Captain John Dempster was again on target for Stags yesterday however it was a bleak momentum of joy in what was a disgraceful Boxing Day showing from Mansfield Town.
On a wet and cold afternoon there was little Christmas cheer more a scattered round of applause as Dempster opened the scoring from close range on 35 minutes.
There was disappointment moments later as Paul Clayton thundered home a header to level before Ben Tomlinson grabbed what went onto be the winner six minutes into the second half.
Louis Briscoe's reputation of scoring season changing goals continued last night as his second half strike proved the eventual difference as Stags defeated Lincoln City 2-1 to set up an FA Cup third round home tie with Premier League giants Liverpool on January 6th.
On an evening no one will ever forget at the One Call Stadium the Stags put in a belief filled performance to meet expectation and win the grand third round prize, the full time whistles of togetherness and pride warming the heart and soul on what was in truth a bitterly cold Decembers night.
Stags remained unchanged from the side which defeated Ebbsfleet four days prior and got off to a strong start, John Dempster's looping header following a Clements free kick on 13 minutes opened the scoring before Imps keeper Paul Farman pulled off two stunning reaction saves to deby Hutchinson and Green from close range before Ex-Stag Adam Smith beat the offside trap to level the match with an acute lob five minutes before half time.
It's fair to credit the Imps with the majority of the pressure in the second half once Farman had denied Dempster, however Stags defended well enough to see off the pressure and played the waiting game to perfection on 76 minutes, Clements finding Howell inside the box before he squared to Louis Briscoe who fired home from 10 yards.
Mansfield were pressured as Lincoln desperately sought a leveler and extra time however it didn't come, the full time whistle sparking a pitch invasion from Stags' delighted crowd, plus air punches and huge smiles, the Stags had sealed the prize.
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Super Mansfield Town prepared for there FA Cup replay with Lincoln City on Wednesday night with a controlled 4-1 victory over struggling Ebbsfleet United at the One Call Stadium this afternoon.
The Stags controlled the match from the off and certainly deserved four goals if not more. Ben Hutchinson opened the scoring to warm the light and freezing crowd on 14 minutes with an exquisite curling finishing from Clements' tee-up.
Liam Enver-Marum pulled Fleet level on 22 minutes as he squirmed a shot beyond the returning Marriott following Matt Godden's flick.
Mansfield came close far too many times to note and were always likely to score again, Lindon Meikle providing the assist for a Louis Briscoe volley on 36 minutes, the volley taking a deflection on the way in.
The second half was a little tame and boring to watch, that was before Anthony Howell embarked on a solo run to drive in his first goal of the season on 69 minutes, before Matt Green converted from the spot eight minutes later after Ben Hutchinson was fouled by Phil Walsh.
Substitute Matt Rhead was Mansfield's hero yesterday afternoon as his goal three minutes into injury time earned the Stags a deserved replay against fellow conference side Lincoln City.
It was a majorly improved display from Tuesday's midweek Trophy exit at Matlock, Paul Cox made eight changes to re-field the side which seemed solid weeks ago. Those changes included re-introducing Matt Green who rewarded Cox's faith, rounding Paul Farman before slotting home with twenty minutes played.
After numerous chances and a big piece of misfortune Lincoln then pulled level with a well hit free kick on the stroke of half time, a minute after the break Jamie Taylor pounced to put Lincoln ahead. Mansfield never gave up and leveled through Louis Briscoe, his wonder strike on 52 minutes a contender for goal of the round.
Lincoln were dangerous on the counter all afternoon and again grabbed the lead on 65 minutes, Alan Power grabbing his second of the match as Stags faield to track back following a Geohaghon throw at the other end.
It looked as though Mansfield were heading for the exit, however Matt Rhead had other ideas and nodded level in the third of four added from Briscoe's cross - a deserved goal in what was an excellent encounter, the sides go again a week on Tuesday to see who progresses to Round Three.
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