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Archived News from December 2019

8th December 2019 13:15

English Football League Trophy - Leasing.com Trophy, Round Two
Port Vale 2 - 2 Mansfield Town Port Vale win 4-2 on penalties
Brown 64, Taylor 82. Hamilton 50, Sterling-James 90+2
Attendance: 1164 (104 from Mansfield)

Date: 3 December 2019

Martin Shaw at Vale Park

Mansfield Town exited from the EFL Trophy (now named Leasing.com Trophy) on penalties last night at Vale Park after a 2-2 draw with Port Vale. Omari Sterling-James had drawn the Stags level at 2-2 with a terrific goal in stoppage time, but for the fourth time out of four this season, Mansfield lost a penalty shoot-out, as CJ Hamilton’s powerful penalty was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Vale keeper Scott Brown and then Mal Benning’s dreadfully weak spot kick was easily saved by the keeper, while Bobby Olejnik dived the wrong way each time as Vale converted all four of their spot kicks. The Stags have therefore been knocked out of the FA Cup and EFL Trophy in the space of 3 days on top of the disappointing league form which has the Stags just two points above third bottom place approaching the halfway point in the season.
The first half of the game was dismal. Mansfield repeatedly gave the ball away cheaply and created just one chance as CJ Hamilton, Mansfield’s best player on the night, crossed for Andy Cook who headed down but straight to the keeper. Port Vale weren’t much better in the first half but did create a few chances, though their finishing was mostly very poor while Olejnik made a couple of decent saves, from Scott Burgess and Mark Cullen. The midfield of MacDonald, Bishop and Smith did little, while Cook was mostly left isolated up front.
Into the second half and the Stags started it well. In the opening minute, Hamilton nicked the ball off a Vale player and set Cook away to the edge of the area where he shot straight at the keeper. Then Otis Khan shot wide.
And Mansfield were in front after 50 minutes. Cook intercepted a poor backpass from former Stag Will Atkinson and laid the ball square to Hamilton who fired into the net right footed from 12 yards. It was Hamilton’s first goal of the season, in stark contrast to the 14 goals he netted last season.
Rhys Brown made a great run and forced Olejnik into a great save after 56 minutes, but Vale were level after 64 minutes thanks to some horrific defending. David Worrall crossed low from the byline on the right, it came straight to Alistair Smith who had plenty of time to clear, but tried to control it and Brown nicked it off him before firing past Olejnik from 12 yards. It was a schoolboy error from the youngster who has promised so much when he has played this season but has to learn quickly to play in the right areas and clear your lines when you need to.
Vale took the lead after 82 minutes, as Worrall crossed from the right again, to Jake Taylor who, despite the attentions of Smith again, was allowed to fire into the corner of the net from 14 yards. Smith could have done better, as could James Clarke who failed to block the shot, and Mal Benning who could have stopped the cross come in.
Conor Shaughnessy headed wide from a Mal Benning corner after 85 minutes, while at the other end after 89 minutes Jake Taylor should have sealed the game when Jacob Mellis and the out-of-sorts Neal Bishop conspired between them to give the ball away and Taylor fired wide from a great position.
I had said during commentary around half time that the Stags performance had cried out for more oomph from the likes of Omari Sterling-James who was on the substitute’s bench, but his introduction was delayed far too long until 86 minutes. And within 6 minutes, on 90+2 minutes, a moment of brilliance from Sterling-James had drawn the Stags level. Mellis played a wonderful ball out to the right wing where Sterling-James teased his way into the area and fired a fabulous shot across the keeper and into the net. It was the 4th goal for Sterling-James in a season when he has had very few minutes on the pitch.
And so to the penalty shoot-out which Mansfield lost 4-2. In the four penalty shoot-outs this season, involving three different Stags keepers, the Stags have only saved one penalty. Indeed the Stags have not actually won a penalty shoot-out since knocking out Slough Town in the FA Cup in 2012, a game in which current manager John Dempster was sent off, on the way to facing Liverpool.
Overall this was a poor performance from Mansfield, something which is becoming increasingly common. In my opinion, the performances are generally getting worse rather than better. The second half of this game was certainly better than the first from Mansfield, but Port Vale did deserve to go through. I would excuse the poor performances from youngsters such as Smith and Clarke, but some of the more experienced players were very poor and are not doing enough to dig their under-pressure manager John Dempster out of a hole.
After 5 consecutive away games, 3 cup games and 2 league games, the longest run of competitive away fixtures in the club’s history, the Stags are back at home on Saturday, as Cheltenham visit the One Call stadium.



Port Vale 2, Mansfield 2 - Report as Vale go through on penalties
By Michael Baggaley, stokesentinel.co.uk, 3 DEC 2019

PORT VALE 2 (Browne, 65, Taylor, 83))

MANSFIELD 2 (Hamilton 50, Sterling-James 90)

Vale win 4-2 on penalties

This Leasing.com Trophy tie would have had to produce something sensational to be Port Vale's biggest story of the week. However, the Vale gave it a good go, winning 4-2 on spot kicks after finishing 2-2 on full time.

So, an entertaining game for the 1,100 in attendance, including Robbie Williams back to cheer on his home town team.

He saw them progress into the last 16, John Askey's side collecting £20,000 in prize money along the way. That will be dwarfed by the funds made from Vale's FA Cup third-round tie at Manchester City in January, but will further strengthen Askey's hand as he looks to strengthen his squad in the transfer window.

One target could be Jake Taylor, the on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder who came off the bench to score Vale's second goal, although even his efforts were overshadowed by the lively Rhys Browne, who scored the first goal, and Scott Brown, who made two fine saves in the shoot out.

Askey made seven changes and Mansfield's John Dempster six as both clubs juggled Trophy and league commitments.

But at least Askey was able to recall David Worrall to the side after the FA gave him the all-clear to play in this one despite being one game into a three match suspension from the more senior league and FA Cup competitions.

The Vale had lined up 4-3-3 with Worrall to the right and Browne to the left of striker Mark Cullen, as Ryan Lloyd and Scott Burgess were given freedom to get forward ahead of Luke Joyce in the midfield three.

Lloyd got ahead of a defender to meet a cross from the right but the angle was awkward and the volley is over the bar.

But Vale kept up the pressure as Worrall tried a first time strike from 25 yards, but too close to Olejnik.

Both Vale's wide men were a threat. In fact Browne created a chance on 19 minutes when he beat his man on his way into the left of the area. He cut the ball back to Cullen in space but the striker fired well wide from 14 yards.

Cullen rose to meet Worrall’s cross, got above his man but was stretching and sent his header a yard wide of the near post.

Shaun Brisley was forced off after picking up a knock and replaced by Leon Legge to resume his usual central defensive partnership with Nathan Smith. But Vale weren't being troubled much defensively and threatened again when Worrall’s cross was met by Lloyd on the edge of the area but his right-footed strike flew a yard over.

Mansfield did threaten as Andy Cook met a cross from the left. However, he didn't connect cleanly with the header from eight yards and so Scott Brown was able to save. easily.

But Vale finished the half with a flurry as Cullen found Worrall who got down the right and cut the ball back to the striker. Cullen took a touch and fired a powerful shot from 15 yards, but beaten away by the keeper at his near post.

Smith misdirected a header from a corner and Lloyd and Burgess threatened with long range efforts before the half-time whistle came to the home side's rescue.

The visitors started the second half more positively and took the lead on 50 minutes when

Cook got free on the left of the area and squared the ball to CJ Hamilton who was in space and lifted his shot above the diving Brown.

Vale were given a chance to level within two minutes but Worrall lifted a 20-yard free kick a yard over the bar. They came much closer when Ryhs Browne cut in from the left ran across the edge of the area, beating two players, but had his low shot deflected inches wide.

But the Stags threatened a second when Alex MacDonald broke into the right of the area before his ferocious strike from 15 yards was touched over by Brown.

Worrall found Browne with a precise chip to the back post but the shooting angle was tight after he had chested the ball down and his shot was smothered by the keeper.

But Browne levelled after Vale won possession just inside the area. He looked up and smashed the ball low across Olejnik and inside the far post.

Mal Benning curled a 25 yard free kick inches over as a reminder the Stags were still in the game.

In fact, Smith did well to head a corner clear at a crowded far post before an off-balance Benning sliced a 16-yard shot well wide.

Askey made a change on 74 minutes as Lloyd was replaced by Taylor.

Both sides looked capable of a winner but MacDonald fired well over from 25 yards on 78 minutes as a penalty shoot out began to loom.

But Taylor grabbed the lead on 83 minutes after Worrall had beaten his man down the right. The on-loan Nottingham

Forest midfielder chested down the winger's cross before volleying past Olejnik from 15 yards

Jordan Archer replaced Cullen four minutes from time, but Omari Sterling-James levelled in stoppage time to send the time to spot kicks.

However, that only temporarily delayed Vale's progress into the third round as Brown saved from Hamilton and Benning while Joyce, Taylor, Burgess and Atkinson all scored to give Vale a 4-2 shoot-out win.

Port Vale: Brown 8, Atkinson 6, Brisley 6 (Legge, 35, 6), Smith 6, Evans 6, Joyce 7, Burgess 6, Worrall 7, Lloyd 6 (Taylor, 74, 7), Cullen 6 (Archer, 86), Browne 8.

Vale subs: Amoo, Bennett, Campbell-Gordon, Maddison.

Mansfield (4-4-2) Olejnik, Clarke, Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Benning, McDonald (Sterling-James, 87), Smith (Knowles, 87), Bishop, Khan (Mellis, 74), Cook,


Subs: Logan, Maynard, Tomlinson, Ofolayan.

Entertainment 7

Referee Marc Edwards 6

Attendance: 1,164 (including 104 from Mansfield)


Penalties misery again as Mansfield Town bow out of Trophy at Port Vale
chad.co.uk, by Agency, Tuesday 03 December 2019

Mansfield Town's Leasing.com Trophy hopes were agonisingly crushed in another penalty shoot-out defeat after a 2-2 draw at Port Vale tonight.

The visitors looked down and out after second half goals from Rhys Browne and Jake Taylor cancelled out CJ Hamilton’s opener at Vale Park.

But Stags’ super sub Omari Sterling-James came off the bench to force a shoot-out before Hamilton and Mal Benning both saw spot kicks saved by Scott Brown as the visitors crashed out.

Stags’ shot-stopper Bobby Olejnik pulled off a string of fine saves in normal time.

Captain Krystian Pearce missed out due to illness, whilst Kellan Gordon was rested after undergoing a scan for a back niggle.


The Stags withstood some early pressure from the hosts.

Scott Burgess should have done better when he blasted over a volley before Olejnik was tested by a David Worrall stinger.

Vale striker Mark Cullen missed a couple of decent chances before the break as the hosts piled on the pressure. First the Blackpool loanee fired wide before nodding off target.

Just before the break Cullen managed to get an effort on target with Olejnik pulling off a good stop.

Defender Nathan Smith then headed wide as Vale failed to take advantage of their chances.

The Stags stormed out of the blocks after the restart with Andy Cook testing keeper Scott Brown before Hamilton put the visitors ahead in the 50th minute.

Cook showed decent strength to fend off the Valiants’ defence before laying off to Hamilton to fire home the opener.

Olejnik did well to keep out Rhys Browne, who fired across goal after bursting into the box and before the hour mark Alex MacDonald’s rasping strike was kept out.

Olejnik was at it again to keep out Browne after he was found by a nifty Worrall chipped pass.

But he was finally beaten in the 64th minute when Browne levelled up with a fine strike.

Benning almost immediately reclaimed the lead when he gave Brown a scare with a long-range free-kick.

But Taylor came off the bench to bag to fire home a superb volley after chesting down Worrall’s pin-point cross.

However, it wasn't over yet and Sterling-James sent the match to a shoot-out with his stoppage-time strike only to see Vale scored all four from the spot as Hamilton and Benning missed.

Port Vale: Brown, Atkinson, Smith, Evans, Brisley (Legge, 35), Joyce, Burgess, Lloyd (Taylor, 74), Worrall, Cullen, Browne. Unused subs: Campbell-Gordon, Amoo, Taylor, Bennett, Archer, Morrison.

Mansfield: Olejnik, Clarke, Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Benning, MacDonald (Sterling-James, 87), Smith (Knowles, 87), Bishop, Khan (Mellis, 74), Hamilton, Cook. Unused subs: Logan, Maynard, Tomlinson, Afolayan.

Referee: Marc Edwards.

Attendance: 1,164 (104).



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