Mansfield's first ever win over the Glovers. But you wouldn't bet against both these sides being up there in the final reckoning.
YEOVIL ARE LEFT IN PIECES BY MANSFIELD'S SET-PLAY BURST
Western Daily Press, 31 August 2004
Mansfield Town 4 Yeovil Town 1 YEOVIL TOWN are facing a tough week working on set-pieces in training after two goals from free-kicks cost them the chance of a draw.
Three goals in five minutes transformed an even game locked at 1-1 into what appears on paper a thrashing.
In reality, the Glovers were still well in the game until the two set-piece goals handed Mansfield the win.
Terry Skiverton's header - also from a free-kick - had cancelled out Derek Asamoah's opener but Dave Artell, a former Yeovil trialist, came back to haunt the visitors.
Former Rotherham defender Artell had an unsuccessful spell at Yeovil a little over 12 months ago.
The centre-back did not impress in a friendly at Dorchester and was dispensed with. However, his aerial prowess yesterday was too much for Bartosz Tarachulski to handle and he headed in a Neil MacKenzie free-kick on 67 minutes.
Colin Larkin also flicked home another MacKenzie dead ball moments later.
Wayne Corden completed the scoring on 71 minutes.
Yeovil had fallen behind on eight minutes when Larkin burst down the right to cross low to the near post, from where Asamoah steered the ball past Chris Weale.
The Glovers were indebted to Weale for preventing a second on 16 minutes. First the 22-year-old parried Corden's free-kick and then he pulled off a great block to deny a fierce Alex Neil effort after the ball was not cleared.
Moments later, Kevin Gall was released by an astute through-ball from Darren Way. The former Bristol Rovers man curled a right-foot shot that forced keeper Kevin Pilkington to dive full length and push the ball behind for a corner.
Two minutes later Yeovil were level when a 50-yard free-kick from Roy O'Brien was headed in by Skiverton. The Glovers captain outjumped his marker and powered a superb header inside the far post.
Pilkington then reacted well to tip over a Phil Jevons shot and, from the resulting corner, Artell did well to clear O'Brien's goal- bound header.
Tarachulski also headed wide for Yeovil, but Mansfield went close on the stroke of half-time when MacKenzie's driven free-kick just skirted wide of the post.
After the break, the unlucky Weale again saved Yeovil when he denied Larkin after the former Walsall man had given Liam Fontaine the slip.
On 58 minutes, Yeovil could have been ahead when Tarachulski's pull back found sub Adrian Caceres but he shot wide of goal.
Then, on the hour mark, Artell served noticed of his threat in the air when he somehow headed a Corden corner over the bar from five yards when it had looked easier to score.
Artell made amends on 67 minutes with his goal, and Tarachulski was replaced almost instantly by Simon Weatherstone.
Larkin made it 3-1 from the next free-kick by MacKenzie, and Corden's breakaway fourth was immediately followed by the hauling off of Paul Terry, the player who had been marking the left-winger.
With the game over as a contest, some late Yeovil pressure followed as Mansfield sat back, but it was all far too little too late.
The defeat equalled Yeovil's worst beating of last season - at Macclesfield - and manager Gary Johnson will demand much better against Swansea on Saturday.
Mansfield Town (4-4-2): Pilkington; McNiven, Day, Artell, Buxton; Neil (Curtis 75), John-Baptiste (Murray 75), MacKenzie, Corden; Asamoah (Tate 83), Larkin. Subs not used: White, O'Neill.
Yeovil Town (3-4-3): Weale; O'Brien, Skiverton, Fontaine (Caceres 55); Terry (Miles 72), Way, Johnson, Rose; Gall, Tarachulski (Weatherstone 69), Jevons. Subs not used: Collis, Mirza.
SKIVERTON: WE MUST HIT BACK
31 August 2004
Yeovil Town captain Terry Skiverton has targeted two wins from his side's next two games. The central defender feels victories over Swansea at home and away to Cheltenham are needed to stay with the Coca-Cola League Two pace-setters after yesterday's 4-1 defeat at Mansfield.
Skiverton said: "We have to win our next two to stay in contention with the top people.
"That's the way we look at it and it's a case of licking our wounds and then turning up for training with our heads on right and getting ready for next week."
Skiverton scored Yeovil's equaliser after Derek Asamoah had given Mansfield the lead.
But three goals in five second half minutes cost Yeovil the game.
Skiverton said: "Our failure to deal with set pieces and especially David Artell was our downfall. We gave away some free kicks in dangerous places and we weren't coping with the aerial threat and obviously that's something we will have to work on in training."
Manager Gary Johnson added: "We had to have the mental toughness to get the ball in the back of the net, and have that composure.
"Unfortunately, at the time we needed to do that, we didn't have the players on the pitch who could.
"They had a five-minute spell that cost us three goals, and two of those were from set plays.
"You've got to be able to defend set plays, and unfortunately one or two of us didn't stick with our men and didn't do our jobs.
"We hope that this result is a blip in our season and what we've got to be now is ultra-professional."
Mansfield benefited from having their midweek Carling Cup tie against Preston called off and Johnson said: "Mansfield had the edge on that but we're not using that as an excuse."
MANAGERS REFLECT ON STAGS' WIN
Mansfield Town 4 v 1 Yeovil Town
Mansfield boss Keith Curle was delighted with his side's display following a 4-1 win over Yeovil and felt justified in making several changes prior to the match.
Derek Asamoah opened the scoring for the Stags early on and despite Terry Skiverton's first-half equaliser, Mansfield scored three times without reply in the second period through David Artell, Colin Larkin and Wayne Corden.
"This was the tonic victory we needed," said Curle. "Not just myself, but the supporters and the players too.
"Yeovil are a very good footballing team that will create chances. But we've cut them open and created a lot of chances.
"Anyone not at Grimsby on Saturday would see we lost 2-0 and assume we were outplayed. But that is far from the truth. We had the majority of play there but didn't take our chances.
"Against Yeovil it was a continuation of that performance level at Grimsby.
"I made four changes. I'm paid to pick the team and those lads have been waiting in the wings for an opportunity and all gave great accounts of themselves.
"Getting the early goal gives you a platform. They caused us problems and equalised. But we began the second half at the right tempo and the response of the players was superb."
Yeovil manager Gary Johnson is hoping his side can hit back in time for the local derby at Cheltenham next Saturday.
"I've got some thinking to do this week. We've a big game coming up on Saturday and I hope this is just a blip in our season.
"Now I've got to pick them up. Mansfield had a good 10-minute spell that cost us three goals. Or should I say we cost us three goals.
"Two of them came from set-pieces. You've got to be able to defend set pieces and unfortunately we didn't stick with our man and do our jobs.
"The game was won and lost in both penalty areas. We created chances, but didn't have the mental toughness to get the ball in the back of the net.
"We didn't have the players out there that could show the composure you need.
"Even after Mansfield went 4-1 up we still created enough chances to bring it back."
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