REPORT FROM SWINDON SITE
The anti-Andy King fraternity were, this afternoon, quietened by Town's second win within a week - Eric Sabin scoring the winning goal with a neat finish just after half time following Sam Parkin's first half equaliser. And whilst Town climb just one place in the league, the victory certainly takes the pressure off the former Mansfield boss.
Unfortunately the small minority in the Town End continued to berate Andy King and even began to argue amongst themselves whilst the vast majority of the 4,100 crowd got behind King and his men as they notched their first win of the month against a poor Mansfield side. However, the detrimental effect that those in the Town End are having on the players is clear for all to see.
It wasn't quite as entertaining as Tuesday's wrought against Southend, but it was a case of 'job done' for Swindon as they put four points between themselves and the visitors and in doing so, leapfrogged Peterborough in the table. There were changes from the side that beat the Shrimpers in the week; Sabin, Reeves and Hewlett returned to the starting line-up whilst Willis, Edds and Invincibile had to make do with a place on the bench.
However, it was the visitors that struck first blood, Liam Lawrence seizing on a poor clearance from Bart Griemink following Reeves' back pass. The youngster curled a clever left footed shot into the empty net much to the dismay of the Dutchman, who must have thought lightning had struck twice following his antics against Colchester.
However, Mansfield have not won in six games and their lack of confidence shone through as Town began to exert their authority on the game. In fact, their looked to be a huge gulf between the two sides in the first half and on the back of this game, Town must be wondering how they're even in the same ball park as The Stags.
On nine minutes Eric Sabin headed straight at Van Heusden before Hewlett's teasing cross was deflected over a Town corner.
The deserved equaliser came on 19 minutes. A long ball from Johnny Jackson was controlled by Sam Parkin who neatly rounded the 'keeper and fired into the top corner of the net. It should have been two three minutes later, Miglioranzi forcing Van Heusden into a save from a fierce left foot drive.
Town started to exert their influence on the game and to be honest, The Stags rarely threatened Town's half let alone their goal.
Just before the half hour mark Jackson sent in a wicked cross only to find no-one in the box to finish it off before Reeves saw his close range header tipped over. A minute later and it was Heywood on the end of Davis's cross, he too couldn't head home from close range.
On 30 minutes Gurney saw a long-range effort find Van Heusden's hands before Heywood headed over again from another Davis corner.
On 34 minutes Van Heusden was called into action action, this time by his own player following Hewlett's surging run and it took a full stretch save top prevent the ball from going in, however, in pushing the ball round the post the 'keeper did enough to keep the scores level at half-time.
If Town were after a perfect start to get them going then it was provided by in-from striker (and front cover subject!), Eric Sabin. The Frenchman seized a poor back pass and showed great composure in rounding the 'keeper before slotting the ball home into the empty net.
Yet despite Town taking the lead, the Town End STILL chanted for King to be sacked.
Town's players carried on regardless of the criticism and Johnny Jackson was unlucky not to extend Town's lead when his shot was blocked following Sabin's incisive through ball.
At the other end Mansfield scared Town with a rare attack and Lawrence came close again, his shot was flicked into Griemink's hands by Craig Disley on the goal line.
Four minutes later and Lawrence came close again, this time he cut inside from the right before hitting the post.
Unfortunately the game became rather stale, events off the field contriving to affect those on it. However, Eric came close once more before the final whistle when he headed wide from Jimmy Davis's cross.
Town now travel to Notts County on Tuesday night looking to climb out of the bottom four. Mansfield on the other hand seem to be destined for a troubled season on the back of today's performance. Let's just hope that those that travel to Meadow Lane in the week get behind the team – a coercive effort by everyone at the club will see this side prosper.
Latest | October 2002