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Match Reports

Report: Shrewsbury Town 2-0 Stags

30 November 2019

Mansfield Town exited the Emirates FA Cup in the second round following late goals from Josh Laurent and Brad Walker at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday afternoon.

It was an even first half in Shropshire that had an open feel to proceedings – despite neither side finding the net.

And despite the hosts being reduced to ten men after a rash Ollie Norburn challenge, first Laurent found the opener before Walker made sure of the victory in additional time.

John Dempster signalled an unchanged starting line-up from their most recent outing against Swindon Town last week.

The only alterations came on the substitutes’ bench as Mal Benning and Neal Bishop returned from suspension and injury respectively.

Mansfield began their latest FA Cup tie in sprightly fashion, knocking the ball around with intent, except it was the home side who mustered the first attempt at goal.

A delivery from the far side was met by the oncoming Dave Edwards but he could only guide his effort wide on the stretch.

The Stags responded immediately through the pace of CJ Hamilton – his low ball being diverted to safety before either Nicky Maynard or Jacob Mellis were able to capitalise.

And in the 10th minute, Conrad Logan produced a fantastic save to keep the scores at nil.

Edwards nodded back across the face of goal from a corner and as the ball seemed to be dropping in, the Mansfield ‘keeper clawed away on the goal line amidst a crowd of bodies.

Soon after, Mellis secured possession and delightfully picked out Andy Cook at the far post, whose subsequent header was collected by Max O’Leary.

The game continued to ebb and flow without and gilt-edged chances presenting themselves.

Samuel Ricketts’ side carved out the game’s next opportunity from a cross-field pass, however, the eventual delivery was released too far ahead of Jason Cummings.  

At the conclusion of the first period, Maynard was set free down the left channel but his searching ball missed Cook.

It meant there was nothing to separate the sides heading into half time.

Into the second period and Fejiri Okenabirhie blasted an effort straight into the palms of Logan, who held firm.

And on 55 minutes, the Stags were somehow unable to convert a golden opportunity.

Maynard drilled one across the face of goal towards Cook, yet the no. 19 effort from almost point-blank range was turned behind for a corner.

There was to be another twist in Saturday’s contest, though, when Salop captain Norburn was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Mellis.

Josh Laurent had then ghosted into the Stags’ area unmarked, yet his glancing header was miscued and looped beyond the bar.

Ten-man Shrewsbury still posed a threat with the backing of their home support and the 3,678 instead watched as Donald Love fired wide.

Dempster rolled the dice with a double substitution – Benning and Omari Sterling-James – in an attempt to sneak into the third round with a late, solitary goal.

However, it was instead heartbreak for the visitors.

In the 88th minute, Laurent made use of a kind deflection that wrong-footed Logan and the Shrewsbury man was able to sweep home into an unguarded net.

Mansfield were given five additional minutes to therefore force a replay through an equaliser, but it never arrived as the Shrews found another.

Substitute Walker was set clear by Dan Udoh and made no mistake when rounding Logan to give his side daylight in the dying embers.

Mansfield’s attentions will quickly turn to Leasing.com Trophy action as they travel to Port Vale on Tuesday 03 December.

STAGS XI: Logan (GK), Preston, Pearce © (Benning 80’), Mellis, Maynard (Khan 89’), Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Cook, Gordon, Hamilton, Smith (Sterling-James 80’).

UNUSED SUBS: Olejnik (GK), Bishop, MacDonald, Knowles.

SHREWSBURY XI: O’Leary (GK), Pierre, Golbourne, Edwards (Walker 86’), Williams, Norburn ©, Okenabirhie (Udoh 86’), Love, Ebanks-Landell, Laurent, Cummings (Goss 62’).

UNUSED SUBS: Murphy (GK), Beckles, Giles, John-Lewis.  

REFEREE: Andy Haines

ASSISTANTS: Steven Rushton & Conor Brown

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Matthew Smith

ATTENDANCE: 3,678 (465 away)


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