MAGNIFICENT MANSFIELD UNLUCKY TO TOPPLE TO POMPEY
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Portsmouth
Reet 81. Fernandes 5, Taylor 33
ATT: 6,646 (1,249 from Portsmouth)
Redknapp forced to sweat it out
By Tim Rich
Mansfield Town (0) 1 Portsmouth (2) 2
He may have been giving his half-time talk in a Portakabin, but for Harry Redknapp a night in the Nottinghamshire coalfields would have been preferable to an evening in front of the telly.
While Panorama were making allegations, which Redknapp denied "a million per cent", the Portsmouth manager was steering the Premiership leaders through a desperately awkward tie.
If he glanced to his right, Redknapp would have caught sight of an advertisement for "Carl Wright Muck Shifters". He would feel a fair amount has been dumped on his head already. It may have been a coincidence, but when the programme began at 9pm Portsmouth had looked rattled.
The chances of Mansfield — whose flooded dressing rooms had caused a shift to temporary accommodation — appeared to fade the moment Manuel Fernandes' fifth-minute drive struck the net from 30 yards. When Matt Taylor sent a low shot from distance into the bottom corner, few expected what was to follow.
Instead, Mansfield's tenacity and Danny Reet's striker's instincts, when seizing on a sloppy back pass from Richard Duffy nine minutes from the end, meant the tie was left balancing on a kinfe-edge.
This time last year, in the same competition, Redknapp had taken a young Southampton side to Mansfield and been beaten 1-0, a result that would have made a return to Portsmouth, even with Milan Mandaric in charge, appear that bit more appealing.
He sent out a young team last night, but Alexander Gaydamak's money meant there was a sizeable difference in quality.
Should Redknapp want to make Fernandes' loan from Benfica permanent, Gaydamak will have to spend again — probably more than the £4.1 million that took Benjani Mwaruwari from Auxerre.
Redknapp likened Fernandes to "a young Paul Ince", though even in his pomp the self-styled Guv'nor surely never struck as ball as sweetly as Fernandes did five minutes into his debut.
Peter Shirtliff, a member of the Sheffield Wednesday side who beat Manchester United in the 1991 League Cup final, had overcome Redknapp in his first match as Mansfield manager. And there were periods of the tie in which a team 82 places below Portsmouth had much the better chances. Twice Matthew Hamshaw burst through a defence, which has yet to concede this season, only to blaze off target.
Mansfield Town (4-4-2): White; Mullins, Baptiste, Buxton, Jelleyman; Hamshaw, Dawson (Lloyd 72), D'Laryea, Coke (Boulding 79); Beardsley (Reet 72), Barker.
Subs: Birchall, Muggleton.
Portsmouth (4-4-2): Kiely; Duffy, Pamarot, O'Brien, Taylor; Koroman (Douala 78), Hughes, Fernandes, Kranjcar (Thompson 63); Cole, LuaLua (Mwaruwari 74).
Subs: Ashdown, Songo'o.
Booked: Kranjcar, Parmarot, Fernandes.
Referee: M Thorpe (Cheshire).
The Times September 20, 2006
Comfort for Redknapp
By Tom Dart
Mansfield Town 1 Portsmouth 2
THERE were moments in the second half when Harry Redknapp might have wished he was sat in front of the television last night, but Portsmouth made it through to the third round of the Carling Cup, albeit at the cost of their perfect defensive record.
Mansfield Town, sixteenth in Coca-Cola League Two, did what no Barclays Premiership side have achieved this season: scored a goal against the Premiership leaders. That said, this was a vastly-altered Portsmouth team. Of his regular starters, Redknapp, the manager, rested all but Matthew Taylor and Benjani Mwaruwari.
Andrew Cole, Niko Kranjcar, Manuel Fernandes and Rodolph Douala made their debuts and Fernandes made a swift impression. The midfield player, on loan from Benfica, scored a long-range goal after five minutes and Taylor doubled the lead just after the half-hour. Danny Reet pulled one back in the 81st minute to set up an exciting climax.
MANSFIELD TOWN (4-4-2): J White — J Mullins, A Baptiste, J Buxton, G Jelleyman — M Hamshaw, S Dawson (sub: C Lloyd, 71min), J D'Laryea, G Coke (sub: M Boulding, 77) — R Barker, C Beardsley (sub: D Reet, 71). Substitutes not used: A Birchall, C Muggleton.
PORTSMOUTH (4-4-2): D Kiely — R Duffy, A O'Brien, N Pamarot, M Taylor — O Koroman (sub: R Douala, 76), R Hughes, M Fernandes, N Kranjcar (sub: D Thompson, 62) — A Cole, L LuaLua (sub: B Mwaruwari, 73). Substitutes not used: J Ashdown, F Songo'o. Booked: Kranjcar, Pamarot, Fernandes.
Referee: M Thorpe.
Brave Stags make Pompey sweat
BRAVE Mansfield Town became the latest side to fall under the Portsmouth steamroller as they lost 2-1 in a highly entertaining Carling Cup clash at Field Mill last night.
Two first half goals from Manuel Fernandes and Matt Taylor proved enough to see home the unbeaten Premiership leaders.
But the home side dominated the second half, created a string of chances, and were rewarded when Danny Reet became the first player to score against Pompey this season to set up a grandstand last eight minutes.
Stags boss Peter Shirtliff will hope his side's gutsy second half showing will now lift them for successive home League Two games.
Stags made three changes from the weekend defeat at Torquay.
Reet and Boulding were dropped to the bench, Beardsley and Dawson coming in to play up front and centre midfield respectively with Coke going to the left of midfield.
Leicester did not want Alan Sheehan cup-tied so Jelleyman returned to the left back position.
Portsmouth were able to enjoy the luxury of making 10 changes from last weekend with only Taylor staying in the starting line-up.
There were even three debuts for Fernandes, Kranjcar and Cole in what was still a very high quality side.
Kiely had to keep his nerve as nothing more than a hook up into the air from Hamshaw almost dropped under his bar.
But Fernandes, on loan from Benfica, marked his debut with a screaming goal from almost 30 yards in the fifth minute from Pompey's first attack. He looked up from well outside the box and let fly with a shot that swerved into the top right corner with White beaten all ends up.
Stags quickly forced two corners. The first from Hamshaw skidded right through a crowded box and the second was cleared to Dawson whose ball back in was nodded wide by Beardsley.
If the home side could steady their nerves and not hoist it long it was clear the visitors would let Stags play some football, and on 17 minutes a neat move ended with D'Laryea crossing and Barker heading wide at the far post.
And on 23 minutes Buxton helped on a Hamshaw corner and Barker headed straight at Kiely.
Lualua and Fernandes had quick shots in succession blocked by John-Baptiste on 29 minutes.
However, Stags almost levelled on the half-hour as a long White clearance saw Barker fouled, but the ball had run on nicely for Hamshaw so the referee allowed the advantage, only for Hamshaw to rifle over from 15 yards.
But Portsmouth increased their lead on 33 minutes. A corner was taken short and quickly catching Stags napping. Kranjcar rolled a pass to Taylor on the edge of the box, and he cracked home a sweet low shot just inside White's left hand post.
But Stags again had a sniff of goal on 43 as Hamshaw fed Beardsley into the box and he tried to race in on goal, only for Pamarot to curl a leg round and make the tackle.
Mansfield came out bright and busy and Barker rightly had penalty appeals ignored as he went down under Pamarot's challenge while D'Laryea was only just too high with a fierce shot from 20 yards.
Beardsley was even closer on 50 minutes as a half-cleared corner was looped back in by D'Laryea, Barker headed across goal and, from close range, Beardsley saw his header smothered on the line by Kiely with some of the home fans celebrating a goal.
On 58 Beardsley again failed to score from close in as Hamshaw's free kick was helped on by Dawson and Barker across the face of goal and Beardsley, at the far post, put his finish the wrong side of the upright.
Kranjcar, who had picked up an earlier booking for delaying a free kick, should have been sent off for a second yellow when he petulantly tripped Hamshaw as the Stags winger sped past three opponents. But, to the howls of rage from the home fans, he escaped with a lecture.
Pompey wisely withdrew him and sent on Thompson on 62.
Kiely was at full stretch to deny Coke from 25 yards on 67, grabbing it at the second attempt. And seconds later Hamshaw broke into the box from the right and his cross-cum-shot sailed across goal with Beardsley unable to get there.
Pompey could hardly get out their own half as Stags piled on the pressure and next attempt saw Dawson over from 20 yards.
A double Stags substitution on 71 saw Lloyd on for Dawson and Reet on for Beardsley.
Benjani came on for Lualua for the last 16 minutes and then Douala replaced Koroman on 77. For Stags Boulding took the place of Coke on 78.
Kiely was always behind a powerful Jelleyman shot from 18 yards.
But Stags set up a thrilling finish with a richly deserved breakthrough on 82 minutes.
Portsmouth were caught out as Reet raced away onto a loose pass from Duffy and superbly prodded past the advancing Kiely and into the empty net.
With the home fans in full cry, Stags continued to press and Barker headed firmly over from Jelleyman's cross as Mansfield bravely battled to the end.
STAGS: White, Mullins, Jelleyman, D'Laryea, John-Baptiste, Buxton, Hamshaw, Dawson (Lloyd 71), Barker, Coke (Boulding 78), Beardsley (Reet 71). Subs not used: Birchall, Muggleton.
PORTSMOUTH: Kiely, Duffy, Pamarot, O'Brien, Taylor, Koroman (Douala 77), Hughes, Fernandes, Kranjcar (Thompson 62), Cole, Lualua (Benjani 74). Subs not used: Ashdown, Song'o.
REFEREE: Mike Thorpe of Suffolk.
ATTENDANCE: 6,646 (1,249 away).
GOALS: Stags - Reet 82. Portsmouth - Fernandes 5; Taylor 33.
CAUTIONS: Portsmouth - Kranjcar 52 (unsporting conduct); Paramot 82 (unsporting conduct); Fernandes 85 (foul on Lloyd)
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Matt Hamshaw.
First half fireworks see Pompey through
By pompey-fans.com staff
MANSFIELD 1 POMPEY 2 ++++ First half goals from Fernandes and Taylor saw Pompey safely through to the third round of the Carling Cup, although their League Two opponents gave them a hell of a scare in the second half, but Mansfield could only manage a late goal from substitute Neet.
Manager Harry Redknapp completely re-vamped his side for the trip to League Two Mansfield, with only Matt Taylor surviving from the 1-0 win at Charlron and even then he found himself shifted to left back, although the captain's arm band compensated. Manuel Fernandes, Andrew Cole and Niko Kranjcar made their debust with Douala on the bench.
MANSFIELD 0 POMPEY 1 - 5 min - Kiely's fine save from Hamshaw ended with Pompey moving forward and from 30 yards FERNANDES announced his arrival with a spectacular shot into the top of the net.
Barker was looking lively and saw an effort fly just wide then Cole almost marked his Pompey debut with goal but his header from Diffy's cross flew just wide.
There was a decent turn out of Pompey fans - looking over a thousand - as many took the opportunity to chalk off a ground at which Pompey have played sompetitively just once.
Hamshaw should have done better when put clear by Barker, but his shot with only Kiely to beat was wastefully high.
MANSFIELD 0 POMPEY 2 - 34 min - Soon after the home side were in deep trouble as TAYLOR picked up a corner from Kranjcar and fired lwo into the net from 20 yards.
At once Pompey could have been on easy street as the impressive Kranjcar set up Cole but he shot wide.
Half time : Mansfield 0 Pompey 2
Peter Shirtliff's side had no option but to go for it in the second half and, with the home crowd upping the noise, they soon had POmpey on the back foot. Early on Pamarot's clash with Barker saw claims for a penalty waved away then Kiely was scrambling desperately to keep the ball out on the goal line.
Pompey could hardly get the ball out of their own half and when they did Kranjcar wasted a free kick opportunity firing into the wall. Coke's long-range effort fizzed against Kiely's gloves, then Hamshaw pulled his shot across the face of goal.
Another chance went begging as thew ball slewed wide from close range as Pompey clung to their advantage.
MANSFIELD 1 POMPEY 2 - 81 min - A poor back pass from Duffy let in Town subsitute Reet who still had plenty to do before angling the ball past Kiely to set up a grandstand finish.
'Premier League, you're having a laugh' crowed the home fans, although Kiely didn't really experience any undue difficulty as Pompey saw the game out. Besides, on a point of accuracy the chant should have been 'Premier Reserve League South your having a laugh'.
No matter. A win's a win. Now let's go and watch that video of Panorama...
GK: D Kiely - Did nothing wrong on his return - 7 (out of 10)
RB: R Duffy - Poor judgement for their goal - 5
CB: N Pamarot - Generally solid - 7
CB: A O'Brien - Gave a good account - 7
LB: M Taylor - Exposed at times, but a good goal - 7
RM O Koroman - Solid rather than spectacular - 6
(Sub - Douala 77 min)
CM: R Hughes - Plugged away well - 6
CM: M Fernandes - Great strike, but faded in the second half - 7
LM: N Kranjcar - Impressive in the first half - 7
(Sub - Thompson 62 min)
CF: L LuaLua - A few tricks, but a quite return - 6
(Sub - Benjani 74 min)
CF: A Cole - Linked up play well, but no clear cut chances - 6
MANSFIELD: White, Mullins, Jelleyman, D'Laryea, John-Baptiste, Buxton, Hamshaw, Dawson (Lloyd 71), Barker, Coke (Boulding 78), Beardsley (Reet 71).
REFEREE: M Thorpe
VERDICT: Job done. Simple as that. Pompey's 'reserves' did enough in the first half to deservedly see of Mansfield who gave it a great go in the second half.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ferenades' goal. Promised much.
MOAN OF THE MATCH: Three unnecessary bookings. Oh. And a couple of injuries in defence could unhinge things...
Pompey Edge Out Mansfield
Tuesday 19 Sep 2006
Premiership leaders Portsmouth maintained their 100 per cent start to the season as they dispatched last season's Carling Cup giant-killers Mansfield, after weathering a second-half storm.
The victory also gave manager Harry Redknapp revenge for his surprise defeat at Field Mill last year, when his Southampton side were one of the Stags' scalps.
But brave Mansfield at least had the satisfaction of becoming the first side to score against Portsmouth this season when substitute Danny Reet struck a late goal to cap a fine second-half fightback.
Pompey, who made ten changes from Saturday's win at Charlton, still fielded a strong side full of internationals - including debutants Andrew Cole, Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar and on-loan Benfica star Manuel Fernandes.
And it took Fernandes just five minutes to make his mark, smashing a 30-yard drive into the top corner with only his second touch of the ball for the Premiership side.
The goal settled any Pompey nerves, but the Stags still created chances to level. Richie Barker just failed to touch in Matt Hamshaw's deep corner and then headed straight at the keeper from another flag kick.
Mansfield, beaten twice in the previous week on their travels and with just two wins from 15 League games, belied their position 82 league places below Portsmouth to go close again through Stephen Dawson and Hamshaw.
But their hopes of a cup upset ended 12 minutes before half-time when slack marking at a short corner allowed Matt Taylor - the only player not to be rested from Saturday - to rifle a low 20-yard drive past motionless keeper Jason White.
Cole then twice went close to stretching the visitors' lead with a glancing header and a neat turn and shot at the near post.
Mansfield launched a spirited fightback at the start of the second half and Chris Beardsley should have become the first player to score against Portsmouth this season, but his close-range header lacked power and Dean Kiely saved on the line.
In the 58th minute Beardsley, again fed by Barker, somehow missed the target from less than six yards as the League Two side piled on the pressure.
Then, as Pompey struggled to get out of their own half, Giles Coke tested the keeper from long range and Hamshaw fired narrowly wide after a slip from Taylor gave him a clear run on goal.
Mansfield finally gained reward for their second-half recovery when Reet raced clear onto Richard Duffy's poor back pass and rolled a shot past the stranded Kiely.
But it was too little, too late for the underdogs.
BATTLING STAGS TEST POMPEY TO THE LIMIT
Evening Post, 20 September 2006
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Portsmouth
Carling Cup 2nd Round
GIVEN that the first goal Mansfield conceded was scored by a player in the £7million bracket, last night's result was hardly a surprise.
What was, though, was how well the Stags fought back from that Manuel Fernandes strike to push Premiership pacesetters Portsmouth all the way in a compelling cup tie.
Leading 2-0 at the break, the chasm in class looked obvious as Pompey's stars were cruising. It looked, simply, to be a question of how many Harry Redknapp's side would score.
But a rousing second-half display from the Stags saw them create a catalogue of chances and with better finishing they would have taken the game into the extra-time their build-up play deserved.
Despite making ten changes to the side that beat Charlton at the weekend - only Matt Taylor remained - affluent Portsmouth were still able to field a side that cost £11million, with another £4million of talent on the bench.
By comparison, four of Mansfield's starting line-up came through the ranks and the rest of the team was made up of players brought in on frees or for nominal fees.
Yet Mansfield sent their fans home with a sense of pride after playing with great determination and desire to give Redknapp another scare.
Having lost here with Southampton at the same stage of the same competition last season, the former West Ham boss was keen to avoid another defeat.
And with Portsmouth unbeaten in the Premiership without conceding a goal, he was also keen to maintain a winning feeling in his squad.
So when loan signing Fernandes' spectacular 30-yard drive found the top corner to give Portsmouth a lead in only the fifth minute, Redknapp must have been delighted.
Things got even better in the 33rd minute for the excellent following of Pompey fans when Mansfield fell asleep following a quickly-taken short corner and Taylor cracked a low shot inside the right-hand post.
But what neither they nor their manager had reckoned on was Mansfield would come out with all guns blazing after the restart.
The hosts had missed decent opportunities of their own in the first half - with Matt Hamshaw, Richard Barker and Chris Beardsley the culprits - and it would have been easy for heads to go down.
Yet it had quite the opposite effect. Whatever Peter Shirtliff said to his players at half-time certainly had the desired effect.
Perhaps Porstmouth were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal a little, feeling that the game was in the bag.
Mansfield were virtually camped in the Pompey half for much of the second period.
Again, openings came and went as Beardsley twice failed to net when he should have done - although the first of the two opportunities looked as if it may have been over the line when it was scooped up by visiting keeper Dean Kiely.
Hamshaw also broke clear and shot just wide of the left-hand post when greater composure and a square ball to Beardsley would have yielded an easy tap-in.
After Kiely made a diving stop from a skidding Giles Coke shot, the breakthrough eventually arrived when substitute Danny Reet latched onto a misplaced pass from Richard Duffy to chip the ball over the advancing Portsmouth keeper.
It was the first goal Portsmouth have let in during competitive games this season and set up an exciting last eight minutes.
More pressure followed in the closing stages and Barker headed just over from Gareth Jelleyman's left-wing centre.
But Pompey held on by their fingernails to leave Redknapp mightily relieved.
What was most encouraging from a Mansfield point of view was that they played their football at a high tempo and created a considerable number of chances - two things that were missing in the preceding defeats at Hartlepool and Torquay.
The trick now is to replicate this kind of form in League Two on a regular basis. If the Stags can do that, then improved results should quickly follow.
Latest | September 2006