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Archived News from March 2003

16th March 2003 17:41

King miserable after third defeat in a week
From Sport First:

Struggling Mansfield dug deep to stand up against Swindon's fearsome second-half fight-back to clinch three crucial points.

Mansfield had deservedly gone 2-0 up but Alan Reeves netted in first-half stoppage time with the Robins' first real chance of the afternoon – punishing sloppy defending and giving Swindon a glimmer of hope.

Lifted by that, the second half was one-way traffic for the visitors but Mansfield stood firm and assistant manager John Gannon said: “I thought we were magnificent. We were exciting to watch in the first half and perhaps should have been further ahead”.

“But we stood up to his men in the second half and ground out a result which, in a way was more satisfying than winning 4-1. Hats off to the lads. They had the belief, stood firm and didn't give anything away.

“Adam Eaton did well at centre half, there was nothing makeshift about him. And I thought Rhys Day was outstanding alongside him. I'd love a pound for every time he headed the ball away.”

Swindon goalkeeper Bart Griemink did well to turn a Liam Lawrence shot aside before Junior Mendes' first goal for the club from close range after 15 minutes broke the deadlock.

Griemink then denied Tom Curtis, Wayne Corden and Iyseden Christie as Mansfield piled on the pressure but was helpless as Corden tucked away a 39th-minute penalty after Matthew Heywood hauled down Christie.

But Reeves pounced in stoppage time when Mansfield failed to clear Andy Gurney's free-kick. Mansfield goalkeeper Keith Welch had to save from Sam Parkin even deeper into time added on before the half-time whistle blew.

The second half saw Swindon totally dominant, but Welch was in commanding form and twice kept out shots from Danny Invincibile and Hewlett.

Curtis and Craig Disley also kicked efforts from Invincibile and Hewlett off the goal line.

Mendes might have spared Mansfield the agonising finish when he broke clear after 69 minutes but could not find a way past Griemink.

Swindon boss King, after watching his side lose for the third time in eight days, said: “we just can't start games at the moment and that's 3 on the trot. I had to go back to the old ways this afternoon and scream and shout at them.”

Transcribed by Carole


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