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8th October 2020 19:20

English Football League Trophy
Mansfield Town 1 - 3 Lincoln City
Menayese 72. Soule 31, Scully 49, Archibald 62.
Attendance: behind closed doors

Date: 6 October 2020

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-1 by Lincoln City at the One Call Stadium in the group stages of the EFL Trophy last night to continue the poor run of results that has seen the Stags fail to win any of the opening 7 league and cup games this season. Both sides were much changed from their last league game, but Mansfield put in a poor performance to be thoroughly outplayed by Lincoln. Lincoln are high on confidence after a tremendous start to the season and despite a much-changed side, it showed as they knocked the ball around neatly, led by their captain Jorge Grant, the former Stags player, who rarely wasted a pass.
The opening half hour of the game was unusual in that neither side created a single chance until the 29th minute. I can’t remember a game when there has been no chance for either side for such a long period. There was not a lot of excitement but Lincoln were certainly well on top in that period, dominating possession.
Lincoln took the lead after 31 minutes when Remy Howarth cut inside James Perch inside the area and fired goalwards. Aidan Stone saved at full stretch but could only push it straight into the path of Jamie Soule, who knocked the ball into the empty net with his knee from close range.
It stayed at 1-0 at half time as Kellan Gordon cleared off the line from a scuffed shot goalwards from Theo Archibald in the final minute of the half. Lincoln deserved their lead with the Stags doing nowhere near enough going forward.
Lincoln nearly increased the lead after 48 minutes as Ryan Sweeney gave the ball away needlessly just inside the Lincoln half and Anthony Scully was put clean through on goal but his shot was saved by Stone with his legs as Soule then put the rebound wide. But the Stags didn’t heed the lesson and within a minute Scully was in acres of space in the area on the right, with neither Mal Benning nor Sweeney anywhere near him, as he fired past Stone and in off the left post.
Lincoln made it 3-0 after 62 minutes with a comedy goal though no-one of a Stags persuasion was laughing. Scully’s long high ball forward from inside his own half was misjudged by Rollin Menayese, hit him on the head as he was looking the other way, and Archibald reacted quickest lifting the loose ball over the onrushing Stone from just inside the area and into the empty net. A calamitous goal.
The only positive of the night for Mansfield was that in the final 25 minutes, with the introduction of substitutes Nicky Maynard and Stephen McLaughlin, the Stags showed a lot more urgency and quality and started to create some reasonable chances. A great run from Maynard after 66 minutes earned a free kick 25 yards out. McLaughlin struck the free kick, it rebounded off the wall to Benning who struck a sweet right-footed shot which was brilliantly tipped just wide by the under-used Lincoln keeper Ethan Ross.
The Stags pulled a goal back after 72 minutes as Benning’s excellent corner from the right was headed into the net by Menayese from four yards. His second goal of the season. Then McLaughlin let fly from distance and his shot was tipped wide. Menayese could have scored again when he headed straight at the keeper from Gordon’s free kick. And the Stags had a double chance to score in the 89th minute as Gordon did well to break into the area and got the ball onto his left foot in space but his shot was blocked and then Harry Charsley did well to get to the byline and pulled back to Jamie Reid who scuffed his shot over the bar.
Whether the Stags’ improvement in the final quarter of the game was because of the urgency injected by substitutes Maynard and McLaughlin, or the change in formation from the manager’s normal 3-5-2 to 4-4-2, or the fact that Lincoln knew the game was already won, is hard to say, but overall Lincoln were worthy comfortable winners.
Very few positives for the Stags to take from this game. None of the players coming in really staked a claim for a place in the side in the league. Benning noticeably upped his game considerably after McLaughlin came on, possibly more comfortable in the changed formation or maybe spurred on by the direct competition for his place in the side. Substitutes Maynard and McLaughlin injected some urgency and quality. The defence was generally disappointing, and all over the pitch the Stags gave the ball away too often.

The Stags are out of the EFL Trophy though still have a group stage game to play against Scunthorpe, who are also out. There will still be £10,000 in prize money to play for in that game.

The Stags will now prepare for a big game in the league against Stevenage on Saturday. Stevenage were reprieved from relegation last season due to the demise of Macclesfield, and although they have made one or two good signings, the Stags will not have a better opportunity to get their first win of the season.



REPORT: Mansfield Town V The Imps

The Imps progressed through to the next round of the EFL Trophy this evening after a convincing win over Mansfield Town at One Call Stadium.

Goals from debutant Jamie Soule, Anthony Scully and Theo Archibald ensured that Michael Appleton’s side progress to the knockout stage with a game to spare along with their final group opponents, Manchester City under 21’s.

Theo Archibald, making his first start in City colours was causing problems down the left from the off as he looked to get the better of former Imps’ loanee Kellan Gordon, The Imps number 14 was showing a real turn of pace and ability to get the ball into the box. Debutant, Jamie Soule was trying to get in behind The Stag’s defence but was also showing good strength with his back to goal. As much as City were dominating proceedings in terms of having more of the ball in attacking areas, when the hosts did get forward they found The Imps’ defence standing strong, giving away nothing like a sniff of a chance.

Jorge Grant was next to have a go for City as he smashed a low, bouncing drive just outside the near post from 20 yards as the Imps continued to knock at the door. Whilst Tyrese Sinclair tried his luck to net against the run of play for Mansfield Town, but his effort flew high over the top in what was their first attempt at goal at this point. City did break the deadlock and it was deserved, Remy Howarth hit a low shot on target which was parried by Aidan stone in the Town goal, it fell to SOULE who did the rest from close range.

Gordan hit an effort on target as the hosts tried to respond immediately, but Ethan Ross was perfectly positioned to stand behind the effort and clutch the ball confidently. Graham Coughlan’s side picked up the pace ahead of the break, having their best spell of the game but there was still no way though.

Tayo Edun rattled the side netting with a rasping drive from the edge of the box as The Imps looked to stretch the lead ahead of the break but the score remained unchanged as the referee blew for half time.

Half Time

Mansfield Town 0 The Imps 1

The hosts came out of the traps quickly pressing forward but it was Anthony Scully who was to add to the scoreline, after being denied once by Stone after being put through on goal, the Irishman wasn’t to be denied a second time as SCULLY stroked home City’s second goal of the evening across the Town ‘keeper from inside the box and in off the foot of the post.

The Imps continued to hold the advantage both in scoreline and possession, resulting in the home side making a triple switch to try and find a way back into the game just ahead of the hour mark.

However, City were to upset the home defence with a third goal and it was a show of anticipation and persistence from Archibald that brought it. Scully went from scorer to provider as he pinged the ball forward towards The Imps’ number 14, the ball held up in the air with Rollin Menayese under it but the Stag’s defender could only divert it skywards with Stone racing off his line. ARCHIBALD pounced first, stabbing the ball over the onrushing ‘keeper and into the open goal.

Mal Benning was close to puling a goal back for the home side within a minute or so, the defender hit a low shot which took a deflection on its way through which diverted it towards the bottom corner but Ross made a fantastic save, low to his left. Mansfield did pull a goal back when Menayese powered home a header from Benning’s corner.

City almost made it four with ten minutes to go when a terrific ball as TJ Eyoma from just inside his own half found Howarth racing in behind the home defence, he didn’t have the best of angles to get a shot away, so he held the ball up for Soule to shoot but Stone tipped it over the top.

There was a late substitute appearance for Hayden Cann, the academy prospect coming on to make his senior debut for The Imps as City saw out five minutes of stoppage time to seal victory.

Full Time

Mansfield Town 1 The Imps 3

The Teams

Mansfield Town

31 Aidan STONE





9 Jordan BOWERY

12 Kellan GORDON

14 James PERCH


19 Jamie REID

27 Tyrese SINCLAIR


1 Marek STECH

2 Cory O’KEEFE

6 Farrend RAWSON

10 George MARIS

20 Stephen McLAUGHLIN (57’ for Sinclair)

22 Nicky MAYNARD (57’ fpr Bowery

30 Alistair SMITH (57’ for Perch)

Goal: Menayese 72’

Booked: Perch 34’, Gordon 54’

The Imps

29 Ethan ROSS

7 Tayo EDUN

10 Jorge GRANT

11 Anthony SCULLY




21 Jamie SOULE





31 Sam LONG


8 James JONES


33 Hayden CANN (90' for Edun)

GOAL: Soule 32’, Scully 49’, Archibald 62’

Booked: Archibald 60’

Referee: Ben Toner

Assistants: Paul Stonier & Anthony Da Costa


Mansfield Town 1-3 Lincoln City recap and reaction: Classy Imps through to knockout phase
Jamie Soule, Anthony Scully and Theo Archibald found the net as a much-changed side cruised to victory

By Mark Whiley

Lincoln City underlined the quality of their squad by booking a place in the knockout stage of the EFL Trophy with a 3-1 win at Mansfield Town.

An Imps side containing seven changes, including a start for new signing Jamie Soule, dominated for long periods and ensured Michael Appleton’s side will join Manchester City U21s in the last 32 from Northern Group E.

It was Soule who opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark. Following a Mansfield free-kick, City broke at pace. Remy Howarth broke into box. His effort was palmed away by Aiden Stone and fell perfectly for Soule, who nudged the ball home.

The Imps made rapid start to the second half, with Anthony Scully and Soule going close in quick succession.

Soon after those chances, Scully made it 2-0 when his angled drive found the net via the inside of the post.

Playing some fantastic football, the Imps continued to surge forward, although goal number three was something of a gift.

After a mix-up between Stone and defender Rollin Menayese on the edge of the Mansfield box, Theo Archibald nipped in, clipping the ball over Stone and into the net.

Town rallied late on with Menayese pulling a goal back with a header from a corner with 14 minutes to go, but it was too little, too late.


'Outstanding' - Lincoln City player ratings from the 3-1 win at Mansfield Town
There were numerous excellent performances from the much-changed team

By Mark Whiley

Lincoln City cruised into the knockout stage of the EFL Trophy with a 3-1 victory at Mansfield Town.

New signing Jamie Soule, Anthony Scully and Theo Archibald were on target before the Stags bagged a late consolation goal as Michael Appleton’s much-changed team turned in an impressive display.

Here’s how we rated players’ performance.

Ethan Ross: Virtually a spectator for the first 70 minutes before making a couple of good saves in the closing stages. A solid debut. Rating: 7/10

Harry Anderson: Did a sterling job in an unfamiliar position of right-back and remained a threat going forward. 7/10

TJ Eyoma: Switched from right-back to centre-back and produced another outstanding display. Handled the Stags’ imposing front line really well. 8/10

Sean Roughan: Bounced back from being hauled off at the half-time against Blackpool with a good performance in the heart of defence, which could be his best position long-term. 7/10

Tayo Edun: Gave the ball away a few times in the first half but defended well and got forward too. Had a hand in the second goal. Could be set for a run in the side at left-back with Max Melbourne a couple of weeks away from fitness. 7/10

Jorge Grant: Dictated play in midfield and displayed his huge array of passing. 7/10

Conor McGrandles: A terrific display from the middleman. Always involved, linked play well and distribution was spot on. 8/10

Remy Howarth: Looked dangerous whenever he got on the ball and had a hand in the first goal. 8/10

Anthony Scully: A bundle of energy on right-hand side and will have given Appleton food for through ahead of Saturday’s game against Bristol Rovers. A good finish for his goal, making up for a chance he missed seconds earlier. 7/10

Jamie Soule: Opened the scoring with a real poacher’s finish. Tired as the game progressed which was understandable as his move was only completed hours earlier. 7/10

Theo Archibald: Like Howarth, took his chance with both hands. A threat with the ball at his feet and took advantage of some defensive dallying to score the third. 8/10


Hayden Cann (Edun 90): The youngster was handed his maiden Imps start in the closing stages and did what he needed to do.


Done and Dusted: Mansfield 1-3 Imps
by Gary

On another good night for Michael Appleton’s Imps, a routine victory against Mansfield Town has ensured qualification for the next round of the EFL Trophy with a game to spare.

The EFL trophy gets a lot of stick, rival managers seem to think it is a distraction, and yet Lincoln City take it seriously. Whatever your politics, I think it is encouraging that our club wants to win every match, instead of having a Steve Evans style ‘I don’t care’ attitude. Our desire to win football games was evident last night in a game we completely controlled for a good 75 minutes.

The benefits of such a win are multiple, from the £10,000 prize money to the chance for some of our fringe players. I cannot fathom, for one second, how clubs apparently ‘suffering’ from Covid restrictions are happy to say they’ll take the fines incurred for fielding weakened teams. For me, that is a gross affront to the very fans they are supposed to serve. I know some of those EFL trophy detractors will welcome the stance, but right now finance is important and I would be appalled if my club would rather payout £15,000 in fines than collect £10,000 in prize money.

This is a competition that both The Imps and Michael have a bit of a love affair with. It delivered our first shot at Wembley glory, a memorable day for those who chose to attend and a day which provided the sort of income that allowed us to win the league title the following season. Michael has been there twice as a manager, losing on both occasions, and I suspect he sees this as a chance for some silverware to add to his growing reputation as a manager. I say ‘growing’, he already has a good pedigree from Oxford, but a second spell with a League One side at the right end of the table will be just the job for him, as would a successful Wembley appearance.

I think our team selection represented two sides to the competition. We had to play some senior players and the ones we saw appear were ones who perhaps haven’t had injury issues. Jorge Grant, Connor McGrandles, Harry Anderson, TJ Eyoma and Sean Roughan are all what I would consider first-team players and they all got 90 minutes last night. In addition, some of the exciting players just outside the first XI had a great chance to shine, none more so than Anthony Scully, Remy Howarth and Theo Archibald. If this was a test for them, they certainly passed it in my eyes.

I did a video on team selection, so rather than go too in-depth on that now, I’ll put it in the text here.

The biggest news was probably the inclusion of Jamie Soule, which meant the game broke new ground for a number of reasons. It is probably the fastest transition from rumour to the first team we’ve seen for a new player, and almost certainly the youngest centre-back pairing we have ever put out in a competitive fixture. The team certainly had an ‘EFL trophy’ feel to it, but the game had anything but.

The Imps started with intensity and vivacity that hasn’t been seen for some time in my opinion. We’ve often given our opponents respect, letting them have their cake and waiting until we can snatch a piece and eat it. Last night, against an experienced looking Mansfield side, we took the cake and ate it right in front of them. The Imps passing game was slick, our possession always seemed to be with purpose and the players who had a point to prove looked eager to do just that. In the early stages, Connor McGrandles impressed me for his harrying and hard work, whilst you could see glimpses of Theo Archibald’s unique talents. We have some great wide players, but Theo is markedly different; he takes players on with skill and a sharp turn of pace, as well as being naturally left-footed. When we need to drop Jorge Grant back into the midfield, I expect the former Celtic man to be our first choice on the left.

We knocked on the door a bit and whilst I’m not going to dissect the whole match, I’ll talk about the goals. The first was created courtesy of Remy Howarth, a driving run into the area saw him have an effort at goal which fell to the feet of Soule, who calmly poked home. It was a striker’s goal, instinctive and natural. The youngster had a good game too, he faded towards the end but certainly didn’t look out of place in the first-team and that bodes well for the future. He did get thrown around by the big lump Menayese at the back, a player I quite liked up until his second-half howler.

I always felt from there the game was in the bag and I went into half time wondering if we might score again, or might have scored again, given that iFollow froze just as Anthony Scully was preparing a shot. Thankfully, it froze for everyone, so I couldn’t be accused of having bad internet or whatever else the iFollow people tend to blame substandard service on. At least all we missed was a bit of the halftime break.

The second half was very much like the first, with us on top. Jorge Grant was simply outstanding, pulling the strings from deep, pinging passes around like he was David Beckham down the park with a bunch of local kids. Our wide players were lively too, Anthony Scully bullish and strong, Theo graceful and elegant. I tell you who Archibald reminds me of a bit; Peter Gain. He has that natural ability that I always love to see. He was working hard for a goal, a little too hard at times, but he wanted to make his mark.

Anthony Scully wanted to do the same and he seemingly squandered a great chance to do so in the second period. A sumptuous ball from Archibald sent the former West Ham man free, he went one-on-one with the keeper and maybe just had too much time. His effort was well saved by young Aidan Stone, with Soule not quite able to steer the rebound in. Minutes later he got his chance to make amends.

This time it started with McGrandles winning possession well, and finding Tayo Edun. The left-back surged forward, made up plenty of yards and then slid another great ball through the defence for Scully, who finished a harder effort than moments before with aplomb. With service like that, our strikers should all get fifteen goals or more. We seemed to just have a killer pass for every occasion and although they didn’t all come off, not one player made two or three bad ones in a row.

Scully then turned provider, with another great example of our football philosophy. Mansfield’s attack broke down and TJ Eyoma nodded out to Scully on the right, deep in his own half. He chested the ball away from his marker, moved fifteen yards forward and lofted a sixty-yard pass in the direction of Archibald. The winger gambled, and Menayese got in a horrible mess with Stone, leaving Archibald with a cool chance to loft home. 3-0, game over, turn out the lights when you’re done, Mansfield.

To be fair, the Stags had a decent period after that, Nicky Maynard and Stephen McLaughlin came on and added something to their forward line. Couple that with a few tired Imps legs, and you have the recipe for a comeback. Mal Benning’s drive needed turning away by Ethan Ross, who had a solid night on his full Imps debut, Menayese made amends for his earlier mistake by arriving for a free header in the area to make it 3-1, but that was the sum of their endeavour. I do wonder is Harry Anderson lost his marker watching it back, but overall Harry had a solid game at right-back.

It could have been four, a great ball from Eyoma, another forty-yard ping into feet, saw Remy Howarth get free, but he couldn’t quite find the space for a shot. He worked his way across the area before laying it off to Soule, who saw a smart snapshot saved. It was the last meaningful action of a really solid outing for City.

Let’s be honest, Mansfield have something missing (something BIG according to their blogger, Mansfield Matters) but you have to beat what is in front of you and whilst they were poor, they weren’t utterly woeful. However, the players we had all showed their qualities. The first-teamers starting showed fitness and application, the hungry fringe players showed they could do a job in league action and those out of position (or in position I suppose for Eyoma and Roughan) all adapted really well. Jamie Soule settled quickly too, providing plenty of positives for Michael to enjoy.

We now face Man City’s kids with nothing to play for other than pride and £10,000, both of which are hugely important to this Lincoln side. We are now nine games in, boasting seven wins, one draw and one defeat, which is a phenomenal start to the season. Last night probably told us more about the side than a league game, because it turned the stone over and showed us what is underneath, those knocking on the door, and the capabilities of those in other positions. I liked what I saw and if five or so of those lads are the so-called back-up brigade, we’re in a great spot.

Also, huge kudos to Hayden Cann for coming on and making his debut. this tournament is where the young lads often get their debuts and it was in the EFL Trophy we first saw Lee Frecklington, Shane Clarke and Ellis Chapman for the Imps. All progressed to the first team and hopefully, young Hayden can do the same and keep the flag flying in the academy for local talent, as well as those we bring in from further afield.