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Season 10/11 Stagsnet Match Report
FA Trophy Round 3 replay
Alfreton Town  
1 - 2
 Mansfield Town
Matt Wilson 16.
 Connor 60, Parker 77.
Attendance: 2,131 (869 from Mansfield)
Date: 8 February 2011

Martin Shaw at the Impact Arena


Mansfield got past Alfreton at the second attempt to reach the last eight of the FA Trophy, and earn a quarter-final tie at Evostik Premier League side Chasetown. The Stags were awful in the first half and were deservedly behind to a goal from Matt Wilson following shocking defending from a corner. But the Stags came roaring back in the second half with goals from Paul Connor and a deflected Keigan Parker effort to win the game, as Alfreton faded. The celebrations of the management duo and players showed just how much the thought of a possible trip to Wembley means to the club. With the chances of competing in the end of season play-offs seemingly very slim given the number of points behind fifth place and the improbability of having a ten year lease on Field Mill by 1st March, the FA Trophy is now a vital competition for the season, and this was therefore a massive win.

Mansfield made three changes from the first leg: Dan Spence came in at left-back for his debut in place of the injured Paul Stonehouse. Tom Naylor and Rhys Day came in for Kevin Sandwith, suspended and Steve Foster, ill. While Sandwith was suspended for his red card in the game on Saturday, Alfreton’s Darren Stride was able to play as his suspension would not kick in for 14 days, due to different rules for players at Conference North/South level and below. Alfreton made one change, former Stag Anthony Howell coming in following a three-match ban.

Alfreton had the better of the opening exchanges, but Mansfield were defending well. On 15 minutes, Mansfield got in the first shot on goal when Louis Briscoe teed up Louis Moult, but he sliced wide.

On 16 minutes, it was 1-0 to Alfreton. Laurie Wilson's corner was not cleared and defender Matt Wilson had all the time in the world to take aim and fire into the roof of the net from twelve yards. It was shocking defending, after the team had defended well up to that point.

The Stags were now under pressure. However, an excellent bowl-out from Collett on 28 minutes put Cain away down the right, but his cross was blocked before it could reach Moult. On 30 minutes, Clayton cut inside from the left and fired just wide from 20 yards. On 42 minutes, Naylor’s free-kick from headed on by Day and Briscoe’s shot deflected into the side netting. Then on 44, a good move involving Briscoe and Moult, and the ball was out to Cain on the right, who put in a decent cross but it was cleared. Then on 45, Collett was off his line quickly to clear as Liam Hearn threatened to get in.

It was a terrible first half from the Stags, and the players were booed off. The Stags were second to everything with Darren Stride, playing just in front of the back four, seemingly winning everything.

Half time 1-0

On 47 minutes, Naylor headed over from Cain’s corner. Then on 49, a great move by Stags and Connor headed straight at the keeper from Moult’s fine cross. And on 50, Connor had a great chance but the ball seemed to get stuck under his feet, and the ball was cleared after a mad scramble. As Mansfield kept up the pressure, Moult headed wide, and Briscoe had two shots.

But on 60 minutes it was 1-1. Adam Murray battled well to win the ball and played a great ball to Connor inside the area, and Connor kept his cool to finish low past keeper Turner from 12 yards.

Within a minute, there was a scare for Mansfield as Clayton forced the ball towards goal off Collett, and Silk cleared off the line. Then on 65 minutes Howell tried to find a shooting position, but was crowded out by Silk and fired well wide.

On 68 minutes, Keigan Parker replaced Louis Moult in attack. On 71, Silk lined up a shot but it was blocked.

The Stags took the lead on 77 minutes. Murray won the ball superbly in his own half, before feeding Connor who seemed certain to score with only the goalkeeper to beat. But Turner parried it, it came out to Briscoe who played it wide to Parker, and Parker scored with the aid of a deflection that looped over the keeper and just under the bar. Duncan Russell and Paul Hall and the Stags substitutes celebrated like we haven’t seen them celebrate before, showing just what the lure of Wembley meant to them.

On 81, Connor headed wide from a throw-in. Alfreton had a chance to equalise on 88 minutes, when Jake Moult’s deep cross from the right saw Clayton glance his header wide.

Three minutes of stoppage time were added and the Stags wound the clock down expertly. With two of those minutes played, it should have been 3-1. Briscoe went on a surging run and bundled his way past keeper Turner, but Connor Franklin somehow cleared the ball off the line while facing his own goal.

But soon Mansfield were celebrating a win of massive importance.

Man of the Match: Adam Murray

Report by: Martin Shaw at the Impact Arena

Line Up:
Collett 7 Looking pretty solid in goal now. One great bowl-out that set up an attack.
Silk 7 Got better as the game went on.
Day 7 A welcome return to the side. Solid.
Naylor 7 Good game.
Spence 7 Impressive debut.
Cain 6 Got into good positions, but woeful crossing in the first half.
Thompson 7 Good game in the second half.
Murray 8 The only player to show spirit in the first half. Inspirational, and clearly determined not to be a loser in this game.
Briscoe 7 Didn't get into the game in the first half, but very good in the second half.
Connor 8 Held the ball up well and looked a class act again. Took his goal well. Should have scored again, and got lucky that his miss led to Parker's goal.
Moult 7 Worked hard again.
Sub Line Up:
Parker (for Moult, 68) 7 In the right place to net the winner via a lucky deflection.
Subs not used: Grof, Preece, Nix, Mitchley.
Opposition Line Up:
Turner, L Wilson, M Wilson, Franklin, Brown, Stride (J Moult, 72), J Hall, Howell, Arnold (Dillon, 83), Hearn (Ross, 86), Clayton. Subs not used: Keane, Law.
S Ross (Boston)

Season 10/11 Reports