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Archived News from September 2002

23rd September 2002 13:34

Mansfield in a crisis
By Ron Gubba (Filed: 23/09/2002)
Mansfield (0) 0 Cheltenham (0) 2
Four months after celebrating automatic promotion from the Third Division, Mansfield Town face the prospect of returning whence they came. Their seventh league defeat of the season plunged them to the bottom of the table, replacing Saturday's opponents Cheltenham - also newly promoted - whose victory lifted them six places.
Since beating Plymouth 4-3 on the opening day of the season, Mansfield have played 383 minutes' football at home without scoring. More damningly, they have conceded 32 in 10 League matches and have yet to concede fewer than two in a match.
On Saturday, they held out for 71 minutes before Cheltenham full-back Jamie Victory celebrated his 300th league appearance with their first goal, with Hugh McAuley adding the second soon afterwards.
"If only we could have kept a clean sheet and held on for 0-0 we might have had something to build on," said Mansfield manager Stuart Watkiss, who has 12 of his 25-man squad injured. That situation worsened when goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington succumbed to an injured right hand soon after the second goal.


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