SORRY STAGS HUMILIATED BY CREWE
A totally inept performance from Mansfield Town was punished by Crewe Alexandra who ran out 5-0 winners at Field Mill. Indeed Stags were lucky that it wasn't more than 5-0.
Match Statistics (Stags/Crewe)
11 Goal Attempts 20
2 On target 15
9 Off target 5
0 Woodwork 0
5 Corners 10
15 Fouls 16
4 Offside 4
Mansfield slumped to an embarrassing home defeat against rampant Crewe.
The visitors tore into Mansfield from the start but having wasted several chances, they had to wait until the half-hour mark before Richard Walker put them ahead.
That goal signalled the start of a purple patch that saw Crewe score three times in eight minutes.
Rodney Jack powered the ball home superbly after 36 minutes before Rob Hulse punished more sloppy defending two minutes later.
Crewe were 4-0 up inside three minutes of the second half as Steve Foster stooped to head home Kenny Lunt's free-kick.
Lunt, who missed a first-half sitter, curled in a free-kick after 65 minutes to make it 5-0.
Only several good saves from home goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington and a dreadful miss by Hulse prevented Crewe from adding to their tally.
Wizard wing-man Rodney Jack ran Mansfield ragged as four goals in 16 minutes sent Crewe to their first away win since March and condemned sorry Mansfield to their third successive defeat.
Jack scored one and made two goals as the Alex punished Mansfield's already leaky defence with three goals in eight first-half minutes.
The Stags failed to stem the tide in the second half and have now conceded 18 goals in their opening six games.
Afterwards dejected manager Stuart Watkiss said: "It was a shocking day, a shocking display and the players can have no excuse for a performance like that.
"If it hadn't have been for our goalkeeper (Kevin Pilkington) it could have been double figures."
Delighted Crewe boss Dario Gradi said: "It was our best performance of the season. We looked lively from the kick-off and all the players did well. Jack was the matchwinner, Mansfield just could not handle him."
Injury-hit Mansfield, who gave teenager defender Danny Holyoak a debut as a second-half substitute, were dealt a further blow when leading scorer Colin Larkin limped off after just eight minutes.
And by the 14th minute their patched-up side should have been three goals adrift. First Jack's close-range snapshot was tipped over by Pilkington's reflex save and then the unmarked Kenny Lunt blazed over from close range.
The Stags had a double let-off in the 14th minute. Another mazy run from Jack set up Colin Little and when his fierce shot was blocked by Pilkington, Jack somehow got in the way of Rob Hulse's follow up.
But there was no let-off on the half-hour as Crewe ran amok, scoring three goals in eight minutes. First Jack headed down David Vaughan's corner for Richard Walker to turn the ball in and then Jack raced onto Hulse's crossfield pass and out-paced Neil Moore before hammering in a 20-yard drive.
Two minutes later Jack again created havoc in the home defence and Hulse pounced to score from six yards.
Mansfield were restricted to long-range shots in the first half, substitute Iyseden Christie and Andy White both going close.
But there was no way back two minutes into the second half when Steve Foster headed in Lunt's free kick.
Lunt then completed Mansfield's misery with a fine, curling 20-yard free-kick in the 65th minute.
CLASSY CREWE CANTER AT FIELD MILL
Crewe produced a classy display to thrash sorry Mansfield 5-0 at Field Mill as Dario Gradi's men continue to push for a swift return to the First Division.
Richard Walker opened the scoring in the 30th minute when he latched on to a Rodney Jack flick-on and the visitors were two up six minutes later.
This time Jack applied the finishing touch and two minutes later Rob Hulse converted from close range to effectively secure the three points.
There was still time for Steve Foster to head home before Kenny Lunt fired in a free-kick just after the hour mark to complete the rout.
Watkiss slams Stags after Crewe hiding
Stags boss Stuart Watkiss slammed his side for their dreadful display in an embarrassing 5-0 home hammering by Crewe Alexandra.
This was certainly the worst display by a Mansfield team since Watkiss took over and the worst display for a long time by any Mansfield team.
Crewe tore them to pieces from the off and, but for some great goalkeeping from Kevin Pilkington and some poor finishing by Crewe, this scoreline could have been far worse.
"It was a shocking day and a shocking display," he said.
"Another two or three performances like that and I won't be here that's a certainty.
"Maybe I'll be in charge of the Dog and Duck or maybe I will be picking up a Giro cheque. But I won't be in charge of a football club if my team goes out and plays like that. There are no excuses."
With injuries meaning Watkiss again started with a back three, Crewe revelled in the space at the back with Rodney Jack in flying form.
Crewe wasted a series of chances before Jack set up Richard Walker for the opener on the half-hour. Within eight minutes of that Crewe were 3-0 up and the points were in the bag.
Jack blasted home the second himself on 36 minutes before crossing low two minutes later and, as the defence backed off from clearing, Rob Hulse punished them with the third.
Steve Foster was allowed a close range header from Kenny Lunt's free kick for the fourth on 48 minutes and Lunt beat Pilkington with a free kick on 65 minutes to make it 5-0.
Hulse was guilty of missing a sixth later on as, with only Pilkington to beat, the keeper blocked his first shot and then Hulse somehow put the follow-up wide of the gaping goal.
The closest Mansfield came to scoring was when keeper Clayton Ince had to throw himself to his right to keep out Neil MacKenzie's shot from a short free kick by Liam Lawrence on 64 minutes.
Stags' injury crisis worsened when new star striker Colin Larkin limped off after eight minutes and will be out for up to five weeks with a hamstring injury.
Latest | August 2002