STAGS OUT ON PENALTIES IN CHECKATRADE TROPHY
English Football League Trophy - Checkatrade Trophy Round 2
Blackpool 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Blackpool win 5-4 on penalties
Mellor 38. Butcher 88.
Attendance: 587 (*) (60 from Mansfield)
Date: 6 December 2017
Martin Shaw at Bloomfield Road
Mansfield Town are out of the Checkatrade Trophy, losing a penalty shoot out to League One Blackpool, after the teams were level 1-1 in 90 minutes. There was an eerie atmosphere in a super stadium at Bloomfield Road as the game was played in front of a very small attendance of around 300-350 (see below *). The first 30 minutes of the game saw almost no chances for either side. Then Jacob Mellis embarked on a great run from the halfway line and his low shot from just inside the area was saved. But it was the home side who took the lead on 38 minutes. They went close as Danny Philliskirk’s shot was deflected by Krystian Pearce onto the top of the bar. An important touch from Pearce. But from the resulting corner, Kelvin Mellor beat his marker Jimmy Spencer to head home. Spencer rightly took the plaudits for his hat-trick on Sunday but he didn’t do his job here and it was costly. The Stags were nearly level within a minute as Mal Benning’s free kick from 40 yards was out to Alfie Potter on the right, who played the ball back across the face of goal and a combination of Paul Digby and Pearce knocked it goalwards where it was cleared off the line. Then 2 minutes after that Potter crossed from the right and Benning tried a repeat of his screamer against Newport in 2015 but volleyed just wide of the left post. Bobby Olejnik made a good save on 43 minutes saving at his near post from Gnanduillet. The Stags were within a whisker of equalising on 51 minutes. Benning’s free kick from 40 yards was flapped at by the keeper allowing David Mirfin to turn it goalwards, Pearce headed it on and Nick Anderton cleared off the line. iFollow video replays, from a perfect angle along the goal-line, show that the ball was mostly across the line but not completely across the line and the linesman made the correct decision. Unlucky nonetheless. The Stags were the better side in the second half and deservedly equalised on 88 minutes when Calum Butcher headed home at the far post from Benning’s fine delivery from a free kick 35 yards out on the right. With the game level at 90 minutes, it was straight to a penalty shoot-out. Digby, Benning and Sterling-James scored Mansfield’s first 3 spot kicks while Andy Taylor fired against the top of the bar and over for Blackpool, giving the Stags a 3-2 lead after 3 kicks each. But Potter’s low kick to the right of the goal was superbly tipped onto the post by the keeper. Delfouneso then scored to make it 3-3 after 4 penalties each. Mellor and Jimmy Spencer both scored to make it 4-4 after 5 penalties. But then Jack Thomas’s weak penalty down the middle was saved by the keeper, and Quigley scored the next penalty to give Blackpool a 5-4 win. Disappointing for Mansfield to go out in that manner and they more than held their own here against League One opposition. The Stags move on, and it’s back to the League on Saturday with a visit to Crawley.
Note - as a result of drawing here in normal time, the Stags’ unbeaten run actually continues and now stands at an impressive 12 games in all competitions.
(*) A word on the attendance. We were warned before the game by the local press that the crowd given out would be higher than the number of people in the stadium, and that proved to be the case. The official number from Mansfield of 60 is correct as Stags fan John Peers counted them and got approximately the same number. But the overall crowd was given as 587, and quite simply that cannot possibly be the actual number of supporters in the stadium. The real number in the stadium was between 300 and 350. Perhaps Blackpool were counting 200 free tickets that they had given out where people did not turn up, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter anyway.
Attention switches to the FA Youth cup on Thursday night as Mansfield host Crystal Palace in the third round. Unfortunately I can’t be there, but good luck to the young team.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Report: Shoot-Out Victory Sends Blackpool Through
blackpoolfc.co.uk, Wednesday 06 December 2017
Scott Quigley scored a sudden death penalty against Mansfield Town to send Blackpool through to the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy.
The former TNS made no mistake from the spot after the match had ended 1-1 following 90 minutes of action.
Kelvin Mellor had initially given Blackpool the lead in the tie with a first-half header, however Calum Butcher levelled things up in the 88th minute.
The Blackpool side was boosted by the return of defender Clark Robertson from injury for the fixture. The Scot was one of nine changes to the team from the previous midweek league match at home to Blackburn Rovers. Jim McAlister, out since February with a broken leg, was named amongst the substitutes.
Barring a wayward Sessi D’Almeida attempt from distance, there was no other opportunity of note in the first half hour of the game, with mistakes and fouls breaking up play.
Christoffer Mafoumbi was the first goalkeeper called into action, pushing away a strike inside the area from ex-Pool midfielder Jacob Mellis.
The match suddenly came to life from that moment, with Danny Philliskirk’s deflected strike clipping the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Kelvin Mellor connected well with the ball at the back post to head in and give The Seasiders the lead.
Mal Benning volleyed wide for the visitors, as Steve Evans sought an immediate response to going a goal down.
At the other end, Kelvin Mellor almost had a second but was unable to divert Andy Taylor’s free-kick on target from close range. Some strength and perseverance from Armand Gnanduillet then drew a strong save out of Bobby Olejnik.
Half-Time: Blackpool 1 Mansfield Town 0
Gnanduillet started the second-half in similar fashion and watched his 20-yard drive fly just wide of the post, while Scott Quigley, playing out wide, cut inside from the left and also curled an effort round the wrong side of the post.
A goalkeeping error from Mafoumbi almost presented Mansfield with an equaliser, however Nick Anderton was well positioned to clear the ball away from the line.
Scott Quigley had another attempt late on, this time that was parried away by Olejnik.
With Blackpool unable to wrap the game up, the visitors continued to pump balls forward in search of the equaliser. It duly came in the 88th minute, when Calum Butcher rose at the back post to bring Mansfield level and force a penalty shoot-out.
The spot-kicks were level at 4-4 after five penalties apiece, leaving Scott Quigley to score the decisive winner.
Full-Time: Blackpool 1 Mansfield Town 1 (Blackpool win shoot-out 5-4)
MATCH REPORT: Blackpool (p)1-1 Mansfield
by MATT SCRAFTON, Wednesday 06 December 2017
Christoffer Mafoumbi was the hero as Blackpool edged through to the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy with a penalty shootout win against Mansfield. The Seasiders thought they had done enough to win it in normal time thanks to Kelvin Mellor’s first half header, but they were thwarted with just two minutes left on the clock as Calum Butcher bagged a late equaliser. Instead the game was decided by spot kicks and it was the home side who came out on top with a 5-4 win, thanks to two saves from Mafoumbi. Pool now go into Friday’s draw, which is the first stage of the competition not to be regionalised.
Read more at: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/sport/football/blackpool-fc/match-report-blackpool-p-1-1-mansfield-1-8896773
Seasiders fans were given a positive boost in the lead up to the game with the news that Jim McAlister was named in a matchday squad for the first time in 10 months. The midfielder, who broke his leg against Colchester United back in February, was named among the substitutes as Blackpool made nine changes to their line-up from the team that lost 4-2 to Blackburn Rovers.
Clark Robertson, who was initially expected to be out injured until the New Year, made an early return to make his first appearance since the win over Bury in October.
Gary Bowyer’s men took charge of possession in the early exchanges and had the first shot on goal, although Sessi D’Almeida - who scored a stunning long-range effort in the last Checkatrade Trophy game - screwed his effort well wide of goal.
Mansfield’s first opportunity of the game fell to Alfie Potter after Nick Anderton had halted Lee Angol’s marauding run on goal, only for the winger to lash comfortably wide.
The game soon became a lacklustre affair, littered with mistakes, poor first touches and passes going awry left, right and centre. We had to wait until after the half-hour mark before the next shot in anger and even then it was an effort that flew well wide of goal from the boot of Callum Cooke. A minute later Blackpool ‘keeper Christoffer Mafoumbi got down well to palm away Jacob Mellis’ low drive after the former Seasider had burst into the home side’s box. The game started to open up towards the end of the first half and Danny Philliskirk was inches away from breaking the deadlock with his shot from the edge of the box which clipped the top of the crossbar after a taking a deflection. But the Seasiders did take the lead from the resulting corner as Nick Anderton’s cross fell to Kelvin Mellor at the back post and he directed his diving header into the far corner. That seemed to wake up the visitors, who came close to finding an instant equaliser through Jimmy Spence and Mal Benning but the Seasiders managed to escape. And then a second almost came their way on the stroke of the interval but Bobby Olejnik got down well to save at his near post from Armand Gnanduillet’s low strike. The tall French striker tried his luck from range at the start of the second half but could only send his effort the wrong side of the Mansfield post. His strike partner Scott Quigley send it an equally ambitious curling effort from the edge of the box but again, it failed to trouble Olejnik in the Mansfield goal. The visitors almost capitalised on a mistake from Mafoumbi to level the scores but Nick Anderton recovered to clear off the line - via the post - from Krystian Pearce’s poked effort. Max Clayton - who had been virtually anonymous in the first half - found himself in space just outside the box but could only send his low effort straight at Olejnik. Mansfield substitute Omari Sterling-James soon found himself in the thick of the action but he shot well wide of goal when well placed inside the Blackpool box. Quigley did well to beat his man by the touchline but couldn’t decide whether to shoot and cross and eventually his ball in was palmed away by the ‘keeper. The Stags sent bodies forward in the dying stages to search for an equaliser and it paid dividends with just two minutes remaining, as Calum Butcher headed home at the back post from an inswinging free-kick. Sessi D’Almeida went close to winning it at the death for Blackpool but Olejnik was equal to his rasping drive from range. Instead, the game was decided by spot kicks and Mafoumbi was the hero as he saved from two of Mansfield’s spot kicks to send his side through.
Blackpool: Mafoumbi, Mellor, Robertson (Aimson), Anderton, Taylor, D'Almeida, Cooke, Philliskirk, Clayton (Delfouneso), Quigley, Gnanduillet Subs not used: Allsop, McAlister, Spearing, Longstaff, Solomon-Otabor
Mansfield: Olejnik, Digby, Pearce, Mirfin (Hakeem), Benning, Butcher, Mellis, Atkinson (Thomas), Potter, Spencer, Angol (Sterling-James) Subs not used: Logan, Hamilton
Referee: Seb Stockbridge
Attendance: 587 (60 Mansfield)