REPORTS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Photos from this afternoon´s game:
Mansfield Town slumped to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town thanks to a Martin Smith double.
To make matters worse for the injury-hit Stags, midfielder Craig Disley was stretchered off in the second half with a head injury after a clash with Dwayne Mattis.
Huddersfield striker Jon Stead had signalled the visitors' intent early on when he blasted a 10-yard effort over the bar.
The 19-year-old came close again when Stags keeper Arjan Van Heusden denied him in the 13th minute, and he hit a shot wide 14 minutes later.
Mansfield improved after the break but a brief lapse saw Smith beat two defenders and Van Heusden before blasting home his third goal of the season in the 53rd minute.
Eight minutes later he smashed home his second from a Steve Jenkins cross.
Two goals in eight second half minutes from striker Martin Smith deservedly earned a dominant Huddersfield team their second successive win and ended fellow strugglers Mansfield's mini revival.
Smith struck first after 53 minutes, racing clear of the defence and side stepping the keeper before firing into the roof the net.
Eight minutes later Mansfield failed to cut out a Steve Jenkins cross and Smith fired in on the turn.
The Stags rarely threatened a revival, with their only attempts a Neil Moore header which was narrowly wide and Iyseden Christie's tame header going straight to the keeper.
Huddersfield made a blistering start as the pace of John Thorrington on the right wing tormented rookie fullback. Mark Hurst. From one of several dangerous early crosses the unmarked Jon Stead volleyed over, with the goal at his mercy.
For all Huddersfield's early dominance, it needed a fine save by keeper Scott Bevan to keep the visitors level. Colin Larkin's incisive pass freed Christie, but after beating defender Nat Brown, the striker's point blank finish was blocked by the diving keeper.
In the thirteenth minute Mansfield's keeper Arjan Van Heusden matched Bevan's heroics with a similar close range save. Smith's curling pass put Stead clear but with just the keeper to beat the teenage striker hesitated and saw his eventual shot blocked.
Eight minutes before half time the Terriers squandered another chance, Smith clipping his dive against the bar.
Afterwards dejected Mansfield manager Stuart Watkiss said: "I am bitterly disappointed. The players didn't stick to the game plan and so we got the result we deserved. Huddersfield were the better team.".
Match Statistics (Stags, Terriers)
9 Goal Attempts 11
4 On target 5
5 Off target 6
0 Woodwork 1
4 Corners 5
11 Fouls 9
3 Offside 3
Posted by Martin Shaw
Latest | October 2002