DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR DESERVING STAGS
Mansfield Town 3 Luton Town 2
Att. 4,829 (722 from Luton)
Day 9, Christie 29, Corden 79
Thorpe 13, 82
Visit the Match centre for Stagsnet report by Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes
Match Statistics (Stags/Luton)
9 Goal Attempts 7
3 On target 5
6 Off target 2
0 Woodwork 0
7 Corners 4
18 Fouls 17
5 Offside 5
A superb strike from wing man Wayne Corden clinched relegation-threatened Mansfield's second win in seven games and sent play-off hopefuls Luton tumbling to their second defeat in the East Midlands in four days.
After dominating the second half the Stags looked to have secured a vital victory - and the double over the Hatters - when Corden curled a 79th minute 20-yard drive into the top corner.
But just three minutes later a mix-up between substitute Matt Gadsby, his first touch, and player-manager Keith Curle, allowed Ahmet Brkovic to put Tony Thorpe clear for his second goal for the match and sixth in seven games.
Two minutes from time only a fingertip save from home keeper Keith Welch denied substitute Peter Holmes an equaliser.
However, after six minutes of tense injury time the home side hung on.
Centre half Rhys Day hooked in a ten yard drive in the ninth minute after the recalled Bobby Hassell first caused problems with a long throw and then a low cross.
But within four minutes the hero had turned villain. Dean Crowe turned Curle in a quick counter attack, Matthew Spring fed Thorpe and when Day slipped the striker rounded the keeper to equalise.
Thorpe's quick feet should have brought him a second goal in the 25th minute, but after dancing around three challenges his low drive was saved at the foot of the post.
Luton were made to pay just four minutes later when Iyseden Christie hooked in another Hassell cross for his 19th goal of the season to restore Mansfield's lead.
Within a minute Luton should have notched a second equaliser, but Paul Hughes' point blank header was beaten away by Welch's reflex save.
Latest | March 2003