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REPORT FROM BRISTOL CITY SITE
23rd November 2002 21:17


CITY CLAIM LATE WIN IN NINE-GOAL THRILLER
Reported by Ed Furniss, http://www.bcfc.co.uk

Mansfield Town 4 (Corden 38, 67 (pen.), Christie 61, 75)
City 5 (Murray 39, Roberts 50, 90+5, Tinnion 87 (pen.), Lita 90+4)

Christian Roberts scored with almost the final kick of the game as City fought back from behind to claim a sensational 5-4 win at bottom club Mansfield Town.
Trailing 2-4 in the 87th minute, City saw Brian Tinnion, from the penalty spot and Lita and Roberts score twice deep in injury time to claim a dramatic victory.
The home side - who saw Lee Williamson sent-off for a second bookable offence in the second half - had earlier taken the lead through Wayne Corden in the first half, only for City to reply almost immediately through Scott Murray.
Roberts put Danny Wilson's side 2-1 up shortly after half-time only to see a Iyseden Christie (twice) and Corden, from a penalty, restore the Stags' advantage in a devastating 15-minute spell in the second half.
City's late, late revival, however, ensured that they keep their 11-match unbeaten run intact.
Tommy Doherty's late withdrawal with a stomach virus, and Lee Peacock's absence with a head wound, meant that Danny Wilson was forced to make two changes to the side that won 7-0 at Heybridge Swifts last Saturday. Aaron Brown replaced Doherty in midfield, while Peter Bedle came in for Peacock and partnered Christian Roberts up front.
Roared on by a healthy away following, City applied all the early pressure and saw Tony Butler head over from a Scott Murray corner in the tenth minute.
The home side - bottom of the Division Two table - came back into the game as the half progressed, however, and, after Craig Disley and Colin Larkin both saw efforts go wide, Iyseden Christie forced a save by Steve Phillips in the 33rd minute.
That pressure paid off when Wayne Corden put the Stags ahead in the 38th minute. Danny Coles failed to deal with a raking long ball on the right allowing Corden in on the right who rounded Phillips to score from a narrow angle.
City replied straight from the kick-off when Scott Murray pounced on a long ball and fed Roberts, whose shot was only parried by Mansfield 'keeper Kevin Pilkington, to allow the Scotsman to gobble up the loose ball for his 14th goal of the season and level the scores 1-1.
Danny Wilson was forced to make an early change in the second half when Aaron Brown - who was treated for a knock in the first half - limped off to be replaced by Liam Rosenior in the 48th minute. City soon took the lead in the 50th minute when Christian Roberts latched on to a neat flick-on by Beadle and coolly lifted the ball over the advancing Pilkington to make the score 2-1. It seemed certain that the visitors would extend their advantage as first, Beadle fire over the bar after some good work by Rosenior, and Tinnion saw a goal-bound shot blocked by Matthew Gadsby.
But the game was soon turned on its head in a devastating 15-minute spell for the away side. On the hour-mark City failed to clear a Liam Lawrence corner and saw the dangerous Christie head home from six yards out to square the score at 2-2.Five minutes later all hell broke loose when Danny Coles was adjudged to have brought down Lawrence in the box and referee E. Ilderton pointed to the penalty spot. In the angry scenes that followed Williamson was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence for his part in an incident with Murray, who was also booked. City's tempers - wound up in part by ex-City defender Mark Lever - boiled over and Matthew Hill and Tony Butler were booked for dissent.When the spotkick was eventually taken Phillips saved Corden's initial kick only to watch in despair as the Mansfield man slammed home the rebound to put the Stags 3-2 ahead.
City's misery was increased when Christie twisted away from the City defence on the edge of the box and fired a low left-footed drive past Phillips to put the home side 4-2 ahead in the 75th minute.
Two goals down, City threw on young striker Lita for Coles as City reverted to a 4-3-3 formation - Joe Burnell filling in at right-back - in a bid to claw their way back into the game.
Lita made an almost immediate impact when he won a penalty for City in the 87th minute and Brian Tinnion stepped up to thump the ball past Pilkington, who dived the right way but could not keep the ball out.Now three-four down, City threw everything at Mansfield who defended resolutely to hold on to their lead. Roberts saw a looping header scrambled clear and Hill and Murray all went close to grabbing an equaliser.
The indicated five minutes of added time were almost up before super-sub Lita claimed a late goal to pull the scores level deep in injury time, scoring from close range from a Mickey Bell cross.With the scores now level, City completed their come back in the sixth minute of injury-time when Murray burst clear and passed to Roberts who fired high into the top, right corner to make the score 5-4. The goal generated ecstatic scenes in the away end and saw the normally calm City boss Danny Wilson punch his fists in the air in delight.
The final whistle blew almost immediately and the referee was surrounded by a posse of livid Mansfied players questioning the amount of injury time played, although a substitution during that period may have contributed to the extra minute being played.
But the scenes took nothing away from a glorious comeback by the Reds in what must rank as one of the most exciting away games City have played in.
City: Phillips; Coles (Lita 80), Butler, Hill; Murray, Burnell, Tinnion, A. Brown (Rosenior 48), Bell; Roberts, Beadle. Subs: Clist, Fortune, Foster.
Mansfield Town: Pilkington, Lever, Gadsby, Moore, Clarke, Disley, Williamson, Lawrence, Corden, Larkin (Jervis 67), Christie (Bacon 90+2). Subs: White, Holyoak, MacKenzie.
Red card: Mansfield - Williamson (second bookable offence, 64)
Yellow card: Mansfield - Pilkington (85, unsporting behaviour); City - Murray (65), Butler (dissent, 65), Hill (dissent, 65)
Attendance: 4,801Referee: E. Ilderton

 

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