Leeds United. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
(Mansfield win 1-0 on aggregate)
MEMORIES of Colchester, where Don Revie's team fell dramatically in the FA Cup back in 1971, were uncomfortably stirred for Leeds supporters in a barren second leg of this Coca-Cola Cup second- round tie last night.
Leeds' inability to score against a Mansfield team 79 places below them guaranteed what has become an annual early exit. The ignominy was compounded by the fact that their Third Division hosts played out the last 13 minutes with only 10 men after the dismissal of Colin Hoyle, making his debut on loan from Notts County, for a second bookable offence.
But for Mansfield, Field Mill was a field of dreams. Andy King, their ecstatic manager, argued with some justification that Hoyle was the victim of an over-zealous referee, though the former Everton midfielder was not going to let it spoil his celebrations.
'On Saturday we'll probably lose 4-0 to Hartlepool, but I'll live on this one for a long time,' King said. 'Trelleborgs set the perfect example against Blackburn, and the plan myself and Colin Harvey devised limited Leeds to long balls. They didn't create a single one-on-one chance, and over the two games we fully deserved to go through.'
Howard Wilkinson emerged from the Leeds dressing-room after a long inquest and said: 'All credit to Andy and Colin, but we should and could have done better in the attacking third. Though it's a diappointing result, it'd be a mistake to let it destroy our season.'
Although they won the second Wembley final 26 years ago, Leeds' record in the League Cup has been largely lamentable. Even so, Mansfield's 1-0 success in the first leg had come as a shock to the system, and there was an overdue sense of purpose about the Premiership side at the start.
Mansfield began with only Steve Wilkinson up front, with the match-winner of a fortnight ago, Simon Ireland, supporting from midfield. Despite Leeds pressing forward in numbers, the basement-section stragglers were first to put an effort on target, Kevin Noteman's sixth- minute header failing to trouble John Lukic.
Leeds retaliated with a low drive by Gary Speed that Darren Ward touched behind, but Mansfield, having found the expected onslaught to be less than ferocious, gained in confidence. No one more so than the Leeds-born Noteman, who, as is the way of these things, was one of the first players Howard Wilkinson released from Elland Road.
When Carlton Palmer picked the ball up, mistakenly believing the referee had blown, Noteman sent the free- kick whistling over the bar. He almost matched Gary Kelly for pace - no mean feat - before firing wide midway through the first half.
Speed, making space to shoot from 18 yards with a clever feint, then forced a marvellous fingertip save from Ward. However, it was an isolated moment of danger during a first half in which Mansfield were neither overawed nor outclassed.
Such was the confidence in the Mansfield camp that the public-address announcer felt able to tempt fate by giving the time of the third-round draw. His optimism was understandable, for although Leeds again dominated territorially after the interval, a succession of hit-and-hope crosses from their full-backs betrayed an embarrassing lack of invention.
Mansfield's game-plan involved pulling everyone - bar the tireless Wilkinson - behind the ball whenever Leeds had possession. What the tactic lacked in attractiveness it made up for in effectiveness, and a magnificent rearguard action, especially after Hoyle's exit for what looked a fair challenge on Speed, ensured that Mansfield gained the result they deserved.
Mansfield Town (5-4-1): Ward; Boothroyd, Howarth, Holland, Peters, Baraclough; Ireland (Hadley, 75), Doolan, Hoyle, Noteman; Wilkinson. Substitutes not used: Castledine, Pearcey (gk).
Leeds United (4-4-2): Lukic; Kelly, Wetherall, Palmer, Worthington; Wallace (Pemberton, 83), Fairclough (Dorigo, 62), McAllister, Speed; Whelan, Deane. Substitute not used: Beeney (gk).
Referee: P Danson (Leicester).
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