SUPER STAGS WIN AT SUNDERLAND IN THE FA CUP
The Emirates FA Cup - Round One
Sunderland 0 - 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance: behind closed doors
Date: 7 November 2020
Martin Shaw at the Stadium of Light
Mansfield Town produced a fantastic performance to deservedly win 1-0 at Sunderland this afternoon in the First Round of the FA Cup. It was the Stags’ first win of the season at the fifteenth attempt!
Eleven days ago, the Stags were so bad that they made Barrow look like Barcelona in a 4-2 defeat. The contrast in the space of those eleven days has been quite stunning. And what a lot has happened in that time. Manager Graham Coughlan was sacked, academy manager Richard Cooper stepped up as caretaker manager and has done a fine job in steadying the ship with a draw in a much-improved performance against Walsall, followed by a good performance at Bolton which deserved a victory only to be pegged back in the final minute for another draw, and then finally that long-awaited victory today and what a place to do at the magnificent Stadium of Light. And of course yesterday a new manager was appointed, and a fantastic appointment it was as Nigel Clough came in to take over, which looks like a tremendous coup for the club.
Credit for this victory has to go to Cooper and his assistants Mike Whitlow, Jamie McGuire, Sam Collins and Sam Wilson, along with the players who battled so hard and showed plenty of quality.
Sunderland are flying high in League One with six league wins already from their first ten games, and although they made eight changes to their side today, still put out a side packed full with high quality players. But even though Sunderland hit the woodwork twice in the opening ten minutes, the Stags were certainly good value for the victory overall.
The only goal of the game came four minutes after half time as Kellan Gordon whipped in a wonderful cross from the right and George Lapslie thundered a great header into the right corner of the net from 9 yards. It was Lapslie’s second goal in four days and his desire to get his head on the end of the cross typified another whole-hearted performance from the on-loan player.
For the second game running, Mansfield were playing at a stadium they have not played at before, and the Stags started the game brightly with three chances in the opening 7 minutes, two for Nicky Maynard and one for James Perch, though Perch didn’t know much about his as a punched clearance from keeper hit him and went wide. Sunderland then hit the woodwork twice in a couple of minutes as much-travelled striker Danny Graham struck the left post with a shot and then headed against the bar from close range. Still in the first half, Mal Benning fired a good low shot just wide of the right post, and then George Maris put in a great cross for Jordan Bowery who volleyed over the bar from 8 yards. At the other end, Marek Stech made a very good save from Callum McFadzean.
An exciting first half was surprisingly goalless at the break, and the Stags were deservedly on level terms, showing no fear and really going for it.
In the first minute of the second half, a good shot from Stephen McLaughlin was saved by the home keeper who was down quickly. Then the Stags took the lead with that great goal.
Buoyed by the goal, the Stags were on top as a shot from Maris took a couple of deflections before going wide, Charsley fired over the bar, and Maynard shot wide.
Sunderland were creating little as Mansfield maintained a good shape, though on 69 minutes, Jack Diamond who played so well for Harrogate last season, especially in the play-off final which consigned Notts County to another season in the National League, found space in the box on the right and fired into the side netting.
The Stags were pushed back in the final five minutes but held on for victory with Stech pushing away a header from Charlie Wyke late on, and no-one could argue that they didn’t deserve it after a fantastic display. Lapslie will get the plaudits for his goal and an all-action display, but there were plenty of excellent performances, with Jordan Bowery absolute immense both in attack and back in defence from Sunderland set pieces. George Maris had his best game in a Stags shirt, Harry Charsley had a fine game, and at the back James Perch and Farrend Rawson provided a very solid central defensive partnership. All eleven Stags players put in a heroic performance though, and victory was sweet after such a terrible start to the season.
Mansfield of course must build on this, and need to pick up some league wins urgently to push away from the bottom three of the table. Before that, we can enjoy the FA Cup Second Round draw at 7pm on Monday, and then an EFL Trophy game at Scunthorpe at 7pm on Tuesday. The Scunthorpe game is a dead rubber, but £10,000 is at stake for the winner, and it will be the first game with Nigel Clough in the dugout which still makes it one to look forward to.
Clough watched from the stands today and then was able to join in with the celebrations at the side of the pitch at the end of the game.
The appointment of Nigel Clough on Friday was a real coup for the club and a fantastic appointment. Hopefully he will bring us some short, medium and long term success. I think he is as safe a pair of hands as you could get at this level, which is important with the club precariously placed in the League Two table. Thank you as always to owners John and Carolyn Radford for financing the appointment and financing the club in general, especially in these difficult times with a lack of funds coming into the club.
The Stags were unchanged from the side that was so close to victory at Bolton. It was the same diamond formation in midfield with Maris in front of the back four and Lapslie behind the front two.
It was the first game between the two clubs for 17 years. The clubs had only played each other five times before, with Sunderland winning all five of them. The Stags picked a good time to break that sequence.
Sunderland are managed by Phil Parkinson and he is assisted by former Stags manager Steve Parkin.
FULL REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE
Mansfield Town claim first win of season as they knock Sunderland out of FA Cup
George Lapslie scored his second goal in as many games to finally end Mansfield’s wait for a first win of the season.
Lapslie fired the Stags into the second round of the FA Cup ahead of Nigel Clough’s tenure as new boss.
The signs were good with a dominant performance to send League One Sunderland crashing out at the first hurdle of the cup at the Stadium of Light.
Caretaker boss Richard Cooper named an unchanged starting line-up to the side which drew at Bolton in midweek.
The Stags made a strong start to proceedings with a trio of chances to take the lead.
Nicky Maynard twice went close to breaking the deadlock either side of James Perch heading wide of the mark.
And those missed chances almost came back to haunt the visitors as Danny Graham’s effort hit the post after eight minutes.
Moments later Graham was denied by the woodwork for a second time as his close-range header cannoned off the bar.
George Maris did well to find Jordan Bowery inside the box with the latter poking over.
Marek Stech did well to keep out the Black Cats’ best chance of the half with a good low stop to deny Callum McFadzean.
The Stags once again stormed out of the blocks after the break.
Stephen McLaughlin stung the palms of Sunderland stopper Remi Matthews.
And the pressure told in the 49th minute when Lapslie headed home Kellan Gordon’s inviting cross to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Down the other end Sunderland’s players were left seething when shouts for handball in the box were waved away.
The Stags had to cling on for dear life to avoid extra time.
Charlie Wyke almost made an instant impact after coming on but couldn’t quite get on the end of McFadzean’s low cross.
Wyke presented Jack Diamond with a great chance as the midfielder fired into the side netting.
And keeper Stech was fortunate Wyke could only nod his effort straight at him late on.
Sunderland: Matthews, McLaughlin, Flanagan, Sanderson, Power, Dobson, Diamond, McFadzean (O'Brien, 75), Maguire (Embleton, 66), Graham (Wyke, 66), Grigg. Unused subs: Burge, Willis, Neil, Leadbitter.
Mansfield: Stech, Benning, Rawson, Gordon, Perch, Charsley, Maris, Lapslie, Bowery, McLaughlin, Maynard (O'Keeffe, 81). Unused subs: Stone, Menayese, Sinclair, Reid, O'Driscoll, Cook.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse.
Sunderland 0-1 Mansfield report as Black Cats suffer FA Cup shock
chroniclelive.co.uk, By James Hunter, 7 NOV 2020
League Two Mansfield were without a win all season but left the Stadium of Light with a 1-0 FA Cup victory
Sunderland fell at the first hurdle in the FA Cup for the second successive season as they suffered an embarrassing defeat against a Mansfield Town side that had not won a game in any competition this term.
George Lapslie’s header five minutes into the second period proved the difference as the League Two Stags finally won a game at the 15 th attempt.
As for Sunderland, this is the second season in a row they have exited the FA Cup at the first round stage, having lost to Gillingham in a replay 12 months ago.
Sunderland rattled the Mansfield woodwork twice through Danny Graham inside the first ten minutes, but that was as close as they came although Jack Diamond and Charlie Wyke both had good opportunities in the final 20 minutes.
As expected, Phil Parkinson made a raft of changes with only three members of the starting XI - Conor McLaughlin, Tom Flanagan, and Chris Maguire - that beat promotion rivals Ipswich Town kept their places in the side.
But that was no excuse for an insipid display against a side languishing third-bottom of the fourth tier.
Among the players who came in, Callum McFadzean impressed on his Sunderland debut.
Remi Matthews started in goal, Dion Sanderson came into central defence, Jack Diamond at right wingback, while Max Power and George Dobson came into midfield.
Graham and Will Grigg were paired together up front, with Maguire dropping into midfield.
Mansfield were watched from the stands by Nigel Clough who was appointed as manager yesterday, but caretaker-boss Richard Cooper oversaw the game at the Stadium of Light and named the same side that drew at Bolton in midweek.
Sunderland should have killed the game inside the first ten minutes, with two excellent chances falling to Graham.
The first saw Grigg tee up his strikepartner inside the box on the left and Graham’s shot beat keeper Marek Stech, only to come back off the left-hand post.
If that was unfortunate, the second chance has to go down as a bad miss.
McFadzean’s cross from the left dropped over the keeper and Graham was virtually on the goalline but somehow he headed against the bar, albeit under pressure from a defender.
At the other end, full-back Mal Benning sent a long-range shot wide, but the best chance fell to frontman Jordan Bowery midway through the half but he volleyed over the bar from eight yards out when he should have done better.
McFadzean had delivered a series of dangerous crosses, but ten minutes before half-time he almost broke the deadlock himself, turning inside the box and then hitting a low shot which the keeper did well to push wide.
Mansfield started the second half on front foot and within a minute of the restart Stephen McLaughlin’s long-range shot forced Matthews to save low down to his left.
And on 49 minutes Mansfield went ahead as Kellan Gordon’s inviting cross from the right found Lapslie and he powered a header past Matthews from 10 yards out.
That goal gave Mansfield a lead to defend, while Sunderland had to take more risks going forward.
Parkinson sent on subs Elliot Embleton, Wyke, and Aiden O’Brien, as the Black Cats tried to find a route back into the game.
Wyke set up an excellent chance for Diamond 20 minutes from time, playing the ball into the path of the youngster inside the area on the right but he blasted his shot into the sidenetting.
Five minutes from time they carved out an opportunity for the in-form Wyke, but his header was pushed clear by Stech.
And Mansfield held on to claim a famous cup win.
How they lined up
SUNDERLAND: Matthews, Sanderson, McLaughlin, Flanagan, Diamond, Power, Maguire (Embleton 66), Dobson, McFadzean (O’Brien 75), Graham (Wyke 66), Grigg. Subs not used: Burge, Willis, Leadbitter, Neil
MANSFIELD TOWN: Stech, Gordon, Rawson, Perch, Benning, Charslie, Maris, McLaughlin, Lapslie, Bowery, Maynard (O’Keefe 82). Subs not used: Stone, Manyese, Cook, O’Driscoll, Reid, Sinclair
BOOKED: Maris, Benning
REFEREE: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria)
Sunderland 0-1 Mansfield player ratings as the Black Cats crash out of FA Cup
How the Black Cats players have rated after their FA Cup defeat to League Two Mansfield
chroniclelive.co.uk, By James Hunter, 7 NOV 2020
Sunderland have crashed out of the FA Cup against Mansfield Town.
A George Lapslie bullet header was the difference for the Stags on an afternoon where the Black Cats were left to rue their missed chances.
Phil Parkinson must have been wondering how his side weren't ahead at the break.
After a host of changes from the Black Cats 2-1 win over Ipswich, it was Sunderland's debutant McFadzean who was the standout figure for the hosts in the opening 45.
He fashioned a great chance to break the deadlock in the opening quarter off the game. His cross teed up Will Grigg, who found Graham with a smart lay off but the former Blackburn Rovers striker could only turn his first time shot onto the post.
McFadzean was involved again, this time his inch perfect cross found Graham at the back post and he somehow managed to head the ball onto the underside of the bar.
The left wing-back then had a good chance of his own, making his way into the box, turning, before forcing Stech into a good save down low.
Mansfield came out of the blocks flying in the second half as Stephen McLaughlin's low drive forced Matthews into a good save.
With the wind in their sails, the Stags opened the scoring in style. Kellan Gordon spotted Lapslie's well timed run and he made no mistake powering a header beyond Matthews.
As for the hosts, the best chance of the second half fell to substitute Charlie Wyke, but Stech was equal to his header.
Sunderland didn't do enough to fashion enough clear cut chances to test Marek Stech.
Here's how James Hunter rated the Black Cats :
REMI MATTHEWS 6
No chance with the goal and only had one other save to make
DION SANDERSON 7
Defended well, looked comfortable on the ball, and was one of the few who could hold his head high
CONOR McLAUGHLIN 7
Moved to the middle of the back three and continued his recent good form
TOM FLANAGAN 6
Caught in possession a couple of times
JACK DIAMOND 6
Offered a threat from the right flank but sent one excellent chance into the sidenetting
MAX POWER 5
Too slow and sluggish in the middle of the park
CHRIS MAGUIRE 5
Not at his best, and nothing he tried came off
GEORGE DOBSON 4
Struggled to complete simple passes
CALLUM McFADZEAN 7
An impressive debut, delivering a series of excellent crosses and bringing a save out of the keeper
DANNY GRAHAM 6
Hit the woodwork twice in the first half - the first was unlucky, the second was a bad miss
WILL GRIGG 5
Set up one of Graham’s early chances but otherwise failed to make any impact
ELLIOT EMBLETON 6
For Maguire 66mins. Did OK on his return from long-term injury
CHARLIE WYKE 6
For Graham 66mins. Had a chance to score late on but it was saved
AIDEN O’BRIEN 5
For McFadzean 75mins. Did not offer enough in the final third
NOT USED: Burge, Willis, Leadbitter, Neil