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Season 19/20 Stagsnet Match Report
The Emirates FA Cup - Round One
Mansfield Town  
1 - 0
 Chorley
Maynard 81
 
 
Attendance: 2418 (245 from Chorley)
 
Date: 9 November 2019

STAGS THROUGH IN FA CUP DESPITE POOR PERFORMANCE

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town are through to the second round of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over Chorley at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. It took an 81st minute header from top scorer Nicky Maynard, who nodded in from close range after substitute Jacob Mellis’ shot had been parried by Chorley keeper Matt Urwin, to win the game. Chorley are bottom of the Conference with only 1 win in their 20 games this season, but the Stags made very heavy of beating them and in truth this was a poor performance. Indeed so poor was it that the Stags were booed off at the final whistle for the first time after winning a game at home since 2011 when Mansfield struggled to a 3-2 home win over 9 man Alfreton Town in the Conference with an abysmal performance.
The first half was an even affair and neither goalkeeper had a save to make. The Stags had plenty of the ball but it was too pedestrian with precious little action inside the Chorley box.
Into the second half and Mansfield at last had three good chances in four minutes from the 51st minute. Firstly Kellan Gordon played a great back-heel into the path of Alex MacDonald who beat his man before firing into the side netting. Then Nicky Maynard laid off to Andy Cook who forced his way into the area but he took too long to shoot and the chance was gone. Finally a really good move from the Stags involving Gordon, Maynard, Mal Benning, Will Tomlinson, Maynard again, then Benning again who teed up Maynard for a shot from 15 yards which hit a defender on the edge of the 6 yard box as the Stags appealed in vain for a penalty for handball. The first save of the game for either keeper came after 64 minutes as Neal Bishop’s shot from 20 yards was pushed away by Matt Urwin. The Stags went close when Benning’s cross shot from 22 yards was slid wide at the far post by sub Danny Rose, though Rose was ruled offside.
Mansfield had lacked creative quality going forward, having started two predominantly defensive midfielders in Neal Bishop and Will Tomlinson, in central midfield, which I think would make sense against a top side away from home, but not at home to the side bottom of the Conference. I had expected Jacob Mellis and CJ Hamilton to start. It turned out that Mellis had been ill during the week so leaving him on the bench at the start was a reasonable decision. But Hamilton, in my opinion, should have been on a lot earlier than 64 minutes when he finally replaced MacDonald. Mellis was given the last 12 minutes of the game and made an almost instant impact.
But not before Stags keeper Conrad Logan made his one and only save of the game after 80 minutes when Marcus Carver dinked a delicious cross from the right to the far post where Lewis Baines was left in three yards of space by Matt Preston to head towards the roof of the net and Logan leapt superbly to turn it over the bar. From the video, it may have been going over the bar anyway, but it was still a great save from Logan and dreadful defending from Preston.
Just as at Walsall two weeks ago when Logan made a great save, the Stags went straight to the other end and scored the winner within a minute. Benning fed Hamilton on the left, Hamilton cut into the area and pulled back to Mellis who hit a first time left-footed shot from 23 yards, it bounced just in front of the keeper and he could only scoop the ball up for goalpoacher Maynard to head into the net from 4 yards. Maynard’s 7th goal of the season, taking him level with Rose as top goalscorer.
In stoppage time, Chorley had a couple of corners, throwing their keeper up for them, but didn’t look like scoring and the Stags were through.
Not too many positives in terms of performances from Stags players. Logan had one save to make and did it very well, also doing well to punch away a couple of crosses. Sweeney was the pick of the defence. Khan had a positive first half. Mellis and Hamilton contributed well as substitutes. And it was great to see Danny Rose back from injury. And of course Maynard scored, enough to earn him the sponsor’s man of the match.
Looking back to the 2012-13 season the Stags needed penalties to get past lowly Slough on their way to a third round tie with Liverpool. Everyone of a Stags persuasion will be hoping something similar might happen again as a good cup run could bring some much needed momentum. The draw for round 2 is at 7pm on Monday.

The break from the league continues on Tuesday as Mansfield visit Burton Albion in the Leasing.com Trophy. A reminder that a win for Mansfield will see them progress from the group stage, but a draw (with or without the extra point in a penalty shoot-out) or a defeat will see Mansfield go out. The match will surely see much-needed game time for the likes of Olejnik, Smith, Mellis, Sterling-James, Hamilton, Afolayan, Rose and Knowles.

Mansfield made one change from the side that lost to Colchester. Mansfield were not given permission by Leeds to play on-loan Conor Shaughnessy. In came Tomlinson. Mellis and Hamilton remained on the bench despite impressing as subs last week. It transpired that Mellis had been ill during the week so leaving him on the bench at the start was a reasonable decision. Rose returned from injury to the squad. Again no place on the bench for Afolayan.

Chorley included new loan signing Charles Vernam from Grimsby. They also included Nortei Nortey, who played a game on trial for the Stags in 2015.

Despite plenty of flooding around in the East Midlands after heavy rain in the second half of the week, the pitch was in great condition again. Credit to the groundstaff. Indeed, they watered the pitch before the game and at half time!

Before the game, the Last Post was played beautifully again, as it was last week, to remember the fallen, and Stags owner John Radford laid a wreath on the pitch.


Chorley came out of the traps quickly. After 2 minutes, a throw-in came out to Challinor on the edge of the area and he slashed a shot high and wide. A minute later Massanka got into the area on the right, played the ball into Smith whose shot was blocked by Bishop.

After 8 minutes, good play by Benning and Khan to win a free kick which was wasted. After 11 minutes, Maynard did well to win a free kick outside the area on the left. Khan’s free kick deflected off the wall.

Khan broke forward after 13 minutes, played the ball to Bishop who had a chance to shoot but elected to pass and put his pass out for a throw-in. Poor play from Bishop.

After 16 minutes, Massanka had a shot deflected for a corner. Sweeney fouled Massanka just outside the D after 20 minutes. Blakeman’s free kick was just wide of the right post.

MacDonald tried his luck with a shot from fully 35 yards after 23 minutes but it was wide of the left post. Two minutes later, a ridiculous backpass from Bishop as he headed back to Logan from 35 yards out and it only just got there as a Chorley player tried to intercept.

Khan got to the byline and crossed for Maynard who headed over the bar after 31 minutes.

After 36 minutes, Bishop played a great ball forward, MacDonald tried to control it and would have had a 1-on-1 with the keeper, but the ball just escaped from him. A minute later, Khan chipped in a good cross from the left which seemed to be heading for Maynard until it flicked off a defender.

Mansfield’s best move of the half after 38 minutes, MacDonald found Gordon overlapping, Gordon cut inside and shot over the bar. Then another good move a minute later MacDonald found Maynard, back to MacDonald on the right, MacDonald shot wide of the right post.

Maynard turned and shot from 30 yards after 43 minutes but it was blocked. He was trying to take things into his own hands having had precious little service. A minute later, Khan cut inside from the left onto his right foot and fired well wide and over.

The first half was an even affair and neither goalkeeper had a save to make. The Stags had plenty of the ball but it was too pedestrian with precious little action inside the Chorley box. Khan was Mansfield’s best player. Boos at half time from the home fans as the players came off.

Half time 0-0

Logan did well to punch away a corner after 47 minutes.

Mansfield at last had three good chances in four minutes from the 51st minute. Firstly Kellan Gordon played a great back-heel into the path of Alex MacDonald who beat his man before firing into the side netting. Then Nicky Maynard laid off to Andy Cook who forced his way into the area but he took too long to shoot and the chance was gone. Finally a really good move from the Stags involving Gordon, Maynard, Mal Benning, Will Tomlinson, Maynard again, then Benning again who teed up Maynard for a shot from 15 yards which hit defender Ross on the edge of the 6 yard box as the Stags appealed in vain for a penalty for handball. From the pitchside video, the ball did indeed hit Ross’s arm, but it was down by his side.

After 57 minutes, Tomlinson found Gordon whose cross-shot was just over the bar. Two minutes later, Maynard attempted an overhead kick from a cross from the right but didn’t make contact.

The first save of the game for either keeper came after 64 minutes as Neal Bishop’s shot from 20 yards was pushed away by Matt Urwin. Khan had teed Bishop up for the shot.

Hamilton replaced MacDonald after 64 minutes.

Gordon won a free kick level with the edge of the area after 71 minutes. But the free kick was cleared.

Rose replaced Cook after 72 minutes.

A chance for Rose almost immediately, Sweeney played a good ball forward, Khan got to the byline and pulled back to Rose who completely miskicked.

The Stags went close on 76 minutes when Benning’s cross shot from 22 yards was slid wide at the far post by Rose, though Rose was ruled offside.

Mellis was given the last 12 minutes of the game, coming on for Tomlinson after 78 minutes, and made an almost instant impact.

But not before Stags keeper Conrad Logan made his one and only save of the game after 80 minutes when Marcus Carver dinked a delicious cross from the right to the far post where Lewis Baines was left in three yards of space by Matt Preston to head towards the roof of the net and Logan leapt superbly to turn it over the bar. From the video, it may have been going over the bar anyway, but it was still a great save from Logan and dreadful defending from Preston.

Just as at Walsall two weeks ago when Logan made a great save, the Stags went straight to the other end and scored the winner within a minute. Benning fed Hamilton on the left, Hamilton cut into the area and pulled back to Mellis who hit a first time left-footed shot from 23 yards, it bounced just in front of the keeper and he could only scoop the ball up for goalpoacher Maynard to head into the net from 4 yards. Maynard’s 7th goal of the season, taking him level with Rose as top goalscorer.

After 88 minutes, Sweeney did well to put a cross behind for a corner.

In stoppage time, Chorley had a couple of corners and a long throw-in, throwing their keeper up for them, but didn’t look like scoring as the Stags defended resolutely and the Stags were through.

Man of the match: Otis Khan/Conrad Logan


Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill



Line Up:
(4-4-2)
Logan 7 Superb save just a minute before the Stags went up the other end to score. Also did well to punch away a couple of crosses.
Gordon 6.5 Involved in a few good moves. Great back-heel to set up a chance for MacDonald.
Preston 6 Left Baines in three yards of space to head towards the roof of the net and was rescued by Logan. Otherwise defended well.
Sweeney 7 The pick of the defence.
Benning 6.5 Involved in some good moves, including the build-up to the goal. Cross-shot was slid wide by Rose.
MacDonald 5.5 One or two good pieces of play. Replaced after 64 minutes.
Tomlinson 6 Ok on his first start for some while. Created little.
Bishop 5.5 Had the first shot to test either keeper, after 64 minutes! One dreadful backpass. One good ball forward for MacDonald.
Khan 7 Positive first half, virtually the only positive. Created a couple of chance in the second half too.
Maynard 7 Goalpoacher’s goal, his 7th goal of the season, taking him level with Rose as top goalscorer.
Cook 6 Had just one chance when he forced his way into the area but took too long to shoot and the chance was gone. Otherwise received little service.
Sub Line Up:
Hamilton (for MacDonald, 64 mins) - Good play in the build-up to the goal.
Rose (for Cook, 72 mins) - Great to see him back from injury.
Mellis (for Tomlinson, 78 mins) - Good shot which led to the goal. Had been ill during the week otherwise would surely have started.
Subs not used: Olejnik, Smith, Sterling-James, Knowles.
Opposition Line Up:
(5-3-2): Urwin; Challoner, Ross (A Newby 84), Meppen-Walter, Baines, Blakeman; Cottrell, Smith, Nortey; Massanka (Carver 57), Vernam (Almond 63). Subs not used: O’Keefe, E Newby, Dodds, Eccles.
Referee:
Savvas Yianni 7 Good game. Hardly noticed.


Season 19/20 Reports