UNITED APPIAH AFTER LEVELLER
ADAM Murray called for more leaders in the Mansfield dressing room after Kwesi Appiah’s stoppagetime goal secured Cambridge a replay.
Tom Champion’s own goal looked to have earned Mansfield a hard-earned victory on the road, after Rakish Bingham and Luke Chadwick exchanged first-half goals.
However, Appiah scored for the second consecutive round to earn replay and deny Murray a victory in his first game as playermanager at Mansfield.
“I said at half-time that some of them need to stand up, be a man and, whatever happens, come out with something,” Murray said.
“It’s going to take a while before the lads become confident and brave.
“In a strange way we sat in the dressing room like we had lost the game and I’m over the moon with that because it shows that they care.
“Do I think we did enough to win the game? No, if I’m honest. I’ve asked for bravery, I’ve asked for people to control and dictate the game.
“If we’re going to do that we need to be better. We weren’t good enough with the football and we gave possession away too easily.
“We’re on a journey, we’re on a process, but if they believe in the information we’re giving them then we’ll be OK.
“We’re looking to change everything. We’re going from black to white.
“It’s not something that these lads have been used to over the previous years.
“A fresh approach is needed and a new direction is needed.”
Murray’s managerial career got off to a dream start when Robert Taylor’s sumptuous left-wing cross was headed in at the back post by Bingham.
Parity was restored within seven minutes, though, when Chadwick, a Premier League winner at Manchester United, latched onto Champion’s through ball and finished low past Mansfield’s Swiss keeper Sascha Studer.
But the Stags thought they had won it ten minutes from the end of a scrappy second half when Taylor’s deep free-kick was turned into his own net by Cambridge skipper Champion.
However, when Mansfield failed to clear their lines, Appiah smashed home the equaliser for a replay at which Cambridge manager Richard Money was more than relieved:“I think we’ve shown a never say die attitude to get ourselves back into the game,” he said.
“There was some scrappy periods and we were not secure enough, so a replay is probably a fair result.
“I think the crowd were a bit quiet if I’m honest but we didn’t really give them much of a chance to get behind us.
“Sometimes when you try and force it and you’re expected to win, it’s not easy. But the shoe’s on the other foot now and they’ll think that they’ve done the job.
“The tie is still very even and we’ll be very dangerous away from home, there’s no doubt about, that as they were out there.”