MORE REPORTS AND REACTION
Second Win In Three Days
By Mackworth Robin
Cheltenham Town carried on with their improvement with a second victory just three days after beating Rochdale at Spotland. And on top of that put a hold on Mansfield's challenge for an auto promotion spot.
Steve Guinan and Brian Wilson both got their second goals of the season tonight and helped Cheltenham on to their first back to back wins since April last season.
This was a much improved display as far as football was concerned, more of this and the crowds should soon be on their way back up, that shouldn't be hard though as this game only attracted 2,706. Not good for a game against one of the divisions better sides.
It was a free flowing game although clear cut chances were kept at a minimum during the early exchanges. Colin Larkin went close with a header, Ashley Vincent forced a corner at the other end when his shot was blocked and Derek Asamoah fired wide with a shot from the edge of the area when he should at the very least tested Higgs.
McCann came close to putting the Robins one up when he tried to get round Pilkington, the keeper threw a wobbly after and there were handbags between him and a defender, they soon exchanged flowers and kisses though.
Guinan looked in good form, he made an excellent run on goal but fired well wide and Vincent looked to be on course for the Robins first goal when he latched onto a ball from McCann, he saw his placed shot saved quite brilliantly by Pilkington, maybe he should have blasted it.
Cheltenham deserved to be a goal up and that goal came just before half time when Victory fed Vincent down the left, he made a good run and put the ball over to the back post where Guinan was there to head home for 1-0.
The visitors began to move forward more looking to keep the points coming in to maintain their challenge at the top, but the defence were handling things nicely although you knew that the danger was always there if the visitors were given a chance.
The decisive goal came from unusual circumstances with Brian Wilson sending in a low corner to the near post, the ball went straight through and into the net, whether Martin Devaney got a touch remains to be seen, but it was Wilson doing the celebrating and it was him that received a yellow card for it.
Robins: Higgs, Gill, Duff, Brough, Victory, Devaney, Finnigan, Melligan (Bird 90), McCann, Vincent (Wilson 73), Guinan (Spencer 75).
Subs not used: Brown, Fyfe.
Mansfield: Pilkington, McNiven, Day (Dimech 50), Artell, Woodman (O'Neill 76), Neil (MacKenzie 38), Curtis, Murray, Larkin; Asamoah, Ipoua.
Subs not used: Corden, White
WE DESERVED MORE - CURLE
Evening Post, BY CARSON WISHART, 20 October 2004
Cheltenham Town 2 v 0 Mansfield Town
Mansfield boss Keith Curle saw sloppiness cost his side the point he felt they deserved at Whaddon Road.
The Stags, buoyant from their 3-1 derby victory over Notts County three days earlier, were deflated by two goals at the end of each half.
First, Steve Guinan headed home a minute into first-half injury time and then former Manchester United trainee Brian Wilson tapped home the clincher three minutes from time - although Martin Devaney claimed it went straight in from his corner.
But those petty details mattered not a jot to Curle who believed his Stags deserved at least a point on the night.
"We're disappointed because we had large portions of the possession and have been beaten by two sloppy goals," he said.
"We had problems with our discipline and we did not stick to the guidelines, but I still feel the scoreline was a bit harsh.
"The ball just wouldn't sit right for us in front of goal. We had a few chances and there are a lot of positives to take from the game.
"We moved the ball extremely well and sometimes you are going to come away from home and get a 0-0 in a game like this when things don't go right in front of goal.
"So we'll focus on the positives and identify the weaknesses before Wycombe."
Ahead of Saturday's trip south, Curle will have to sweat on the fitness of midfielder Alex Neil, who was forced off in the first half with a knee injury. Defender Rhys Day will also be a concern after he was substituted with an ankle injury.
But the manager remained upbeat, adding: "There will be no problem with Saturday because all the lads will be up and buzzing for it. We came here, gave a decent account of ourselves and got punished for not sticking to the guidelines. There's always a reason why these things go against you and they will be identified"
Both teams were unchanged from their respective victories last Saturday with the Stags still without long-term casualties Chris Tate and Adam Eaton, who underwent operations on knee and groin problems respectively last week.
It also meant that there was no place in the Cheltenham starting line-up for Wilson who scored his side's winner in the 2-1 victory over Rochdale.
The visitors, who crashed 4-2 on their last league visit here in February, soon found themselves on the back foot. John Ward's men sparked all the early pressure, winning three corners inside the first 20 minutes with striker JJ Melligan testing Keith Pilkington in the Mansfield goal.
Such was Mansfield's frustration, Pilkington and defender Rhys Day flared up after conspiring to give away yet another corner.
So it came as no surprise when Cheltenham went ahead through lone striker Guinan who headed home Ashley Vincent's cross from the left flank.
The Stags could have been level just 60 seconds later, but somehow Robins keeper Shane Higgs tipped Derek Asamoah's point-blank header over the bar.
Mansfield began the second half much like the first - on the back foot - as the Robins flew at their opponents.
But as the half wore on, Curle's men got back in the game, with MacKenzie forcing some last-ditch defending.
MacKenzie continued to spark his side's forward flurries as he played in Adam Murray clean through on goal, but the keeper was quickly off his line to thwart the danger.
But as the half wore on, the pendulum swung in Cheltenham's favour as Devaney's corner seemed to sweep straight into the net three minutes before time although the way Wilson threw off his shirt in delight to earn a booking, there was strong suspicion that he got the final touch.
MATCH BANS FOR THREE
Evening Post, 20 October 2004
Three Mansfield Town football thugs have been banned from attending any UK match for three years.
They are also not allowed to attend England internationals.
And police have warned 30 more hooligans will be put before the courts by April next year.
The Football Banning Orders were handed to the trio at Nottingham Magistrates' Court, following an operation by Notts Police.
Frederick Coggeran, 29, of William Street, Mansfield; Mitchell Granville Hunt, 21, of Emmerson Drive, Clipstone, and Jason Thomas, 26, of Sycamore Street, Church Warsop, all pleaded guilty when faced with evidence of their involvement in football-related violence.
Insp Greg Drozdowski, from the Police and Clubs Together (Against Violence) team, said: "We now have 58 problem individuals on Football Banning Orders, which is a great result for Notts Police and genuine football supporters alike.
"However, we won't become complacent at this latest victory, and remain fully committed to eradicating football violence from Nottingham."
Thomas appeared in court on October 5, Coggeran on October 8 and Hunt on September 14.
Latest | October 2004