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Season 12/13 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Cup Round 3
Mansfield Town  
1 - 2
Green 79.
 Sturridge 7, Suarez 57.
Attendance: 7,574 (1433 from Liverpool)
Date: 6 January 2013


Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Mansfield Town put on a fabulous show against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round in front of a huge worldwide TV audience and a passionate crowd at The One Call Stadium. The Stags were nervous early on, and behind to a goal from £12 million new signing Daniel Sturridge, and had to rely on some magnificent saves from Alan Marriott to keep the tie alive. The Stags battled their way into the game and after the break had Liverpool on the rack for 13 minutes with a glut of glorious chances before Liverpool made in 2-0 on the break with a goal by Luis Suarez that was a blatant handball and left Mansfield with a mountain to climb. The Stags regrouped and came back hard, fully deserving a goal from Matt Green on 79 minutes, and if the Stags had equalised it would have been no more than they deserved as Liverpool looked shaky and Green sent in a terrific effort in stoppage time that was brilliantly saved. A fantastic performance from the Stags, of spirit, fight, passion and one to make the fans proud. Every player was excellent and deserved the opportunity of a replay at Anfield but it wasn’t to be, and the Stags are left with memories of a great day, and plenty to look forward to with so many important league games coming up. If Mansfield can produce any sort of form like this, then a charge towards the play-offs is certainly on. Come on Mansfield!

On a day to savour, this was Mansfield’s biggest cup game for forty years, since the FA Cup games against West Ham with their three World Cup winners, against Leeds, and league cup games against Liverpool both at Field Mill and Anfield. The game was beamed around the world on TV, as well as both Radio 5 and TalkSport doing full match commentary. Stags manager Paul Cox made one change from the side that won at Alfreton, with Louis Briscoe coming in for Colin Daniel. Several players were unlucky to miss out on the side, such as Ritchie Sutton and Ben Hutchinson. Liverpool started with new signing Daniel Sturridge, and had one of the world’s best players Luis Suarez on the bench, while Steven Gerrard was rested and didn’t travel with the squad.

The Stags looked nervous early on and were behind on 7 minutes. A great ball forward from Shelvey put Sturridge in space and he fired a low shot past Marriott for a terrific goal. Two minutes later, sloppy play from Dempster and a great save from Marriott to deny Sturridge. The Stags were giving the ball away too often, with Meikle, Briscoe, Thompson and Dempster guilty. A good move from the Stags on 11 minutes involving Clements and Meikle, to earn a free kick. Then Clements sent a free kick into the wall. On 13 minutes, Joe Allan was in acres of space and sent a shot straight at Marriott. Straight to the other end and Howell nearly picked out Green with a ball forward.

On 15 minutes, Sturridge appeared to be well offside but the flag didn’t go up and Marriott made another great save.

Liverpool were playing some great football, but the Stags slowly got a foothold in the game, with particularly good tackles by Dempster on 17 minutes and Meikle on 20 minutes. A long throw from Geohaghon caused danger on 23 minutes, then at the other end Marriott was out quickly to deny Shelvey (?). Then a great blokl from Clements on 25 minutes. Shelvey was through on 29 minutes but Geohaghon kept pace woth him and did enough to put him off as Marriott made a comfortable save. A free kick from Clements was cleared on the half hour. Howell played Green in on 32 minutes, but Green couldn’t keep hold of it. The Stags best chance so far came on 233 minutes when Geohaghon bulldozed his way forward to create a chance for Green whose shot was saved. Straight to the other end and Sturridge looked through but was thwarted by good tackles from Geohaghon and Meikle.

Meikle shot well wide on 42 minutes, then on 45 minutes the impressive Sturridge shot across the face of goal.

A good ovation from the Stags fans at half time as the team fought back from a nervous start and were right back in the game.

Half time 0-1

What followed at the start of the second half was a breathtaking onslaught from Mansfield that had Liverpool on the rack. On 46 minutes, great play by Clements and Green, and Howell had a shot saved. Two minutes later, another good chance for Howell as his shot was blocked. Then Briscoe had a shot blocked, and then a terrific cross from Briscoe was deflected just wide. And seconds later, Meikle’s low ball was just cleared. It was astonishing stuff from the Stags. On 52 minutes, great play from Meikle and Green’s shot was blocked. Then Briscoe’s shot was tipped behind by the keeper. Then from a corner, Geohaghon’s low header was cleared. Liverpool broke straight to the far end and Sturridge was wide. Seconds later great defending from Geohaghon against Downing.

Suarez replaced Sturridge on 55 minutes and was immediately in the action, sending a shot with the outside of his right foot just wide. Good skill by Green on 57 minutes, winning a throw.

But on 58 minutes, the key moment in the tie as Liverpool opened up a two goal lead with a goal that should not have stood. Suarez was through on goal, Marriott made a good save, the ball rebounded out and Suarez controlled the ball with his hand before firing into the net. Mansfield players were astonished that the goal was given, along with the Liverpool fans behind the goal who would have had a great view of the handball.

Mansfield’s heads dropped momentarily, but slowly started to get a foothold back in the game with great spirit and resilience. Green sent a shot over the bar on 63 minutes. Daniel replaced Briscoe a minute later. On 67 minutes, a long throw from Geohaghon was deflected just wide. Straight to the other end, and Suarez set up Shelvey who shot wide. On 69 minutes, good play by Meikle, and Clements low shot was easily saved. On 72 minutes, it looked like a possible penalty to the Stags with a handball in the box, but instead the referee blow for offside. On 77 minutes, Shelvey chested down and volleyed wide.

The Stags made it 2-1 on 79 minutes. An excellent cross from Daniel was pulled back across goal by Beevers, and Green fired in a great shot from 14 yards.

Field Mill was now bouncing. Rhead came on for Clements to give the Stags more of a presence from set pieces and long throws. On 82 minutes, Robinson fired over for Liverpool. Then on 84 a Geohaghon long throw bounced off a couple of heads and just wide. Green had a shot saved on 86, but had already been flagged offside.

As four minutes of stoppage time was added on, and the Stags really pushing for a deserved equaliser, Howell turned and shot but the shot was blocked, and Green was offside as he picked up the loose ball.

A minute into stoppage time, Green sent in a terrific shot from 30 yards that was superbly tipped away by the keeper. In the final minute of stoppage time, Howell tried to wriggle through but couldn’t and the Stags chance of glory was gone.

But this was wonderful stuff from Mansfield on a wonderful day, and it seems to be receiving global approval from the media.

Man of the match: Exodus Geohaghon

Report by: Martin Shaw and Simon Chamberlain at the One Call Stadium

Line Up:
Marriott 9 Some superb early saves to keep the Stags in the game. Showed why he is surely the top keeper in the Conference.
Thompson 8 Great game, some good interceptions. Read the game well.
Dempster 8 Good challenges, and solid.
Geohaghon 9 Monumental. Great pace against speedy forwards, good in the air, and dangerous long throws.
Beevers 8 Another very good game from a player in a good run of form.
Briscoe 8 A little quiet in the first half, but started the second half superbly with a fine shot and great cross.
Howell 9 Brilliant in a holding role and increasingly in an attacking role.
Murray 8 Very good game, captain’s performance as he dragged the team along on a few occasions when things weren’t going well.
Clements 8 Free kicks were a little disappointing but showed lots of good touches.
Meikle 8 Some wonderful tracking back, and showed good trickery going forward on occasions.
Green 9 Terrific goal, and so nearly got an equaliser. Was gutted at the end of the game, but can be so proud of himself.
Sub Line Up:
Daniel (for Briscoe, 64) 8 Did very well.
Rhead (for Clements, 81) -
Subs not used: Sutton, Speight, Wright, Hutchinson, Stevenson.
Opposition Line Up:
Jones, Wisdom (Flanagan 79), Coates, Carragher, Robinson, Lucas, Allen, Shelvey, Suso (Henderson 55), Sturridge (Suarez 55), Downing. Subs not used: Gulacsi, Sterling, Coady, Skrtel.
Andre Marriner 5 Bad mistake to allow Liverpool’s second goal, which ultimately decided the tie.

Season 12/13 Reports