Mansfield Town 1 Chorley 0
League Two Mansfield were made to sweat by a gallant Chorley side before squeezing through to the FA Cup second round thanks to a poacher’s goal by Nicky Maynard nine minutes from time.
The resolute Magpies could hold their heads high after a gutsy display in a tight game of few chances and the result could so easily have gone the other way, given the circumstances moments before the Stags’ winning goal.
Chorley had produced a delightful build-up and when the ball was slipped out to the right, substitute Marcus Carver lifted over a well-flighted cross.
Lewis Baines met it with a smart header at the far post only to be denied by an athletic save by Conrad Logan who at full stretch tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.
Play quickly transferred to the other end where Mansfield’s final substitute Jacob Mellis, receiving a square pass, struck a low drive which Matty Urwin dived to keep out.
But the keeper could not hold on to the ball which looped up invitingly for Maynard to nod home from short range.
It was tough on the Magpies who had repeatedly blocked the hosts’ best attempts – it was past the hour-mark before Urwin was seriously tested by a shot from Neal Bishop.
In fact it was Chorley who had made the brighter start and Matt Challoner might have done better than fire just over the bar following a half-clearance after just two minutes.
Later Ntumba Massanka delivered a searching low centre across the goalmouth which new signing Charlie Vernam was inches away from turning into the net.
Not unexpectedly, the League Two side grew into the game to assume the ascendancy but neat approach work failed to fashion clear-cut chances, though Alex MacDonald wasted the best of them early in the second half by firing into the side-net when well placed to do better.
Mansfield’s extra quality began to show in the latter stages as they stretched the Chorley defence – but had that Baines’ header gone in it could have been a different story.
Manager Jamie Vermiglio was far from down-hearted after the game.
He said: “We’ve done very well today. The boys have defended like Trojans, won second balls and kept possession well.
“If Lewis’s header had gone in, we could have won the tie or at least forced a replay.
“It was just disappointing to get to the last 10 minutes on level terms and then not bring them back to our place.”
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Ross (A Newby 84), Meppen-Walter, Baines, Blakeman, Cottrell, Smith, Nortey, Massanka (Carver 57), Vernam (Almond 63). Subs (not used): O’Keefe, E Newby, Dodds, Eccles.