CAPTAIN BAPTISTE SCREAMER EARNS REPLAY
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Colchester United
John-Baptiste 28. Asamaoh sent off 81. Halford 25
Attendance: 3202 (308 from Colchester)
Football First match report:
By John Lomas
transcribed by carole
THE MANSFIELD TOWN saga continues as the fans turned on chairman Keith Haslam and caretaker manager Carlton Palmer.
A week in which manager Keith Curle was suspended ended with the introduction of Palmer as caretaker manager for today's game.
The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute when John White's cross was flicked-on by Gavin Johnson, and Greg Halford rose to head home in the top right hand corner.
Following a good spell of pressure which saw them force three corners, the Stags hit back three minutes later when Alex John-Baptiste hit a superb 30-yard volley over visiting keeper Dean Gerken.
After the break, Halford hit the stanchion after Stan Stockley's cross and Derek Asamoah's fantastic run found Fraser McLachlan, who saw his effort rebound off the post.
Asamoah saw red in the 81st minute after an awful two-footed challenge on White, before the fans turned on the boss. Palmer replaced Wayne Corden with Adam Murray, and Larkin, the Stags' only remaining striker, was replaced by centre-back Rhys Day, which angered the fans and sent chants of “You don't know what you're doing,” echoing around the ground.
Mansfield Town………Colchester Utd
47-----------Possession %---- 53
4------------Shots on Target---4
3------------Shots off Target---11
Stags 1 Colchester 1
DESPITE being booed from the field, Stags caretaker manager Carlton Palmer was delighted with this FA Cup first round draw - and also threw his hat in the ring if the job comes up full-time this week.
Palmer was drafted in by chairman Keith Haslam - who was also booed - after boss Keith Curle was suspended until Monday over misconduct allegations.
Palmer immediately brought in Fraser McLachlan from his former club Stockport and, playing with just one striker against the League One visitors, Mansfield earned a replay.
It was a day to remember for 18-year-old Alex John-Baptiste, being made captain and scoring a superb equaliser.
But it ended in frustration as the anger of a week of off-field wrangling came out of the supporters when they booed both late substitutions by Palmer after Derek Asamoah had been red-carded on 81 minutes to end any hopes of stealing a win.
Making three changes, two enforced, Palmer decided to employ Corden and Asamoah as out and out wingers with Larkin in the centre.
New on-loan signing McLachlan made his debut in midfield along with MacKenzie and Curtis.
Dimech and Buxton were the full-backs with Woodman unavailable to avoid being cup-tied and McNiven awaiting the results of his tumour biopsy.
John-Baptiste, at 18 years old, was given the captaincy by the caretaker-manager, relieving keeper Pilkington of his duties.
Palmer began the afternoon watching the action from the directors' box with Paul Holland bellowing instructions from the dug-out.
Stags cleared an early long throw into the box from the visitors before slowly but surely beginning to build their game with patient passing and possession.
And on 15 minutes Stags had penalty appeals turned down.
Corden tried to turn Asamoah's long cross back into the middle of goal and the ball was clearly stopped by Stockley's hand. But Mr Prosser decided it was ball to hand and waved play on.
Two minutes later Mackenzie's shot was blocked but the ball rolled to Larkin who lashed into the side netting.
Mansfield had done most of the pressing. But Colchester took the lead with their first real goal attempt.
White crossed from the left, Johnson flicked on and Halford, a defender playing as a striker, rose well to plant a header into the top right hand corner.
Stags quickly forced three successive corners. And when the third of those was only cleared as far as John-Baptiste, he let fly with a stunning volley that dipped over keeper Gerken to put Mansfield straight back into the match with 29 minutes gone.
On 32 minutes McLachlan fed Larkin who turned sharply to set Asamoah on a run which saw him force Gerken to turn his fierce low shot round the near post.
Then Stockley allowed a long MacKenzie cross to bounce over him which saw Corden fire into the side netting.
Colchester took their corner tally to four with another two and two minutes from the break Halford cracked a first time shot just wide from 20 yards after sloppy defending.
But the half ended all square.
Palmer began the second half watching from the bench.
The visitors should have gone ahead on 50 minutes when goal hero Halford missed a good opportunity.
Stockley's cross from the right picked him out and, when offered a free header, he guided it wide of goal from 15 yards.
But the visitors had clearly come out meaning business and Stags had to survive another scramble in the penalty area.
Then Fagan juggled the ball on the edge of the box before turning and hooking a shot wide of the post.
United won a free kick 30 yards from goal which Halford sent well over.
Asamoah was lucky not to be booked for a dive as he tried to go past White in the Colchester box in a rare Stags raid forward.
The visitors forced another centrally-placed free kick 25 yards from goal but Keith's poor shot was straight into the Mansfield wall.
However, debutant McLachlan came desperately close on 76 minutes.
A moment of Asamoah magic saw him race inside White and square the ball to MacLachlan who, from 12 yards saw his powerful finish hit the right hand post.
Stockley was booked 11 minutes from time for arguing with the referee's assistant after an offside decision.
Asamoah was almost away on 81 minutes but failed to control the ball. In frustration he leapt into silly two-footed lunge on White and the referee had no option but to show him a red card and leave Stags facing nine minutes with 10 men.
Palmer decided to replace Corden with Murray which was greeted with a chorus of boos and abuse at caretaker manager Palmer.
'You don't know what you're doing' and 'Keith Curle's barmy army' rang round the ground.
Two minutes from time Palmer sent defender Day on as an emergency striker but took off the only other Stags striker on the field, Larkin, which was again greeted with disbelief and boos from the stands.
Fagin sent a fierce shot over near the end from inside the box as the crowd turned their anger against chairman Keith Haslam.
Then Pilkington had to save a Stockley blast from 5 yards in stoppage time as we headed for a replay.
The sides will replay at Layer Road a wek on Tuesday.
Mansfield overcame their off-field turmoil to hold on for a replay against first division opponents.
The Stags, with Carlton Palmer in temporary charge in place of the suspended Keith Curle, also had to shrug off a red card for striker Derek Asamoah nine minutes from time.
But despite a frantic finish with Sam Stockley's long range shot well held by Kevin Pilkington and Craig Fagan firing narrowly over at close range, Colchester failed to find a winner.
Crisis club Mansfield, also missing fulll backs Scott McNiven and Craig Woodman, gave a debut to loan signing Fraser McLachlan brought in by Palmer just 24 hours earlier.
Colchester, with defender Greg Halford still leading the attack, made the early running in a low key start with the tall striker twice threatening from long throw ins.
However, after their hesitant start the Stags, without a win in five games, went on to dominate the first half and should have won a 15th minute penalty when Stockley clearly handled a Wayne Corden shot.
United snatched a 25th minute lead against the run of play when Gavin Johnson flicked on a John White cross for Halford to head in his fourth goal of the season.
The lead lasted just four minutes though with new captain Alex Baptiste ending Mansfield's 343 minute goal drought with a stunning 30-yard dipping volley.
Asamoah was denied by a smart save from Dean Gerken and at the other end Mansfield full-back Jake Buxton's last ditch lunge block a goalbound Joe Keith shot.
After a dreadful half hour the tie came back to life 14 minutes from time when McLachlan struck the post after a fine run by Asamoah.
Just five minutes later the striker then became the villain when he was sent off for a two-footed lunge on John White, but Colchester failed to cash in.
Mansfield: Pilkington, Buxton, Baptiste, Artell, Dimech, Curtis, McLachlan, MacKenzie, Corden (Murray 83), Larkin (Day 88), Asamoah. Subs Not Used: White, Neil, Lloyd.
Sent Off: Asamoah (81).
Goals: Baptiste 28.
Colchester: Gerken, White (Cade 86), Baldwin, Chilvers, Stockley, Johnson, Watson, Garcia, Keith, Halford, Fagan. Subs Not Used: Williams, Bowditch, Elokobi, Cousins.
Goals: Halford 25. Att: 3,202
Ref: P Prosser (W Yorkshire).
Colchester official site:
Despite a battling display at Field Mill on Saturday, the U's will have to replay their game against Mansfield after the match finished all square.
On a day where several upsets occurred with teams from lower divisions having their moments of glory, the U's held strong against spells of Mansfield pressure and came close to securing the tie on the day.
After a fixture backlog due to the FA Cup run last season, the U's would have liked to have avoided a replay, but they were solid and deserved to at lest get something out of the game.
Of course, they performed resolutely without regular skipper Wayne Brown as John White come into the team, with Liam Chilvers slotting across into the middle of defence. Brown's absence also saw Kevin Watson named as captain.
And, with Neil Danns returning to Blackburn, Richard Garcia slots into midfield, initially starting in a central midfield position.
The U's started in bright fashion, bossing the early possession and looking sharp when on the ball. However, they were looking for that first chance to arrive as the Mansfield back line held firm under the visitors' pressure.
After that positive start by the U's though, the game became somewhat scrappy with neither side showing a great deal of quality on the ball.
The home side had a prolonged spell of pressure on the quarter hour mark which - after a good twenty of thirty passes - ended an Asamoah cross to the far post. When Cordern put it back into the danger area, there was a shout of handball by the home support, which was swiftly waved away by the referee.
Indeed, the momentum was certainly with the home side and the pressure they were now inflicting was getting their supporters right behind them. Asamoah was their main danger man, taking on White down the left as he looked for joy on the wing.
Having ridden that spell of home danger, the U's again set about creating something going forward themselves, although at times, the balls forward where hit too long into the channels - something which both teams were guilty of.
The one time they did measure their pass well, the U's put themselves in front. A minute earlier, Garcia had produced a clever run that nearly set Keith up for a good shot. However, they went one better as a cross from White was flicked on by Johnson for Halford to rise majestically and power a header past Pilkington from around the penalty spot.
Town were level within four minutes. They had had a series of corners to pin the U's back in their own area and, after a third was cleared by the visiting defence, John-Baptiste hit a shot first time on the volley from 25 yards that ripped past Gerken into the net. It was the home team's first goal in 343 minutes of football.
Home tails were once again up and Asamoah, a constant threat throughout the first half, jinked one way and the other to fire in a low shot which Gerken got down well to block. As the U's went down the other end, it was down to John-Baptiste to block an excellent Johnson cross as Fagan awaited to tap home.
Johnson had another half chance seven minutes before the break. A corner kick routine that saw the midfielder peel away from the pack saw him have space as it came to him, but he miscued his shot and it went harmlessly away from danger.
Keith did better three minutes later - another great cross from White found the winger free at the back post and his fierce shot was well blocked by the barrel rolling home defender. The U's were finishing the half on a high and, a couple of minutes later, Halford's drive went just wide of goal.
Garcia was having a key role within that - his harrying of home players when not in possession was winning the ball back for the visitors and his direct running was also giving the Stags defenders something to think about.
The U's saw off an early corner from the home team at the start of the second half, and really should have regained the lead four minutes after the restart. A fantastic move involving Fagan, Keith and Stockley saw a cross pulled back to Halford and his free header hit the stanchion behind the goal with the keeper again beaten.
It signalled the start of some fine Colchester pressure, with some bright interplay around the edge of the box giving the home defence a lot to contend with. Fagan was back to his lively self, a half time change of boots giving him a new lease of life.
Ten minutes into the second half, the U's number nine received a ball from White and used his body strength to hold off the attentions of Artell. He eventually managed to swivel and face goal, but his shot lacked the power to test Pilkington. Another effort a minute later went well wide.
With the U's generally having the better of the second half, the frustrations were beginning to rise amongst the home support. Yet, in their defence, the same Stags fans got right behind their side as they attempted to wind their own game up.
The home team were dropping deeper, though, and the U's would need to make the most of the dominance they were having. Yet one time when the home team did thrust forward, Asamaoah's run into the box ended with him going to ground - referee Prosser waving away penalty appeals.
It was a half bereft of too many clear cut chances, though, and the match did appear to be going to a replay. However, with fifteen minutes remaining, a fantastic run by Asamoah saw him burst past White and cut the ball back for McLachan, whose shot cannoned back off the inside of the post for the U's to hook clear.
The game exploded into life late on as Asamaoah saw red. He had dispossessed White 25 yards from goal, before losing control of the bal himself. The two players went in heavily for the ball, but the referee adjudged that the Stags man had gone over the ball.
The home side made a change as a result of going down to ten men, but it was a highly unpopular one with the Stags support as Corden was replaced by Murray. The cries of 'you don't know what you're doing' and other less savoury chants suggested the home fans weren't quite enamoured with their temporary manager!
The U's made a change of their own to try and resolve the match on the day - bringing on Cade for the final ten minutes in place of White. Shortly afterwards, the introduction of defender Rhys Day in place of striker Colin Larkin again brought negative chants from the home support who could see their manager accepting a draw.
Those boos would have been a whole lot louder a minute later as Fagan made a great turn on the ball and lashed over a shot on the angle. It wasnt a million miles away and the ferocity of the shot would have surely beaten Pilkington.
With time up and the match into injury time, both teams had half chances to find the elusive winner. Johnson headed wide from a corner before a storming run by Dimech was ended by strong defending on the part of Chilvers.
The U's went even closer a minute later. The ball found Stockley thirty yards from goal and he fired in a superb low effort that fizzed toward the bottom of the near post and Pilkington held well with Fagan lurking.
That was the last of the action and the U's will have to try again in ten days time. The magic of the FA Cup returns to Layer Road!
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