A 90th minute equaliser from Mansfield substitute Matt Rhead meant that Lincoln City stay in the draw for the third round after a hotly contested 3-3 draw at The 12th Imp Sincil bank Stadium on Saturday, December 1st.
The Imps fought back from behind through goals by Alan Power and Jamie Taylor, however Mansfield’s late pressure proved too much for Holdsworth’s men at the end, meaning that a replay will have to played at Fieldmill.
After a well observed minute’s applause from Lincoln City and Mansfield fans for former Lincoln winger Bert Linnecor who passed away earlier in the week, David Holdsworth picked up his Manager of the Month award and the match kicked off.
The game started scrappily with Mansfield enjoying some early pressure, while Lincoln City were seeing their long balls foiled by the mammoth form of ex-Peterborough and Kettering centre-back Exodus Geohaghon.
Tricky winger Lindon Meikle drove down the left early on and put in Adam Murray for a tame effort, which was easily gathered by Lincoln keeper Paul Farman, who was starting his 20th game of the season.
City started with just one man up front in the form of leading goalscorer Jamie Taylor, however he cut a solitary form against two hulking centre backs.
The Imps’ first effort on goal came from a Dan Gray throw, which sailed into the area and was flicked on by the imposing Andrew Boyce. The ball fell for Adam Smith but a skewed strike went just wide of the Stags goal.
Mansfield defender John Thompson was given a yellow card for a late sliding tackle on Adam Smith. However, the breakthrough was from pacey 25-year old Mansfield striker Matt Green who, after some poor marking from Andrew Boyce, was allowed through one-on-one to score into an empty net for his seventh goal of the season.
Shortly after the Stags opener, Green again found himself in space after communication between Lincoln’s defence broke down again, which saw the striker hit just wide after a speculative ball from the midfield by Chris Clements
Lincoln’s best early chance came after Alan Power muscled Scottish defender John Dempster to put the ball out for a throw. Dan Gray’s throw saw the ball end up at Andrew Boyce’s feet, but the ex-Gainsborough man couldn’t make anything of it and Clements cleared the danger for Mansfield.
Lincoln City increased the pressure after the attempt and a well-swung in free-kick from Alan Power saw the diminutive Jamie Taylor rise to meet the ball and flick it on to Peter Gilbert whose header was gathered up by Stags keeper Redmond.
Power’s next free-kick though, after a poorly conceded foul by Thompson, saw his well driven effort sneak past Redmond at the far-post for his third goal of the season on the stroke of half-time.
After the break, Holdsworth’s team talk had obviously kicked some life into the Imps as a Gray long-throw, after a poor first half from the full-back, saw Andrew Boyce’s flick on reach the feet of golden boy Taylor, who bumbled in a scrappy effort to make it 2-1 to the home side.
However, Mansfield replied four minutes later through a well-worked free-kick, after Mo Fofana fouled Clements just outside the penalty area. Louis Briscoe fired in a great volley into the top left corner to level the game at 2-2.
After going behind, City at last decided to take the game by the scruff of the neck, and a nimble counter-attack saw Taylor lay-off Alan Power, who took the wrong option and ran into a wall of blue and yellow.
Taylor, who looked livelier in the second half than in the first, beat two Mansfield players to take a left footed shot which was saved by Redmond, however the rebound was well buried by Alan Power to send the Imps fans in the Co-Operative stand into raptures.
Following the goal, Mansfield brought on top-scorer Jake Speight on for ex-Lincoln loanee Ben Hutchinson, who’d failed to make much of an impact on the game until then.
Power’s set pieces again were a danger to the Stags goal as his corner was met by Andrew Boyce and flicked on for a rare Tom Miller overhead kick, which bounced fiercely off the crossbar.
After that, Mansfield went hell for leather and brought on another striker; Matt Rhead for the lively Meikle.
Holdsworth made his first change of the game bringing on the super-sub Vadaine Oliver in place of Smith, changing the formation to a 4-4-2 with Oliver and Taylor up front and Sheridan on the left wing, Power on the right.
The change of formation for City though invited pressure from the visiting Stags and in the end it proved to much as substitute Rhead met a cross in the box to score a last minute equaliser for The Stags, leaving the final score: Lincoln City 3-3 Mansfield.
Paul Farman – 5
Communication in the first half was poor, though wasn’t helped by some bizarre defending
Dan Gray – 6
Anonymous in the first half and kept busy by Lindon Meikle. His set-piece delivery proved key though.
Andrew Boyce – 5
Shaky at the back and shaky in front of the Stags goal.
Tom Miller – 5
Didn’t do much right in the second half and let Green beat him all to often.
Peter Gilbert – 7
Solid from the left back. Some good forward runs and clearances.
Gary Mills – 6
Ran well and broke up play. A good display from the ex-Stags man and Imps captain.
Mamadou Fofana – 6
Played some interesting long-balls, but generally buzzed around well.
Adam Smith – 5
Wasn’t in the game much, but tracked back to cover brilliantly.
Jake Sheridan – 6
Was in and out of the game and provided some good attacking outlets.
Alan Power – 8
The Linc Sport Man of the Match. Grabbed two good goals and was busy going forward. Thriving in the more advanced role.
Jamie Taylor – 7
Held the ball well against two hulking defenders and took his goal when the opportunity came.
Attendance: 4,127 (1,176 away fans)Tweet