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Last Updated: Friday, 21 March, 2003, 21:43 GMT
Cardiff 1-0 Mansfield
Rob Earnshaw
Earnshaw just cannot stop scoring

Robert Earnshaw's 61st-minute effort was enough to propel Cardiff into an automatic promotion place with a 1-0 win over Mansfield.

The Wales international raced onto a neat pass from strike partner Peter Thorne to finish past the onrushing Keith Welch.

It was Earnshaw's 30th league goal of the season to equal a Cardiff record set by Sam Richards in the 1946-47 season.

Mansfield have the worst defensive record in the league, but Wales under-21 skipper Rhys Day and his central defensive partner Adam Eaton kept Thorne and Earnshaw quiet for the majority of the game.

It was Alan Mahon's penetrating runs down the flank that caused the Stags most trouble.

City's play was disjointed and littered with mistakes, while Mansfield did not look like a side struggling at the wrong end of the division.

Iyseden Christie came closest for the visitors but his 10th minute shot from the edge of the box was saved by Neil Alexander with his feet.

Cardiff: Alexander, Jenkins, Prior, Barker, Croft, Boland, Kavanagh, Ainsworth (Bonner 80), Mahon, Earnshaw, Thorne. Subs not used: Gordon, Legg, Bowen, Margetson.

Mansfield: Welch, Hassell, Doane (Williamson 86), Eaton, Day, Corden (Mitchell 80), Curtis, Mendes (Larkin 70), Disley, Christie, Lawrence. Subs not used: Pilkington, Gadsby.



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