Full Time Score Mansfield Town 1-1 Charlton Athletic
Competition FA Cup – First Round
Venue The One Call Stadium
Stags Goal Scorer(s) CJ Hamilton
Attendance 3,240 (392)
Craig Priest writes…
The FA Cup carries with it a certain magic, however no spell will ever turn our 2018-19 first round tie with Charlton into a classic, as the teams drew 1-1 meaning a replay will be required to see who progresses.
The visitors could only name five substitutes due to injury but still put out a side oozing with quality, many of whom should be playing at Championship manager, and as such – Charlton’s apparent injury problem played no part in a game which was by far a classic.
Mansfield, switching to a more expressive 3-4-3, should have won the game and would have, had it not been for a questionable second half goal from Charlton which the cameras later proved offside – however David Flitcrofts men didn’t have it their own way and should be commended on their defensive play.
Ryan Sweeney was particular impressive for me in the back three and really stepped up his game, whilst at the other end CJ Hamilton impressed with his eagerness to run and capped off a good afternoon’s work with a well taken goal.
The 3-4-3 system had its floors as it allowed Chalrton space to move the ball across the park and there were times we were a little too exposed in the middle for my liking, however a lack of zip and energy from the visitors was enough to counter balance the gaps.
Mansfield’s performance wasn’t as dominant as it has been for the last two matches (second half!) but all in all they matched a good league one side and didn’t look disinterested, a replay is not something we really wanted given our backlog of matches but momentum can be built from it, so let’s keep this run going and progress!
Two changes were made by Flitcroft as he moved CJ Hamilton up front in a 3-4-3, bringing in Craig Davies for Danny Rose, and Hayden White for Elsnik, who missed out with a knock.
Mansfield held on after early pressure from the League One visitors and had three chances of their own inside the opening ten minutes, CJ Hamilton hitting the outside of the post following Pearces’ sublime through ball, Mal Benning then nodded towards goal – denied by Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal, before Mellis rasped one over the bar, following Walkers cut back.
Bishop, Pearce, Walker and Hamilton all had efforts as the game remained firmly deadlocked before on the stroke of half time, the latter put the stags in front – driving into the box before drilling into the bottom corner.
After the break Hamilton should have had a second but was denied brilliantly by Phillips who kept Charlton in the game, before Danny Rose was introduced on the hour to spice up the Stags attack with Davies withdrawn.
On 73 minutes Charlton levelled the match though Toby Stevenson, the referee gave the goal despite protests of offside, protests replays proved accurate.
It proved to be the final goal of the game as neither side could produce another, the Stags had Olejnik to thank moments after the goal as he denied Ajose, whilst at the other end half chances for Mellis and Rose weren’t enough to find a winner – meaning the Stags are off to the Valley a week tomorrow (Tuesday) to see who will progress.
FULL TIME: Mansfield Town 1-1 Charlton Athletic
STAGS [3-4-3]: Bobby Olejnik, Matt Preston Krystain Pearce ©, Ryan Sweeney, Hayden White, Neal Bishop, Jacob Mellis, Mal Benning (Calum Butcher 78), Craig Davies (Danny Rose 61), Tyler Walker (Jordan Graham 94), CJ Hamilton,
Unused Subs: Conrad Logan, Lewis Gibbens, Will Atkinson, Alistar Smith
Referee: Ollie Yates
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