|FA Cup 1st Round||
|18th November 2000|
1 - 1
|Greenacre (pen) 70||Farrell 37|
|Rob Wheldon at Field Mill|
Stags were without injured midfielder Darrell Clarke and on-loan Jon Fortune whose club Charlton had refused to allow him to be cup tied. John Andrews replaced Fortune at centre back whilst Mark Blake returned from suspension to join Bobby Hassell in midfield. Whilst Greenacre and Boulding continued in attack, Stags were boosted by the return of Shayne Bradley who had to be content with a place on the bench. Barry Fry's Posh, currently 10th in the Second Division, had ex-Spireite Jason Lee and ex-Wimbledon striker Andy Clarke in attack. The official attendance was given as 3,257, however, with a capacity of 4,450 there looked to be far fewer than the 1200 empty seats this attendance would have left.
The game started at a fast pace, indeed a pace that was to be kept up for the entire match in what proved to be an excellent cup tie. Posh almost took the lead inside the opening minute when Lee saw his headed well saved by the legs of Mimms. Stags replied almost immediately when Boulding hit a low shot which was comfortable for Tyler in the Posh goal. Mimms again had to be alert when Farrell shot from 15 yards, the Stags keeper, a former FA Cup finalist when with Spurs, tipped the ball past the post. The first booking also came in the frantic first ten minutes, Stuart Hicks booked for a late challenge on Mackenzie. Hassell's shot from long range was well saved by Tyler then the Stags created their best chance of the half. Greenacre found himself in the clear with just Tyler to beat, but his shot at the advancing keeper was palmed away. Williams then cut in from the right and hit a terrific left foot shot just wide of the post. In the 37th minute Posh took the lead, Mimms having received the ball from a back pass made a poor clearance which fell to Oldfield in the Posh midfield. The ball was played to Farrell who, from the right hand side of the box hit a powerful low shot from 15 yards past Mimms. Stags till attacked and almost grabbed an equaliser just before half-time after a goal-mouth scramble the ball fell to Corden whose shot was cleared off the line by Rea.
Posh again made a lively start to the 2nd half and again Mimms had to be alert, saving a Clarke shot at his near post. As the game became more and more stretched, Les Robinson was proving almost invincible in the centre half role, with perfectly timed challenges and clearances a feature of his performance. However, Oldfield did manage to find space inside the Stags 18-yard box, but the former Man City midfielder hit his shot straight at a grateful Mimms. Stags made a double change just after the hour, off went a disappointing Wayne Corden and David Jervis to be replaced by Danny Bacon and Lee Williamson, signaling a shift in formation from 4-4-2 to a more adventurous 3-4-3. This attacking change from Stags boss Bill Dearden paid dividends again, as it did in the match with Rochdale a week earlier, when after a ball in the box by Hassell was handled by Clarke, Chris Greenacre wiping away the memory of his missed kick in the Southend match and blasted the ball high past Tyler for his 12th goal of the season. The game was now real end to end stuff and in the last 15 minutes either side could have progressed through to the 2nd round and a home tie with Oldham Athletic. Stags came the closest to winning the tie when Greenacre saw his goal bound effort cleared off the line by Hooper with Tyler well beaten. However, the final clear chance of the game fell to Jason Lee, who from 8 yards out could only head the ball straight at Mimms.
On balance of play this was a fair result. Both sides had their chances and had they been taken the game could have finished 4-4. Stags had to be grateful to Bobby Mimms for a string of fine saves, though perhaps the keeper was at fault for a poor clearance which lead to Farrell's goal. Les Robinson was excellent in the central defensive role and Lee Williams had a much better game than of late and was probably unfortunate to be subbed near the end. Greenacre was his usual lively self and was unlucky when his goal-bound effort was cleared off the line near the end of the game. A replay at London Road on 28th November will be needed to separate these two sides, it should be another good cup tie and the Stags are certainly not out of the competition yet.
Man of the Match: Les Robinson
|Line Up||Rob Wheldon Rating||
Ricky Williams Rating
Martin Shaw Rating
Gary Tyldsley Rating
|Not Used: Asher, Pilkington|