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STAGS OUT OF LEAGUE CUP DESPITE GOOD PERFORMANCE
14th August 2016 23:56


English Football League Cup - Round 1
Mansfield Town 1 - 3 Blackburn Rovers
M.Rose 48. Stokes 29, 55, Duffy 53.
Attendance: 2885 (566 from Blackburn)

Date: 9 August 2016

STAGS OUT OF LEAGUE CUP DESPITE GOOD PERFORMANCE

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town put in a good performance in the first round of the League Cup at home to Championship side Blackburn Rovers, but were beaten 3-1 as two goals in 2 minutes in the second half killed the Stags off just after Mitch Rose had deservedly drawn the Stags level. Blackburn led in the first half through a fortunate shot from Anthony Stokes that would have been straight at Scott Shearer but for a deflection of Lee Collins.

Anyone who watched Adam Murray’s video interview on Monday on StagsPlayerHD would have been left in no doubt that he was prioritising the league over the league cup, and I expected more than the 4 changes he made for yesterday’s game. Rested were Saturday’s three goalscorers Green, Danny Rose and Hurst. With Pat Hoban out injured, Murray started with no recognised strikers, and instead played CJ Hamilton up front, with Hemmings and Baxendale either side and just behind. In some respects it worked well and Mansfield played some good football, but they undoubtedly missed a cutting edge in attack. Hamilton showed great pace up front and created two excellent chances for himself in the opening 15 minutes, but fired wide on both occasions. Mansfield also went close in the first half through Chris Clements with two long range shots and a header, and a crisp strike from Mal Benning. Mansfield’s football was pleasing on the eye in the first half, and Shearer just had one save to make, getting down low to save from the impressive Stokes, who also scored the goal, though it wouldn’t have beaten Shearer without a deflection from Collins. Stokes, the former Hibs striker, oozed Championship class, as did the much travelled Danny Graham, and Ben Marshall, but the Stags matched them. After Mitch Rose had levelled for Mansfield heading in from a Benning cross that was headed on by Hamilton, Blackburn went up the gears and scored twice in two minutes, on 53 and 55 minutes to seal the game. Mansfield generally defended well through the game, but these two goals were disappointing with a header from a corner then a header from a cross. Murray brought on Green and Danny Rose for the final 20 minutes but the Stags were unable to get back into the game.

FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE

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MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 1, Blackburn Rovers 3
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk, Tuesday 09 August 2016

Two goals inside two second half minutes saw Championship club Blackburn Rovers finally kill off Mansfield Town’s hopes of an upset as the Stags lost 3-1 in tonight’s EFL Cup first round clash at One Call Stadium.

Playing with the pace of winger CJ Hamilton up front, Mansfield unsettled their visitors with an unexpected line-up and caused them plenty of problems in an even first half.

But the visitors were ahead at the break through Anthony Stokes’ deflected finish on 29 minutes.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-report-mansfield-town-1-blackburn-rovers-3-1-8059768

Mitch Rose headed Stags level three minutes after the break. But two defensive lapses on 53 minutes and 55 minutes saw the Championship side capitalise with headers by Shane Duffy and Stokes, with his third goal in two games, to kill off the underdogs.

Mansfield played an experimental line-up without a recognised front man which meant four changes from the side that won Saturday’s opener at Newport.

Out went George Taft, Matt Green, Kevan Hurst and Danny Rose and in came James Baxendale, Karl Howkins, CJ Hamilton and Ashley Hemmings with Hemmings and Baxendale supporting the pace of Hamilton.

They ended the game with three strikers on as substitutes, but the damage was already done.

Rovers, looking to quickly put Saturday’s opening 4-1 home disaster against Norwich behind them, brought in Gordon Greer, Stokes, Jack Byrne, Craig Conway and Stephen Hendrie.

Ward and Bennett missed out with injury and Feeney, Henley and Akpan dropped to the bench.

Stags had a chance after just two minutes as a poor Duffy backpass allowed Hamilton to latch onto it and nip into the left of the box only to see him slot low and wide of the near post.

But Chapman was sold short with a pass on six minutes and Byrne robbed him and fed Marshall for a low shot that Shearer managed to parry.

Howkins then got his body in the way of a Conway piledriver. Soon after Conway cut in from the left and set up Lenihan to his right for a 20 yard shot that Shearer was always behind.

On 13 minutes Clements let fly from 25 yards with a low shot that wasn’t too far wide. A minute later Hamilton tricked his way inside Greer but pulled his low finish wide of the near post.

Clements wasn’t far wide once again on 18 minutes from a 25 yard free kick. Bennett put his side in trouble with a poor backpass, Shearer there first to prevent Graham capitalising.

However, it was Rovers who drew first blood on 29 minutes as Stokes cut into the left of the box from a Graham flick and saw his low shot deflect against Howkins and spin off into the net inside the right hand post.

Clements headed over and a long Benning cross-cum-shot dropped just wide of the far post as Mansfield continued to press, but the visitors held out to the break with their noses in front.

But it only took the Stags three minutes to square the game on the restart. Benning crossed long from the left and Rose got up well to direct his header inside the back post.

Rovers’ response was quick and deadly as on 53 minutes Conway’s right wing corner saw Duffy unmarked to power home a bullet header from six yards.

Stags were then stung by a second goal in as many minutes as Marshall floated in a right wing cross and Duffy jumped highest to glance a header past Shearer.

Baxendale was too high and Chapman wide as Stags looked for a way back while Shearer had to get behind a low, first time Marshall drive.

With 20 minutes to go Stags threw on striker pair Green and Danny Rose in place of CJ Hamilton and Baxendale.

Then Hakeem took over from Clements on 75 minutes as Stags desperately looked for a way back.

Stokes almost completed a hat-trick near the end but saw his deflected shot hit the underside of the home bar and fail to cross the line.

STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Benning, Collins, Howkins, Chapman, Clements (Hakeem 75), Baxendale (Green 70), Hamilton (Danny Rose 70), Hemmings, M. Rose. Subs not used: Jensen, Taft, Hurst, McGuire.

BLACKBURN: Steele, Greer, Lowe, Byrne, Stokes, Marshall, Graham (Mahoney 80), Hendrie (Henley 72), Duffy, Lenihan, Conway (Feeney 68). Subs not used: Raya, Akpan, Guthrie, Wharton.

REFEREE: Stephen Martin of Staffordshire.

ATTENDANCE:

CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Ashley Hemmings.

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mansfieldtown.net Report: Stags 1-3 Blackburn

Mansfield Town bowed out of the EFL Cup after a quick fire double by Blackburn Rovers was enough to book their place in the next round.

Stags levelled the round one tie shortly after half-time as Mitchell Rose’s header cancelled out Anthony Stokes’ first-half deflected strike.

But two goals in as many minutes put Blackburn in the driving seat.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/fixtures-results/match-report/index.aspx?matchid=3932001&tcmuri=3233666#Pd5CGK3ZCeQLYrcl.99

It was a gallant effort by Stags against the former English champions, now members of the English Football League Championship.

Mansfield boss Adam Murray made four changes from the line-up which faced Newport on Saturday in Sky Bet League Two in a 3-2 win.

Kyle Howkins, on loan from West Brom, made his full debut at centre-half while there were also starts for James Baxendale, CJ Hamilton and Ashley Hemmings.

It meant that defender George Taft, midfielder Kevan Hurst and attacking pair Matt Green and Danny Rose were moved to the substitutes’ bench.

And it was one of Stags’ new boys who should have tested the Rovers’ goalkeeper within the opening 90 seconds.

Connecting first to a back pass to the visiting goalkeeper, CJ Hamilton raced towards the box but his shot from the left flew wide.

Scott Shearer, the Stags goalkeeper, was called upon for the first time with six minutes played.

Adam Chapman was dispossessed in midfield, allowing Jack Byrne to lay it to the advancing Ben Marshall, whose low drive inside the Stags’ box was denied one handed by Scott Shearer.

Darragh Lenihan tested Shearer again three minutes later with a curling hit, but it was a more comfortable stop for the Glaswegian shot stopper.

Blackburn tried to build pressure and Stags’ centre half Kyle Howkins had to head behind just in front of his own goal line after a dangerous right wing cross by Blackburn.

Stags looked confident when heading forward and only mis-aimed shooting prevented Jason Steele from making a save.

After good work by Mitchell Rose, fellow midfielder Chris Clements struck wide of goal from 25 yards.

On 14 minutes, CJ Hamilton skipped away from defender Shane Duffy to fire the wrong side of the post from inside the visiting area.

Stags had Blackburn rocking at points in the first half, and Hamilton pounced again on another wayward back pass but his subsequent strike was blocked.

Moments later, Mal Benning was fouled to earn Stags a free kick 25 yards from goal. Up stepped Chris Clements to float it right-footed over the wall, but he couldn’t find the target.

There was a nervy moment midway inside the first half when Rhys Bennett played a loose pass back to Scott Shearer, almost allowing a Blackburn player to intercept. But the shot stopper was quickest to react.

Shearer could do little about Blackburn’s opening goal on 29 minutes.

Anthony Stokes played a one-two to cut into the penalty area and his goalward effort deflected off Lee Collins to deceive Shearer and roll into the far corner of the net.

Despite conceding, Stags were playing some eye-catching football, and were close to converting on 39 minutes. A neat four man move, involving Chris Clements, CJ Hamilton, James Baxendale and Mal Bennng saw the latter’s dipping cross-cum-shot fly inches away from goal.

But it took Stags only two and a half minutes to find the net after half-time.

Benning delivered from the left and amidst a packed penalty area Mitchell Rose climbed highest to plant his header beyond a despairing Steele.

Stags’ lead lasted five minutes as Blackburn restored their advantage on 53 when Shane Duffy powered his header into the net after connecting well from Conway’s corner.

Blackburn made sure of the cup win just two minutes later as Marshall assisted with a right footed assist into the box, allowing Stokes to direct his header beyond Shearer from outside the goal area.

As the game approached the hour, Marshall blasted it towards goal, stinging the palms of Shearer who claimed aerially at the second attempt.

On 64, Baxendale received the ball from Clements, before arrowing over at the North Stand end of the stadium.

At the other side of the pitch, Graham sped beyond the Stags’ defence who recovered well, forcing Graham to pull it back for Marshall, only for him to strike low at Shearer.

Chapman then arrowed an effort off target before Stags’ made a double change with 21 minutes of normal time remaining.

Stags’ boss Adam Murray introduced the striking pair of Matt Green and Danny Rose, who replaced CJ Hamilton and James Baxendale.

With 74 minutes played, Mal Benning, known for scoring spectacular goals, let fly from 25 yards with power and purpose, but his effort flew behind for a goal kick.

Before Rovers' 'keeper Steele could pump the ball downfield, teenager striker Zayn Hakeem took his place amongst the 11, replacing Chris Clements. '

The move saw Stags field three attackers in the last 15 minutes in a bid for a goal.

Late on, Chapman had a crack with a stinging drive, whilst Mal Benning made the keeper work from a 25-yard free kick.

In the 89th minute, Anthony Stokes, Rovers' chief tormentor, struck a shot which rattled the bar with the aid of a deflection.

Scott Shearer did well to get down quickly to a Liam Feeney effort in added on time to keep the deficit in tact.

STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Collins, Howkins, Benning, Chapman, Clements (Hakeem 75), Baxendale (D. Rose 69), M. Rose, Hemmings, Hamilton (Green 69)

UNUSED SUBS: Jensen, Taft, McGuire, Hurst

ROVERS: Steele, Greer, Lowe, Byrne, Stokes, Marshall, Graham (Mahoney 80), Hendrie (Henley 73), Duffy, Lenihan, Conway (Feeney 68)

UNUSED SUBS: Raya, Akpan, Guthrie, Wharton

ATTENDANCE: 2,885 (566)

SPONSORS' MAN OF THE MATCH: Kyle Howkins

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FULL-TIME REPORT: Mansfield Town 1 Blackburn Rovers 3
lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, Paul Wheelock, Blackburn Rovers reporter

NEW number nine Anthony Stokes made it three goals in two games as Rovers ended their recent wretched record in the English Football League Cup with an ultimately comfortable victory at Field Mill.

Fresh from scoring in Saturday’s desperately disappointing opening day Championship defeat the summer signing from Celtic broke the deadlock in the 29th minute.

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/rovers/news/14671965.FULL_TIME_REPORT__Mansfield_Town_1_Blackburn_Rovers_3/?ref=mac

The League Two Stags equalised three minutes into the second half through Mitchell Rose to raise fears in the travelling support that they were about to see their side suffer a sixth successive defeat to lower-division opposition in the competition the club famously won in 2002.

But Rovers roared back and two headed goals in the space of two minutes, the first in the 53rd through Shane Duffy and the second from Stokes almost immediately after, settled those fears and the first-round tie.

Owen Coyle’s side were not only looking to bounce back from their humbling at the hands of Norwich City but also record their first win in the League Cup since October 2011.

To that end, and unlike his predecessors Gary Bowyer and Steve Kean, Rovers boss Coyle named a strong starting line-up showing five changes to the team that started the 4-1 home loss to the Canaries.

Gordon Greer, Jack Byrne and Stokes were handed their first starts for the club after impressing off the bench on Saturday while there was also a full debut for fellow new boy Stephen Hendrie and a recall for fit-again Craig Conway.

But it was one of the players who kept their place who so nearly gifted Mansfield a second-minute goal.

Duffy sold goalkeeper Jason Steele short with an under-hit back pass which allowed CJ Hamilton to race clear.

But with just Steele to beat the speedy Stags striker badly clipped the ball wide of the near post.

Hamilton caused Rovers plenty of problems in an open and even first half and, after shrugging off Greer’s attentions, he should have done better than drag a shot wide.

At the other end Steele’s opposite number Scott Shearer got down low to keep out an effort from Ben Marshall after Byrne won the ball and played the right-winger in with a lovely through pass.

Byrne, the on-loan Manchester City midfielder, looked a class above in the first half as he picked up possession off the centre-backs and attempted to orchestrate attacks from deep.

Another of his sharp passes sent Conway scampering down the left and he sent over a cross that Marshall should have headed on target.

Some of Byrne’s team-mates, however, were not as careful in possession before the break and Chris Clements fired two long-range attempts wide before Rovers went in front.

Danny Graham played in his strike-partner on the edge of the area and Stokes switched the ball on to his right foot before beating Shearer with the aid of a big deflection.

A Duncan McKenzie goal was enough to earn Rovers a 1-0 victory the last time the two clubs met in April 1980.

But Mansfield were level in the 48th minute as Mal Benning stood up a cross to the back post where Rose looped a header into the top corner. It was a good finish but poor defending.

Rovers’ response, though, was impressive, and they regained the advantage when Duffy powered a header past Shearer from an outswinging Conway corner to open his account for the campaign.

And two minutes later the lead was extended as Marshall picked out Stokes inside the six-yard area and the on-fire forward nodded past the exposed keeper.

Rovers had stepped up a gear and were threatening to blow the Stags away with Marshall twice testing Shearer from the right.

Stokes went close to completing his hat-trick, and a perfect one at that, cutting inside on to his left foot and seeing a deflected shot hit the bar, before substitute Shearer saved from substitute Liam Feeney.

But there was to be no further scoring as the Ewood Park outfit booked their place in the second round for the first time in four years.

MATCH FACTS

Mansfield: Shearer, Bennett, Benning, Collins, Howkins, Chapman, Clements (Hakeem 75), Baxendale (D Rose 70), Hamilton (Green 70), Hemmings, M Rose. Subs not used: Subs not used: Jensen, Taft, Hurst, McGuire.

Goal: M Rose 48.

Rovers: Steele, Lowe, Duffy, Greer, Hendrie (Henley 72), Conway (Feeney 68), Lenihan, Byrne, Marshall, Graham (Mahoney 80), Stokes. Subs not used: Raya, Akpan, Guthrie, Wharton.

Booked: Byrne.

Goals: Stokes 29, 55, Duffy 53.

Referee: Stephen Martin.

Attendance: Attendance is 2,885 (566 away).

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