Lo­cal lad helps Stags to cap­size the spir­ited Non-League Ducks

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FIRST ROUND -

MANSFIELD Town pro­gressed de­spite dogged re­sis­tance from North­ern Premier League high­fly­ers Shaw Lane in a lively en­counter at Shee­rien Park, leav­ing Stags boss Steve Evans to breathe a huge sigh of re­lief.

The League Two side took the lead in the 34th minute when Krys­tian Pearce opened the scor­ing be­fore the Barns­ley part-timers roared back to equalise through Lee Ben­nett’s ef­fort four min­utes be­fore the break.

But de­spite the Non-League out­fit pos­ing ques­tions early in the sec­ond half and the Stags miss­ing from the spot, a brace from Danny Rose, who lives just four streets away from Shaw Lane’s ground, sealed the deal for Evans’ side as they guar­an­teed their place in the hat for the next round.

A re­lieved Evans paid trib­ute to the home side af­ter a game that was played in front of the BT Sport cam­eras

“Fair play to Shaw Lane. They’ve made it a good cup-tie. This was a tough af­ter­noon for us,” he said.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be where ev­ery­one out­side Mansfield wants you to lose and only credit goes to Shaw Lane.

“They put up a won­der­ful cup tie. They stretched us at times. It was very phys­i­cal and we’re just

pleased we’ve come and dealt with it and we’re in the next round.

“We had to turn up here and work so hard against a real dif­fi­cult op­po­nent. There would be league clubs come here and lose but we dealt with it.”

Af­ter a slug­gish open­ing, Mansfield took the lead when ref­eree Ben Toner judged David Nor­ris to have com­mit­ted a foul 30 yards from goal.

A clever set-piece from Joel By­rom led to a clear­ance fall­ing to Pearce, whose shot found the bot­tom left cor­ner through a stack of bod­ies, with goal­keeper Jon Ste­wart’s vi­sion blocked in front of goal.

Lee Ben­nett, start­ing just his sec­ond game of the sea­son for the home side, then lev­elled things up em­phat­i­cally for Shaw Lane on 40 min­utes. Alex Byrne’s rightwing cross worked its way through to Nicky Walker on the left and the winger pulled the ball back across goal, where a de­flec­tion fell in front of Ben­nett, mean­ing all he had to do was smash it home. As the pace of the game picked up in the sec­ond half, Mansfield were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute af­ter an­other for­mer Barns­ley man, Ja­cob Mellis, ap­peared to be brought down by Billy White­house. But a fine save to his right by Ste­wart de­nied Mellis, to the de­light of the home sup­port­ers, who thought the penalty de­ci­sion was some­what harsh in the first place.

With the scores still level, Shaw Lane would have fan­cied mak­ing Ste­wart’s save count, smelling vic­tory and the chance of a Cup up­set against a side sit­ting some 58 places above them in the foot­ball pyra­mid.

But en­ter Barns­ley boy Rose. His two strikes in five min­utes put the game out of the hosts’ reach.

His first, on 73 min­utes, saw the striker rise above both Kelvin Lugs­den and Ryan Qual­ter to head over Ste­wart.

And there was noth­ing any­one could do with a sub­lime fin­ish on 78 min­utes as Rose ac­ro­bat­i­cally scis­sor-kicked home fol­low­ing a cross by Alex Mac­Don­ald.

Shaw Lane man­ager Craig Ed­wards said: “We came in want­ing to be com­pet­i­tive and we had them on the ropes for a lit­tle while. It has taken an in­cred­i­ble fin­ish to kill the game off.

“When you save a penalty, you start think­ing: ‘it could be our day’, but credit to Danny; I be­lieve he's a lo­cal lad and exBarns­ley, and he has re­ally de­liv­ered.

“I hope peo­ple liked what they saw and recog­nise we are a small club go­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

STAG PARTY: Mansfield’s Krys­tian Pearce, left, cel­e­brates scor­ing their first goal

DOU­BLE SALVO: Danny Rose set­tles the tie by scor­ing Mansfield’s sec­ond, left, and third, right STAR MAN ALEX MAC­DON­ALD Mansfield

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