Bristol City 5 Mansfield 2

Last updated : 12 April 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Scott Murray hit his first ever hat-trick and then forecast that Bristol City will win automatic promotion.

The right-winger who has scored 25 goals in all competitions said: "I've been saying so for weeks, now people are starting to listen.

"Others are sure to drop points while we are buzzing and still have to play our rivals Crewe and Cardiff so it's down to us and we are good enough." Murray raced half the length of the pitch for his final strike. His others owed much to a Mansfield defence which showed why, after their fourth straight defeat, they are in the relegation mire.

A bad mistake by their left-back Adam Eaton saw Murray blast his first goal high into the net.

Mansfield's player-manager Keith Curle opened the way for his second at a free kick leaving the Scot to speed past the defender and slide in Christian Roberts' kick.

At their first meeting City won a 5-4 thriller and this one was just as exhilarating.

Although their defence was porous Mansfield were always entertaining going forward and spurred by the midfield of Craig Disley and Neil Mackenzie twice pulled back a goal.

Disley, running past centre-back Tony Butler, made it 2-1 by half time after Lee Peacock on 12 minutes and Murray had seen Bristol to what should have been a comfortable lead.

City had their problems. Skipper Tom Doherty was booked in the fifth minute for a late aerial challenge and after giving away two more free-kicks was withdrawn midway through the first half.

The crowd didn't like it but manager Danny Wilson was anxious to protect his combative midfielder from further trouble. As it is his tenth booking will see him missing the last two games of the League programme.

City regained their two-goal lead six minutes after the break as Murray scored again, but were mortified just after the hour as Butler headed through his own goal following a throw-on and a flick on.

As City surged back it took a top drawer save by Kevin Pilkington to deny Murray, but Mansfield were now looking more and more exposed.

When Louis Carey ran through from right-back for a rare goal they thought it was all over. They were wrong for there was still time for Murray's spectacular finale.