FOOTBALL: Brown-Hill puts Stamford AFC through in the FA Cup
Olly Brown-Hill showed ice cool nerves to book Stamford AFC a place in FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round on Saturday.
The Daniels beat AFC Mansfield 2-1 on their own turf, coming from behind after Oliver Fearon put the hosts ahead, scoring first through Ryan Robbins on the hour mark before sealing the victory from the penalty spot in the 90th minute through Brown-Hill.
A game which had plenty of niggle throughout, and saw both team lose players to a red card, burst into full acrimony when referee Robert Dadley pointed to the spot in the final seconds of the game as Elliott Sandy was brought down by Mansfield midfielder Jimmy Ghaichem who tripped up the striker when there looked like there was little danger happening.
Brown-Hill had to wait for the dissenting home players to finally stop arguing their case, but the delay seemed to have no affect on him, smashing the ball past home keeper Jason White.
Despite Manfield playing their league football a division lower than Evo-Stik NPL First Division South side Stamford it was the hosts who started the better, with Glyn Cotton just putting a header wide from a free-kick in the opening minutes.
Gary Bradshaw and Chris Timons both had efforts for the hosts before Fearon opened the scoring in just the 13th minute. The striker was in the right place at the right time to fire home after Stamford stopper Sam Donkin had saved well from Ghaichem, but could only push the ball into the path of Fearon.
Stamford retaliated by creating their first chances of the match, first Jev Brown was nicely played into space only to fire wide - a trait which is becoming apparent in his game - and then skipper Jordan Smith failed to find the target with a good heading opportunity from a corner.
Barring Smith, who was chasing everything and bursting down-field with his normal enthusiasm, there was a lack of urgency in the Stamford ranks - which was surprising considering the prize on offer, not least the £7,500 prize money.
Daniels manager Graham Drury showed real bravery in making a pair of early changes in an attempt to change the momentum, hooking off Ollie Luto and Curtis Hartley and bringing on Sandy and Brown-Hill, who of course both went on to have pivotal parts to play in the victory.
Stamford were better after the break and Drury threw his final substitution on, making his third attacking change of the day by introducing St Kitts & Nevis international striker Robbins for John King.
Robbins quickly made his mark, scoring in the 59th minute after racing clear of the defence and unleashing a firm strike past the keeper.
The game deteriorated into a bit of a scrap after Stamford levelled. Mansfield were the first to lose a man when Fearon was shown red for a dangerous tackle. Then Smith soon followed after elbowing Ghaichem and from the resulting free-kick Bradshaw clipped the bar with a curling effort that had beaten Donkin.
Before the late penalty drama Donkin had to make a pair of decent saves from the home side, but in the final quarter of the match they were hanging on for dear life as Stamford’s superior class shown through. In the end the breakthrough was inevitable, and of course it was in the final minute of play. This Stamford team like leaving it late after all.
AFC Mansfield: Jason White, Matty Plummer, Mark Dudley, Grant Allott, Chris Timons, Jon D’Laryea, Ryan Williams, Glyn Cotton, Oliver Feron, Gary Bradshaw, Jimmy Ghaichem. Subs: Lynton Karkach, Josh Madin, Danny Naylor, Brad Wilson, Jordan Annable, Myles Wright.
Stamford: Sam Donkin, Delroy Gordon, Ollie Luto (Elliott Sandy), Curtis Hartley (Olly Brown-Hill), Chris Salt, Tom Batchelor, Lee Beeson, Jake Duffy, Jordan Smith, Jevani Brown, John King (Ryan Robbins). Sub not
used: Jon Challinor.
Referee Robert Dadley