Shaw Lane 1 Mansfield 3: FA Cup dream ends for courageous minnows

Non-league Shaw Lane’s magical FA Cup journey ended with a 3-1 defeat to Mansfield in the first round proper.

Over 1,700 crammed into Sheerien Park and witnessed the Barnsley-based club display plenty of fight and character in front of a watching national audience on BT Sport.

Devastated Shaw Lane players as Mansfield Town fans celebrate their side's second goal

The Ducks’ performance belied the fact that three divisions and 58 places separated the two sides at kick-off.

Former Barnsley man Jacob Mellis got the first shot out of his feet for the visitors after five minutes but it was charged down by a back-tracking Ducks defender and shortly after there was a display of more steely defensive work when Alex MacDonald saw his rasping shot bravely charged down.

Spencer Harris fluffed a shot in Shaw Lane’s maiden attempt on goal, when he botched a half-volley from outside the area.

Mansfield should have gone 1-0 up on 17 minutes and it was thanks to pure route one play.

Shaw Lane AFC's Lee Bennett (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammate Neil Austin

A long punt downfield by Conrad Logan was seized on by Hemmings, whose drilled effort was parried by ‘keeper Jon Stewart and into the path of Danny Rose whose acrobatic effort came back off a post, much to the home fans’ amusement.

Shaw Lane’s best passage of play came shortly after, with an intricate move down the left ending with Ryan Serrant who could only muster a tame cross-shot that Logan gobbled up.

With the game evenly poised, it was Mansfield who took the initiative and went in front on 34 minutes.

A free-kick was taken short down the flank to Alex MacDonald who picked out Krystian Pearce and he was able to fire past Stewart.

Shaw Lane AFC's David Norris (centre) and Ryan Qualter exchange words with referee Ben Toner

But it wasn’t long before the hosts were toasting a goal of their own - and duly deserved.

Paul Clayton’s initial shot was parried by Logan but the Stags couldn’t clear their lines and when Nicky Walker’s ball fell to Lee Bennett, who was lurking in the area, he smashed it past Logan.

And just before the interval it almost got better for the Ducks when Bennett swivelled in the box and saw his effort clip the outside of a post.

Stewart had to be alert just after the restart to keep out Hemmings’ instinctive effort towards goal before Shaw Lane responded as Alex Byrne bent a free-kick just over the bar.

Shaw Lane AFC's Neil Austin (left) and Mansfield Town's Jacob Mellis battle for the ball

The teams looked evenly matched as the half wore on but the visitors were handed a golden chance to go back in front on 67 minutes when Mellis was adjudged to have been brought down in the area.

Mellis duly stepped up and despite a decent attempt, Stewart was able to get down low to his right and produce a terrific save to direct the ball behind for a corner.

It bumped up the atmosphere in the ground among the home contingent.

But the League Two visitors couldn’t be kept at bay for much longer as Rose attoned for his earlier error by nodding home past Stewart on 73 minutes.

And five minutes later Rose wrapped up proceedings with a terrific bicycle kick for his second and the Stags’ third.

Shaw Lane: Stewart, Austin, Serrant (Whitehouse 43), Bennett (Reeves 72), Kelvin Lugsden, Qualter, Byrne, Harris, Clayton, Norris, Walker (Abadaki 86)

Unused subs: Chilaka, Orlando-Young, Kieran Lugsden, Jepson

Mansfield: Logan, Benning, Pearce, Diamond, MacDonald, Mellis (Digby 90), Anderson, Hamilton, Byrom, Hemmings (Atkinson 90), Rose (Spencer 82)

Unused subs: Olejnik, Bennett, Potter, Sterling-James

Ref: B Toner (Lancs).

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