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Archived News from March 2003

18th March 2003 23:08

Lack of effort and commitment, blasts Gannon
CHAD website

Mansfield Town's players were told a few home truths by manager Keith Curle and assistant John Gannon in a post-match dressing room lock-in after the disastrous 3-1 defeat at bottom club Cheltenham.

"You can accept defeat sometimes if you've been unlucky or you've had a go. But not in that manner with a lack of effort and commitment," said Gannon.

"We have let the players know our feelings afterwards and asked a lot of questions which they did not have a lot of answers to.

"It didn't help giving the goal away so early. But we lacked a leader out there and missed the manager badly. We needed to grab hold of the situation but instead we went from bad to worse.

"Without Keith we looked shaky at the back and if he does get a three-match ban then we have got a big problem.

"No one would take any responsibility. No one was big enough to respond to the challenge and we went down too easily.

"That performance was not what me and Keith are all about. This was a massive game and the players knew that. So to lose like that was awful.

"I can't see any positives from it and we will just have to see what sort of reaction we get from the players next week."

Woeful Stags lose relegation crunch match
CHAD website

A POOR display from Mansfield Town saw three more crucial points slip by as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at bottom club Cheltenham Town.

As at Colchester two weeks before, Stags were unable to find their form against an essentially poor side and made the worst possible start by falling behind after less than two minutes.

With Bobby Hassell, Keith Curle and Craig Mitchell out, in came Liam Lawrence, Matt Gadsby and Jamie Clarke.

Cheltenham sprang a shock when they dropped regular keeper Steve Book and gave a debut to Shane Higgs.

But the youngster produced a fine display with three crucial first half saves.

In contrast, Stags keeper Keith Welch was the villain with only 76 seconds on the watch at the other end as he allowed Martin Devaney's low cross-cum-shot from the right to squirm under him at the near post and over the line.

Welch also saved well from John Brough and managed to grab a hopeful 30-yard shot from John Finnigan at the second attempt after fumbling the initial shot.

But Stags were having more of the ball and Higgs made three fine saves to preserve the Robins' lead.

Iyseden Christie saw his fierce shot saved after a poor defensive header flew straight to him.

Junior Mendes then chested the ball into the path of Liam Lawrence whose 14-yard blast was parried by Higgs.

And, after Christie had fired another chance over the angle after a good turn, Stags were hit with a sucker punch.

Cheltenham were continually falling foul of the offside flag.

But on 38 minutes Finnigan threaded the ball through and, with Stags looking at the linesman, Marvin Brown was allowed to go on and sidefoot past Welch into the bottom right hand corner.

Mansfield should have pulled one back within three minutes when Christie released Corden at the other end.

He cut inside a defender and fired goalwards only to see Higgs again in the way.

Cheltenham almost sneaked another in stoppage time when Devaney rounded Matt Gadsby and fired across the face of goal.

Stags, with Neil MacKenzie on for Williamson, were given another fright on the restart when Brown ran straight at them unchallenged from the whistle and shot over with only nine seconds gone.

In reply Corden again cut inside to force Higgs into another save and Rhys Day guided a free header wide from on the penalty spot.

Stags also made a change up front with Andy White on for the disappointing Mendes on 55 minutes.

But Cheltenham forced two saves from Welch, diving to his right to deny Brown from 20 yards and then using his legs to stop Grant McCann's low finish.

Jamie Victory even headed home from a corner on 63 minutes but it was ruled out for a foul on Welch by Brough.

However, with the final minutes ticking away and Stags looking well beaten,Lawrence handed them a lifeline six minutes from the end. Awarded a free kick centrally 25 yards from goal, he curled it superbly inside the left hand post.

But the Robins had a sting in their tail in stoppage time as David Bird crossed from the right to unmarked substitute Damian Spencer who gleefully buried his diving header from seven yards to 2wrap up the points and complete a double over sorry Mansfield who now have just 10 games left to save themselves from the drop.


Latest | March 2003