MENDES SETS STAGS ON THE WAY
Mansfield Town 2 Swindon Town 1
Mendes 15, Corden 39 (pen).
Att 4,471 (359 from Swindon)
Stags picked up a priceless three points with victory over Swindon Town at Field Mill this afternoon.
Stags took the lead when Junior Mendes scored his first goal for the club. A Liam Lawrence shot from close range was charged down by the keeper, ... Rhys Day following up couldn't force the ball over the line, and a defender cleared the ball almost along the goal-line to Mendes and Christie who incredibly were both unmarked a yard out, with an empty net, and it was Mendes who tucked it in.
Stags made it 2-0 from a penalty. Ben Doane played the ball into the path of Christie, who had his back to goal on the edge of the box. Christie turned his man in a move similar to his goal against Luton and, as he was running sideways along the edge of the box, Swindon defender Matt Heywood clearly tugged his shirt and Christie went down. At the time, it looked a soft penalty but video evidence (Yorkshire TV 17:10) confimed that the referee, who was only 5 yards from the incident, made the correct decision. Wayne Corden stepped up and scored, placing his shot down the middle of the goal with the keeper diving to his right. Swindon pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time but Stags held out in a nervy second half for a vital victory.
Press Assoc report:
Mansfield Town hung on for three priceless points in their relegation fight as Swindon slumped to a third defeat in a week against a team in the bottom four.
Swindon, completely over-run in the first half, dominated the second period after being handed a lifeline in first-half injury time.
Danny Invincibile and Matt Hewlett saw fierce drives finger-tipped around the woodwork by busy keeper Keith Welch in a one-sided second half and when Welsh was beaten by the same players Tom Curtis and Craig Disley cleared off the line.
Steve Robinson and Stefani Miglioranzi were also guilty of squandering clear chances as the Robins failed to snatch the point their second-half fightback deserved.
Afterwards Swindon manager Andy King, returning to the club where he started his managerial career, said: "I've had to scream and shout for the first time for a long time today. Yet the second-half performance was worthy of winning the game."
After just eight minutes Swindon keeper Bart Griemink superbly tipped over Liam Lawrence's fierce close-range volley as the Stags started on top.
But the keeper had no chance seven minutes later when Mansfield took a deserved lead. Wayne Corden's deep free-kick led to a goalmouth scramble and when Lawrence and Rhys Day had shots scrambled off the line Junior Mendes slid in his first goal for the club from two yards.
Six minutes before half time Mansfield doubled their lead. Striker Iyseden Christie was tugged down by Matt Heywood and Corden tucked in the spot kick for his 11th goal of the season.
But the Stags then handed the Robins a lifeline when poor marking deep into first-half injury time allowed Alan Reeves to poke in Andy Gurney's free-kick from close range.
Stags hang on for priceless points
STRIKER Junior Mendes hit his first goal for Mansfield Town, but they were left hanging on for a vital 2-1 victory over Swindon Town at Field Mill this afternoon.
Mendes struck in his ninth game for the Stags, rewarding the home side for their first half dominance.
Rhys Day and Liam Lawrence had shots scrambled off the line from a Wayne Corden 15th minute free kick, but the ball rolled kindly for Mendes to tap in from close range.
Lawrence had already been denied when his fierce volley was acrobatically tipped over by Bart Griemink.
Then the keeper, later blamed for the Stags' breakthrough by former Mansfield boss and current Swindon manager Andy King, bravely saved at the feet of Iyseden Christie.
Christie had latched on to a flick-on by Lawrence, his new striking partner for the day in a reshaped line-up.
The changes also saw Mendes switch to a role on the right wing and Adam Eaton move from full back to centre half as Matt Gadsby was dropped.
Tom Curtis and Wayne Corden also had shots tipped over by the flying Griemink as the Stags looked to add to their lead.
A deserved second goal finally came six minutes before half-time. Christie was tugged down by Matty Haywood and Corden converted the penalty, cooly sending the keeper the wrong way for his 10th goal of the season, his second from the spot.
Any hopes of a comfortable home victory disappeared though in first half injury time when poor marking allowed Alan Reeves to turn in Andy Gurney's free kick - Swindon's first shot of the match.
The goal - and King's half-time rant - transformed the Robins, who went on to dominate the second half in the way Mansfield had controlled the first.
Keeper Keith Welch was the Stags' hero as he saved at the feet of Danny Invincible and then dived full length to keep out Matty Hewlett's piledriver.
When Welch was beaten, shots from the same players were hacked off the line by Tom Curtis and Craig Disley.
As Mansfield failed to stem the red tide, Steve Robinson headed wide with just the keeper to beat and Stefani Miglioranzi miscued from 10 yards.
Mendes squandered a great chance to seal victory in the 69th minute with, remarkably, the Stags' first chance of the half.
But after racing clear of the offside trap, the striker shot straight at the keeper - and the chance to calm a nervous Field Mill crowd had gone.
Three minutes from time, on another rare Stags' breakaway, substitute Leroy Williamson saw a similiar chance well saved and the rebounds from Lawrence and substitute Craig Mitchell were also blocked.
Deep into injury time Mitchell blasted wide from 40 yards with the goal wide open, but the Stags hung on to climb to fourth from bottom.
Williamson (for Mendes, 75)
Mitchell (for Christie, 80)
Gadsby (for Corden, 90)
Not used: Pilkington, AWhite
Latest | March 2003