REPORTS FROM THE SUNDAY PAPERS
Team Bath 2 Mansfield 4: Proud students fail tough FA Cup test set by Mansfield
John Aizlewood at Bath University
ON the previous occasion a university team qualified for the FA Cup proper, Caius College Cambridge elected not to take part in the 1881 competition. Team Bath had not exactly trundled down from the student union bar: instead, they are mostly Nationwide League cast-offs and most are studying for a Coach Education and Sports Performance HND, part of the University Of Bath's pioneering programme of sporting excellence.
Formed two years ago, under the tutelage of the university's director of sport, Ged Roddy, Team Bath reached the FA Cup first round at the first time of asking. That they lost to Mansfield Town was no disgrace.
“I'm proud,” declared Roddy, “but there will be bigger days in football for them. We had 42 people watching our first FA Cup game. Today we had over 5,000. Playing in these sort of games is what we're aiming for.”
The students' two-goal fightback after being four down may have been academic, but it discombobulated Mansfield and ensured they departed the FA Cup with heads held high.
Nevertheless, a Bath victory would not have been the stuff of true Cup romance and the empty spaces among the 6,000 specially-erected seats suggested that outside academia, the locals had not exactly taken the scholars to their bosom. Underdogs? Mansfield Town are bottom of the second division and surely the beleagured full-timers cast envious glances at the lavishly-funded students.
Unaccustomed to the status of giants, Mansfield began carefully, but they looked static in the third minute when former Scotland Under-21 cap Barry Laverty ran through, drew Kevin Pilkington, the goalkeeper, and slotted wide.
Having taken stock, Mansfield asserted themselves. In the 18th minute, Wayne Corden skipped around Kevin Watson. Iyseden Christie headed back and Liam Lawrence neatly tucked home.
Town should have settled it there and then. Christie, whose pace and bustle was always too much for Bath, had a header athletically tipped aside by Ryan Northmore and Watson hacked the subsequent corner off the line. Moments later, another Christie run ended when he has crudely felled by Mike Wisson. Lawrence's penalty was hard but central and Northmore dropped to his left and saved.
Lawrence made amends in the 37th minute, slaloming across the penalty area before slotting past Northmore. Bath then helped their guests to a third in the 43rd minute, Christie crossing low from the left and Peter Tisdale inadvertently blasting into his own net.
The one-way traffic continued after the break. Matt Gadsby lobbed a free-kick forward. Christie collected with his right foot, turned and fired past Northmore with his left.
“Brilliant,” purred manager Stuart Watkiss. “Then we lost concentration and you saw the other side of Mansfield Town.”
In the 68th minute, Carl Heiniger, freed by Newcastle United in the summer, scored the goal of the game — an exquisite 25-yard curler. Eight minutes from time, Luke Prince crossed from the right and Caleb Kamara-Taylor headed in. With Mansfield in full panic mode, who knows what may have happened if the revival had began 20 minutes earlier. Indeed, there was still time for Laverty to head Watson's corner against the bar.
“We're through, but I'm angry,” growled Watkiss. “And the players know it.”
Team Bath: Northmore, Watson, Wisson, Nichols, Tisdale, Ball, M Lewis (Fullam 63min), Cozic (Heiniger 38min), Lavety, Sorbara (Kamara-Taylor h-t), Prince
Mansfield: Pilkington, Clarke, Moore, Gadsby, Lawrence, Williamson, Disley, McKenzie, Corden, Christie, Larkin (Bacon 59min)
Scorers: Team Bath: Heiniger 68, Kamara-Taylor 82
Mansfield: Lawrence 18, 35, Tisdale og 43, Christie 53
Referee: P Armstrong
The Independent on Sunday, 17 November 2002
FA Cup first round: Mansfield of nightmares as buccaneering Bath's dream sequence is brought to an end
Back to finishing school for the students
Team Bath 2 Mansfield Town 4
By Alex Hayes at Bath University
Having already performed a minor miracle by persuading more than four thousand students to get up for the midday kick-off, Team Bath were unable to create history on the field, too, as their FA Cup dream was ended by Mansfield Town yesterday.
Bath never gave up, but the visitors were simply fitter and slicker. The scoreline will have hurt the students, but they can be pleased with their contribution to this year's competition, having become the maiden university side to play in the first round of the FA Cup for more than 120 years. "We can't be disappointed to go out to a good outfit like Mansfield," said the Bath manager, Ged Roddy. "They play good football, and we leave the Cup with our heads held high." So they should.
Following a bright start by the visitors, Team B (as they are fashionably known these days) nearly took the lead after five minutes. French exchange student, Bertrand Cozic (yes, even amateur teams have a Gallic player in their ranks these days), played in his striker, Barry Lavety, who beat the Mansfield central defence for pace, but then pulled his shot wide of Kevin Pilkington's goal. That, however, was that, as Mansfield took control of the first half.
The opening goal, when it came in the 18th minute, was simplicity itself. Mansfield's left wing Wayne Corden ran to the byline before sending in a deep cross which Iyseden Christie nodded across the face of goal. Liam Lawrence was on hand to apply the easiest of finishes for the all-important opener. Two minutes later, the dream seemed to have all but disappeared, as Christie was crudely brought down for a penalty. When Lawrence stepped up, he looked odds-on to complete the quickest double of his career, but then the improbable happened. The goalkeeper, Ryan Northmore, guessed right, diving low to his left to make a wonderful save and keep his team in the tie.
Bath suddenly found some self-belief, but never seemed capable of troubling Mansfield's well organised rear-guard. Their lack of penetration was all too evident and, as the team who are bottom of the Second Division gained more and more confidence, you sensed that the killer second goal was on its way. So it proved when, nine minutes before the interval, the nimble-footed Lawrence jinked his way past a couple of defenders inside the Bath area, before slotting home.
Roddy sought to introduce some much-needed steel in midfield by replacing Cozic with Carl Heiniger, but the match was slipping away. As the home side continued to push forward, they were leaving increasingly big holes at the back. That they conceded a third goal was no surprise, but Team B will be saddened by the name of the scorer. Peter Tisdale, the university's captain, was trying to clear a low cross by Christie when he inadvertently beat his own keeper.
Within three minutes of the restart, Mansfield might have extended their lead, but Colin Larkin somehow side-footed the easiest of chances wide of the goal. Then, Lavety went close for the home side, but his ample frame could not quite extend to meet Matt Lewis' cross. Instead, it was Mansfield who scored again, as Christie latched on to Matt Gadsby's free-kick for his 10th of the season.
Mansfield were cruising, but then decided to sit back and enjoy the last half-hour. Big mistake. Bath started to gain momentum and were handed a lifeline when Heiniger became the first man in 122 years to score a goal for a university team in the FA Cup, as he fired in a wonderful shot from 25 yards. Too little too late you felt, although the substitute Caleb Kamara-Taylor did his best to create a tense finish when he converted Luke Prince's cross with an excellent glancing header. Game on? It might have been had Kamara-Taylor found the back of the net with a much easier header from four yards, but Pilkington was lucky that the ball landed in his arms. He was even more fortunate when, in the last minute, Lavety's near-post header crashed off the bar and rebounded to safety.
So close, but the dream was over. Maybe next year?
Team Bath 2
Heiniger 71, Kamara-Taylor 83
Mansfield Town 4
Lawrence 19, 36, Tisdale og 43, Christie 56
Half-time: 0-3 Attendance: 5,469
The Observer, Sunday November 17, 2002
Students are sunk as Lawrence pulls strings
Team Bath's improbable run was ended as the Screwfix Direct Western League team - the first university to play in the first round proper for 122 years - were finally put in their place by Mansfield Town. However, as if to emphasise that their presence at this stage was no fluke, they refused to give in when 4-0 behind and could easily have made it 4-4.
Having caused a major surprise by getting this far, via five qualifying matches, they could hardly argue that nobody has paid much attention to them. The clash with Mansfield was televised live by Sky and, with extra seating installed at the team's ground, it attracted a crowd of 5,600. In the first half, it was tempting to suggest that the occasion - not to mention the ability of Mansfield's Lyseden Christie - were too much for them.
Helped by Team Bath's hesitancy and tendency to defend too deep, Christie set up Mansfield's first goal for Liam Lawrence after 19 minutes, with a tremendous burst down the left and cross. He would have been on the scoreheet himself two minutes later but for an excellent save by Ryan Northmore.
The latter, Team Bath's hero when they overcame Horsham in a penalty shoot-out in the fourth qualifying round, came to their rescue again when Mansfield were awarded a penalty for a foul on Christie, and he kept out Lawrence's kick.
However, Lawrence made amends by increasing Mansfield's lead after 36 minutes and an own-goal by Peter Tisdale - from a Christie cross - gave the visitors a 3-0 half-time lead.
It was entirely appropriate that the irrepressible Christie - a former Coventry, Bournemouth and Leyton Orient forward who is in his second spell at Mansfield - should get their fourth goal just after the interval. From that point, though, Team Bath came strongly into the attacking picture. Carl Heiniger and Caleb Kamara-Taylor pulled two goals back; and Team Bath, with a shot cleared off the line and a header that struck the bar, came agonisingly close to drawing level. Still, there were no complaints about the outcome from their manager, Ged Roddy. 'There's a bit of disappointment in the dressing room,' he said. 'The guys know that if they hadn't shown so much respect in the first half it could have been a different matter.
'However, I am very proud of every one of them and feel that our history-making Cup run has put the University of Bath and our football team well and truly on the map.'
The students now have to return to basics, with a league trip to Bridgwater on Tuesday evening. But Roddy added: 'You cannot take anything away from Mansfield. All credit to them - they are a very good footballing side.'
Sunday Telegraph, (Filed: 17/11/2002)
Students learn lesson too late to pass test
By Simon Hart at the University of Bath
Team Bath (0) 2 Mansfield (3) 4
An a-plus for effort and entertainment but, ultimately, the learning curve was too steep. After becoming the first student side to reach the first-round proper of the FA Cup in 122 years, Team Bath's university challenge came to an abrupt halt yesterday, their defence torn apart by four goals inside 56 minutes.
Although they restored some pride with a rousing fightback, it was all too late. Late strikes by Carl Heiniger and Caleb Kamara-Taylor were, dare one say it, academic.
When Team Bath embarked on their Cup adventure in a preliminary-round tie against Barnstaple they were watched by a crowd of 42. Yesterday 5,469 fans, most of them fellow students, packed the temporary stands erected around the campus pitch for what a university press release had billed as "a mouth-watering home tie against Second Division club Mansfield Town".
The pre-match entertainment contributed to the hype. Former and current sports stars from the university such as Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Cook and sprinter Jason Gardener were presented to the crowd in a "parade of legends" while the music included a rousing rendition of "Jerusalem".
Unfortunately, there was nothing green and pleasant about the team's performance. Unable to string more than a couple of passes together and guilty of giving their opponents far too much space, Bath were swept aside by three first-half goals - two close-range efforts from Liam Lawrence and the third a hideous own goal lashed home by Bath defender Peter Tisdale after a probing cross from Iyseden Christie.
They could have been four down at the break but for goalkeeper Ryan Northmore's 20th-minute penalty save after Christie had been felled by left-back Mike Wisson.
Manager Ged Roddy, who is also the university's overall director of sport, could not resist the metaphor. "We don't play against sides of that quality every week and they gave us a footballing lesson," he said.
Roddy, who along with head coach Paul Tisdale has combed the country for talented out-of-contract players as part of a 10-year plan to build the Screwfix Direct Western League Premier Division side into a football force, admitted he gave his side a stern lecture at half-time, and his words clearly had the desired effect.
Although Bath's statuesque defence were exposed for a fourth time when Christie netted his 10th of the season, the introduction of Heiniger in midfield and Kamara-Taylor up front changed the game's complexion and both were rewarded with goals.
"We did OK in the second half," said Roddy. "In the first half perhaps we were a little bit overawed. We'd worked hard in training on how to go about being competitive and we put that into practice in the second half, but I had to give them a bit of a roasting at half-time because they just weren't at the races.
"We always felt that if we could just get one it would lift the crowd. Once we got a goal, all of a sudden we were a yard quicker and we had time to think."
He added: "I'm proud of them. I said to them that it may be the end of the Cup run, but that's just part of their education in the game. I think there will be bigger days for some of our players - maybe with us, maybe not with us."
One of those players is surely Heiniger, a Durham-born midfielder formerly on Newcastle's books who, said Roddy, is already attracting interest from some big clubs. The 20-year-old struck the goal of the game when his curling shot from the edge of the penalty area soared past Mansfield goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington.
Another who caught the eye was winger Luke Prince, an old-fashioned winger with searing pace whose inch-perfect cross was headed home powerfully by the lanky Kamara-Taylor with eight minutes remaining.
For a few minutes the unthinkable seemed possible. As Bath poured forward with renewed confidence, Kamara-Taylor had a header saved brilliantly on the line and Barry Lavety, a former Scotland Under-21 international, headed against the crossbar from a Kevin Watson corner.
"The lesson from today is that they now know they are capable of putting a club like Mansfield under pressure," said Tisdale. "I'm just sorry that they didn't realise it earlier in the game."
STAGS PULL PLUG ON BATH
MANSFIELD boss Stuart Watkiss saluted the students of Team Bath after his side ended their storybook FA Cup run.
Two goals from Liam Lawrence, an own goal and a strike from Iyseden Christie put the Stags four up.
But Team Bath - who ply their trade five divisions lower in the Screwfix League - roared back with cracking goals from Carl Heiniker and Chris Camara-Taylor.
Watkiss said: "They showed great commitment and character...they can be very proud."
Team Bath manager Ged Roddy said: "Mansfield gave us a footballing lesson in the first half, but these are the sort of games we want to test ourselves in."
Former Hibs striker, Barry Lavety, missed a good chance to give the students a fourth minute lead when he pulled a shot wide of the far post.
Mansfield stamped their class on the game from then on and Lawrence slotted home from close range to give them the lead on 19.
Lawrence had a penalty saved three minutes later, but didn't have long to wait for his second, tucking home a Lee Williamson pass on 36.
Peter Tisdale sliced Christie's cross into his own net just before half-time and Christie made it four on 54.
Team Bath stormed back and sub Heiniker curled a 30-yarder past Mansfield keeper Kevin Pilkington before Camara-Taylor headed in a fine cross from Luke Prince.
Lavety headed against the bar late on.
FA CUP FIRST ROUND: STUDENTS JUST MISS OUT ON FULL HONOURS
THE students of Team Bath produced a rousing finale to their historic FA Cup run to leave the professionals of Mansfield grateful to avoid an improbable replay.
Four goals down and facing an ignominious exit, the university team, quoted at 25,000-1 to lift the Cup, stormed back to score twice, hit the woodwork, and briefly hint at one of the greatest-ever comebacks.
It may have proved too much to ask, but no-one among the 5,469 crowd will be complaining in the union bar.
There was little suggestion of what was to come as Second Division Mansfield tore through the hosts at will in a one-sided first half.
Midfielder Liam Lawrence slammed home the first from three yards after Iyseden Christie's header back, and could even afford to see Ryan Northmore save his penalty before adding a second with a close-range drive.
Christie was involved again as the Stags made it three, sending in a teasing low cross that Peter Tisdale put through his own net under pressure from Lee Williamson.
The goal livewire Christie deserved arrived after the re-start, his smart left-foot control and an even smarter right-foot half-volley proving decisive.
Rather than killing the tie stone dead, however, the real fun was just about to begin.
Team Bath substitute Carl Heiniger - inches too high with an earlier lob - collected the ball 30 yards from goal and drilled a raking, swerving shot into the far top corner.
Then, with the home team visibly buoyed, fellow sub Caleb Kamara-Taylor produced a towering header from Luke Prince's long cross to send shockwaves through Mansfield's defence again.
Kamara-Taylor - the penalty shoot-out hero in the last round - came within an ace of a second when Mansfield keeper Kevin Pilkington somehow grasped another header at the second attempt.
And with Mansfield pinned on the back foot, Barry Lavety's glancing header against the bar just failed to set up the grandstand finish the game deserved.
By then, however, any notion of Mansfield giving the students a footballing lesson had long since disappeared.
From News of the World – Score Supplement
Plug pulled on Bath's dream
Hugh Southon at Bath University
Team Bath 2
Ged Roddy hailed his student heroes after they were given a tough tutorial by Second Division Mansfield.
The first university team to reach the first round proper for 122 years were blitzed by a three goal first half salvo, but rallied to set up a rousing finale.
Roddy declared: “We have some very good players who will go on to have better days in football at bigger clubs. There were some heroic performances, but I was disappointed we were overawed for 45 minutes.
“But we are all very proud to have created our little bit of history along the way by reaching this stage of the F A Cup.”
Team Bath, of the Screwfit Fixit Western Division, collapsed in the first half to two strikes from Liam Lawrence and an own-goal from Peter Tisdale.
Lawrence drove home from seven yards in the 18th minute after Iyseden Christie had flicked on Wayne Corden's cross. His second was another close-range effort in the 35th minute.
Lawrence blew his hat-trick chance when Ryan Northmore saved his penalty after Christie was fouled by Kevin Watson.
Hapless Tisdale put the ball in his own net under pressure from Christie two minutes before the break.
Christie slammed home No 4 in the 53rd minute.
Carl Heineger curled in a superb 25-yard shot in the 68th minute which spurred Bath.
A fairytale finish looked possible when striker Caleb Kamara-Taylor rose to head home Luke Prince's cross just eight minutes from time.
Stags manager Stuart Watkiss said “You saw the two sides of Mansfield – great for an hour, then rubbish. That's why we're bottom of the division.
“But credit to Team Bath, they kept going and were excellent”.
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