STAGS BEATEN AND GO BOTTOM
Stags 0-2 Cheltenham
Victory 71, McAuley 84
Attendance 4,116 (385 from Cheltenham)
Pilkington, JClarke, Lever, Moore, Delaney, Sellars, MacKenzie, Disley, Williamson, Lawrence, Larkin. Subs: AWhite for Larkin (46 mins), Corden for JClarke (73), JWhite (for Pilkington 85). Subs not used: Holyoak, Reddington.
Referee: TA Parkes, Birmingham
Booked: Sellars, Lawrence.
Stags lost 2-0 at home to rivals Cheltenham at Field Mill and drop to the bottom of Division 2. Stags were beaten by 2 goals in the final 20 minutes.
The injury jinx continued as Christie was ruled out by an injury picked up on Friday that could keep him out for 4 weeks, and then during the game Stags lost Larkin and Pilkington with further injuries.
Match stats (Stags/Robins):
7 Goal Attempts 17
3 On target 7
4 Off target 10
0 Woodwork 1
2 Corners 7
12 Fouls 9
2 Offside 2
Cheltenham hauled themselves off the bottom of Division Two with their second win in five days to leapfrog fellow strugglers Mansfield and leave them rock-bottom following a 2-0 win at Field Mill.
Full-back Jamie Victory finally ended the deadlock on 71 minutes to mark his 300th appearance for the Robins in style, turning home Hugh McAuley's corner.
And it was all over after 84 minutes when John Finnigan set up McAuley for a low shot just inside the keeper's right-hand post.
This was Mansfield's fifth straight home defeat and a big blow after their midweek win at Luton.
The home side lost striker Iyseden Christie with a training injury on Friday and they also lost goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington near the end with what appeared to be a wrist injury.
Mansfield have now failed to score a home league goal in 383 minutes and rarely looked like doing so, though Cheltenham keeper Steve Book did well to turn aside Andy White's close-range effort on 58 minutes.
But Cheltenham piled on the pressure in the second half and got their just reward.
Two late goals deservedly earned Cheltenham their second win in five days, took the Robins off the bottom of the table and sent toothless Mansfield to the foot of Division Two.
Full-back Jamie Victory, who only played because of an injury to Neil Howarth, stabbed in a Hugh McAuley's 71st minute corner to reward the visitors for non-stop second-half pressure.
Seven minutes from time John Finigan's clever square pass put McAuley clear and he finished clinically, shooting under the diving keeper.
The double strike sent injury-ravaged Mansfield, missing eight first-team players, to their fifth successive home defeat and left them without a League goal in 383 minutes at Field Mill, since the opening day of the season.
Afterwards delighted Cheltenham manager Graham Allner said: "We did a very professional job. I said at half time we had to take the game to Mansfield and the players did just that. The pressure was building throughout the second half and we thought the goals would come."
Defiant Mansfield manager Stuart Watkiss again insisted that he wouldn't walk away from the club and said: "I do feel under pressure even though we've got so many injuries. There's always a cut-off time when people's patience runs thin, but that's beyond my control. I've got no intention of resigning."
He added: "Today's performance was not good enough. We undid all the good work from Tuesday's win at Luton."
Ironically Mansfield should have taken an early lead, but Craig Disley fired over from Colin Larkin's pass and then Liam Lawrence headed over Scott Sellars' pinpoint cross.
It took the Stags another 52 minutes to create a chance, and when Andy White failed to touch in Sellars' cross from close range their last opportunity had gone.
Cheltenham, who had gone close in the 25th minute when Julian Alsop crashed a 25-yard dipping drive against the bar, were again denied when keeper Kevin Pilkington acrobatically tipped over Tony Naylor's piledriver.
John Finnigan then hit the sidenetting from 20 yards and Michael Duff glanced McAuley's free-kick narrowly wide before the Robins finally made their pressure tell with the late goals
Latest | September 2002