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Archived News from December 2019

20th December 2019 19:37

FA Youth Cup - Round 3
Mansfield Town U18 3 - 1 Queens Park Rangers U18 (after extra time)
Tomlin 90+4, OG 95, Knowles 97. Kargbo 89.
Attendance: 247

Monday 16 December 2019


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town’s under 18 side are through to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after a superb 3-1 win over the youth team of Championship club Queens Park Rangers at the One Call Stadium this evening. It was a stunning performance from the Stags who completely outplayed their higher ranked opponents during the second half and during extra time, after an even first half.

It was 0-0 at half time. The Stags more than held their own, with Jimmy Knowles going close as did flying winger Rio Molyneaux. For QPR, right winger Lemar Griffiths was very dangerous and man mountain centre forward Hamzad Kargbo caused plenty of problems including heading just wide from a Griffiths cross.

Mansfield completely dominated the second half with a succession of shots blocked, a thunderous effort against the bar from Shamar Lawson, other shots off target, and a goal disallowed for hand ball.

But with a sickening sucker punch, QPR took the lead after 89 minutes completely against the run of play when the impressive man mountain centre forward Kargbo scored a tremendous solo goal beating Stags defenders and sending a thunderbolt into the top corner of the net.

But, wow, with almost the last kick of stoppage time, Mansfield deservedly levelled as Kyle Tomlin fired over the keeper and into the net from fully 40 yards. It was an astonishing moment. Did he mean it? Or was he launching it into the box? I’m not sure. If he did mean it, it was inspirational. But the Stags had been terrific in the second half and more than deserved that.

So, into extra time, and the Stags really had the bit between their teeth now. Just 5 minutes into extra time, the lively and dangerous Molyneaux surged into the box on the right and his low cross was turned into his own net by a Rangers defender. And within two minutes, it was 3-1 as Jimmy Knowles fired into the net from inside the box after the ball fell to him. After 99 minutes, each side had a player sent off sub Ryan Ingram and QPR’s Arkell Jude-Boyd were both shown straight reds as they squared up.

Into the second period of extra time and Knowles cut inside from the left and fired into the side netting. QPR rarely looked like getting back into it though and Mansfield were through.

This was a hugely impressive performance. Jimmy Knowles, as you’d expect, caught the eye. Time and again he cut in from the left and got shots away. Rio Molyneaux again caught the eye on the right wing with his pace. His cross led to the second goal. If he can improve his crossing, he’ll make it as a pro footballer I’m sure. Josh Scott was excellent at centre forward. Big and strong he held on to the ball well and brought others into play. The defence was also excellent. Ben Bayliss was terrific at right back. Centre half George Cooper made several good tackles. Nathan Saunders alongside him, did as well, and made one outstanding run forward. Kian Sketchley, who played for the first team in the pre-season friendly at Alfreton, had a tough first half against right winger Lemar Griffiths, but was excellent after that. In midfield, Ethan Hill caught my eye. He certainly knows how to put his foot on the ball. While Kyle Tomlin was the hero with the equaliser. Shamar Lawson also did well in midfield and was so unlucky not to score with his thunderous effort against the bar.

A word on QPR. They were surprisingly average, apart from right winger Lemar Griffiths in the first half, but he was kept quiet after that by Stags left back Kian Sketchley, and Hamzad Kargbo, who would cause problems to any side. However, of course, they were made to look average by Mansfield.

Credit to all the Stags players, to the coaches including Mike Whitlow, Simon Ward and Jamie McGuire, the rest of the Academy staff led by Richard Cooper, and of course to former manager John Dempster, plus directors Steve Hymas and Mark Hawkins who have paid a special attention to the youth team. Dempster, incidentally, watched the game, despite being sacked as first team manager just 48 hours earlier.

Mansfield will be at home to Burnley or Curzon Ashton in the fourth Round.

At the game, it was great to sit next to Stags legend Paul Matthews from the successful mid 1970’s Stags sides. Paul’s grandson is Ethan Hill, who had a fine game as I’ve noted. Ethan Hill was previously with Nottingham Forest and their loss certainly appears to be Mansfield’s gain. After the game, we reminisced on the wonderful days of Gordon Hodgson, Jimmy McCaffrey, Kevin Bird, Colin Foster, John Lathan.


Youth report: Stags 3-1 Queens Park Rangers (AET)
Mon 16 Dec 2019, mansfieldtown.net, by Kelham Hilton

Mansfield Town under-18s booked their place in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup after a dramatic comeback against Queens Park Rangers.

It looked like the Championship outfit had stolen victory against the run of play, with a late sucker-punch one minute from time.

But the Stags refused to be beaten as Kyle Tomlin equalised with a sensational 40-yard-strike in fourth minute of added time.


The young guns completed the turn-around inside the opening five minutes of extra-time. An own goal from Kayden Harrack put Mansfield ahead before Jimmy Knowles sealed the victory just two minutes later.

In a quiet opening five minutes it was the Stags who forced the first opportunity of the game. After some good team pressing, Shamar Lawson took a strike at goal, but he saw his effort blocked on the edge of the area.

On seven minutes, Knowles was fouled 35 yards from goal and Ethan Hill stepped up, but his free kick was hit straight down Max Little’s throat.

Rangers’ first real opportunity came on 18 minutes. Lemar Griffiths danced his wide down the right flank but couldn’t find the head of Hamzad Kargbo.

Down the other end, the Stags went close through Knowles. The forward showed some spectacular footwork to weave clear of two defenders before cutting-inside and curling his effort agonisingly over the bar.

QPR thought they’d opened the scoring moments later, when Kargbo headed the ball across for Griffiths who tapped into an empty net. Thankfully for the Stags, the assistant had spotted the striker was offside.

On 28 minutes, the duo combined again. This time Griffiths turned provider but Kargbo glanced wide of Campbell’s goal from close range.

Two minutes later, it was the amber and blue’s turn to threaten. Again, Knowles did well to carve out an opportunity, but his thunderous drive was met with a timely block from a QPR defender.

With just over ten minutes to the break, Rangers should have been ahead. A good move eventually saw Arkell Jude-Boyd pick out Stathis Kalathias in a pocket of space, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his volley down.

Mansfield countered and were a whisker away from taking the lead themselves. Rio Molyneaux knocked the ball past the defender and saw his shot whistle past the post.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first, with both teams cancelling each other out in a scrappy affair. The first opportunity of the period fell to the visitors when Armelindo Mema was fouled outside the box, but Jude-Boyd saw his effort cannon off the wall.

Ethan Hill went close for the Stags just before the hour-mark. The midfielder combined with Knowles before trying his luck from distance, but his effort was too high to test Little.

With 18 minutes ago, Knowles again went close, powering past his marker before firing low at Little, but the R’s ‘keeper was equal to]o it.

Seconds later and the amber and blue were inches away from the opening goal. Lawson spun in the area and rocketed a powerful effort which struck the crossbar before bouncing on the line and away to safety. The young guns had the ball in the net shortly after, but the referee had spotted a handball and ruled the goal out.

With the Stags on top, only some frantic last-ditch defending from QPR kept parity. Cooper, Scott and Knowles all saw strikes blocked before the visitors scrambled the ball to safety.

Mansfield were relentless in their pursuit of the opening goal. Tomlin found himself with time and space after a well-worked throw-in but couldn’t find the target from distance.

With five minutes to go, Rangers made a rare venture into the hosts’ half and almost took the lead against the run of play. Mema broke clear of Ben Bayliss down the left and picked out Kargbo but he was denied by a heroic block from Kian Sketchley.

With just a minute of normal time remaining, it looked like QPR had stolen it in dramatic fashion. Kargbo won the ball from Nathan Saunders on the edge of the box and fired empathically into the roof of the goal.

But the young guns refused to be beaten and showed incredible spirit to battle their way back to deservedly take the game to extra time.

With virtually the last kick, Tomlin tried an audacious 40-yard effort which looped over Little to spark wild scenes of celebration.

The momentum had clearly swung the way of the Stags and three minutes into extra-time they found themselves in front. Molyneaux powered his way down the line and put in a wicked cross which Harrack diverted into his own goal.

Moments later, Mansfield struck again. Once more, Molyneaux was the provider as he picked out Knowles and despite getting something on it, Little couldn’t keep his effort out.

The amber and blue weren’t finished. Scott latched onto a sublime pass from Hill but could only volley over from distance.

There was more drama to follow as Ingram and Jude-Boyd were both shown red cards following an off-the-ball altercation on 99 minutes.

QPR were throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to get themselves back into the contest and this left them vulnerable to the counter-attack.

Hill picked up the ball from the visitor’s corner and drove the full length of the pitch before cutting the ball back to Knowles but Little managed to parry his low strike away to safety.

The Stags looked to extend their lead further and almost did so in the 109th minute. Knowles created an opening for himself but could only find the side netting from a narrow angle.

Sketchley made a timely intervention two minutes later to maintain his side’s two-goal-cushion, deflecting Kargbo’s drive away for a corner. The resulting set-piece was cleared out of harm’s way.

The visitors pushed for a way back into the game, but the Stags defended resolutely to secure their place in the next round.

STAGS XI: Campbell (GK), Bayliss, Sketchley, Tomlin, Cooper, Saunders, Molyneaux (Caine 106’), Hill, Scott (King 120’), Knowles, Lawson (Ingram 90’).

UNUSED SUBS: Boyle (GK), Fisher, Adams, Jones.

QPR XI: Little (GK), McLean, Paiva, Kalathias (Cotter 53’), Mahron, Harrack, Griffiths (Eze 84’), Jude-Boyd, Kargbo, Aoraha (Gordon 109’), Mema.

UNUSED SUBS: Middlehurst (GK).

REFEREE: Luke Watson.

ASSISTANTS: Daniel Tracey, Sam Wright.



One of the best last-minute equalisers of all time? Mansfield youngster scores incredible 40-YARD strike to keep his team in FA Youth Cup... but hero of the hour admits 'it was a bit of luck'
Kyle Tomlin scored a 40-yard screamer for Mansfield Town's Under 18s side
The midfielder netted with his side seconds away from an FA Youth Cup exit
Mansfield then went on to win the match against Queen Park Rangers
But Tomlin admitted that he was fortunate to score in the 95th minute


'Cometh the hour, cometh the man' is often the term used when players step up at just the right time. And Mansfield Town's Under-18s midfielder Kyle Tomlin did exactly that.

It looked like Queens Park Rangers' youth team had prevented their Mansfield counterparts from reaching the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after delivering a sucker-punch through Hamzad Kargbo's rifled effort from the edge of the box one minute from time.

But the tie was to see further late drama in the 95th minute when Mansfield were just seconds from a 1-0 elimination.

Tomlin controlled a throw-in inside the QPR half and his subsequent touch set it up perfectly on the half-volley to let fly with a seemingly speculative long-range effort.

But after going through with the effort it headed closer and closer as the crow flies towards the QPR goal, and before goalkeeper Little was able to react, the ball dipped over his head and underneath the bar.

Kyle Tomlin factfile
Position: Midfielder
Height: 182cm
Previous clubs: Burton Albion

The goal saw Tomlin run from left to right across the width of the pitch in celebration before knee-sliding in front of the onrushing players on the substitutes bench.

The goal sent the tie into extra time, which saw Mansfield complete the turn-around.

They did so within five minutes of extra time after Kayden Harrack diverted a Rio Molyneaux cross into his own net before the Mansfield right midfielder provided for Jimmy Knowles to seal the victory just two minutes later.

However, the comeback was started by Tomlin's incredible hit, which he described as 'a bit of luck'.

Tomlin told Mansfield's official Facebook page: 'I'll be honest, it was a bit of luck. I saw him [the keeper] off his line so I said 'just put it in the area and hope' and luckily it has gone over him.

'It is an unbelievable feeling. You can't put it into words honestly. We're just happy to be into the next round now and get ready for that.'

The midfielder however appears not to be known for his goal-scoring ability, but rather his tenacity in the tackle.

Tomlin is described on the club's website as 'a defensive-minded midfielder, who is not one to shy away from a physical battle in the centre of the park.

'He has a real passion for the game, relishing the challenge of training everyday and maintaining the coaching staff's high standards.'

Tomlin is now a second-year scholar signed for the Stags following a spell with Burton Albion.


Mansfield Town U18 (3) - QPR U18 (1) aet
FA Youth Cup 3rd Round

Team: Little, McLean, Paiva, Kalathias, Mahorn, Harrack, Griffiths, Jude-Boyd, Kargbo, Aoraha, Mema

Sub Not Used: Middlehurst

Attendance: 247

Twice postponed, the FA Youth Cup tie at the One Call Stadium finally took place last Monday night.

The programmes were very limited and not surprisingly they sold out very quickly.

Mansfield had beaten Doncaster 4-3 in Round One and then went on to defeat Rotherham 4-2 after extra time.

The first shot on target came on nine minutes from the home side when Ethan Hill’s audacious 35-yard free kick, was comfortably saved by Max Little.

Two minutes later Mr Watson booked Hamzad Kargbo. A needless yellow card for the R’s striker who wouldn’t move back ten yards to allow a free kick to be taken.

The Stags No.4 went close when he curled his 25-yard effort just past the far post.

Whilst at the other end, Lemar Griffiths put the ball in the net from Hamzad Kargbo’s knock down, but it was ruled out for offside.

Rangers really should have taken the lead shortly after when the same two players combined again. Lemar Griffiths took off on a good run and then sent over a great cross, which the R’s No.9 headed wide.

There was some excellent play from Trent Mahorn after he had taken a quick throw-in. The R’s captain then received the ball, went past a defender and up to the bye-line where he won a corner.

After knocking the ball past Junior Paiva, the Stags No.7, Rio Molyneaux, shot low and the ball narrowly evaded the far post.

Minutes before the break, a dangerous cross from the left-wing resulted in Hamzad Kargbo and the Mansfield keeper, Maison Campbell, both staying down and requiring attention.

The on the stroke of half-time the R’s striker prodded the ball just over the crossbar. It remained goalless at the interval.

Early into the second-half, Paul Furlong brought on Riley Cotter in place of Stathis Kalathias.

Passes were going astray and it took a while for either goalkeeper to be troubled.

It was Max Little who denied Jimmy Knowles with an excellent save from his thunderous shot, which then saw the ball go behind for a corner.

Moments later Shamar Lawson forced the R’s keeper into superbly tipping the ball onto the crossbar. The ball went down close to the goal-line before being cleared to safety.

The home side were certainly in the ascendancy and their next effort was scrambled into the net, but was ruled out seemingly for a handball.

An R’s defender made an outstanding block after a Stags player had pulled the trigger from close range.

Chimaechi Eze was introduced on 83 minutes at the expense of Lemar Griffiths.

Two minutes later Armelindo Mema went on a great run down the left and into the box before setting up Hamzad Kargbo who thumped the ball goalwards. Kian Sketchley made an excellent block, sending the ball behind for a corner.

It seemed that Rangers had won the game in the 89th minute when Kargbo turned Nathan Saunders on the edge of the box and belted the ball high into the back of the net!

The hosts went close to an equaliser when Joshua Scott’s attempt inside the box was parried away by Max Little and a team mate just managed to arrive in time to clear the ball. Four added minutes were then signalled.

With just seconds remaining Mansfield were awarded a free kick some 40 yards out. Kyle Tomlin stepped up and launched the ball over Max Little to snatch a dramatic equaliser!

The Stags took the lead a few minutes into extra time following Rio Molyneaux’s low cross from the right, which then came off Kayden Harrack and agonisingly into the net.

Mansfield added a third two minutes later, when Jimmy Knowles made no mistake following Molyneaux’s cross.

Arkel Jude-Boyd and Ryan Ingram were each shown a red card after an off the ball incident near the corner flag.

Into the two added minutes and it looked like Trent Mahorn was shown a yellow card? If he was, it was certainly harsh.

In the second period of extra time Matthew Gordon came on to replace Alex Aoraha and also in the 109th minute the Stags went close to adding a fourth goal when Jimmy Knowles hit the side netting.

The last piece of goalmouth action saw Kian Sketchley deflect Hamzad Kargbo’s shot behind for a corner.

Mansfield will now take on Burnley at the One Call Stadium in the 4th Round.

I was told that amongst those looking on were Les Ferdinand, Chris Ramsey and Andy Sinton.

It was good to meet up with Rob Cooper, Darren Clark and the R’s fan who I didn’t know in the car park.

Many thanks to Sammy (Dennis Samuels) for the lift.

Steve Russell



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