RHEAD EARNS REPLAY IN SIX GOAL THRILLER
FA Cup Round 2
Lincoln City 3 - 3 Mansfield Town
Power 45, 66, Taylor 47. Green 20, Briscoe 53, Rhead 90+3.
Attendance: 4127 (1176 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 December 2012
Martin Shaw at Sincil Bank
Mansfield Town and Lincoln City shared six goals in a fabulous FA Cup second round tie at Sincil Bank this afternoon. The game ebbed and flowed and both sides will feel they could have won it. Mansfield were ahead in the first half through the sharpness of Matt Green, who was unlucky not to bag a second goal shortly afterwards, or even a first half hat-trick. But Lincoln were undeservedly level on the stroke of half time through an excellent Alan Power free kick into the corner of the net. Jamie Taylor then put the home side in front two minutes inside the second half, only for Louis Briscoe to equalise with a wonder-strike, left footed into the top left corner. Lincoln were 3-2 ahead on 66 minutes when they broke from a Mansfield long throw level with the edge of the Lincoln box, and Jamie Taylor's shot was parried by Redmond only for Alan Power to score from the rebound. Lincoln hit the bar on 83 minutes, but Mansfield sub Matt Rhead was the hero heading home from an excellent Briscoe cross 2 minutes and 13 seconds into stoppage time. Even after that, Louis Briscoe dramatically cleared off the line five minutes into stoppage and so the teams will have to do it all again a week on Tuesday at Field Mill. Wonderful entertainment for a bumper crowd.
Stagsnet player ratings in the Match Centre
Lincoln City 3 Mansfield Town 3 - FA Cup Second Round, 1st December 2012
CHAD report by Stephen Thirkill
MANSFIELD Town will be in the draw for tomorrow's FA Cup third round after subsitute Matt Rhead rescued an unlikely replay after scoring two minutes into stoppage time.
Paul Cox's men looked like they would be knocked out of their second cup competition in a matter of days as they trailed David Holdsworth's Imps going into injury time.
But Matt Rhead, who had been on the Sincil Bank pitch for just seven minutes, had other ideas when he rose highest in a crowd of players to power home Louis Briscoe's cross.
Mansfield had been close to being dead and buried when Tom Millar hit the bar from Dan Gray's long throw as Lincoln lead 3-2.
And, with the last touch of the game, Stags faced FA Cup heartbreak before Briscoe cleared a Vadaine Oliver header off the line with the last touch of the game, in what was a perfect advert for non-leauge football.
The last ditch equaliaser was a fair reward for Stags who had shown good belief and charachter to battle their way back into the entertaining contest when all hope seemed lost
It had all started so well for the visitors, who took the lead through Matt Green on 21 minutes after he took full advantage of a woefully short Andrew Boyce backpass.
But two goals either side of half-time changed the complexion of the game, with Power levellling through a sweetly struck free-kick on 45 minutes, before Taylor put the home side into the lead just three minutes after the break.
Louis Briscoe, who had been anonymous up to this point, then thundered home a half-volley from 25 yards into the roof of the net as he signalled his entrance into the game.
Lincoln thought they had found the winner when they broke superbly on the counter attack from their defensive third to sweep towards Redmond's goal.
Taylor then saw his powerful effort across goal parried into the path of the impressive Alan Power who slotted home into the unguarded net.
But Stags, who threw on Jake Speight and Matt Rhead in the closing stages as he looked for a route back into the game, refused to lay down and die and got their just rewards with Rhead's bullet header.
The replay will take place at One Call Stadium on Tuesday 11th December.
Stags boss Paul Cox made wholesale changes to his starting line-up, with eight new faces coming in from the side which embarrassingly lost 2-1 to lowly Matlock on Tuesday night.
Goalkeeper Shane Redmond kept his place in goal after Alan Marriott was deemed to be not fully fit after beginning his injury comeback in the reserves this week.
Former Stags players Gary Mills and Adam Smith were named in David Holdsworth's starting 11, with former favourite Colin Larkin named on The Imps' bench.
Lincoln boss David Holdsworth collected his manager of the month award for November ahead of the kick-off, with Stags fans hoping the manager of the month 'curse' would strike.
After a blood and thunder opening, in which both teams battled for midfiield supremecy, Mansfield registered the first corner of the contest on 10 mins.
But Chris Clements' corner came to nothing as it drifted safely into the hands of Lincoln shot-stopper Paul Farman.
The home side then began to grow into the game and push the visitors back into their own half.
Former player Adam Smith should have done better on 15 mins when he fluffed his shot, despite having time and space from eight yards out as Mansfield failed to clear their lines.
Right-back John Thompson was fortunate to just receive a yellow card after hacking down Smith from behind on 18 minutes.
A minute later Matt Green came close to nodding Stags in front as he glanced an inswinging Lee Beevers cross a yard wide.
But the goal-getter didn't have to wait long to celebrate finding the back of the net after he collected a woefully short backpass from Andrew Boyce.
Green then showed his customary composure to put the ball past the right side of Farman, before passing the goalkeeper on his left and slotting home into an empty net to give Mansfield a 21st minute lead.
The dangerous Green should have put the visitors two up on 28 minutes when a sweet pass from Meikle found Green with space after he beat the last man down the left channel.
Farman then made a disasterous attempt to beat Green to the ball, allowing the hot-shot striker to ghost past the stranded goalkeeper.
But, with the goal gapping, Green dragged his effort inches past the post from a tightish angle to leave Farman and Lincoln breathing a huge sigh of relief.
Stags continued to look more than comfortable at the other end, with goalkeeper Shane Redmond having very little to do.
But, right on the stroke of half-time, Alan Power found an undeserved equaliser for The Imps.
Adam Murray gave away a free-kick around 25 yards out after fouling Jamie Taylor. Power then stepped to sweetly curl home past the diving Redmond into the bottom right corner.
It was a bitter blow for Stags, who had looked in control up until that point against a seemingly toothless Lincoln side.
And it got even worse for Stags just three minutes after the break when a Dan Gray long throw was headed goalwards by Taylor inside the six yard box.
Taylor's first header was well saved by Redmond, who was heading in the other direction, but he could do nothing to prevent a prone Taylor getting up off his knees to tap the rebound home from one yard.
But Mansfield found the perfect response five minutes later when Louis Briscoe cracked home a thunderous half-volley into the roof of the net from 25 yards after Lincoln only half cleared a Chris Clements free-kick.
Alan Power again showed his threat just after the hour mark as he found space to run at the Mansfield back four.
But Stags stood firm with Geohaghon and Dempster crowding him out before clearing the danger.
A minute later defender Tom Miller just failed to get on the end of a inswinging free-kick by Power at the back post as David Holdsworth's went in search of a third.
But The Imps found that potentially decisive third goal just a minute later when Taylor burst forward superbly on the counter attack from inside his own half.
Despite the best efforts of Lindon Meikle to track back, Taylor unleashed a fierce effort across goal which was parried by Redmond.
The unmarked Power then showed his cleverness as well as skill to be in the perfect position to fire home the rebound high into the unguarded net after 66 mins to the delight of the home faithful.
It was the latest incident throughout the second half that the increasingly dominant Lincoln had found joy down the Mansfield flanks.
Boss Paul Cox threw on Jake Speight on 72 minutes as he looked to breath some much needed pace and firepower into his faltering attack.
Louis Briscoe earned a corner for the visitors on 75 minutes after his goalbound shot was blocked.
Tom Miller then hit the bar from Dan Gray's pass in the 83 minute with a spectacular overhead kick as Lincoln came close to wrapping their third round passage up.
But two minutes into stoppage time Mansfield Town found the most unlikely of equalisers when subsistute Matt Rhead rose majestically to power home past the despairing Farman and earn Stags another bite of the cherry.
John Thompson then saved Stags with the last action of the game when he headed a Vadaine Oliver header off the line to earn a replay.
LINCOLN CITY : Farman, Gray, Boyce, Miller, Gilbert, Mills, Fofana, Smith (Oliver 87 mins), Sheridan, Power, Taylor. Subs not used: Robson, Oliver, Nicolau, Bassele, Larkin, Morgan, Turner.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Redmond, Thompson, Dempster, Geohaghon, Beevers, Clements, Murray, Briscoe, Meikle (Rhead 85 mins), Green, Hutchinson (Speight 72 mins). Subs not used: Sutton, Jones, Wright, Howell, Stevenson:
Referee: Mark Haywood.
ATTENDANCE: 4,127 (1176 away).
STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Louis Briscoe
Late hero Rhead puts Christmas party on ice
Monday, December 03, 2012 Nottingham Post report by Stevie Roden
CHRISTMAS is cancelled.
Well, for a week anyway.
Not that the Stags players care, after all, they are still in the FA Cup and a replay away from a potential third round tie with Liverpool.
As they made their way to their cars at Lincoln on Saturday, a few of the lads joked to Matt Rhead how he was their 'hero' following his last-gasp header making it 3-3 to force an FA Cup second round replay.
But they also ribbed him for ruining their night out this coming Saturday as their Christmas bash has been cancelled to allow them to prepare for the replay a few days later. It will now go ahead the following weekend.
However, they were just delighted the FA Cup dream lives on after a pulsating encounter at Sincil Bank.
In fact, by the time Paul Cox pulled up at the One Call Stadium this morning, his blood pressure might just have returned to normal.
The Mansfield Town manager could easily have been sat in his office ruing how basic errors had seen his side dumped out of the FA Cup by Lincoln in a see-saw game.
But thanks to his old faithful Rhead, the adventure is not over just yet.
It was pure FA Cup with goals, mistakes by both sides, a great atmosphere, a stunning goal and twists and turns until the last whistle.
But Cox and his players knew that, backed by almost 1,200 fans, a poor performance and defeat could have turned things ugly following scenes at Matlock a few days earlier when his side crashed out of the FA Trophy to a late goal in their replay, the Stags fans behind the dugout venting their vitriol at Cox, one escorted away by police.
Any kind of slip-up or poor showing is leading to fierce criticism, despite Stags sitting seventh in the league and in a local derby, with a highly-charged crowd, Cox knew the pressure-levels would be cranked up another notch on Saturday.
And heading for defeat as the game went into stoppage-time, the manager would have wondered what he had to do, given the goals conceded were easily avoidable.
But the burly figure of Rhead, his trusted striker at Eastwood who has joined him in north Nottinghamshire, did what he did best by causing a nuisance after coming off the bench, putting his head where it hurts and taking his chance.
From frustrated Stags fans to sheer jubilation in the far corner of the ground. No abuse, just smiles as it set up their weekend nicely, knowing they were in the hat for the big third round draw the following day.
The truth is, this was a much-improved performance, as Cox made eight changes and reverted back to the side that had been serving him so well before the Matlock debacle. It was just a shame that basic defensive errors almost became their undoing.
The lead came on 21 minutes for Mansfield as Matt Green hustled last man Andrew Boyce and the defender played a short back pass which Green ran onto, beat goalkeeper Paul Farman to it, tapped it around the goalkeeper and then kept his composure to slot home.
Minutes later another defensive lapse saw Farman race out but he did not get to the ball and, wide on the left, Green fired first-time but the ball struck the bottom of the far post and went behind.
But instead of seeing out the half, Stags gave away a free kick on the edge of their own box on the stroke of half time.
And midfielder Alan Power curled the free kick beyond the wall and into the bottom corner with his former Nottingham Forest colleague Shane Redmond at full stretch to his left.
It was a huge blow but it got worse as, two minutes after the break, Stags were behind as Dan Gray's long throw-in from the left caused problems again and after Jamie Taylor's first shot was saved by Redmond, he followed up, scrambling across the floor to score.
But Stags were level shortly after when Chris Clements' free kick was headed out but only as far as Louis Briscoe and as it bounced, the winger struck it left footed from 20 yards straight into the top corner. It was a screamer to level matters against the club managed by David Holdsworth, the ex-Stag boss who have him his chance with Mansfield.
But on 65 minutes, Lincoln scored on the break from a Stags throw in. Taylor broke at pace, skipped between two Stags players and darted down the entire pitch, into the box but Redmond, diving to his left, palmed away his shot only for Power to pounce on the rebound and put Lincoln ahead.
It led to a spell of pressure from the hosts, with Redmond keeping out Power's free kick and Tom Miller rattling the crossbar.
But in stoppage time came Rhead's equaliser, heading home Briscoe's cross but there was more drama at the death, as Briscoe cleared Vadaine Oliver's header off the line.
It was not one for the feint hearted, that's for sure.
While Christmas celebrations have been put on hold, at least their FA Cup dream is not over.
And, when it comes to the players' delayed festive bash, they will hope it's a double celebration, with a date with Liverpool also in the bag
Imps thwarted by last-gasp Rhead
Read more: http://www.lincoln.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=301561#ixzz2DsqMhZ19
The spoils of war were cruelly snatched from Lincoln City's grasp in the dying embers of a pulsating FA Cup second-round clash as sub Matt Rhead's header deep into injury-time denied the Imps a definite place in the third round and salvaged a 3-3 draw for Mansfield.
The 4,000 patrons crammed into Sincil Bank witnessed a blood and thunder Cup tie that ebbed one way and then the other as honours were ultimately shared in a six-goal thriller that saw the Stags let off the hook.
Mansfield gained the upper hand midway through the first half through a sloppy piece of defending by Andrew Boyce, who sold goalkeeper Paul Farman short with a back pass that was latched on to by Matt Green. He knocked the ball round the City keeper and ran on to slot it into an empty net.
City huffed and puffed for the most part in the first half, seemingly unable to come to terms with the enormity of the task in hand, the side looking a pale shadow of the one that recently enjoyed a 10-game unbeaten spell.
Lincoln boss David Holdsworth, formerly of Mansfield's fair parish, reverted back to the starting XI that had served him so well during that unbeaten run, with Boyce, Jamie Taylor, Gary Mills, Dan Gray and Jake Sheridan all returning to the side after being left out for the FA Trophy clash at Tamworth.
But City's hearts and minds were elsewhere for much of the first half as they struggled to produce any creativity, although ex-Stag Adam Smith should have done better with an early effort that he scuffed into the ground when well placed in the visitors' box. With a point to prove against his former employers, that effort about summed up the winger's afternoon.
The Mansfield goal hardly brought City to life and they continued to toil, being overrun in the centre of the park, while the two widemen in Smith and Sheridan couldn't get a foot on the ball for long enough to spark any momentum.
Mansfield should have been reduced to 10 man before the break, but defender John Dempster somehow evaded even a caution for two cynical fouls, the first of which saw him and Sheridan square up after the Imps winger had been scythed down in full flow.
Taylor was doing his best up front against the man mountain figure of Exodus Geohagon, winning headers, harrying, chasing and holding the ball up, but carving a lone furrow as his colleagues failed to give him the support he needed.
But just as a half-time rollicking from Holdsworth appeared imminent, City won a free-kick just outside the Stags box and up stepped Alan Power to drive a shot through the wall and into Shane Redmond's bottom left-hand corner to haul the Imps level in a match they had failed to get out of third gear in.
A rejuvenated City came out like hungry wolves at the second half and within two minutes took the lead when Taylor notched his 12th goal of the season with a header from close range after a ball was slung into the box.
From playing like paupers, City were now in a princely position, but the goal stung Town into action and they hit back minutes later with Louis Briscoe delivering a rocket of a shot into the top corner, with Farman helpless. On another day, Briscoe's shot would have sailed over the bar and Stacey West stand, but his luck was in on this occasion and he saw the net bulge.
Both sides upped the tempo and City especially were looking a much improved outfit from the one that had limped in at half-time. With a backline looking increasingly susceptible, Lincoln sensed they could grab another goal and it came from a wonderful piece of play from Taylor.
Picking the ball up just outside his own area, Taylor went on a mazy run that saw him run the length of the field. With Sheridan in support and unmarked, he opted to shoot across goal, with Redmond diving to his left to keep the ball out. He could only parry Taylor's effort, though, and there was a grateful Power on hand to hit the rebound, albeit unconvincingly, into the ground and towards goal with just enough power and venom to beat the Stags defender who had got back on to the goalline.
Ciry sensed a fourth to kill Paul Cox's men off and it nearly came. After Boyce had nodded narrowly wide, Power tested Redmond with a low, vicious free-kick, that the Town keeper did well to save. Tom Miller then crashed a header against the Mansfield bar as the visitors' defence threatened to buckle once more. With the minutes beginning to tick down, City fans began to cast their minds forward to Sunday's draw and entering the four minutes of added-on time, Lincoln were almost home and dry.
Mansfield, though, pushed forward one last time and it seemed like Farman had averted the danger when saving well from Rhead after a free-kick was delivered into the box following a foul by Mills. But the ball came straight back into the box and it was met by the rotund Rhead who thumped his header into the back of the net to draw the visitors level once more.
Even then there was still time for City to nearly win it, when sub Vadaine Oliver's header was hacked off the line by John Thompson, before the derby encounter came to an end, with both sides having to do it all again in just over a week's time.
So, for the third round in a row, City have been taken to a reply after drawing the initial match at home and they will be looking to secure a third away win in the competition and hopefully set up a dream tie against a Premier League giant
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