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Report: Wednesday 2-1 Mansfield

26 November 2022

Wednesday’s Emirates FA Cup journey almost came to an abrupt end against Mansfield before a late double-goal salvo from substitute Michael Smith turned this second round tie on its head.

George Lapslie looked to have capped a productive afternoon by notching the only goal of a game that the Stags deserved something from.

But Smith came off the bench to fire two near identical goals to ensure his side are in the hat for Monday’s third round draw.


It was perhaps harsh on the League Two Stags, who started the first half as they meant to go on, putting down a marker inside the opening minute.

Will Swan and dangerman Lapslie broke down the middle but a moment’s hesitancy between the two allowed the Owls defence to regroup.

The ball was immediately worked out to the right channel, where Kellem Gordon’s feed was deflected onto the crossbar and Lucas Atkins headed the rebound over inside the six-yard box.

Moments later, Hiram Boateng whistled a long-ranger wide but the alarm bells were certainly sounding.

The hosts did find their feet to enter into a brief period of dominance from which they could not profit.


Mansfield, though, did exactly that from their next attack and hit the front on 33 minutes.

Gordon delivered an accurate cross from the flank and Lapslie ghosted in behind the backline to stab into the back of the Kop net.

And it could have been worse for Wednesday before the welcome break. A neat three-man move just inside the penalty area saw Stephen Quinn presented with a glorious opportunity on the angle and Cameron Dawson came to the rescue with an acrobatic near-post save.

The Owls needed to step up the tempo in the second half and a Will Vaulks shot from distance that called Christy Pym into action for the first time was a step in the right direction.


But the visitors promptly launched a counter and Lapslie skied a fair chance created by Swan, before Wednesday fashioned another opening – this time Lee Gregory glanced a Mallik Wilks cross inches wide.

Boateng curled the wrong side of the upright as the tie entered the closing stages in the balance.

The Stags dropped deep to protect their slender advantage and were hit not once but twice as Marvin Johnson and Smith took centre stage.

On 78 minutes, Johnson raced down the left and looked up to pick out the big striker, who side-footed with some aplomb into Pym’s bottom corner.

Then, with seven minutes left on the clock, the same duo combined in similar fashion for Smith to complete the turnaround and send the Owls into round three.

Wednesday: Dawson, Hunt (Iorfa 64), Palmer, Ihiekwe (McGuinness 89), Johnson, Vaulks, Mighten, Dele-Bashiru, Wilks (Smith 64), Paterson, Gregory (Bannan 72)

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