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Report: Doncaster 2-3 Stags

4 December 2021

Mansfield’s magical second-half performance saw the Stags come from behind to defeat League One Doncaster Rovers 2-3 and secure a place in the Emirates FA Cup third round.

Doncaster had taken an early lead through Branden Horton on seven minutes, but Mansfield - backed by over 3,000 travelling fans - produced a masterful comeback to earn victory.

 

Defender Will Forrester rose heroically to head the Stags level just three minutes after the break and grab his first goal in Stags’ colours. 

 

That was before George Lapslie demonstrated superb movement inside the box to finish two excellently crafted Mansfield moves and claim a brace for himself.  

 

The hosts found a consolation goal curtesy of Tommy Rowe on 86 minutes but Mansfield’s defence remained resolute to secure a deserved passage into the next round.

 

Nigel Clough made two changes to the team that defeated Crawley Town in West Sussex a week ago. 

 

Captain Ollie Clarke returned from the bench to lead the side at Keepmoat Stadium. He replaced forward Oli Hawkins who was omitted from the matchday squad. 

 

Mansfield’s second change saw centre-back Farrend Rawson replaced by midfielder George Lapslie.  

 

Mansfield began positively by skidding the ball across the slippy surface and into the Doncaster box to no avail inside the opening minutes. 

 

Despite that, the hosts took the lead on seven minutes. Winger Jordy Hiwula’s through-ball played in Aiden Barlow. The Doncaster midfielder dribbled the ball to goal before squaring it to Branden Horton who slotted into the empty net. 

 

Mansfield weren’t disheartened and immediately worked on breaking down Doncaster’s defence. Clarke’s pass on 11 minutes was controlled well by Stephen Quinn who confidently tried his luck from distance, only to find the ‘keeper’s gloves.

 

The Stags battled the elements well and George Lapslie thought he had Mansfield level on half an hour but his superb off-balance strike was flagged for offside. 

 

Stephen McLaughlin’s deep free-kick shortly before the break was flicked on by Rhys Oates whose header skidded into the gap between the post and the lurking John-Joe O’Toole inside the box. 

 

Doncaster ramped up the pressure towards the end of the first-half but Mansfield kept them out. Will Forrester’s headed clearance on the line was instrumental in restricting the deficit to one just a minute before the break. 

 

The boss introduced striker Jordan Bowery for full-back Stephen McLaughlin at half-time, an indication of Mansfield’s intent to attack. 

 

Flying out the traps after the interval, Stags carved open the Doncaster defence soon after half-time. Clarke’s through pass was latched onto by Maris who barged past his defender to shoot at goal and win a corner.  

 

The subsequent in-swinging corner was flicked on by Lapslie and then thumped into the goal by Will Forrester, heading home having ghosted free of his marker in front of Mansfield’s vocal supporters. 

 

A go-ahead goal from the Stags came just 12 minutes after their first. 

 

Stephen Quinn darted down the left-wing on the hour mark, crossing to Jordan Bowery inside the box. Bowery’s shot from a tight angle evaded the bottom corner but Lapslie was there to pick the ball up and fire into the goal before wheeling away in celebration in front of the Stags fans. 

 

With momentum firmly theirs, a barrage of Mansfield pressure ensued. The amber and blue crafted a third goal on 70 minutes.

 

Expertly-worked interplay outside of the box played Quinn through on the right whose skidded cross was emphatically crashed into the back of the net by Lapslie, sending the away end into pandemonium for the third time in 25 minutes. 

 

Mansfield pursued a fourth with Bowery demonstrating his fresh legs to run free of the Rovers defence to sting the palms of Louis Jones.  

 

Doncaster won a free-kick on the edge of the box on 84 minutes which was knocked to Tommy Rowe who drilled the ball past Nathan Bishop and into the bottom corner. 

 

The set piece goal set up a tense final ten minutes which Mansfield responded to well by remaining compact in defence. 

 

Quinn could have added a fourth for the Stags who had been played through on goal before Jones stood up to make a strong save in the 93rdminute. 

 

The Stags will now be in the hat for the Emirates FA Cup third round draw. The draw takes place on Monday 06 December at 7pm.

 

STAGS XI: Bishop, Hewitt, O’Toole, Forrester, McLaughlin (Bowery 46’), Maris, O. Clarke (Charsley 90+1’), Lapslie, Stirk, Quinn, Oates (Sinclair 80’) 

UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Burke, Ward, Law, Mason 

 

DONCASTER XI: Jones, Knoyle Anderson, Rowe, Smith, Barlow (Cukur 64’), Hiwula, Dodoo, Horton, Hasani, Ravenhill (Blythe 57’) 

UNUSED SUBS: Dahlberg, Kuleya, Cole, Faulkner, Henson, Wilds 

 

REFEREE: Sebastian Stockbridge 

ATTENDANCE: 7,040 (3,292 away)


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