STAGS ROAR PAST ROVERS
Reports from Sports.com,BBC.co.uk and Teamtalk. Visit the Match Centre for a Stagsnet report from Rob Wheldon.
Mansfield 2-0 Bristol Rovers
Murray 57, White 79
Att 3,996 (300 from Bristol)
Pilkington , Barrett , Hassell , Reddington , Pemberton (Tankard 74), Corden , Murray , Disley , Sellars (Williamson 87), Greenacre (Kelly 84), White .
Subs not used: Bingham , Clarke .
Toothless Rovers failed to force a save from Mansfield keeper Kevin Pilkington as the Stags rekindled their automatic promotion hopes.
Rovers, now with just one win from 13 games, never looked like scoring in a one-way match and had keeper Scott Howie to thank from saving them from a real hiding.
Howie had pulled off a string of fine first half saves before Derby County loan midfielder Adam Murray eased Mansfield's nerves, hammering in his sixth goal in ten games in the 57th minute.
Rovers' only hope of an equaliser came in the 77th minute when Mark McKeever's left-wing cross was acrobatically punched away by Pilkington.
Two minutes later Mansfield secured their first win in six games when former Premiership star Scott Sellars flicked the ball over the defence and Andy White finished in style.
The Stags dominated the match. In the sixth minute Sellars' dipping free-kick struck the post and Craig Disley hooked the rebound over the bar.
A minute later White chested down Murray's cross and Chris Greenacre's low shot was well held by Howie.
Moments later White again created a clear chance for his striking partner but Greenacre failed to touch in his low cross after a surging break by Disley.
In the 33rd minute White and Greenacre combined well yet again. White's flick on found Greenacre unmarked but the keeper's legs spectacularly blocked his powerful drive.
Three minutes before half time Howie repeated his heroics to again deny Greenacre at the near post.
In the 57th minute Murray finally broke the deadlock, racing on to Sellars' incisive pass hammering a low right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Fifteen minutes from time Greenacre almost calmed Mansfield's nerves with a second goal, but his header from another White cross skimmed the bar.
However, nine minutes from time it was all over. Sellars lobbed the ball over the defence and White raced clear before lifting his finish past the advancing Howie
Mansfield kept their hopes of automatic promotion alive with a 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers.
The Stags completely dominated the first half but failed to put away a string of chances.
However, veteran midfielder Scott Sellars created goals for Adam Murray after 57 minutes and Andy White with 11 minutes remaining to ease their nerves.
Sellars hit the post after six minutes with a free-kick and goalkeeper Scott Howie made a hat-trick of saves from Chris Greenacre and also kept out a White effort.
But Sellars set up Murray for a low finish to break the deadlock and then White lobbed the advancing keeper to seal Mansfield's first win in six games.
Teamtalk: Mansfield re-ignited their automatic promotion hopes as they beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 at Field Mill with strikes from Adam Murray and Adam White. Murray gave Mansfield the lead on 57 minutes, slamming the ball home from inside the box after being put in by Scott Sellars. Sellars was also the provider for The Stags second goal as he picked out White for the midfielder to chip Rovers keeper Scott Howie.Mansfield dominated the first half, but despite applying constant pressure on the Rovers goal, were unable to get onto the scoresheet. Chris Greenacre went close on four occasions, hitting a shot straight at Howie and firing just wide of an empty net, before Howie saved a thunderous volley with his legs, and then denied The Stags striker at his near post. Elsewhere, Sellars's curling free-kick hit the post, while the same player saw a vicious snap-shot beaten away by Howie. Rovers' forays forward were few and far between, although on three minutes Sergio Ommel headed wide from Ryan Carlisle's far-post cross. Mansfield finally broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the second period as Sellars slipped the ball in for Murray to apply the finishing touches.
There then followed a small spell of Rovers pressure as Garry Thompson's side pushed for an equaliser. However, The Stags stood firm and went close to a second on 76 minutes as Greenacre's glancing header from White's pinpoint centre was just high of the target.
Mansfield did double their advantage three minutes later as White's clever lob beat Howie. Despite the win Mansfield remain in fourth spot in the table, but on 73 points just a point behind Cheltenham, who lost at Macclesfield.
Click here for a report from the Football Post
Latest | April 2002