Mansfield Town exit FA Cup after extra-time defeat at Cheltenham Town

Mansfield’s 13-year wait to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup went on after a painful 2-1 extra-time defeat at Cheltenham Town.

By Community Sports Reporter
Sunday, 10th January 2021, 4:07 pm
William Boyle celebrates hitting the winner for Cheltenham Town. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
William Boyle celebrates hitting the winner for Cheltenham Town. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Stephen McLaughlin gave the visitors something to defend with his third-minute opener.

But former Doncaster striker Alfie May levelled in the 73rd minute to send the game to extra time.

And it looked destined to be decided on penalties before Will Boyle’s 110th-minute winner sent the Stags crashing to an agonising exit at Whaddon Road.

Stephen McLaughlin put Mansfield Town ahead after just three minutes. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Clough named two changes from the side which beat Salford City last time out.

James Perch fell ill on the morning of the game and was replaced by Corey O’Keeffe, with McLaughlin coming in for injured skipper Ollie Clarke.

And McLaughlin got the Stags off to the perfect start as he opened the scoring in the third minute.

The midfielder ended a three-month goal drought as his first-time finish from the edge of the box was helped in by hosts’ keeper Josh Griffiths.

Jordan Bowery is challenged by Conor Thomas. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Harry Charsley did well to clear George Lloyd’s header off the line after Ben Tozer’s long throw caused the defence problems.

And Michael Duffy’s side came even closer to an equaliser when Lloyd rattled the woodwork.

Potent May fired straight at Stags’ stopper Marek Stech as the hosts continued to threaten.

And the Robins squandered another great chance when May blasted over the bar.

Alfie May goes close for Cheltenham Town. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

The Stags were under the pump after the restart as the Robins upped the ante.

Ryan Sweeney did well to dispossess marksman May before he had the chance to level from mid range.

Stech got down well to deny the ever-present May from 25 yards before he missed the target from inside the box.

But the striker made up for countless missed chances as he levelled 17 minutes from with a fine curling finish after cutting inside from the left.

Alfie May makes up for his earlier miss by levelling. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Sweeney fired home a great strike only to be denied by the linesman’s flag as the game went to extra-time.

The Stags had the best chances of the first half as Jamie Reid forced a good Griffiths save before George Lapslie’s deflected effort went close.

The gutted Stags were beaten 10 minutes from penalties as a Tozer long throw was diverted in by Boyle.

Stech superbly kept out substitute Alex Addai in the closing stages, with the Stags unable to find a late leveller.

Cheltenham: Griffiths, Tozer, Raglan (Addai, 71), Boyle, Hussey (Freestone, 46), Thomas, Blair, Chapman (Clements, 105), May, Williams, Lloyd (Azaz, 56).

Unused subs: Harris, Long, Campbell, Bowry.

Stags: Stech, O'Keeffe, Benning (J. Clarke, 116), Sweeney, Rawson, Charsley, Maris (O'Driscoll, 108), McLaughlin (Cook, 79), Lapslie, Bowery, Reid.

Unused subs: Stone, Menayese.

Referee: Tom Nield (Yorkshire)