Wait goes on for Graham Coughlan as Mansfield Town lose at Bradford City
Graham Coughlan’s wait for a first win as Mansfield manager went on after losing 2-0 at promotion-chasing Bradford City.
James Vaughan scored a penalty in each half to separate the two sides at Valley Parade as the struggling Stags’ worrying winless league run stretched to eight games.
Defeat for Coughlan’s charges leaves them just six points clear of the relegation zone.
Coughlan made two changes to the side which made a courageous comeback to clinch a welcome point against Port Vale last time out.
Conrad Logan replaced Bobby Olejnik in goal, whilst Otis Khan came in for Neal Bishop, and Stags made a promising start with Alex MacDonald testing Richard O’Donnell early on.
Visiting Mansfield conceded their first penalty when Matthew Palmer was bundled over inside the box with Vaughan making no mistake from 12 yards.
Coughlan was forced into a change before half-time when Ryan Sweeney went off injured.
Danny Rose headed wide in first-half stoppage time with the best chance to equalise before the break.
The Stags started the second half brightly as Andy Cook nodded wide.
But chances were limited for both sides as the encounter went scrappy.
Just after the hour Dylan Connolly was booked for diving by referee Ross Joyce.
The Stags struggled the break down the battling Bantams, who frustrated the visitors by throwing themselves in the way of a handful of efforts. Mal Benning fired wide before Callum Cooke did the same down the other end for the hosts.
With seven minutes left Preston felled Connolly to give away the second penalty, and Vaughan fired into the bottom corner to put the result beyond doubt.
Late on, MacDonald’s tame effort was easily claimed by O’Donnell as the Stags’ wait for a win continued.
Mansfield: Logan, Clarke, Preston, Sweeney (Pearce, 39), Benning, Hamilton, Tomlinson, MacDonald, Khan (Mellis, 61), Cook, Rose (Maynard, 72). Unused subs: Olejnik, Knowles, Bishop, Davies.
Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 15,197 (1,141)