STAGS OUT OF FA CUP, BEATEN BY WREXHAM
The Emirates FA Cup - Round One
Mansfield Town 1 - 2 Wrexham
Oates 60. Dalby 23, Mullin 58.
Attendance: 6,158 (560 from Wrexham)
Date: 4 November 2023
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town were beaten 2-1 by Wrexham at the One Call Stadium on Saturday night to exit the FA Cup at the 1st round stage. Having gone 20 games unbeaten in all competitions (including the last game of last season) equalling the club record set in 1976, Mansfield have now lost twice in 4 days to go out of the League Cup and FA Cup. The Stags of course remain unbeaten in the league and all focus now switches to that and the next game at Salford on Saturday. Before that though there will be a chance for players who haven’t been starting regularly to impress in the newly named Bristol Street Motors Trophy against Everton U21 on Tuesday night.
This was an entertaining game with plenty of chances for either side, 25 shots from Mansfield, 17 from Wrexham, and the difference between the two sides on the night was the quality of the shooting. Wrexham scored twice with two good finishes, from Sam Dalby and Paul Mullin, and brought a number of super saves from Christy Pym, including turning a shot from Dalby onto the bar, and Pym earned the sponsors’ man of the match. Mansfield were wasteful with shooting, too many shots blazed high or wide. One big positive for the night was the return from injury to the starting XI of Rhys Oates, who had a good game, and he scored a great goal to bring Mansfield back into the game at 2-1. He also brought a good save from Wrexham keeper Arthur Okonkwo early in the game.
Rain all day, and for days previously as well, made the pitch heavy. Indeed in front of the West Stand it was muddy, with the ball sometimes getting stuck. With Mansfield having had a tough game on Tuesday for a place in the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup while Wrexham had a free week, the heavy pitch in my opinion gave Wrexham an advantage. There was no lack of effort from Mansfield, far from it, but players like Keillor-Dunn were out on their feet by the end of the game.
Wrexham shaded it in the first half and deservedly led at the break with Pym keeping Mansfield in it. Mansfield though were the better side in the second half but the finishing wasn’t good enough, apart from Oates’ goal. Overall Wrexham won the game with the better quality of their finishing.
The game kicked off at an unusual time of 7.45pm on Saturday for live coverage on Welsh TV channel S4C and on the BBC iPlayer.
So on to Tuesday night and the game against Everton U21 at the One Call Stadium (kick off 7.00pm). Mansfield will surely start the likes of Flinders, Johnson, McLaughlin (back from injury for his first start), Cooper, Swan and Gale. Swan and Gale could do with confidence boosting games. If you’re not going to the game you can watch it with us on iFollow. Incidentally the following game in the competition, against Burton, will now be moved from the following Tuesday because Burton have an FA Cup replay which takes precedence.
Mansfield were once again without Lucas Akins, a big miss. Nigel Clough told me after the game he will have an operation on a small fracture just below his eye on Monday, he will miss the Salford game and there is a chance he will be back for the Newport game the Saturday after.
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
SAT 04 NOV 2023, THE FA CUP - FIRST ROUND
Mansfield Town 1-2 Wrexham: Dalby and Mullin fire Dragons into FA Cup second round
Dalby (23'minutes), Mullin (58'minutes)
Cannon (23'minutes), Dalby (58'minutes)
Sam Dalby and Paul Mullin scored in either half as Wrexham saw off League Two rivals Mansfield Town in the FA Cup first round in an enthralling game at a rain-soaked Field Mill.
Dalby's fierce drive gave the visitors a first-half lead which would have been greater had it not been for the heroics of keeper Christy Pym.
Mullin doubled the lead against the run of play and although Rhys Oates replied a minute later, Wrexham saw out the game.
Phil Parkinson's men advance in a competition in which they reached the fourth round last season.
It was Mansfield's second loss of the season in all competitions but significantly a second successive cup loss after their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Port Vale in midweek.
Nigel Clough's side enjoyed a promising opening 10 minutes with Oates' low shot well saved by keeper Arthur Okonkwo and ex-Wrexham player Davis Keillor-Dunn fired wide.
Another Keillor-Dunn effort was saved by Okonkwo before Oates shot wide while at the other end Dalby was denied by Pym.
But there was no denying Dalby when after being played in by Andy Cannon he unleashed a shot into the top corner to put Wrexham ahead.
Wrexham were enjoying their best spell of the game with a Dalby effort from close range turned on to the bar by Pym.
Elliot Lee tried his luck at goal with an effort that was well saved by Pym, who again denied dangerman Dalby from the loose ball before saving from Mullin late in the half.
Mansfield began the second half on the front foot with Keillor-Dunn missing a great chance from close range before firing a free-kick into the side-netting.
Despite Mansfield pressure, it was Wrexham who doubled their advantage when Dalby picked out Mullin with plenty of space in the box to place the ball past Pym.
But the Stags responded immediately when Oates beat Okonkwo with a fierce drive from the edge of the box to give Clough's side a glimmer of hope.
Late on Keillor-Dunn's shot flew past the post much to Wrexham's relief, as the Welsh side held on to progress to the second round.
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson told S4C's Sgorio: "I'm just so proud of the boys tonight, in those conditions against a top team in Mansfield.
"Some of the chances we created in the first half, we hit the bar, had a couple of one-on-ones, but couldn't get that second goal.
"Couple of penalty appeals too, I thought the ref gave us very little on the night but that is a colossal victory for us."
Home Team Mansfield Away Team Wrexham
Possession Home52% Away 48%
Shots Home 25 Away 17
Shots on Target Home 6 Away 8
Corners Home 5 Away 7
Fouls Home 5 Away 12
Second cup exit of the week for Mansfield Town as they lose FA Cup showdown with Wrexham
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Sat 4 Nov 2023
Mansfield Town made a second cup exit inside five days as they were pipped 2-1 at home by promotion rivals Wrexham in a thrilling televised FA Cup first round tie at a soggy One Call Stadium tonight.
After starting the season with a fantastic 19-game unbeaten run this result ended a disappointing week for the Stags after being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Port Vale on Tuesday night.
The game was played on a sodden surface in continual rain with heavy patches in parts where the ball held up and made life tough for both sides.
The two teams had fought out a tight, exciting 0-0 draw in League Two action at the One Call a month ago.
That one saw Stags dominate.
But this one was much more open with end to end stuff until Wrexham went ahead on 23 minutes through Sam Dalby.
Then it took the crossbar to deny Dalby a second before Christy Pym had to make a brilliant double save to deny Dalby and Elliot Lee to keep it 1-0 at half-time.
Stags came out on the front foot after the break, creating chances only to see Paul Mullin make it 2-0 on 58 minutes.
But Oates grabbed a superb solo effort two minutes later to keep the game alive with further chances at both ends to keep both sets of fans on the edge of their seats to the very end.
The Stags side showed three changes with a long-awaited start after injury for striker Oates.
Defender Cargill and Johnson both came in to play the full back roles. Macdonald, Maris and Swan dropped down to the bench with Bowery pushed up front from right back.
Boateng was initially on the bench but felt ill before kick-off and had to be replaced by Abdullah at the last minute.
A damp and misty evening began with the traditional Remembrance Day ceremony on the pitch pre-match.
There was a lively start as Stags went straight on the front foot only for Wrexham to counter and Cannon to zip a low shot just wide from 20 yards as we entered the second minute.
A minute later Keillor-Dunn threaded Oates in one on one, but Okonkwo was able to block at his near post.
In Stags' next raid Oates had a shot blocked and Keillor-Dunn made space with the loose ball to pull a low shot just wide.
On 14 minutes Keillor-Dunn warmed Okonkwo's hands from 25 yards, but the shot was always going straight to the keeper.
In reply Dalby saw a header deflect wide from a free kick.
The best move of the game so far came on 17 minutes as Johnson put Oates into space on the right and from the y-line he lashed the ball across goal where Bowery was inches away from turning it home.
A minute later came Wrexham's best threat to date as Dalby jinked his way past Reed in the box before forcing Pym to save with his legs.
Clarke then had a shot deflect over as an enthralling game swept from end to end.
But the visitors were ahead on 23 minutes after a cutting move down the centre which ended with McClean finding Dalby in the box and he crashed an unstoppable finish high past Pym.
Great skill from defender Cargill saw him beat three opponents before squaring for Reed who flashed a low, first time finish wide.
Oates was next to have a shy at the Wrexham goal, firing too high after doing well to make the space 20 yards out, and Lewis was also wide soon after as Stags probed for a way back.
On the half-hour a superb, disguised reverse pass by Lee gave Dalby another sight of goal from a similar position from where he had score,d but this time his finish cannoned back off the bar.
Cargill saw a first time shot from a low Bowery cross deflect wide for a fourth home corner.
Evans was booked on 32 minutes for hauling down Flint.
Stags were dealt a blow on 40 minutes as Clarke needed treatment and had to come off to be replaced by Maris.
A poor pass from Reed put Stags under pressure on 42 minutes and Pym had to produced a superb double save to deny Lee and then Dalby on the follow-up.
A minute later Mullin played a one-two in the box with Dalby but Pym was able to push away his finish for a corner as Wrexham finished the half strongly.
Three minutes into the second half Reed forced Okonkwo to save his rising finish from Johnson's pass as Stags signalled their intent.
A minute later Keillor-Dunn sent Oates into the box, but the keeper was again there, making himself big to block.
Maris had Wrexham sweating when his cross almost dropped under the far angle and on 53 minutes Bowery came desperately close as he met a Keillor-Dunn cross with a near post volley that passed the wrong side of the upright.
Soon after Oates drilled a low ball across the box from the left and Keillor-Dunn completely missed his kick from close range with what would have surely been the equaliser.
Keillor-Dunn curled a free kick into the sidenetting as Mansfield continued to press hard.
It was all Stags so it was a cruel blow when Wrexham doubled their lead on 58 minutes.
Johnson's clearance hit an opponent and rolled nicely for Dalby to set up Mullin for a well-placed finish on
But a minute later Oates won the ball off an opponent and buried a thunderous finish to re-ignite home hopes.
Seconds later Bowery skied a close range finish with the home crowd now in full voice.
Cannon then whipped a low shot inches wide first time for Wrexham.
McLaughlin and Swan came on for Johnson and Cargill on 64 minutes to give fresh legs on the sapping surface.
Reed was late in on Cannon on 68 minutes to earn a caution, the Wrexham man needing lengthy treatment and eventually limping off.
Mullin made Pym get down to save on 81 minutes as the Welsh visitors continued to look dangerous on the counter.
Gale and Macdonald were pitched into the action with six minutes left.
In the final minutes of the 90 Maris was just wide on the turn from 15 yards.
Eight added minutes kept home hopes faintly alive and three minutes into it Davies was booked for bringing down Keillor-Dunn.
But there was to be no fairytale ending as the Welsh side progressed into round two.
STAGS: Pym, Johnson (Swan 64), Flint, Brunt, Cargill (McLaughlin 64), Reed, Lewis (Macdonald 84), Clarke (Maris 40), Keillor-Dunn, Oates (Gale 84), Bowery. SUBS NOT USED: Flinders, Cooper, Flanagan, Abdullah.
WREXHAM: Okonkwo, Evans, Tozer, O'Connor, Forde (Mendy 66), Jones, Cannon (Young 70), Lee (J. Davies 82), McClean, Dalby (Palmer 82), Mullin. SUBS NOT USED: Howard, Cleworth, Boyle, J. Davies, Bickerstaff, Hosannah.
REFEREE: Ed Duckworth.
ATTENDANCE: 6,158 (560 away).
REPORT - Mansfield Town 1-2 Wrexham AFC
Goals from Sam Dalby and Paul Mullin guided Wrexham through to the Emirates FA Cup Second Round, with victory away to Mansfield at a soggy One Call Stadium.
Dalby opened the scoring with a powerful finish in the first-half, and Mullin guided a fine shot beyond the hugely impressive Christy Pym to double the advantage.
Rhys Oates pulled a goal back to set up a nerve-wracking finale for the away fans as the rain continued to fall in Nottinghamshire, but the Red Dragons stood firm to put their name in the Second Round draw.
Phil Parkinson named a strong side on Wrexham’s return to Mansfield, with James McClean and Mullin both selected in the starting line-up.
There was a space on the right for Anthony Forde, who returned to the side for the first time since September.
It was a fast-paced start at the One Call Stadium, with both teams looking for an immediate impact in the fixture - a far cry from last month's goalless draw.
Andy Cannon, fresh from his impressive performance last weekend, started the match in a similar vein as he broke up play and unleashed a strike in the second minute. It drifted wide but provided an immediate warning to the hosts.
Rhys Oates was the next to try his luck on goal, but Arthur Okonkwo was equal to the effort and made several crucial saves early on to negate the Stags’ threat.
Dalby - who yet again was named as Mullin’s strike partner, looked inspired at the top-end of the pitch with some impressive build-up play in the opening stages of the match.
The forward came close to giving the visitors the lead from inside the box after 18 minutes, but Mansfield goalkeeper Pym was excellent and produced an impressive low save to keep the scores level.
Wrexham’s number 18 continued to push for a goal and quickly broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with a ferocious strike into the roof of the net - leaving Pym with no chance after his previous save.
Just seven minutes later, Pym produced more heroics, this time tipping Dalby’s powerful strike onto the bar after the forward was released through on goal brilliantly by Elliot Lee.
Mansfield continued in their search of a leveller, but in truth, Nigel Clough’s side couldn’t find the finishing touch despite their efforts.
With the first half coming to a close, both Lee and Mullin had chances for Phil Parkinson’s side to increase their advantage before the interval.
They possibly might have done just that, had it not been for the impressive performance of Pym who continued to produce heroics at the One Call Stadium.
The Stags bolted out of the gate in the second half and provided several tests which Okonkwo stood up to well throughout to ensure Wrexham’s slender lead remained intact in Nottinghamshire.
And dDespite the early pressure from the hosts, Wrexham soon enough found an all-important second goal to extend their advantage on the road.
Having claimed the 2022/23 Emirates FA Cup Golden Ball, Mullin opened his account in the competition this season after 59 minutes as he produced a cultured finish past Pym to send the away end into jubilation.
The celebrations didn’t last long, however, as Mansfield found an almost instant response to Wrexham’s second goal.
On the hour mark - almost immediately after kick-off, it was Rhys Oates who found the required finish to keep the game within Mansfield’s reach.
Just a minute later, Mullin had the ball in the net again, lofting the ball over the head of Pym - only for the flag to be raised for offside.
Cannon almost restored Wrexham’s two-goal lead, running onto the edge of the box to fire from distance, but his strike dragged wide of the post after 64 minutes.
Both sides continued to battle for the next goal, as Mansfield really started to apply pressure on the visitors in hope of a goal to level the scores.
As the match progressed and time started to run out, Parkinson’s side seemingly became more and more resilient as they attempted to grind out a result against the Stags.
It was the Red Dragons’ spirit and resilience that saw them through a wave of Mansfield chances, as they held on and claimed a hard-fought win to continue their Emirates FA Cup journey.
Mansfield Town: Pym (GK), Johnson (Swan 64’), Flint, Brunt, Cargill (McLoughlin 64’), Reed, Lewis (MacDonald 84’), Clarke (Maris 40’), Keillor-Dunn, Oates (Gale 84’), Bowery.
Subs not used: Flinders (GK), Cooper, Flanagan, Abdullah.
Wrexham AFC: Okonkwo (GK), Evans, Tozer (C), O’Connor, Forde (Mendy 66’), Jones, Cannon (Young 71’ , Lee (J.Davies 82’), McClean, Dalby (Palmer 82’), Mullin.
Subs not used: Howard (GK), Hosannah, Boyle, Bickerstaff, Cleworth.
Match Attendance: 6,158