Mansfield Town retro: Stags stun Manchester City in League Cup, 22nd September 1964

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HIGH-FLYING Mansfield Town turned in a quality display of attacking football to remember as they out-gunned Manchester City to cause a massive cup upset.

Five-star Stags overturned the odds to knock out the fashionable Second Division side with a stylish first-half display which stuck in the memory for many years.

At one stage Mansfield, who went in 3-0 up at half-time, unbelievably led 5-1 as City struggled to cope with the speed, agility and enthusiasm of the visitors.

Two goals in as many first-half minutes put the Third Division side well on their way.

Roy Chapman opened the scoring before the prolific Ken Wagstaff, who netted 93 goals in just 181 appearances for Stags before going on to make a bigger name for himself at Hull City, doubled the lead.

Wagstaff was eventually voted the all-time favourite player for both Mansfield and Hull City to cap his fine career.

Wagstaff’s goal was a perfect example of Mansfield’s fluid team play and understanding after he was perfectly placed to nod home a fine centre from Chapman.

For life-long Stags fan John Wilson, who was in the stadium that night, the abilities of Wagstaff was a massive factor in Mansfield’s eye-catching upset.

“If Wagstaff had joined Nottingham Forest instead of Hull City, Forest would have won the championship in 1967 instead of being runners-up,” said John.

“If he had joined any First Division club I believe he would have played in the 1966 World Cup. Hurst and Hunt had nothing like his ability - only Greaves came anywhere near.

“’Waggy’ was absolutely brilliant and, for me, he was the greatest English footballer of all time. I never saw him have bad game!

“I can remember some young City fans around us cheering ‘Waggy’ off the pitch and offering us a swap for their ‘Waggy’.

“He always played with a smile on his face. He enjoyed playing football and did not cheat, he was just a great character and a great player.”

Mansfield were rampant at this stage and should have made it 3-0 soon after when Hall robbed David Wagstaffe of possession only to put his effort wide.

A minute from the interval someone in the sparse crowd blew a whistle causing the City players to believe it was half-time and stop playing.

It was a costly mistake as Alan Tyrer picked up a pass from Hall, sped through and hammered the ball past Dowd to the disbelief of the City faithful.

But rather than sitting back after the break to protect their seemingly unbeatable lead, Stags continued to roar forward.

And they got their just reward two minutes after the restart when Roy Chapman bagged his second of the game and Mansfield’s fourth.

Murray replied to give City some hope two minutes later to reduce the embarrassing scoreline to 4-1.

Stags were simply scintilating that night and Brian Macready amazingly made it 5-1 on 52 minutes after the ever-lively Wagstaff had threaded a classic pass between the City central defenders.

City now had nothing left to do but salvage some seriously dented pride and to their credit they came back fighting.

But they had not bargained for the goalkeeping abilities of Mansfield shot-stopper Colin Treharne, who made at least six superb saves.

John, who has been watching Stags for more than 50 years, still remembers Treharne’s heroics well.

He said: “I remember being 5-2 up with quite a long time to go and City battered us for the last half an hour. Treharne was terrific and practically kept them at bay on his own. We could easily have lost 8-5.”

Matt Gray hit the Mansfield woodwork twice inside 50 seconds, before Gerald Graham read the game well to steer a Kevan shot to safety after Treharne was beaten.

Neil Young (68 minutes) and Kevan (78 minutes) scored for City to narrow the gap, but the rally was too little too late as Mansfield were left to celebrate a famous night in the club’s history.

The Chad match report from that night was full of praise for Stags, and read: “Mansfield deserved their place in the next round. They always seemed to have a man in position and the wing-halves linked well with the attack.

“Macready’s skilled footwork and the craft of the lively Tyrer, who left Kennedy trailing, were key factors in the win.

“Without over-simplifying, Mansfield never used two passes when one would do. Their one mistake was to take the ‘micky’ out of City at the start of the second half.”

MANSFIELD TOWN: Treharne, Jones, Poynton, Graham, Gill, Morris, Tyrer, Macready, Ken Wagstaff, Chapman, Hall.

MATCH: Manchester City 3 Stags 5. League Cup Round Two.

VENUE: Maine Road, 22nd September 1964.

ATTENDANCE: 8,789.