Scowcroft 24, 62   Greenacre 38

Saturday 5th January 2002

FA Cup Round 3

Attendance:  14, 466

Stags bowed of the FA Cup at Premiership Leicester City today. Stags produced a terrific first half performance to more than hold their own and were deservedly level at the break. But the Premiership outfit out-ran the Stags in a disappointing second half which saw under Mansfield under constant pressure. However Allen Tankard could have earned the Stags a replay in the final minute of injury time when he headed over from 6 yards.

There was bad news for Mansfield's 3000 travelling army before the game with the news that midfield dynamo Craig Disley was missing for the first time this season (other than the LDV game) suffering from a knee injury.  Martin Pemberton took his place in an otherwise unchanged line-up. The Stags fans created a tremendous atmosphere and really the side especially in the first half. Stags started really well and created early chances.  Pemberton shot wide, Bradley had a good header across goal which Greenacre just failed to turn in and Corden cut in to shoot just wide. Stags were winning everything in midfield through Williamson and Pemberton. Leicester also had their chances as Deane headed wide and a Leicester player hit the post with a shot. It was terrific entertainment. Leicester were looking dangerous from crosses aimed at Deane and Scowcroft, but Stags were also looking dangerous going forward.

The home side took the lead on 24 minutes when Scowcroft headed home unmarked at the far post from a left wing Rogers cross. But Stags didn't lose heart and continue to battle well, and take the game to Leicester.  This was rewarded on 38 minutes when Corden's cross from the left was met with a diving header from Greenacre to send the ball low just inside the far post, to send the Stags fans into ecstasy. It was a just reward for a terrific display from Greenacre and the Stags.  At half time the talk amongst the Stags fans was that you couldn't tell who was the Premiership side and who was the Third Division side. Indeed Leicester's long ball approach,Greenacre heads the Stags level compared to Stags passing game might have made you think that the home side were the lower division outfit.

Half time 1-1

The second half was a completely different affair. Stags were over-run and outplayed, and Leicester were first to every ball, dominating the whole half. Indeed it took Stags until injury time to create a serious chance. The home side had chance after chance with Robbie Savage in outstanding form. Stags held out until after the hour but then Scowcroft scored with a marvellous header from another Rogers left wing cross. Stags didn't look like getting back on level terms and Leicester looked like adding to their tally. The Stags fans fell a little flat until about 86 minutes when they seemed to wake up. Suddenly there seemed to be a feeling that Stags could still get something out of the game. As the game entered 3 minutes of injury time, Stags were looking better, and  then in the final minute of injury time a Corden free-kick into the Leicester box was headed on to Tankard who was just 6 yards out centrally placed and completely unmarked.  Tankard took aim but headed straight over the bar. Stags players turned
away and put their heads in their hands. Within 30 seconds the final whistle was blown. It was such a shame, and appeared an easier chance than his header at Macclesfield last Tankard heads over in the last minute week. However it would have been a steal by the Stags as in truth Leicester deserved the victory for their second half dominance.

All-in-all this was a good day out for Mansfield. The team showed what they are capable of in an excellent first half display. The away fans showed their appreciation at the end of the game, and indeed the home fans in the main stand stayed on to applaud the Mansfield side off the pitch. This was a measure of their relief at seeing off the Third Division side.

Now it is time to concentrate on the league again and capitalise on the excellent league position with just over half of the season gone. One could even argue that Tankard's winner at Macclesfield last week could prove more important at the end of the season than his missed chance today. Let's hope this proves to be the case.

Man of the Match: Chris Greenacre

Report by Martin Shaw

Pilkington 7 Made some great saves, dealt well with most of the crosses, and seemed to be only beaten by 2 fine headers.
Hassell  6 Too many crosses were allowed to come in from the left wing. Not Bobby's best game.
Tankard 7 Defended well, and could have been the injury time here again.
Barrett 7 Did well under severe pressure from dangerous and big strikeforce.
Robinson 7 Mopped up the scraps well and didn't make any mistakes.
Lawrence 6 Had a good first half pushing forward, but a little overrun in the second half.
Corden 7 Great 1st half causing lots of danger down the left, but had to play too deep in the 2nd.
Pemberton 6 Filled in reasonable well for Disley in first half, but too quiet in the second half.
Williamson 7 Good tackling in the first half, and one great run to the edge of the box before being fouled, but disappeared in the second half.
Greenacre 8 Fabulous 1st half, showing his class and not looking out of place, winning headers that he had no right to win, laying the ball off brilliantly, and scoring a terrific goal. Not given much of the ball in 2nd half.
Bradley  6 Battled hard but tended to give the ball away too often. One good header across the goal early on.
Asher  6 (for Pemberton, 73 mins)  Did ok at right back, as Hassell moved into midfield.
White  6 (for Lawrence, 88 mins) Barely touched the ball. 
Subs Not Used: Bingham, Jervis, Reddington.