Report: Mansfield 1-2 WycombeScott Kashket and Adebayo Akinfenwa fired the Chairboys into the semi-final of the Checkatrade Trophy as the Blues came from behind to secure a 2-1 win at Mansfield Town.
Matt Green drilled home a first-half penalty to give the Stags the lead, but Steve Evans' men had no answer to the visitors' strikeforce as Wycombe extended their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions.
Both sides made five changes to the sides that were in league action at the weekend and it was the visitors who began the stronger, coming close inside two minutes when Garry Thompson’s lay-off was fired over the bar by Sam Saunders after the Chairboys kept Myles Weston’s cross alive.
Rhys Bennett missed the target with two half-chances at the other end before Saunders hit the target with a low shot from Krystian Pearce’s poor headed clearance, but the effort lacked power and keeper Jake Kean gathered.
It was the Wanderers who were more comfortable in possession and worked it around well in the Stags half, just lacking the final ball to penetrate the defence. Meanwhile Matt Green forced a low save from Jamal Blackman before Krystian Pearce drilled over the top following a set piece.
It was a counter-attack for the hosts which led to the opening goal, with Mal Benning carrying the ball some 80 yards down the left and delivering a low cross which skidded up into the body of Joe Jacobson, prompting referee David Webb to punish him for an alleged handball and Green made no mistake with the penalty, powering it home past the despairing dive of Blackman.
Paris Cowan-Hall’s dangerous cross in first-half stoppage time almost caused a blunder from Kean and Pearce who bundled into each other to scramble it away with Myles Weston lurking, before Saunders was booked for a foul on Jamie McGuire with the game just beginning to develop a fiery edge before the break.
The Stags improved after the interval and began to impose themselves more and more as they looked for a killer second goal, with Mal Benning’s low cross-shot fizzing past the post, before Cowan-Hall headed a good chance over the bar from Joe Jacobson’s corner.
Gareth Ainsworth decided the time had come for action, and introduced Scott Kashket and Adebayo Akinfenwa from the bench with devastating effect. Within moments, Kashket pounced to level the scores when Kean spilled Max Muller’s long-range piledriver, and the in-form striker was on hand to tuck the ball home with a first-time effort.
Muller was needed at the other end to deny Yoann Arquin a chance at goal before Kashket had a goal disallowed for handball, but the winning goal came from the trusted source of Akinfenwa with eight minutes remaining.
Marcus Bean was due to be substituted with cramp but his last action was a crucial one, delivering an inch-perfect cross into the box for Akinfenwa to chest down and fire home in front of the ecstatic travelling supporters.
Now there was a job to be done at the other end to protect the lead, and Wanderers did so admirably. Jamal Blackman batted away CJ Hamilton’s shot from 18 yards and Danny Rose fired tamely wide as the Stags attempted to take the game for penalties, but a late siege wasn’t enough to get them back in the game and it’s the Chairboys who take one step closer to Wembley.