SUPER STAGS ARE IN DIVISION TWO
Thoughts from Stagsnet's reporters will follow later.
Mansfield 2 - 0 Carlisle Utd
Corden 5, White 30
Referee: A R Hall
Mansfield: Pilkington , Hassell (Jervis 86) , Robinson , Tankard , Corden , Murray , Greenacre (Kelly 79) , Pemberton , White , Sellars (Disley 83) , Williamson
Subs not used: Bingham , Reddington
Bookings: Williamson 24, Hassell 39
The Stags secured promotion to Division Two with a 2-0 win against Carlisle following goals from Wayne Corden and Andy White.
Mansfield needed all three points and required Cheltenham to lose at champions Plymouth, and as Argyle recorded a 2-0 win Stuart Watkiss's men could celebrate as they claimed the third automatic promotion spot.
The Stags got off to the perfect start in the fifth minute as Corden played a short corner, cut in from the left and hit a cracking shot which took a slight deflection before flying into the corner of the net.
Mansfield continued to dominate after the goal as Corden went close on 15 minutes but his attempted lob dipped just over the bar.
The home side should have doubled their lead four minutes later but White headed straight at Keen from Corden's corner.
The Cumbrians almost made The Stags pay in the 23rd minute as Stuart Bell's free-kick went through a crowd of players before Birch poked over from six yards.
Stuart Watkiss's men did extend their lead in the 29th minute though, with White's third goal in four games. Another Corden corner was met by Tankard but his goal-bound header hit Lee Williamson on the line. However, White reacted quickest to lift the ball into the roof of the net.
Corden could have put the game safe 11 minutes before the break as he cut inside following a brilliant cross-field pass from Scott Sellars, but with the goal at his mercy he blazed over from inside the area.
In a tense start to the second half Williamson had to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent Richie Foran having a goalscoring chance but that seemed to kill-off Carlisle's hopes of a comeback.
The home side created the better chances after the break with Greenacre and Adam Murray coming close but both failed to convert from close range.
White almost completed a perfect day for Town as Keen parried a David Kelly strike but the big forward could not turn the ball in at the far post.
The result saw the crowd celebrate in style after The Stags completed their first promotion in 10 years as they finished a point above The Robins in the final table.
TEAM STATS (Stags/Carlisle)
17 Goal Attempts 2
7 On Target 1
10 Off Target 1
0 Hit Woodwork 0
7 Corners 1
21 Fouls 14
5 Offsides 2
Mansfield clinched their first promotion for ten years after 2-0 victory over Carlisle.
Home manager Stuart Watkiss, who only took over the manager's job in January said: "We have had some low points over recent weeks, but seeing the faces of the fans at the final whistle makes it all worthwhile.
"It just seemed to be our day and we'll enjoy it. I know what I need for next season but now is not the time to plan ahead."
Watkiss had opted for experience in club's biggest game of the season, springing a major surprise by pairing full-backs Les Robinson and Allen Tankard in the middle of the defecne for the first time.
But after a nervous start, the defence held firm and restricted United to just one clear chance throughout the match.
Carlisle, who gave a debut to YTS full-back Stephen Rooke as a second half substitute, were backed by vocal fans who kept up their takeover protest against chairman Michael Knighton.
However, they had little else to shout about as the Stags poured forward from the kick-off.
Wayne Corden's swinging half-volley dipped over the bar in the third minute, and then Andy White's equally vicious volley was tipped over by Peter Keen.
From the following corner the home side calmed their nerves when Corden's 20-yard drive was deflected into the roof of the net.
As the Stags continued to dominate, Allen Tankard headed over from a Scott Sellars corner, Corden lobbed onto the roof of the net, and the overworked Keen kept out a White header.
In the 23rd minute Mansfield were almost made to pay for their misses, with an unmarked Mark Birch hooking over Stuart Bell's free-kick.
Mansfield went two ahead on 32 minutes, when White lashed in a close-range finish after Tankard's header had been blocked by team-mate Lee Williamson.
Mansfield continued to dominate a quieter second half, but failed to add further goals in their convincing victory
Mansfield secured automatic promotion to Division Two with a win over Carlisle as Cheltenham's defeat at Plymouth handed them third place in the table.
Wayne Corden steadied the home side's nerves in the fifth minute with a good finish from the edge of the penalty area.
However the hosts had a lucky escape in the 23rd minute when Mark Birch turned Stuart Bell's free-kick over the crossbar when it looked easier to score.
But the Stags sealed victory six minutes later.
Andy White scored from close range and Stuart Watkiss' men dominated the rest of the game with Chris Greenacre, Adam Murray and White all going desperately close.
Latest | April 2002