STAGS THROUGH IN FA CUP DESPITE POOR PERFORMANCE
The Emirates FA Cup - Round One
Mansfield Town 1 - 0 Chorley
Attendance: 2418 (245 from Chorley)
Date: 9 November 2019
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town are through to the second round of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over Chorley at the One Call Stadium this afternoon. It took an 81st minute header from top scorer Nicky Maynard, who nodded in from close range after substitute Jacob Mellis’ shot had been parried by Chorley keeper Matt Urwin, to win the game. Chorley are bottom of the Conference with only 1 win in their 20 games this season, but the Stags made very heavy of beating them and in truth this was a poor performance. Indeed so poor was it that the Stags were booed off at the final whistle for the first time after winning a game at home since 2011 when Mansfield struggled to a 3-2 home win over 9 man Alfreton Town in the Conference with an abysmal performance.
The first half was an even affair and neither goalkeeper had a save to make. The Stags had plenty of the ball but it was too pedestrian with precious little action inside the Chorley box.
Into the second half and Mansfield at last had three good chances in four minutes from the 51st minute. Firstly Kellan Gordon played a great back-heel into the path of Alex MacDonald who beat his man before firing into the side netting. Then Nicky Maynard laid off to Andy Cook who forced his way into the area but he took too long to shoot and the chance was gone. Finally a really good move from the Stags involving Gordon, Maynard, Mal Benning, Will Tomlinson, Maynard again, then Benning again who teed up Maynard for a shot from 15 yards which hit a defender on the edge of the 6 yard box as the Stags appealed in vain for a penalty for handball. The first save of the game for either keeper came after 64 minutes as Neal Bishop’s shot from 20 yards was pushed away by Matt Urwin. The Stags went close when Benning’s cross shot from 22 yards was slid wide at the far post by sub Danny Rose, though Rose was ruled offside.
Mansfield had lacked creative quality going forward, having started two predominantly defensive midfielders in Neal Bishop and Will Tomlinson, in central midfield, which I think would make sense against a top side away from home, but not at home to the side bottom of the Conference. I had expected Jacob Mellis and CJ Hamilton to start. It turned out that Mellis had been ill during the week so leaving him on the bench at the start was a reasonable decision. But Hamilton, in my opinion, should have been on a lot earlier than 64 minutes when he finally replaced MacDonald. Mellis was given the last 12 minutes of the game and made an almost instant impact.
But not before Stags keeper Conrad Logan made his one and only save of the game after 80 minutes when Marcus Carver dinked a delicious cross from the right to the far post where Lewis Baines was left in three yards of space by Matt Preston to head towards the roof of the net and Logan leapt superbly to turn it over the bar. From the video, it may have been going over the bar anyway, but it was still a great save from Logan and dreadful defending from Preston.
Just as at Walsall two weeks ago when Logan made a great save, the Stags went straight to the other end and scored the winner within a minute. Benning fed Hamilton on the left, Hamilton cut into the area and pulled back to Mellis who hit a first time left-footed shot from 23 yards, it bounced just in front of the keeper and he could only scoop the ball up for goalpoacher Maynard to head into the net from 4 yards. Maynard’s 7th goal of the season, taking him level with Rose as top goalscorer.
In stoppage time, Chorley had a couple of corners, throwing their keeper up for them, but didn’t look like scoring and the Stags were through.
Not too many positives in terms of performances from Stags players. Logan had one save to make and did it very well, also doing well to punch away a couple of crosses. Sweeney was the pick of the defence. Khan had a positive first half. Mellis and Hamilton contributed well as substitutes. And it was great to see Danny Rose back from injury. And of course Maynard scored, enough to earn him the sponsor’s man of the match.
Looking back to the 2012-13 season the Stags needed penalties to get past lowly Slough on their way to a third round tie with Liverpool. Everyone of a Stags persuasion will be hoping something similar might happen again as a good cup run could bring some much needed momentum. The draw for round 2 is at 7pm on Monday.
The break from the league continues on Tuesday as Mansfield visit Burton Albion in the Leasing.com Trophy. A reminder that a win for Mansfield will see them progress from the group stage, but a draw (with or without the extra point in a penalty shoot-out) or a defeat will see Mansfield go out. The match will surely see much-needed game time for the likes of Olejnik, Smith, Mellis, Sterling-James, Hamilton, Afolayan, Rose and Knowles.
Mansfield made one change from the side that lost to Colchester. Mansfield were not given permission by Leeds to play on-loan Conor Shaughnessy. In came Tomlinson. Mellis and Hamilton remained on the bench despite impressing as subs last week. It transpired that Mellis had been ill during the week so leaving him on the bench at the start was a reasonable decision. Rose returned from injury to the squad. Again no place on the bench for Afolayan.
Chorley included new loan signing Charles Vernam from Grimsby. They also included Nortei Nortey, who played a game on trial for the Stags in 2015.
Despite plenty of flooding around in the East Midlands after heavy rain in the second half of the week, the pitch was in great condition again. Credit to the groundstaff. Indeed, they watered the pitch before the game and at half time!
Before the game, the Last Post was played beautifully again, as it was last week, to remember the fallen, and Stags owner John Radford laid a wreath on the pitch.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Report from MANSFIELD TOWN 1-0 CHORLEY as Stags edge into FA Cup second round
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 09 November 2019
Nicky Maynard's goal nine minutes from time finally sealed Mansfield Town's passage into round two of the FA Cup after a nervy afternoon against National League part-timers Chorley.
It was a dour game with few chances for either side but swung on a passage of play on 80 minutes when keeper Conrad Logan denied the visitors what would probably have been a shock winner as he saved Lewis Baines' header.
Stags went straight up the other end and bagged the winner as Maynard headed home when Matt Urwin could only block a Jacob Mellis shot.
It was otherwise poor fare on a freezing afternoon with little for home fans to get excited about as Chorley kept their shape and Stags struggled to find penetration, despite so much possession.
The goal was one of only two home efforts on target all afternoon.
Mansfield made just one change with Leeds loanee Conor Shaughnessy not eligible to play and replaced in midfield by Will Tomlinson.
Top scorer Danny Rose returned from injury to take a place on the bench.
Chorley made two changes from last weekend; new signing striker Charles Vernam, on loan from Grimsby, going straight in, along with Adam Blakeman.
Chorley were first to threaten as Bishop's attempted clearance only reached Matt Challoner on the edge of the box and he rifled a shot over the top.
Then Smith's shot struck Preston on the back of the neck as the visitors continued on the front foot.
Maynard won Stags a free kick 20 yards out on 11 minutes only to see Otis Khan's kick strike the wall in the home side's first goal attempt.
On 16 minutes Stags lost the ball on the right and Massanka picked up the loose ball and saw his shot deflect wide for a corner.
There was more concern on 20 minutes as Ryan Sweeney gave away a central free kick 25 yards from goal and Blakeman curled it narrowly over with home hearts in mouths.
Alex MacDonald tried his luck from distance but was well wide as the home side continued to struggle to open up the part-timers.
Neal Bishop then made sure Logan was alert with a long back header that almost saw Vernam nip in, the ball having just enough on it to reach the keeper with home fans in a a panic.
A long period of home possession ended with Maynard heading over a Khan cross with home fans growing ever more restless with Stags' lack of penetration.
MacDonald was then just unable to take a killer through ball by Bishop in his stride and the moment was lost.
But Chorley came very close on 37 minutes as Massanka curled a low cross in front of goal that just evaded the incoming Vernam.
In reply, Gordon cut in from the right and fired over the far angle.
A minute later MacDonald played a one-two with Maynard but fired wide.
Cook suffered a cut eye as he went to head a left wing cross. He soon returned with the wound bandaged and shirt changed.
The industrious Khan had a low cross cut out by the keeper and soon after was too high with a shot from 20 yards as a few boos rang out as the home side left the field for the break.
Three minutes after the restart Logan had to punch an inswinging Smith corner away from almost on the goal line.
On 51 minutes' Stags' best move so far saw Kellan Gordon's backheel put MacDonald into the box where he cut past one opponent before flashing a low shot into the sidenetting.
Then Ross made a crucial tackle on Andy Cook as he tried to make room for a shot from Maynard's pass.
Maynard then had a shot blocked and Gordon saw a cross-cum-shot fizz just over the bar as Stags began to warm to their task at last.
We finally had a shot on target on 64 minutes as Khan set up Bishop for an effort that was turned away by Urwin.
With Chorley replacing both strikers, Stags sent on CJ Hamilton for MacDonald.
Then on 72 minutes Rose replaced Cook in the home attack and within seconds he sliced a chance from Khan's pull-back.
Rose then just failed to turn home a Mal Benning cross at the far post, but an offside flag was already up anyway.
With 12 minutes to go Mellis took over Tomlinson in the centre of midfield.
Chorley had not threatened all half but on 80 minutes brought a first and superb save out of Logan as he clawed away Baines' close range header from Carver's far post cross.
Within a minute Stags finally broke through at the other end.
Mellis shot low from outside the area and, as Urwin made the save, Maynard was close at hand to head the loose ball into the net.
The visitors threw everything at it at the end, winning corners and putting home fans' nerves through the wringer, the final whistle a huge relief with some boos still ringing out for John Dempster's men.
STAGS: Logan; Gordon, Pearce, Preston, Benning; MacDonald (Hamilton 64), Tomlinson (Mellis 78), Bishop, Khan; Cook (Rose 72), Maynard. Subs not used: Olejnik, Sterling-James, Knowles, Smith.
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Meppen-Walters, Ross (Newby 84), Cottrell, Smith, Baines, Nortey, Massanka (Carver 57), Vernam (Almond 62). Subs not used: O'Keefe, Newby, Dodds, Eccles.
REFEREE: Savvas Yianni of Weston-super-Mare.
CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Otis Khan.
Chorley suffer narrow FA Cup defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town
by MIKE NEILD
Mansfield Town 1 Chorley 0
League Two Mansfield were made to sweat by a gallant Chorley side before squeezing through to the FA Cup second round thanks to a poacher’s goal by Nicky Maynard nine minutes from time.
The resolute Magpies could hold their heads high after a gutsy display in a tight game of few chances and the result could so easily have gone the other way, given the circumstances moments before the Stags’ winning goal.
Chorley had produced a delightful build-up and when the ball was slipped out to the right, substitute Marcus Carver lifted over a well-flighted cross.
Lewis Baines met it with a smart header at the far post only to be denied by an athletic save by Conrad Logan who at full stretch tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.
Play quickly transferred to the other end where Mansfield’s final substitute Jacob Mellis, receiving a square pass, struck a low drive which Matty Urwin dived to keep out.
But the keeper could not hold on to the ball which looped up invitingly for Maynard to nod home from short range.
It was tough on the Magpies who had repeatedly blocked the hosts’ best attempts - it was past the hour-mark before Urwin was seriously tested by a shot from Neal Bishop.
In fact it was Chorley who had made the brighter start and Matt Challoner might have done better than fire just over the bar following a half-clearance after just two minutes.
Later Ntumba Massanka delivered a searching low centre across the goalmouth which new signing Charlie Vernam was inches away from turning into the net.
Not unexpectedly, the League Two side grew into the game to assume the ascendancy but neat approach work failed to fashion clear-cut chances, though Alex MacDonald wasted the best of them early in the second half by firing into the side-net when well placed to do better.
Mansfield’s extra quality began to show in the latter stages as they stretched the Chorley defence - but had that Baines’ header gone in it could have been a different story.
Manager Jamie Vermiglio was far from down-hearted after the game.
He said: “We’ve done very well today. The boys have defended like Trojans, won second balls and kept possession well.
“If Lewis’s header had gone in, we could have won the tie or at least forced a replay.
“It was just disappointing to get to the last 10 minutes on level terms and then not bring them back to our place.”
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Ross (A Newby 84), Meppen-Walter, Baines, Blakeman, Cottrell, Smith, Nortey, Massanka (Carver 57), Vernam (Almond 63). Subs (not used): O’Keefe, E Newby, Dodds, Eccles.
Stags sneak through: Mansfield 1-0 Chorley MATCH REPORT
words Ian Bradley, D3D4 roving reporter
A cold grey Nottinghamshire sky greeted the teams for this FA Cup 1st Round tie this afternoon.
The talented but woefully inconsistent Stags will be looking for victory to ease the growing pressure on manager John Dempster as his misfiring troops continue to frustrate the Field Mill faithful.
There is no such weight of expectation for the Magpies & their boss Jamie Vermiglio. His team currently lie rock bottom of the National League with only one league win so far this season so this should be an ideal opportunity for them to relax & show a wider audience what they could do.
The Stags started in a traditional 4-4-2 & lined up as follows;
20 Gordon 17 Sweeney 4 Preston 3 Benning
7 McDonald 16 Tomlinson 6 Bishop 10 Khan
19 Cook 11 Maynard
Town’s National League opponents took to the field in a 5-3-2 formation as follows;
2 Challoner 16 Baines 6 Meppen-Walters 12 Ross 3 Blakeman
13 Cottrell 15 Smith 17 Nortey
19 Vernam 18 Massanka
The visitors started brightly & had a glorious chance to open the scoring in only the second minute but unfortunately, the Lancastrian’s full-back Challoner blazed high & wide from the edge of the area when well placed. The hosts tried to press forward in the early stages but a series of misplaced passes & poor decisions when in possession were getting the home crowds back up somewhat. Chorley’s three centre backs particularly the very impressive Meppen-Walters were dealing very easily with the League 2 sides rather powder puff attacks whilst not looking particularly impressive further forwards themselves as the worst 45 minutes of football I’ve witnessed all season ended with a chorus of boos from the home support.
HT Stags 0 Magpies 0
The early part of the second period was a carbon copy of what had gone before, namely plenty of Mansfield possession but absolutely nothing to show for it & the Chorley defence growing in confidence & dealing very well with what little they had to cope with. The home crowd was pleading with the bench to change things & eventually Dempster relented, replacing the disappointing Cook & McDonald with wide man CJ Hamilton & forward Danny Rose & guess what?
The Stags started creating chances. Firstly Nicky Maynard’s goalbound effort was blocked brilliantly by Magpies defender Blakeman, next a Neal Bishop strike was well parried by Urwin for the games FIRST shot on target. Keen to keep up this momentum the Stags introduced midfielder Jacob Mellis for the largely anonymous Tomlinson as the League Two side cranked up the pressure on their non-league visitors. A Mal Benning low cross that just needed a touch was narrowly missed by the onrushing Rose as the pressure continued but then came the 90 seconds that determined the result of the match.
On 80 minutes & out of nothing Chorley who had made substitutions of their own were within a whisker of taking the lead when a cross from the right was headed goalwards from close range by sub Lewis Baines but Stags keeper Conrad Logan produced a brilliant save to palm the ball over for a corner which was cleared upfield by the hosts. Hamilton squared the ball to fellow sub Mellis whose powerful shot was parried by Urwin but only as far as Maynard who headed into an empty net to put the L2 side into the second round. Chorley finally put the home defence under a bit of pressure late on & even forced a couple of corners but there were no real chances as the game ended to another chorus of boos from the Mansfield faithful.
FT Stags 1 Magpies 0
A win is a win & the Stags are into the second round but that’s where the good news ends. On paper & with the quality of their squad Mansfield should comfortably be in the top 7 of L2 & of course they still can be, after all it’s only November but there’s a lot wrong at Field Mill. Is it coaching? possibly, is it lack of confidence? quite definitely. I hate to be critical but the home support’s speed at criticising the team & management ain’t gonna help & some unity between the team & fans is urgently required if the club’s lofty ambitions are to be realised.
Chorley fans & their team should take a lot of hope & encouragement from this fine performance as they aim to climb the National League table. True, they probably didn’t trouble the Stags back four enough but their defence was largely rock solid & in their beast of a number 6 Courtney Meppen-Walters they had the game’s best performer.
I always enjoy my jaunts & did this one but jeez it was cold & hard work as a watch.
Latest | November 2019