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FT: Mansfield Town 2-3 Coventry City

26 July 2013

Sky Blues battle back twice to take last minute victory...

Captain Carl Baker scored a last minute penalty to snatch victory for the Sky Blues in their Friday friendly at Mansfield.

Mansfield led once in each half through trialist Calvin Andrew and winger Sam Clucas.

However, Baker scored a penalty at the end of each half - both won by Callum Wilson - either side of a Richard Beevers own goal to take the win with the last kick of the game.

The Sky Blues could have been behind inside three minutes but Stags centre-back Jack Dempster headed wide from six yards after connecting with Ross Dyer’s flick-on from a long throw.

City responded well however, creating two good openings in the seventh minute. First, Fabio Martins linked up well with Baker, exchanging passes in midfield before the Portuguese fired just over from 12 yards with a first-time effort. 

Then, another trialist, Mathieu Manset skipped away from his marker with a fine turn just inside the Mansfield half before advancing on goal only to see his powerful effort saved and his follow-up blocked.

The hosts continued to test City’s youthful backline, as Colin Daniel, Adam Murray and Jamie McGuire all failed to find the target from half-chances at the end of swift breaks.

But they made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute when Andrew won a tussle of the trialists in the City box.

The former Crystal Palace striker shrugged of Spanish defender Daniel Orozco when chasing down a hopeful long ball before cutting in and calmly curling into the top corner.

City’s retort came down the right as Baker and Cyrus Christie found space and delivered crosses but neither found a finishing touch.

And it was Baker who would be the one to draw City level nine minutes before the break.

Wilson won a penalty after accelerating away from three Mansfield defenders in a fantastic 40-yard run before being felled by keeper Alan Marriott. Baker made no mistake from the spot, driving into the bottom right corner.

Academy defender Tariq Azille-Moore replaced the injured Orozco at the break and was introduced to the game by Andrew, who beat him in the air allowing Clucas to latch on to his flick.

Clucas then rounded City’s other centre-back Jack Finch before cutting a crisp, left-footed finish back across goal and into the bottom corner.

Mansfield maintained the upper hand and Andrew should have doubled the lead in the 57th minute when he was left unmarked from an in-swinging corner, he couldn’t keep his header down however.

He was made to rue that miss when City levelled for a second time in the 63rd minute. Wilson’s pace was the catalyst once again, creating the space for him to drive in a cross that right-back Beevers bundled into his own net.

Dempster thought he had won it for the hosts two minutes from time when he curled towards the far corner after a deep free-kick reached him at the back post. But, not for the first time, Ryan Haynes headed bravely away when facing his own goal.

Baker snatched the win for City when he converted from 12 yards after Wilson won another penalty in almost identical circumstances to the first, using his pace to round the keeper, whose only option was to bring him down.

Mansfield (4-4-2): Marriott; Beevers, Dempster, McCombe (Sutton 76), Jennings; Daniel (Meikle 69), Murray (Stevenson 69), McGuire, Clucas; Dyer (McGrath 76), Andrew (Howell 69).

Subs: Speight, Tafazolli, Black, Gnorea, Clements.

Sky Blues (4-4-2): Burge; Christie, Finch, Orozco (Azille-Moore 46), Haynes; Baker, Daniels, Barton, Martins (Garner 64); Wilson, Manset (Maund 84). 

Subs: Gott.

Attendance: 1,072 (121 away)

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