Report: Carlisle United 2-3 Stags
Mansfield Town progressed in to the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy thanks to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Carlisle United this evening.
Steve Evans’ men took a two goal lead into half time, thanks to strikes from defender Krystian Pearce and striker Matt Green. Carlisle pushed forward in the second half, and the pressure paid off with two goals for the home side courtesy of forwards Shaun Miller and Charlie Wyke.
However, a fine 25-yard strike from substitute Danny Rose just four minutes from time sealed the Stags’ place in the next round of the cup.
Steve Evans made three changes from the side which came to Brunton Park ten days ago. Wingers James Baxendale, CJ Hamilton and Ashley Hemmings came into the starting XI with midfielder Oscar Gobern dropping to the bench.
Midfielder Mitch Rose and striker Pat Hoban both missed out through injury, with Alex Iacovitti coming on to the bench following his suspension, along with forward Zayn Hakeem.
The home side made five changes from the side that beat the Stags 5-2 last time out. Goalkeeper Max Crocombe, defender Macauley Gillesphey, midfielders Jamie Devitt and Joe McKee and striker Shaun Miller came into the starting line-up, with previous hat-trick hero Wyke dropping to the substitutes bench.
The first piece of notable action from the game came when Stags’ left-back Mal Benning found himself in a good position down the left channel, only to hit his cross onto the roof of the Carlisle net.
Carlisle should have opened the scoring after five minutes when a sloppy pass from Baxendale allowed wing back Danny Grainger to progress down the left.
His cross was cleared to the edge of the box to the awaiting Devitt but the attacking midfielder could only fire over from 18 yards.
Just a minute later, Carlisle were in the Stags’ box again when Shaun Miller played right winger Alex McQueen in on goal but a low save to the right by goalkeeper Scott Shearer kept the scoreline 0-0.
Another great chance for the home side came on eight minutes when a long ball was played over the top leaving Shaun Miller in acres of space, but Shearer saw his shot fly over the crossbar.
Mansfield had their first good chance of the game on ten minutes. Hamilton found himself with the ball on the edge of the box, and he teed up Mal Benning to fire with his left foot from 20 yards but his shot sailed over.
Hemmings also unleashed a 25 yard shot moments later but his effort, too, sailed beyond the Carlisle goal.
But despite Carlisle having the best chances in the opening quarter, it was the Stags who opened the scoring after 14 minutes. Hemmings won a free-kick 35 yards from goal and midfielder Chris Clements floated a high ball into the box where it was met by the head of Pearce and he headed the ball over Carlisle goalkeeper Crocombe who could only watch as the ball looped over his head and in to the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Clements’ corner flew over the head of every amber and blue shirt in the box, with Pearce coming closest at the far post.
Another good chance for Mansfield came on 23 minutes. Striker Matt Green won a free kick out on the right touchline which was whipped in by Hemmings, but his low cross somehow evaded everyone, including Pearce at the back post, who could only stick his leg out, missing the ball by a matter of inches.
The Stags increased pressure then paid off as they doubled their lead on the half-hour mark. Clements angled a fantastic long pass from inside the Mansfield half, sending captain Lee Collins clear down the right and into the opposition area where he teed up Green who simply couldn’t miss from six yards out.
Collins then found himself with a good chance in the Carlisle area, as a long free kick from Clements fell kindly for the defender, but it was his left-footed half-volley flew wide.
The Mansfield defence had a rare lapse in concentration on 39 minutes, as a Baxendale back pass to Shearer was quickly closed down by Reggie Lambe, and the goalkeeper’s clearance hit the midfielder but the ball bounced innocently out for a goal kick.
Carlisle closed the first half out with a number of teasing crosses into the area, but all of them ended up in the gloves of the grateful Shearer.
Carlisle’s Joe McKee went down and had to be replaced by debutant Kevin Wright immediately before the half time whistle was blown.
Half time: Carlisle 0-2 Mansfield
The second half saw Carlisle bring last Saturday’s hat-trick hero Wyke brought into the fray, replacing young winger McQueen at half-time in a bid to overcome the two goal deficit.
The first chances of the second half fell to the away side. Five minutes into the second half, Hamilton found himself with plenty of space down the left wing, but his low cross into the area was met by Hemmings whose very weak effort was picked up by Crocombe.
Mere moments later, Green ran along the Carlisle back three before laying the ball off to Baxendale who fizzed a low 25-yard shot just wide of the post.
Wyke and midfielder Jamie McGuire then came together just outside the Stag’s penalty area, with the former ending on the ground. After initially waving the incident away, referee David Webb then awarded Mansfield a free kick and booked the Cumbrians’ Shaun Miller for dissent.
The Stags made their first change after 70 minutes, with winger Kevan Hurst replacing Hemmings, whilst the home side also made their final change, increasing their attacking options with Lambe making way for striker Derek Asamoah.
This change seemed to inspire the home side as they got a goal back three minutes later. Captain Grainger swung a long cross into the area from the left, and it was Shaun Miller who glanced a header past Shearer and into the corner of the net.
As the home side pushed even more for an equaliser, the Stags’ defence seemed to lose their composure.
Striker Danny Rose was brought into the fold with ten minutes remaining, coming on to replace Baxendale.
It was Carlisle, however, who equalised just a minute later. Scott Shearer came rushing out of his area to the right-hand side and completely missed the ball, leaving Wyke with an easy chance for his fourth goal against the Stags in just ten days.
Not deterred by allowing a two-goal lead to slip from their grasp, Stags then pushed for a winner.
Green crossed into the box looking for Rose, but the ball sailed over his head and was chested out for a corner by a Carlisle defender. Another two corners resulted in a handful of blocked shots, as the pace of the game seemed to suddenly liven up.
But it was a moment of magic from Danny Rose which put Mansfield back in the lead with four minutes remaining.
Hurst found Rose on the left-hand side, and after cutting inside he bent a beautiful shot straight into the top right corner of the net from 25 yards, leaving Crocombe with no chance.
Steve Evans then made his final substitution with two minutes remaining, bringing on Jack Thomas for goalscorer Green, in an attempt to hold on to the lead.
Carlisle pushed forward for a last gasp equaliser, but with a Shaun Miller volley flying over and a number of goal mouth scrambles resulting in nothing, referee David Webb blew the final whistle to send the Stags in the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy.
CARLISLE: Crocombe, Grainger, Joyce, Gillesphey, Brisley, Devitt, McKee (Wright 45+3), Lambe (Asamoah 70), Shaun Miller, Tom Miller, McQueen (Wyke 45).
UNUSED SUBS: Gillespie, Ellis, Kennedy, Adams.
STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Benning, Collins, Pearce, Clements, Green (Thomas 88), Baxendale (Danny Rose 79) Hamilton, Hemmings (Hurst 70), McGuire.
UNUSED SUBS: Jensen, Iacovitti, Gobern, Hakeem.
REFEREE: Mr David Webb
ATTENDANCE: 1,126 (41 Stags’ fans)