Report: Stags 1-2 Wycombe
Mansfield Town bowed out of the Checkatrade Trophy after a 2-1 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers.
Substitute strikers Scott Kashket and Adebayo Akinfenwa climbed off the bench to bag a goal a piece and send the Chairboys into the semi-finals of the competition.
Stags had previously led in the 34th minute thanks to a Matt Green spot kick, but the double change from Wanderers' boss Gareth Ainsworth did the damage in a tight contest.
The first half produced chances a plenty for both sides, but neither goalkeeper was seriously extended, largely because shooting accuracy was found wanting at both ends.
The second period followed in much the similar fashion in an open affair between two strong sides in Sky Bet League Two.
Stags’ boss Steve Evans made five changes from Saturday’s superb 3-1 victory at Cambridge United.
Hayden White, Shaq Coulthirst, Joel Byrom and Ben Whiteman were cup-tied following their recent signings.
It meant that Jamie McGuire, James Baxendale and Jack Thomas were handed starts in midfield while Matt Green and Yoann Arquin were reunited in attack. Fellow striker Danny Rose was moved to the substitutes’ bench.
Wycombe created the first opportunity with just 90 seconds played.
From outside of the Stags’ box, midfielder Marcus Bean lashed the ball goalwards and as Stags failed to clear, the diminutive Sam Saunders belted a shot over the bar from 12 yards when he should have tested Jake Kean, the Stags’ goalkeeper.
Then at the other end, Stags’ defender Rhys Bennett struck into the side netting on his left foot following McGuire’s ball into the area after a free-kick.
Bennett headed over from 10 yards following Baxendale’s right-flank delivery as Stags’ attempted to take a grip on the contest in the early stages.
In the 15th minute, Pearce headed away a right-flank cross, but straight into the path of Sam Saunders. But his effort was weak as he hit in haste straight at Kean from the edge of the area.
A minute later, Green judged well an awkward bounce on the edge of the ‘d’ to tee-up Arquin, whose subsequent attempt was powerful but wild.
Moments afterwards, Green tried his luck from 22 yards, however, Wycombe goalkeeper Jamal Blackman was well behind it.
In the 21st minute, Green was in the thick of the action again, when he pulled a cute ball back to Arquin near the goalline. And as Arquin assisted from the left-side, Bennett rose to nod it into shooting sight of Krystian Pearce to fire over on the half-volley from 12 yards.
Green, determined to test Blackman, went close with an arrowed low shot from outside of the box which ended in the side netting.
And Green was to get his reward in the 34th minute.
The match had hit a scrappy period before a flashpoint.
Mal Benning burst a lung to run almost the length of the pitch as he galloped down the left side. And after his eventual cross into the area was handled by left-back Joe Jacobson just inside the box, referee David Webb took a second or two to make the decision before pointing to the spot.
Up stepped Green from 12 yards to slam it beneath the goalkeeper, who dived to his right in vain.
In the last minute of the first half, Rhys Bennett made a crucial intervention in front of goalkeeper Jake Kean, after Wycombe had floated in from the left.
Within the first 15 seconds of the second half, Stags’ midfielder Thomas played a good ball through the middle, but Blackman raced out of his goal to punch clear before Green could get to it.
Six minutes into the second half, Benning played a neat one-two with Green on the left flank, before shooting narrowly wide of the far post from an acute angle.
Wycombe missed a real chance from 10 yards following a corner. Paris Cowan-Hall had a free header from Jacobson’s flag-kick, but his bullet-like attempt flew over the bar.
Bennett then smashed a 25-yard effort off target in the 58th minute in front of a vacant Quarry Lane Stand.
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth made a double change in the 66th minute in a bid to rescue the tie, and it proved to be a huge decision.
Attacking powerhouse Adebayo Akinfenwa took to the field, along with in-form frontman Scott Kashket.
And the change paid dividends as Kashket netted an equaliser in the 72nd minute. Max Muller rifled a 30-yard shot through a pack of players, which proved too hot to handle for goalkeeper Kean, who could only push it away into the feet of Kashket to apply the finish from close range.
Arquin then was unable to strike cleanly from inside the area and at the other end Wycombe had put the ball in the net, for it to be ruled out for offside.
But there was no dispute when Wycombe next attacked the Stags' goal in the 81st minute.
Akinfenwa showed great strength inside the box to chest down a punt into the area from Marcus Bean and after turning his marker he planted it beyond Kean to give Wycombe the lead.
Danny Rose and Ashley Hemmings replaced Yoann Arquin and James Baxendale a minute later for Mansfield.
Stags stung the fingertips of Blackman within seconds as they tried desperately to pull one back; first from Benning's drive and then Hamilton's left-footed hit, but Blackman was equal to both.
In the 88th minute, marksman Pat Hoban replaced captain Lee Collins.
Then in the 90th minute, Rose struck inches wide of the post from 18 yards in the last opportunity of significance for both sides.
STAGS: Kean, Collins (Hoban 88), Pearce, Bennett, Benning, McGuire, Baxendale (Hemmings 82), Thomas, Hamilton, Green, Arquin (Rose 82)
UNUSED SUBS: Shearer, Healey, Hurst, Hakeen
WYCOMBE: Blackman, Jombati, Jacobson, De Havilland, Muller, Bean (Wood 84), O’Nien, Saunders, Weston, Cowan-Hall (Kashket 66), Thompson (Akinfenwa 66)
UNUSED SUBS: Richardson, Pierre, Harriman, Freeman
REFEREE: David Webb
ATTENDANCE: 2,047 (108 Wycombe fans)