Pickering Town 2-0 AFC Mansfield
Paul Marshall celebrated his 100th victory as Pickering Town manager with a superb second qualifying round replay win over AFC Mansfield at a giddy Mill Lane.
Euphoria greeted cult hero Billy Logan’s decisive second goal in the final minute of the tense clash – the strike ended Mansfield’s hopes of forcing extra-time.
Rudy Funk’s men had given everything in trying circumstances having encountered major traffic problems on their way to North Yorkshire.
The game kicked off at 8.25pm, 20 minutes after the majority of Mansfield players arrived at the ground. They had less than 15 minutes, rather than 30 or 40 minutes, to warm-up so they could be forgiven for the slow start.
Just a few minutes after excellent referee Matt Sowerby kicked off, former Tadcaster Albion striker Josh Greening slid the ball home from close range – that gave the Pikes something to cling onto.
Pickering did have more first half chances to extend their lead, but Mansfield had their own as talented young goalkeeper Charlie Andrews made two goal-denying saves.
The home side were fortunate to hold onto their lead in the early stages of the second half. Andrews made at least one solid save, while Funk’s charges also rattled the crossbar.
Pickering booked their third qualifying tie with either Yaxley or Ramsbottom United in the 83rd minute after Logan broke clear. His shot was saved, but the Mansfield goalkeeper was only to stop the momentum of the ball which slowly trickled into the back of the net.