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Match Reports

Report: Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Stags

26 November 2022

Mansfield Town bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup as two goals in five second-half minutes from substitute Michael Smith saw Sheffield Wednesday book their place In the third round with a 2-1 win at Hillsborough.

Stags produced a spirited display and led until the 78th minute thanks to George Lapslie’s 34th minute strike.

But Marvin Johnson and Smith twice combined in the second period to turn the tie on its head.

It could have been a different tale had Stags converted a number of fine opportunities, especially in the first-half.

Nigel Clough’s men bossed the opening 45 with an impressive attacking display, but Wednesday made their quality count with a mini spell of merciless pressure in the second half.

Five changes were made to the starting XI from last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat away to Harrogate Town in Sky Bet League Two.

Defenders Kellan Gordon, Elliott Hewitt and Riley Harbottle returned to the lineup, while attacking midfielder George Lapslie and forward Will Swan were also handed starts.

James Perch, Kieran Wallace, John-Joe O’Toole, Anthony Hartigan and Jordan Bowery were moved to the subs’ bench.

Stags started like a team possessed and had a real chance to break the deadlock in the opening 90 seconds.

Lapslie fed Swan down the middle but his first touch took him wide of goal and Wednesday were able to get numbers back to defend.

Then in the next attack seconds later, Lucas Akins headed over the bar after promising play from Gordon who darted beyond his marker to cross from the dead ball line.

Stags piled on the early pressure and Hewitt raced to the goalline before sliding to Akins, who struck wide from 10 yards.

In the seventh minute, midfielder Hiram Boateng was next to try his luck as he dragged his shot the wrong side of the post from 20 yards.

Wednesday had their first sight of goal in the 13th minute when Hewitt’s headed clearance fell to Marvin Johnson to lash into the hands of Stags’ goalkeeper Christy Pym from the edge of the box.

Stags were back down the other end midway through the first half.

Gordon again used his pace to find space on the inside right channel, and slipped a short ball to Akins who turned and curled low to force home ‘keeper Cameron Dawson into a diving stop.

Mansfield eventually found their reward on 34 minutes to send thousands of Stags’ fans into raptures.

Gordon was the architect with a wonderfully-weighted ball through the middle of the home defence, and Lapslie did the rest by breaching the rearguard with a darting run to deftly volley beyond Dawson from close range.

Ten minutes later, Stags again sent the Owls’ defence into retreat.

Following good work in midfield, Stephen Quinn stung the palms of Dawson with a searing effort from the left side of the box.

In first-half stoppage time, Stags stood firm inside their own area to deny Callum Paterson’s low drive.

Wednesday entered the second-half with a new-found intensity and Pym had to scramble to his left post to keep out Mallik Wilks’ venomous half volley as the hosts looked for an equaliser.

But Stags were soon causing problems again offensively.

On 57 minutes, Swan’s quick-thinking saw him take a quick throw on the left touchline to the advancing Quinn, who teed up Lapslie to strike over the bar from inside the box.


As the tie crept towards the hour, Wednesday almost levelled when striker Lee Gregory’s flicked header flew narrowly wide following Wilks’ right-sided cross.

Gordon attempted to extend Stags’ advantage on 62 minutes with a daisy-cutting effort which was comfortably claimed by Dawson, before the right-back went into the referee’s book two minutes later for a challenge on Alex Mighten.

On 72, Wednesday, who made two substitutes earlier in the second-half, then introduced former Scottish international Barry Bannan, who replaced limping frontman Lee Gregory.

Stags still looked good value for their lead and in the search for a second, Boateng whipped an attempt off target from the left of the Wednesday box after being picked out by Maris.

But instead, it was the Owls who found the net with an equalising goal on 78 minutes.

Marvin Johnson peeled away on the left flank to get behind the Stags’ defence and square for Smith, who found the bottom right corner with a composed finish.


Before the restart, Mansfield made a double change as Will Swan made way for Rhys Oates and Riley Harbottle departed for James Perch.

Wednesday took the upper hand on 83 minutes when Smith again found the net.

Johnson provided with a dangerous ball behind the Stags’ defence to Smith, who stretched to connect and put Wednesday ahead.

Mansfield were on the ropes and Hewitt heroically flung himself in front of a shot to prevent Wednesday gaining a third.

Lapslie went close on 88 for Mansfield when Gordon delivered from the right, but his looping effort failed to hit the target.

In stoppage time, Gordon was replace by Kieran Wallace in Stags’ final change.

And right at the death, Maris had a golden chance to level but blazed over from the edge of the goal area after Hewitt sent a torpedo-like throw into the box.


WEDNESDAY: Dawson, Hunt (Iorfa 64), Palmer, Ihiekwe (McGuinness 89), Johnson, Dele-Bashiru, Vaulks, Mighten, Wilks (Smith 64), Gregory (Bannan 72) Paterson

UNUSED SUBS: Stockdale, Brown, James, Shipston, Glover

STAGS: Pym, Gordon (Wallace 90+), Hawkins, Harbottle (Perch 80), Hewitt, Maris, Quinn, Boateng, Lapslie, Swan (Oates 80), Akins

UNUSED SUBS: Flinders, O’Toole, Hartigan, Law, Bowery, Gale

REFEREE: Ollie Yates

ATTENDANCE: 13, 932


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