A controversial hand-ball goal from substitute Luis Suarez proved the only difference yesterday as Mansfield Town stood toe to tow with seven time FA Cup winners Liverpool at the One Call Stadium.
Stags put in a performance to be proud of on a day where over 7,000 people filled the One Call Stadium hoping to see an FA Cup giant killing - the 2-1 scoreline doesn't tell the full story and I doubt the greatest writer in all the land would be able too either, the truth is - despite the millions of pounds worth of talent in the Liverpool squad, the Premier League giants were hanging on for deer life and only scraped through to round four, where they face an away trip to Oldham.
Naturally it was Liverpool who started the brightest, debutant Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring with a first time finish on eight minutes following a sublime pass from Jonjo Shelvey, however Stags enjoyed their share of the chances and at the break, were only one behind.
The second half saw Liverpool on the ropes as Mansfield pushed and pushed in search of a leveler, Brendan Rogers through on Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez to help dig Liverpool out of lumber, the latter doing so on 58 minutes, his initial shot was well saved by Marriott before Liverpools talented hit man controlled with his hand and stroked into the empty net.
Despite the hammer blow Stags still fought and were rewarded twenty minutes later, Matt Green drove home through the crowd after Lindon Meikle's pull back - Liverpool clung on and in truth, should have been facing an Anfield Replay, keeper Brad Jones pulled off two excellent saves to keep the Reds in the game, the clock against Stags and eventually, Liverpool squeezed through.
HIGHLIGHTS (With Craig Priest & Stephen Thrikill)
On this page you can find a mini-report plus downloadable audio highlights after each home match, plus team & stat sheets and occasional extended or full audio