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FA Youth Cup report: Stags 2-2 Crystal Palace AET (5-6 on penalties)

7 December 2017

Club News

FA Youth Cup report: Stags 2-2 Crystal Palace AET (5-6 on penalties)

7 December 2017

Mansfield Town were cruelly knocked out of the FA Youth Cup on penalties this evening after battling for a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace after 120 pulsating minutes at One Call Stadium.

Stags fought back from behind twice, first to force extra-time and then again to force a penalty shootout.

Striker Joseph Hungbo fired Crystal Palace ahead early in the first half, reacting quickest after Brandon Oddy's header had struck the crossbar.

Mansfield stood firm at the back and created chances, drawing level just before half-time when Aiden Walker tapped home from a corner.

Both sides had chances to find a winner in normal time, striker Iyrwah Gooden having the best opportunity to give Mansfield the lead.

The visitors retook the lead in stoppage time in the first period of extra-time, Tariq Ossai planting a header past goalkeeper Xavier Sundby.

Palace look to defend their lead as Ossai's goal looked to have proved the difference but substitute Jacob Dumbleton levelled just a couple of minutes from time to force a penalty shootout.

It was Crystal Palace who triumphed 6-5, with Gooden missing his penalty under the pressure of sudden death.

Stags started the game the brighter, right-back Cameron Weston creating the first goal scoring opportunity in the second minute. Weston's free-kick was floated in to wideman Riley O'Sullivan but his weak header was easily held by Palace's Matthew Funnell.

It was the hosts who dominated possession in the early exchanges but struggled to test Funnell, midfielder Jack Cornell's header in the fifth minute went wide of the 'keeper's left post.

Palace grew into the game but they too were wasteful, first Sean Robertson's cross went out for a throw-in before a corner taken by frontman Hungbo went into the side netting.

In the 11th minute, midfielder Harry Bircumshaw did well to control a long ball and find space for a shot but was unable to keep his effort down. A scramble in the box a minute later almost presented winger O'Sullivan with an open goal but the goalkeeper was able to get a hand to punch it clear.

On the quarter of an hour mark, Palace took the lead against the run of play. Brandon Oddy met a cross and his header looped over a helpless Sundby before striking the bar and landing perfectly at the feet of Hungbo to prod home.

The visitors looked for an immediate second goal with Hungbo proving to be a danger man, but this time his header went over the bar.

In the 25th minute, Tariq Ossai was allowed too much space on the right wing. Fortunately his cross was held by Sundby as Stags were forced back in their own half. Oddy then played through Nya Kirby a minute later, darting into the penalty area before unleashing a powerful effort into the sidenetting.

Mansfield were keen to remind Palace they were still very much a threat and almost caught the visitors by surprise just after the half-hour mark.

On the counter-attack, O'Sullivan saw his chance with the 'keeper off his line, however he sliced his effort past the post.

In the 38th minute, O'Sullivan saw another chance pass him by as his drilled shot once again travelled past the left post without threatening the Palace shot stopper.

Towards the end of the first half it was the Stags' turn to dominate and test the Crystal Palace defence. Following a string of corners and crosses into the opposition box, Stags levelled through defender Aiden Walker. A corner from the left was driven to the far post before being scrambled across the line – despite Kirby's best efforts to hook it clear.

Stags were deservedly level after a first half which they undoubtedly dominated against their Premier League opponents.

Mansfield started the second half the way they ended the first and their first chance came through right-back Weston with Funnell having to be alert to a dangerous in-swinging cross.

The Stags struggled to make their domination pay with Bircumshaw and Walker both challenging for the same ball when midfielder Keaton Ward floated a free-kick into a crowded area.

In an end-to-end tie, clever play by Robertson and Ossa in the 55th minute allowed the latter to cross into Oddy but he was adjudged to have illegally challenged Sundby to get to the ball.

On the hour mark, O'Sullivan almost played in winger Nyle Blake but the pass was too heavy and the midfielder was unable to control the ball as it ran out for a goal kick.

On the counter-attack, Gooden charged forward with the ball at his feet, darting into the box but Funnell was equal to his powerful driven shot as he parried it away.

With fifteen minutes to go, the Eagles continued to come forward but were mostly limited to shots from range. Substitute Brandon Aviero sliced his effort over the bar from 25 yards out for the visitors.

Blake then almost gifted the South Londoners a second goal, losing possession on the edge of his penalty area. He was able to redeem himself by pressuring Oddy who saw his shot blocked by Sundby. With ten minutes to go, an audacious 30 yard effort from Kirby travelled narrowly past the right post.

In the 84th minute, Kirby tried his luck again and this time his effort was on target but a simple stop for Sundby.

As the game entered the final five minutes of regulation time, Mansfield almost had a winner following three consecutive corners. The first was deflected wide with the second producing a wonderful one handed save from Funnell following a powerful header towards goal. The third was the most dangerous, producing a goalmouth scramble which Stags had two chances to score from, but both attempts were blocked by flying Palace bodies.

As the game entered the five minutes of stoppage time, Mansfield eyed a later winner with Sam Jackson trying his luck from 20 yards out. His shot didn't test Funnell as it rose over the crossbar.

It was then the visitors that almost grabbed a winning goal in the final moments, Kirby producing a wonderful save from Sundby who had struck a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

With the teams tied at the end of the 90 minutes the match went to extra-time. Mansfield had the first chance of the additional half hour when Gooden charged forward and unleashed an effort from the outside of area, but his shot flashed wide into the side-netting.

Jackson struck over from the edge of the area in the final minute of the first half. A minute later, last ditch defending stopped Jones from running free into the box.

The visitors re-took the lead in first half stoppage time. Kirby's perfectly weighted cross was met by Ossai who planted a superb header past Sundby into the right of the goal.

After the restart, Palace looked to put the game beyond Mansfield as Francis Baptiste charged forward but his effort flew wide.

Eagles' 'keeper Matthew Funnell was shown a yellow card for time wasting as Palace hoped to defend their slender advantage.

Their time-wasting however came to no avail as Stags sent the crowd into raptures with a late leveller.

Super sub Jake Dumbleton, who was named in the English Colleges' National side last week, was allowed too much space in the box, slotting the ball under Funnell from five yards out.

Dumbleton ripped off his shirt as he sprinted over to celebrate with the hundreds of Stags' fans in attendance with the game destined for penalty kicks.

Kirby dispatched the first penalty with ease as Sundby went the wrong way before Stags' winger Sam Jackson levelled the shootout with a precise spot-kick into the top right.

Palace defender Sean Robertson then converted his penalty for the visitors before Harry Bircumshaw levelled for the Stags as he slotted under the 'keeper.

Boateng fired Palace 3-2 ahead before Funnell stood firm to deny Mansfield, goalscorer Jake Dumbleton suffering the heartbreak of seeing his effort kept out.

After Sundby saved from Eagles' captain James Daly from 12 yards, Ward levelled the shootout once more.

After two successful spot kicks for both sides, Baptiste slotted the ball into the bottom right to give the visitors the advantage again. Goalscorer Aiden Walker made no mistake as he also found the bottom right to level at 5-5.

Mitchell also went right and was successful for Palace but striker Iyrwah Gooden fired his penalty over the bar to send Crystal Palace into the next round.

It was a heartbreaking way for the Stags to exit the FA Youth Cup, but it was a monumental effort to take Premier League side Crystal Palace to penalties after a tremendous 120 minutes of football.

STAGS XI: Sundby, Weston, Wilder, Bircumshaw, Gibbens (Jones 99) Walker, Blake (Jackson 73), Cornell, Gooden, Ward, O'Sullivan (Dumbleton 95)

SUBS NOT USED: Mars, Morgan

CRYSTAL PALACE XI: Funnell, Matthews (Onabhagbe 17), Mitchell, Kirby, Lynch (Baptiste 102), Boateng, Ossai, Robertson, Oddy, Hungbo (Aveiro 58), Daly

SUBS NOT USED: Webber, Demby


REFEREE: Richard Cattell


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