BRILLIANT STAGS FALL TO LATE SHEARER GOAL
Newcastle United 1-0 Mansfield Town
Att 41,459 (5500 from Mansfield)
Martin Shaw and Jeff Barnes at St James Park
Mansfield Town were knocked out of the FA Cup by a late Alan Shearer goal in front of a crowd of 41,459 with 5500 travelling Stags fans at St James Park, this afternoon. The Stags fans were in good voice throughout, and had every reason to be proud of a brilliant performance from their team, in a game where you would not have known which were the Premiership team and which were the League Two strugglers. In the end it took a clinical finish from Shearer to separate the teams after 80 minutes to give Newcastle a win they did not deserve.
Stagsnet report in the match centre
Alan Shearer equalled Jackie Milburn's scoring record with his 200th goal for Newcastle which was enough to knock brave Mansfield out of the FA Cup.
Shearer smashed the ball in after picking up an Albert Luque pass late in the game to deny the League Two side a replay at Field Mill.
Mansfield created the best chances of the match, with Allan Russell and Adam Rundle forcing saves from Shay Given.
Shearer and full-back Stephen Carr missed with volleys for the Magpies.
Had Newcastle won by more than Shearer's solitary goal than it would have been an injustice to the visitors, who outplayed and outfought the Premiership side for much of the game.
They were unlucky not to have scored at least once in the first half.
The Magpies' shaky defence was tested as early as the first minute when Titus Bramble was too casual and allowed a ball to fall in front of Allan Russell.
But to the relief of the centre-back, the Stags striker failed to control the ball from two yards out.
Newcastle's central midfield pairing of Lee Clark and Charles N'Zogbia were made to look like novices by Stephen Dawson and the tricky 19-year-old Giles Coke.
Coke, in particular, made the most of Newcastle lack of midfield bite and was close to getting his name on the scoresheet, but saw his shot from outside the box creep narrowly wide of Shay Given's post.
Although the second half was an improvement for Graeme Souness' men, it was Mansfield who had the first chance when Given was forced to palm away Adam Rundle's volley.
Newcastle had their first clear effort on goal when Stephen Carr volleyed high from three yards after he was slipped in by Shearer.
The Newcastle number nine then missed himself with a similar effort.
As the Mansfield legs began to tire, Newcastle began to make the most of their superior stamina.
And with just 10 minutes remaining, up popped Shearer to fire the ball past Kevin Pressman, write his name into Magpies folklore and bring relief to the 41,459 Newcastle fans.
Newcastle United 1, Mansfield Town 0
Jan 7 2006
By Lee Ryder, Evening Chronicle
Alan Shearer equalised Jackie Milburn's goal tally for Newcastle United to book his side a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup but the s kipper and team-mates made hard work of League Two strugglers Mansfield Town.
The Stags looked the better team for long periods at St James' Park this afternoon with Shearer's record strike the only highlight of a dour contest.
The game also saw right-back Stephen Carr make his first appearance since October following a hernia injury while young Geordie Martin Brittain was handed his first start lining up on the right wing.
The best chances came the way of the visitors with skipper Richie Barker heading wide from an Adam Rundle left wing cross on just three minutes.
And Newcastle were indebted to Shay Given on the 18 minute mark when he kept out Alan Russell's low shot with his legs.
It took Newcastle half an hour to carve out their first real chance when Albert Luque pulled the ball back for Solano only for the South American to see his shot blocked on the line by Alex Baptiste.
In the second half Mansfield picked up where they left off with Rundle forcing another save from Given at the back post as they continued to look the part amid Premiership surroundings.
Town were roared by 5,500 travelling fans who helped make up an attendance of 41,459 but United can count themselves lucky not to be heading south to Field Mill in 10 days time for a replay.
With the second half reaching the halfway point United were still huffing and puffing as they looked for the breakthrough but Mansfield held firm.
Substitute Michael Chopra almost forced the ball past Pressman for his first ever Toon goal but the veteran keeper denied him low down.
And so it was down man of the moment Shearer to make history by equalling Milburn's long-standing record that has stood since 1957.
Shearer also picked up the sponsors Man of the Match award but will be the first to admit it was a day when only the result counted for Graeme Souness's side.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Given, Carr (Ramage, 59 mins), Babayaro, Boumsong, Bramble, Brittain (Chopra, 64 mins), Clark, N'Zogbia, Solano, Shearer, Luque (O'Brien, 86 mins).
Subs (not used) Elliott, Harper.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Pressman, Jelleman, Day, Baptiste, Dawson, Uhlenbeek (Arnold, 78 mins), Barker, Buxton, Coke, Rundle, Russell (Birchill, 72 mins).
Referee: Andy D'Urso.
Shearer equals record to break Mansfield hearts
FA CUP ROUND THREE
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 MANSFIELD TOWN 0
NEWCASTLE: Given, Carr, Solano, Boumsong, Shearer, N'Zogbia, Bramble, Luque, Clark, Babyaro, Brittain. Subs: Elliott, Harper, Ramage, Chopra, O'Brien.
STAGS: Pressman, Jelleyman, Day, John-Baptiste, Dawson, Uhlenbeek, Barker, Buxton, Coke, Rundle, Russell. Subs: Birchall, White, McLachlan, Hjelde, Arnold.
REFEREE: Andy Durso of Essex.
IT took an historic goal from one of the greatest strikers England has ever produced to finally break Mansfield hearts nine minutes from time after a magnificent performance at Premiership Newcastle United this afternoon.
Plucky League Two minnows Mansfield raised their game to new heights in the awesome surroundings of St James' Park and were even the better side in the first half.
But just when it seemed an unlikely replay might actually be on the cards, up popped Alan Shearer to steer home Albert Luque's backheel.
It was an historic moment as it meant he had equalled Jackie Milburn's record of 200 goals for the Magpies.
And it probably saved under pressure Toon boss Graeme Souness his job.
Earlier home keeper Shay Given had made two good stops to keep out efforts from Allan Russell and Adam Rundle - one in each half.
Pressman did save well from Michael Chopra's close range effort in the second half. But he generally had little to do as Mansfield defended magnificently
"We are a bit disappointed but I thought my players were excellent," said proud Stags boss Peter Shirtliff.
"It's nice to come here and we were absolutely made up when the draw was made and I think we've put on a good show.
"I think my young players will see that game as a benchmark for their careers.
"I thought we did very well in the first half and I told the players at half-time that if they could keep up that level of performance then you never know what might happen.
"But Newcastle upped the tempo and maybe we started tiring. It just shows you the difference with that bit of extra quality.
"The longer the second half went on Newcastle were getting wave after wave of attacks.
"But when you lose to a late goal like that and Mr Shearer pops up and scores we are a bit disappointed but not dejected.
"It is a fantastic stadium to come to and what more could you ask from the players who were magnificent all afternoon."
Home boss Souness agreed; "I though Mansfield were fantastic, worked extremely hard, and were a credit to themselves today.
"They played with a free spirit and had a real go. This was, for the vast majority of them, the biggest game of football they had ever played.
"They may never play in an arena like this or in front of 40,000 people again so they made the most of it. It was a very hard-fought game with not a lot in it.
"FA Cup third round is a very special time and at the start of the day we were determined not to become a shock and we were not a shock.
"Shay made two good saves down to his right. But the longer the game went on the more we pushed them back towards their own goal and I felt we were going to score.
"I was delighted for Alan to equal the record. I don't think it will really have sunk in what he has done yet as he is not a man bothered with individual honours. But it was a truly magnificent achievement and it is harder scoring goals in the modern game than it was when the record was set."
Stags and their army of 5,500 travelling fans arrived to find a grey and overcast St James' Park with rain showers before kick-off.
The weather seemed to match the mood around the Magpies with so much pressure on Souness.
Nevertheless, United's home record was still unbeaten over the previous seven games since their 2-0 home setback against Manchester United on 28th August.
This was only the third time Stags had ever taken on Newcastle, having lost 2-1 over two legs of the League Cup back in August 1992, Mansfield beaten 2-1 at St James' Park before holding them 0-0 at Field Mill.
United's miserable injury list - plus suspension and international calls - saw a host of first team stars missing from their team sheet including Michael Owen, Keiron Dyer, Emre, Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Amady Faye and Steven Taylor.
But Steven Carr was back after a hernia, Given kept his place in goal, despite a bruised thumb, and with names like Shearer, Solano, Boumsong and Babyaro, their side still looked formidable in any company on paper.
Stags had problems of their own with Simon Brown failing to shake off his hamstring problem in time for Mansfield's big day.
Callum Lloyd also turned an ankle in training and was replaced on the bench by McLachlan.
Shirtliff opted to pair Russell and the fit-again Barker up front.
With on-loan Jonathan D'Laryea refused permission to become cup-tied by Manchester City, it was an easy choice of Coke and Dawson in the centre of midfield with Uhlenbeek preferred to Birchall on the right.
Jelleyman returned from a one-match ban to play left back. Buxton was pushed back over to his regular right back slot. And Day held off the challenge of Hjelde to partner John-Baptiste in the centre of defence.
Stags kicked off and there were exciting moments in both penalty areas in the first 90 seconds without either keeper being tested.
Rundle got in a good cross from his first run down the left on three minutes but his cross proved just too high for Barker at the far post.
Dawson tried to slip Barker through the centre on five minutes. But Boumsong did well to hold him up and Given was able to gather, although Barker had already committed himself to diving in and caught the keeper, earning a warning from the referee.
Solano's neat pass offered Luque a run into the Stags box only to plant the ball harmlessly into the side netting.
Mansfield successfully defended Newcastle's first corner on 10 minutes.
And it was the Stags who forced the first save of the game on 18 minutes as Rundle broke down the centre before finding Russell to his left and the striker's crisp low shot forced Given to parry. The ball eventually came back out the box to Buxton who dragged a low 20 yard effort tamely wide.
Mansfield earned their first corner which was worked to Coke. He sidestepped one tackle before firing wide of the near post.
This was an excellent spell for the visitors with Pressman untroubled in the first 20 minutes.
Carr had a 25 yard shot deflect wide for United on 24 minutes which produced their second corner which was headed out as far as Clark who ballooned a shot well over.
Barker was lucky to get a second bite at a loose ball at the other end and managed to get a low shot away which passed wide of Given's right hand post.
Mansfield won a free kick in a promising position 25 yards from goal. But Rundle and Barker embarrassingly messed things up and gave the ball away without getting a shot away.
Given had to reach to take a Day cross of the head of the incoming Barker as the visitors continued to impress.
But they had a scare on the half-hour as Luque's low ball into the box saw Solano get in a fierce shot which John-Baptiste did well to block.
Two minutes later Boumsong's foul on Uhlenbeek near the corner flag produced a free kick which Rundle rolled towards the running Uhlenbeek in the box and he curled a superb low shot round given but just wide of the far post.
Coke conceded a free kick 25 yards out which saw Shearer's shot deflect off the wall for another home corner which was again cleared.
N'Zogbia was too high with a 25 yard piledriver after loose defending as half-time neared.
Russell's turn allowed him to get Barker into the box. Boumsong stuck with him and won the challenge, though Barker looked hopefully round for a penalty kick.
Another excellent Rundle run saw him burst into the box and get away a shot that took a deflection for a corner in stoppage time.
That came out to Jelleyman who whipped a cross towards the far post where Buxton just couldn't quite get the telling touch.
But it brought an end to a quite magnificent half for Mansfield Town who had actually bossed periods of the game and looked the more likely to score.
Stags almost made the perfect start to the second half as Russell dummied a low Uhlenbeek cross which allowed Russell to hammer in a powerful low shot only to see Given get in the way to make a fine save.
In the Magpies' first raid of the half Carr swapped passes before firing over from a tight angle on the right of the six yard box with a dipping finish.
Newcastle forced a 55th minute corner which saw Bramble head back across goal and Shearer try a looping header which Pressman grabbed safely.
The Magpies forced three corners as they looked to step up the pressure on the League Two upstarts. But Stags stood firm.
Carr was replaced by Ramage on 58 minutes in the game's first change.
Newcastle had another corner cleared and then threw on Chopra for Brittain as they tried to step up the increasing heat on the visitors.
Jelleyman got in a great block on a Shearer shot to concede another corner but still Stags kept the door shut on the Premiership side.
John-Baptiste's foul on Chopra gave away a free kick 20 yards from goal which Luque curled over the top.
Stags immediately threw on Birchall to give fresh legs up front in place of Russell.
There were howls of misery from the home fans as Solano poked a half-chance horribly wide.
Pressman was finally called on to make a good save on 75 minutes. N'Zogdia got to the left by-line and crossed low to the near post where Chopra's first time close range finish was superbly parried by the keeper and John-Baptiste was on hand to complete the clearance.
Given raced out his box to head clear away from the incoming Birchall. The ball ran to Dawson who had a brief chance to hit the empty net from 40 yards but sliced his shot in the wrong direction.
For the last 11 minutes Birchall was pulled back to right midfield and Arnold came on to replace Uhlenbeek and partner Barker.
But Mansfield hearts were broken just nine minutes away from time. And inevitably it was Shearer, who had been having a relatively quiet afternoon, who popped up with the goal. Solano fed the ball into the box for Luque. He ran out of pitch but backheeled it and the ball sat invitingly for the incoming Shearer to drill gleefully just inside the far post for his record-equalling goal.
O'Brien came on for Luque for the last four minutes for the home side.
Two minutes from time Stags won a corner which Rundle launched over and John-Baptiste met with a header over the bar as the game ended with the expected home win but with Stags' honour very much upheld on a day to remember.
Observer report by Steve Hartshorn
SHEARER SHATTERS CUP DREAMS
Newcastle United 1 Mansfield Town 0
Attendance – 41,459 Visitor's 5,500.
An historic strike by the legendary Alan Shearer proved just enough for Premiership, Newcastle United to knock out brave Mansfield Town from the FA Cup. It was cruel luck on Peter Shirtliff's Stags side who for long periods of the game were the better of the two teams.
A crowd of 41,459 entered St James' Park, with an incredible 5,500 travelling up from Mansfield hoping to witness one of the 3rd Rounds major upsets.
Under pressure Newcastle United manager, Graham Souness was forced to field a below par Geordie side due to an horrendous injury list and must have been fearing for his job as the Coca Cola League 2 side matched his Premiership stars stride for stride.
Stags got off to a confident start when a cross from Adam Rundle was just missed at the far post by Richie Barker. Then on five minutes, Barker was played in by Dawson on the edge of the area, unfortunately the big Stags striker let the ball stray away from him, giving Shay Given the chance of gathering the ball, Barker though followed through on the keeper, earning him a telling off from Referee, Andy Durso.
Newcastle's response was for Solano to push the ball through to Luque running into the Stags area but the Geordie striker could do no more than fire the ball into the side netting.
The Stags were not daunted by coming face to face with a team 800 times their financial worth and indeed it was Mansfield who forced the first real save of the contest. Rundle broke down the centre before finding Russell on the left hand side, The Stags striker fired in low and hard and forced Given to parry the ball away. Eventually the ball broke to Jake Buxton, but his effort went tamely wide.
Stags then earned their first corner of the game, but Coke after creating an opportunity, fired wide. By this time the natives were getting restless and were beginning to boo and jeer their premiership heroes, whilst the 5,500 from Mansfield, like their team, were growing in heart and backing their side with gusto.
Stephen Carr fired in on 24 minutes but his shot was deflected out for a corner, from the resulting kick, Clark blasted over and the groans began again from the success hunting Geordies.
Stags were still the better of the two sides, but John-Baptiste had to be alert to block Solano's fierce drive.
Boumsong was guilty of a foul on Gus Uhlenbeek down near the right hand corner flag. Rundle took the kick, passing to Uhlenbeek who took the ball on and curled a shot just past the left hand post with Given beaten.
In stoppage time the excellent Rundle once again ran into the box, his effort was deflected wide for a corner and from that corner, the ball came to Jelleyman whipped the ball over to the far post to where Buxton was only inches away from getting a decisive touch.
It had been a magnificent half by Mansfield who were treated to a standing ovation by their fans as the team left the field of play for a well-earned break.
The start of the second half saw possibly The Stags best chance of the game. Uhlenbeek sent in a low cross that was dummied by Russell, the ball fell into the path of Rundle, but again, Given got in the way with a smart save.
Carr then worked an opportunity for himself, but from a tight angle, fired high over the bar as Newcastle tried to step up the pace.
Souness made a couple of changes, bringing on Ramage and Chopra as time ticked by without a breakthrough for either side.
Shearer, hunting a goal to equal Jackie Milburn's Newcastle goalscoring record looked to created a chance at the far post but as he got off his volley, Jelleyman came across and got enough on the ball to divert it out for a corner kick to the Geordies.
Chopra earned United a free kick 20 yards from goal, but Luque's drive flew narrowly over the crossbar. Pressman was forced into his first real save on 75 minutes when he produced good reactions to save at his near post from Chopra.
A ball over the top found Birchall racing towards goal, Given though got there before him, however with Given out of position, Dawson, picking the ball up some 40 yards from goal, tried to fire it back but sliced his chance totally.
On 81 minutes The Stags hearts were broken. Solano passed the ball to Luque who cleverly back-heeled the ball into the path of the prowling Shearer, who made no mistake from 9 yards, slotting the ball into the bottom of the left hand corner of the net. The goal was greeted by ecstatic cheers from the home crowd and as Shearer spun away with the all too familiar arm aloft you could plainly see the look of relief on his face.
The final chance of the game came when John-Baptiste headed over from a Rundle corner, but despite the defeat Stags had done themselves proud in a day that will be remembered by all connected with the Club for a very long time.
This weekend, Mansfield make the trip to the seaside to take on promotion challenging, Grimsby Town. The Mariners are riding high in Coca Cola League 2 but it will be hoped that the confidence gained by pushing Premiership opposition all the way can be carried onto the rest of the season and who knows, the season's end could see Stags players and supporters making another journey in their thousands.
Given, Carr (Ramage 58), Solano, Boumsong, Shearer, N'Zogbia, Bramble, Luque (O'Brien 86), Clark, Babyaro, Brittain (Chopra 65).
Subs not used; Elliott, Harper.
Pressman, Jelleyman, Day, John-Baptiste, Dawson, Uhlenbeek (Arnold 79), Barker, Buxton, Coke, Rundle, Russell (Birchall 72).
Subs not used; White, McLachlan, Hjelde.
Referee – Andy D'urso.
Observer Man of the match – Adam Rundle.
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