STAGS CRUELLY ROBBED BY LATE DEFLECTION
Mansfield Town 1 - 1 Doncaster Rovers
Barker pen 23. Stock 90+1
Attendance: 4837 (1568 from Doncaster)
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
STOCK SHOCKER FOR STAGS
Mansfield Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Barker 23 Stock 90
Att - 4837
The FA Cup is the greatest Cup competition in the world, but it can also be the cruellest as Brian Stock denied Mansfield Town a straight passage into Round 3 with an injury time, deflected equaliser to earn Doncaster Rovers, what seemed unlikely for so long, a replay at Belle Vue on 12th December.
Stags striker, Richard Barker had from the penalty spot given The Stags a 23rd minute lead. Chances had come and gone for both sides but as the game entered added on time Stock broke Field Mill hearts with a long range shot that took a number of deflections before going into the net, despite a despairing dive from Stags keeper, Carl Muggleton.
In the cruellest of twists, Sunday's 3rd Round draw pared the eventual victors with a home encounter with Premiership, Bolton Wanderers. A plum prize indeed for either Club concerned, with Rovers especially keen wanting Premiership opposition for one of the first games in their new stadium, which begins football life at the start of the New Year.
The 1-1 draw seemed a little harsh on a Mansfield side who had defended well against their higher league opponents and indeed created enough chances to have put the game out of sight, but in fairness Rovers had four strong shouts for penalties turned down also in an exciting FA Cup local derby.
The game started in expected style with tackles flying in from both sides, but it took 6 minutes before the first real chance, Rovers, Guy forcing Muggleton into a save.
Stags though were creating chances and Coke stamped the floor in frustration as his 30-yard effort fly high over the bar. Hamshaw was next to threaten for Mansfield but after being set up by Brown, his lob towards goal went wide.
On 23 minutes however, The Stags achieved the breakthrough when Roberts clearly handled Buxton's header giving the Referee no choice other than to point to the spot for a Stags penalty. Barker stepped up to confidently fire the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
Rovers fans were up in arms when Buxton and Baptiste looked to have fouled in the Stags area but the Referee waved away an appeals. Price and Thornton both had shots blocked as Rovers tried desperately to get a foothold on the game.
The 33rd minute saw Rovers once again cried foul as Guy went down under a challenge from Hjelde in the Stags area, but again, appeals were waved away.
Coke, having a fine game in the centre of midfield then sent Boulding away, but with Brown in space in the box, he weakly hit his cross into the arms of the Rovers keeper.
Just before the halftime break, Rovers had a great chance of equalising from a corner, but when a final touch was needed, no Rovers player could reach the ball and the chance went away.
The Stags began the 2nd half in an attacking mood as Brown forced Smith into a fine save.
On 51 minutes, it looked like Stags were going to add a second when Brown robbed Lockwood just outside the Rovers area, he played the ball into Barker who then decided to pass the ball back to Brown who's shot was saved by the Rovers keeper. If only Barker had taken the chance himself.
Boulding was unlucky to see his header fly just over, but the visitors were gathering their breath and coming back into the game. Guy again going down in the box and Price firing just over from 18 yards.
On the 61st and 63rd minutes Rovers made a couple of changes, Coppinger coming on for Guy and former Notts County striker, Heffernan coming on for McCammon.
Stags though were still creating chances and Brown was unlucky to see his cross miss everyone and almost creep in at the far-post.
Barker was next to go so very close for Mansfield on 68 minutes when he nipped in between a defender and Smith in the Rovers goal, Smith though managed to put in a bit of a challenge, enough to force Barker a little wide forcing the Stags striker to shoot from a tight angle, the crowds gasped as the ball edged its way across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.
Rovers piled on the pressure but were not testing Muggleton in the Stags goal, and Coke once again fired well over.
On 73 minutes Danny Reet was introduced for Simon Brown and then on 77 minutes, Dyer came on for Forte as Rovers went in search of an equaliser with earnest.
On 78 minutes Rovers were again screaming for a penalty kick when Buxton tackled Heffernan in the area, but the Stags defender had clearly taken the ball.
Price should have equalised for Rovers with just five minutes left on the clock but incredibly headed wide when he got on the end of Coppinger's cross.
Then on the 90th minute mark, Barker headed just over from a Hamshaw free kick.
The 4th official held up the board with 4 minutes of added on time causing the Field Mill faithful to groan. Perhaps they knew what was coming for just seconds later, Rovers had equalised. A long free kick was headed away from the area by the Stags defence but the ball fell perfectly for Stock, who fired the ball straight back into the danger area where it took a couple of cruel deflections, wrong footing Muggleton before nestling into the back of the net.
Expectedly the Rovers away support celebrated wildly. It was a bitter blow for Mansfield as many of their players slumped to the floor in disbelief.
The final whistle blew with most of Field Mill feeling like their team had lost. It had been a terrific game and again, stark contrast to The Stags disappointing league form. Hopefully Stags can record a win at Field Mill this coming weekend when they entertain Bury 3pm.
Late goal rescues replay for Rovers
FA Cup second round
Mansfield Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
BRIAN Stock struck in stoppage time to snatch a replay for League One neighbours Doncaster Rovers after a thrilling FA Cup second round tie at Field Mill this afternoon.
Stags were so close to reaching round three after skipper Richie Barker had repeated his first round penalty kick heroics.
But, roared on by over 1,500 away fans behind the goal, Rovers grabbed a late leveller after Stock's low shot took a deflection en route.
Doncaster will believe it was deserved after they had four huge penalty appeals turned down.
But they failed to seriously stretch Carl Muggleton over the 90 minutes as a much-improved Stags defended superbly and wasted one or two chances to kill them off.
"Obviously I am disappointed but overall I was pleased with our performance against a side from a higher league, said manager Peter Shirtliff afterwards.
"They have more experience than us and a bigger squad so it was always going to be a difficult game and I thought we acquitted ourselves well.
"Their goal was a speculative effort which took a deflection though I think Carl Muggleton will be disappointed he didn't save it.
"It was 100 per cent better than at Rochdale last weekend and now we have to move on.
"In the second half we gave the ball away too easily. Doncaster were gambling a bit and catching us on the counter-attack. If we had kept the ball better in their half of the pitch we wouldn't have been so susceptible.
"We had a great opportunity to make it 2-0 just after half time when we caught them two on one. We should have been a bit more clinical as it would have been more uphill for Doncaster at 2-0 than 1-0.
"I thought we had more chances and decent situations than them.
"I was a bit disappointed one or two of their lads were going down like Autumn leaves, looking for a penalty and putting pressure on the referee. Credit to him for not caving in."
Stags fans were delighted to see the return of the Barker/Brown partnership up front.
Barker missed the midweek game at Darlington through a groin strain while Brown started that one - his first start since 9th September.
Buxton continued at right back with Mullins out with damaged ribs while Jelleyman returned for the cup-tied Charlton at left back.
Coke and Hamshaw were restored to midfield at the expense of Lloyd and Arnold who were both on the bench.
Leeds United refused permission for Doncaster to play on-loan keeper Neil Sullivan.
As expected the early stages were all hustle and bustle with the tackles flying in.
The first goal threat came on six minutes when the home defence stood off Guy, allowing him to shoot from 18 yards, Muggleton there to safely gather.
Stags came close on 10 minutes as Buxton picked out the run of Boulding into the box and keeper Smith just managed to punch away, Lee completing the clearance.
A misplaced pass from D'Laryea almost set the visitors on their way and Hjelde did well to halt Forte in the box.
Then Coke intercepted a Hamshaw pass intended for Boulding and let fly from 30 yards but was too high.
A minute later dazzling footwork from Brown on the edge of the box cued up Hamshaw who tried a subtle lobbed effort but was just wide.
Price tried to thread a ball through for Forte and John-Baptiste did superbly well to get across and rob him.
But Stags were gifted a 23rd minute lead from the penalty spot. Buxton had tried to head a long ball across the box from the right and, in trying to control it, defender Roberts clearly handled.
The referee pointed straight to the spot and the cool Barker dispatched a low finish into the bottom left corner - his sixth successful penalty of the campaign.
Buxton brought down Forte but play was allowed to continue and Guy weaved his way into the box before it seemed he was tripped by John-Baptiste. No penalty was given to Rovers' disgust, though Buxton was booked for the earlier foul.
Angry Rovers stepped up a gear and both Price and Thornton had shots blocked in the Mansfield box while Price spooned another opening well over the bar.
Rovers has another penalty shout on 33 minutes as Guy again tried to go clear in the box. But Hjelde leaned on him and Muggleton was able to beat away his finish.
Stock needed treatment after team mate Lee accidentally crashed the ball into his face from close range.
Guy played a neat one-two on the edge of the Stags box before heading for the by line. But he could not find a way past Muggleton at his near post.
Coke's through ball sent Boulding scampering down the left. But, with Brown in space, he poked a cross tamely into Smith's arms.
Stags were under severe pressure as half time approached and Rovers almost levelled from a corner.
Thornton sent it over, McCammon flicked the ball in front of goal and it only needed a touch from Forte but he couldn't quite make contact.
Then, deeper into stoppage time Brown fed Hamshaw down the right but Smith safely caught his cross as the half time whistle went.
Stags began the second half on the attack and Buxton's pass sent Brown into the box. His fierce cross-cum-shot was palmed away by Smith and O'Connor did well to prevent Boulding getting a follow-up shot away.
On 51 minutes Brown robbed Lockwood just outside the box and slipped a pass to Barker. Barker gave him a return pass and Brown's low shot was saved by Smith, D'Laryea prevented from reaching the loose ball as he tried to follow up.
Mansfield continued to look dangerous and Boulding headed powerfully over from a Buxton cross.
Buxton then allowed Stock to take the ball off him and his cross picked out Guy who again went down in the box, this time from a Jelleyman challenge, and again there was no penalty awarded.
Price flashed a shot just over from 18 yards a minute later.
Doncaster were really piling on the pressure again and won a corner but they were penalised for pushing as the away fans screamed in protest, feeling the officials were against them.
Coppinger replaced Guy on 61 minutes and two minutes later former Notts striker Heffernan came on for McCammon.
Brown made space on the left for a cross which beat everyone but almost crept in at the far post, sailing just wide with Smith helpless.
On 68 minutes Barker almost produced a second goal from nowhere. He managed to sneak in between keeper and defender when Rovers appeared to be in control. He was caught by Smith in making the challenge but kept his feet and almost squeezed the ball in from an impossible angle from the right by line.
Coke was well over soon after. But this was better from the home side after that spell of Doncaster pressure.
Reet, sporting bright yellow boots, replaced Brown for the last 17 minutes.
Stags had a three on two break almost straight away. But, with Reet and Jelleyman screaming for the ball, it bounced away off a defender's heel.
Rovers sent on Dyer up front for Forte on 77 and a minute later had yet another spot kick call ignored. This time Buxton did appear to have taken the ball first as he slid in on Heffernan.
Price missed an absolute sitter five minutes from time as he headed wide from only five yards from Coppinger's inch-perfect cross.
In a thrilling finish Barker headed over in the 90th minute from a Hamshaw free kick.
The game entered stoppage time. But Rovers were not finished and from another scramble from a half cleared free kick, Stock drove a low shot at goal from 20 yards which took a deflection that saw the ball find its way past Muggleton to spark huge celebrations on the picth as away fans spilled over.
Roberts was inches wide for what was almost a Rovers winner as it skidded wide of the far post.
So in the end it was disappointment for Mansfield and a midweek trip to Belle Vue for a replay the week after next.
For Stags it was also a sixth game without a goal from open play and they need to end that on Tuesday night when Swindon Town are the visitors.
Doncaster official site
A bright sunny afternoon, with a cold breeze blowing was the setting for the Rovers visit to Field Mill, the home of Mansfield Town, in the 2nd Round of the F.A.Cup. The Rovers show two changes to the starting line-up from last Saturday, Ben Smith replacing Neil Sullivan, ineligible, in goal and Paul Green suffered a neck injury in training so Thornton comes in. Mansfield field a couple of former Rovers players in Richie Barker, in the starting line-up and Chris Beardsley, on the bench. The Rovers defended the North Stand end where their supporters were housed.
The Rovers set the ball rolling at 3 o'clock, the sun having disappeared and the floodlights on but not yet effective. The early minutes were spent sounding each other out before the first attempt at goal came on six minutes when Guy put a shot from 25 yards straight at Muggleton in the Mansfield goal. The first corner then went to the home team a minute later but was cleared. On 10 minutes, a cross from the right by Brown caused problems in the Rovers defence before Smith managed to get it away. The home team began to take charge of the game as the quarter hour came up, with shots from Coke and Hamshaw going in but high and wide. On 22 minutes, Roberts inexplicably handled in the penalty area in front of the referee, who awarded the penalty to Mansfield. BARKER stepped up and slotted it into the corner of the net to Smith's right. This setback seemed to inject some urgency into the Rovers. They began to play football and move the ball about from man to man. Good work on the half hour by Forte and Price got them into the opposition penalty area where Guy and then Thornton had shots blocked. Continuing the pressure, Price fired so high over the bar that it cleared the Stand. A couple of corners were forced but nothing came of them. As the interval came up a good run by Boulding on the Mansfield left ended with Smith cutting out the cross and snuffing out the danger. Back surged the Rovers to force a corner on their left. McCammon headed on but Forte, about a yard from goal, couldn't get a touch to divert it into the net. The ball hit the foot of the post and was cleared. Two clear penalty shouts during the half when Guy was fouled in the area had brought no response from the referee so the teams went in with the homesters leading by their penalty goal.
The Stags came out with all guns blazing at the start of the second half. Slack defensive play by the Rovers defence let Brown get in a shot from the right, which was palmed away by Smith. Coke followed up but his shot was blocked. Eventually the Rovers cleared their lines. Five minutes in and Lockwood was dispossessed 25 yards from his own goal. Barker and D'Laryea then moved on goal in a 2 on 1 situation with Smith. Barker gave the ball to Laryea but Smith did brilliantly by blocking his shot with his legs. Straight down to the other end went the Rovers. Good work by Guy and Price set up Forte with the chance to shoot from 15 yards but he badly mis-kicked. Hamshaw then headed wide from a cross on the right by Buxton. On 56 minutes, Price had a good chance from 16 yards but was just over the bar. As the hour came up the Rovers gained a couple of corners but nothing came of them. The Rovers then made changes but lost the initiative. On 68 minutes, Barker took advantage of indecision between Lockwood and Smith on the 18 yard line, got to the right byline and tried for goal but his effort went across the face of goal and away. Coke then fired over from 30 yards. On 77 minutes, Heffernan was brought down in the penalty area. Penalty! Corner says the referee!!! Thornton headed wide. Price had a glorious chance from 4 yards but headed wide!! With time running out the Rovers piled forward leaving themselves open at the back. The Stags tried to take advantage of this but Smith and Lockwood held them at bay. Into added-on time Rovers in a last ditch attack pushed up, STOCK fired from 15 yards, a deflection off a defender took it past Muggleton into the net and the Rovers had levelled it.
The Rovers got out of jail with that last gasp effort but they had their chances as did Mansfield. So it's all to do again at Belle Vue.
Teams - Mansfield Town - Carl Muggleton; Jake Buxton, Jon Olav Hjelde, Alex John-Baptiste, Gareth Jellyman; Matthew Hamshaw, Jonathan D'Laryea, Giles Coke, Michael Boulding; Simon Brown, Richie Barker.
Subs used - Danny Reet for Brown 72 mins;
Subs not used - Chris Beardsley, Nathan Arnold, Callum Lloyd, Jason White gk
ROVERS - Ben Smith; James O'Connor, Adam Lockwood, Graeme Lee, Gareth Roberts; Jason Price, Sean Thornton, Brian Stock, Jonathan Forte; Lewis Guy, Mark McCammon.
Subs used - James Coppinger for Guy 61 mins; Paul Heffernan for McCammon 62 mins; Dyer for Forte 76 mins;
Subs not used - Mark Wilson, Bruce Dyer, Theo Streete.
Latest | December 2006