Date: 19th September 2006 at 9:52pm
Written by:

Pompey faced the tough trip to Field Mill as we took on Mansfield Town tonight in the Second Round of the Carling Cup.

A totally changed side with only Matty Taylor left from that which had maintained out unbeaten start to the Premiership season against Charlton would do enough to advance.

An early debut goal from Manuel Fernandes with a spectacular 30-yard effort, followed by Matty Taylor’s goal would see Pompey through. A late Danny Reet goal, our first conceded in 8 hours and 51 minutes of football this season would make it a little nervous for the final ten minutes but we had done enough to book our place in the 3rd Round.

Richard Hughes, starting his first game of the season marked the occasion with a foul on Matthew Hamshaw. The free kick would be played into the Pompey area but would cleared to safety by the returning Noe Pamarot.

Portuguese star Manuel Fernandes didn’t wait long to announce himself to the Pompey fans, after picking up the ball he would thump home a left-footed effort from fully thirty-yards into the top right hand corner of Mansfield goalkeeper Jason White’s goal to give Pompey the lead after only five minutes.

Mansfield’s first attempt on Dean Kiely’s goal, replacing the rested David James, would see Richard Barker send his header from Jonathan D’Laryea cross wide of the right hand upright. From the dangerous Hamshaw’s corner Barker would then have another header at goal, this time making Kiely work to keep the effort out.

Niko Kranjcar, the Croatian making his bow in the Pompey first team would see a series of attempted crosses either blocked or cleared before finally beating the defence only for White to safely claim the last one.

A little over halfway through the first half veteran Andrew Cole, once again another Pompey debutant would get his first clear effort at goal, getting his head onto a cross from Welshman Richard Duffy (getting his first competitive run out for Pompey since his return from his loan spell last season at Coventry City) which would go wide of White’s goal once again.

Getting onto a quickly taken Matty Taylor throw in Lomana LuaLua would create an opening for himself but his shot from the side of the penalty area would be blocked to safety by Mansfield’s Alex Baptiste, one of the men who would be a doubt for the game earlier in the week. Shortly after Mansfield would be at the other end looking for a goal of their own but Hamshaw could only shot over the bar and into the crowd, with Stephen Dawson trying his luck minutes later from twenty-five yards, again failing to trouble Kiely.

Following Dawson’s effort, which had gone wide for a goal kick, would begin a passage of play that saw Pompey eventually win a corner. This corner would be worked as a short corner routine between LuaLua and Kranjcar, who’s pass would find Taylor who drilled his twenty-yard effort from the left side of the box through a crowd and past White and into the bottom corner to extend the Pompey lead to 2-0.

So having made it through to half time still to concede a goal this season, making it 8 hours and 15 minutes of play it would be Mansfield, who were certainly not making it easy for Pompey, that would start the second half with the first meaningful effort at goal, D’Laryea shot from distance would clear Kiely’s crossbar.

Having picked up a booking on 51 minutes Kranjcar would be arguably lucky to remain on the field with an hour played, as he had by that time already committed a further two fouls that on another day, under a different referee could have send a second yellow card produced and a debut sending off. Between the Croats booking and subsequent fouls Chris Beardsley would somehow contrive to miss from close range. Shortly after the hour with Redknapp maybe wary of the threat of a red card David Thompson would replace Kranjcar.

Mansfield would have further efforts on the Pompey goal from Hamshaw, Giles Coke and Dawson, all of which, with the exception on Coke would fail to trouble Kiely, before Peter Shirtliff decided a double change was needed with Dawson being replaced by Callum Lloyd and Beardsley replaced by Danny Reet.

With Redknapp getting a little uneasy, despite a two goal lead he would react himself with a substitution, LuaLua lasting 72 minutes on his first start of the season with Benjani, expected to be rested completely replacing his African colleague. Shortly after would see the arrival of another African, Cameroon International Rodolph Douala, arriving for his debut, replacing Ognjen Koroman with quarter of an hour to play.

As the final ten minutes approached if Pompey thought they would have an easy end to the game Gareth Jelleyman would make sure Kiely was alert, testing him from twenty-yards. With the game not over Mansfield confirmed Pompey would have a battle by pulling a goal back with ten minutes to play. Following Duffy’s poor back pass substitute Reet would latch onto it beating Kiely from the edge of the area thus seeing Pompey’s unbeaten defensive record lost after 8 hours and 51 minutes of play without doing so.

As the final grains of sand passed through the hourglass Pompey would survive the final Mansfield attempt on goal, Michael Boulding’s twenty-yard effort would go over Kiely’s bar. The final three minutes of injury time were played out with no further scares; Pompey had done enough to advance into the second round.

Having looked in control in the first half, the second would provide us with a little worry but we always seemed to have the game under control.

The match would provide several fringe players with the chance to have a run out, and also give new arrivals Manuel Fernandes, who played the full 90 minutes, Niko Kranjcar removed shortly after the hour before maybe being sent off, Andrew Cole, again playing the full 90 minutes and a thirteen minute cameo from Douala much needed game time as they build up their fitness levels.

Next up Bolton, where you would expect many, of not all of the rested players to return, however don’t be surprised to see one or two of the new arrivals retain their places…

Goals
Example
Mansfield Town – Reet 81
Pompey – Fernandes 5, Taylor 33

Dean Kiely
Richard Duffy
Noe Pamarot
Andy O’Brien
Matty Taylor
Ognjen Koroman (Rodolph Douala 77)
Manuel Fernandes
Niko Kranjcar (David Thompson 62)
Richard Hughes
Andrew Cole
Lomana LuaLua (Benjani 73)


Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Franck Songo’o