Sunderland crashed out of the first round of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 to League Two strugglers Mansfield Town on Saturday at the SOL. A second half George Lapslie header was enough to book Mansfield’s place in the second round after an abject showing from Phil Parkinson’s side against a side who have yet to win a league game this season.
As expected, Phil Parkinson made eight changes to the side from Tuesday’s victory over Ipswich with Matthews starting in goal behind a back three of McLaughlin, Flanagan and Sanderson. There was a debut for Callum McFadzean at left wing back whilst Jack Diamond started as the right wing back. The midfield trio of Power, Dobson and Maguire looked to supply Danny Graham and Will Grigg up front.
The lads got the game underway kicking towards The Roker End after a ceremony in respect of remembrance Sunday. Mansfield had the first effort on goal after Jack Diamond needlessly surrendered possession trying a trick allowing the visitors to break but Flanagan did well to block Maynard’s shot. From the resulting corner the visitors again caused a scare with Matthews not looking comfortable trying to deal with the cross, but we eventually scrambled it clear.
Sunderland almost scored with their first attack of the game after debutant McFadzean did well on the left wing before feeding a good ball into Will Grigg in the box. Grigg teed up a shooting opportunity for Danny Graham with one touch but unfortunately for Graham his volley struck the post. A minute later Graham hit the woodwork again this time nodding McFadzean’s cross off the crossbar.
Mansfield were causing Sunderland some problems and missed a big chance to open the scoring when Bowery volleyed over the bar from just outside the six-yard box. After half an hour we forced a corner after Will Grigg’s cross from the left was cut out. Chris Maguire’s set piece was cleared only as far as Jack Diamond on the edge of the box who hit a low shot after taking a touch, but it was blocked by a defender. Callum McFadzean, who was Sunderland’s brightest player in the opening half, went close to scoring after driving into the box from the left wing. The wing back did well to turn in the box and fire a low shot towards the bottom right hand corner which the keeper pushed away. On the stroke of half time the visitors forced a corner after Flanagan had to divert a cross from the right behind, but we cleared it to end the first half goalless.
Neither side made any changes at the break, but it was Mansfield who threatened first with Stephen McLaughlin forcing Matthews into a save with a well struck low shot from just outside the box. A couple of minutes later Mansfield were rewarded for their positive start to the second half when they opened the scoring through George Lapslie. A good cross from the right from Gordon picked out Lapslie who thumped a header past Matthews into the top right-hand corner.
Ten minutes into the second half we had a shout for a penalty waved away after the ball appeared to strike the arm of a defender after a cross from Sanderson. Sanderson put in another decent cross from a similar position a few minutes later which Grigg got on the end of, but the keeper was equal to it. Phil Parkinson then made his first changes of the game with Charlie Wyke and Elliot Embleton replacing Danny Graham and Chris Maguire.
Charlie Wyke almost had an immediate impact but McFadzean’s cross was just in front of him allowing the defender to put it out for a corner which Mansfield managed to deal with. A few minutes later Wyke set up Jack Diamond in the box but the younger blasted the ball into the side netting from a tight angle.
Parkinson then made his final change of the game with Aiden O’Brien replacing Callum McFadzean. O’Brien had a half chance ten minutes before full time when he was picked out unmarked at the back post after good work and a cross from Jack Diamond. O’Brien however, snatched at the volley and failed to connect cleanly making it easy for the keeper.
Five minutes before full time Sunderland should have equalised when Elliot Embleton found Charlie Wyke in the box from the right flank, but his header was pushed away by the keeper. There was four minutes of added time and we forced a corner in the second of those which Embleton curled in dangerously, but Mansfield cleared. We then forced another corner at the death which even Remi Matthews went forward for, but Sunderland couldn’t find a way through and to be fair they didn’t deserve to.
Final Score: Sunderland 0 Mansfield 1
ALS Man of the Match: Callum McFadzean
Sunderland: Matthews; Sanderson, McLaughlin, Flanagan; Diamond, Power ©, Dobson, McFadzean (O’Brien 75’); Maguire (Embleton 65’), Graham (Wyke 65’), Grigg.
Subs not used: Burge, Willis, Leadbitter, Neil.
Mansfield Town: Stech, Benning, Rawson, Charsley, Bowery, Maris, Gordon, Perch ©, McLaughlin, Maynard (O’Keeffe 81’), Lapslie.
Subs not used: Stone, Menayese, Cook, O’Driscoll, Reid, Sinclair.