BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Toby Stevenson continued his remarkable scoring record as his fourth goal in just two Charlton appearances took the South Londoners’ FA Cup 1st round tie at Mansfield to a replay.
The 18-year-old bundled a corner over the line inside the final quarter of the contest to cancel out CJ Hamilton’s first-half opener and keep the Addicks in the hat for tomorrow’s 2nd round draw.
The game was also notable for the return from injury of Billy Clarke, who came off the bench after missing out since suffering an ACL injury last December.
The cup-tie was wide open from the start. Hamilton had already rattled a post for the home side from a tight angle before George Lapslie sent a rising drive inches over the bar at the other end.
The Addicks youngster was then guilty of squandering a golden chance to give the South Londoners the lead. Karlan Grant had wriggled his way into the area but Lapslie was unable to adjust his feet in time to side-foot the low-cross home from eight yards out.
Still the chances were coming at both ends, with Stags midfielder Neal Bishop seeing his shot clawed from the goal-line by Addicks stopper Dillon Phillips.
Grant almost immediately dragged a shot across the face of goal when Nicky Ajose was screaming for a square ball and an easy tap in.
Charlton goalkeeper Dillon Phillips needed to be bailed out as he came out for a corner and missed it, with Darren Pratley alert to nod Krystian Pearce’s header away from the goal.
The Addicks were again wasteful in-front of goal as Grant shanked wide at the near-post, and they were made to pay as they fell behind just before the break.
The hosts had been building pressure as the half wore on and they broke the deadlock as Hamilton hared away on the Mansfield left. He drove across the face of Phillips’ goal, with the ball rebounded off the far-post and in to give the underdogs the lead.
Phillips did well to tip a low-drive around the post from the goal-scorer in the opening exchanges of the second-period as the Stags looked to extend their lead.
Bowyer threw Tariqe Fosu into the mix ten minutes after the interval as his side looked for a way back into the contest, with Jamie Ward making way.
The substitute was involved as Charlton had a huge chance on the counter. Grant strode away from the Addicks box before releasing Fosu in space on the right. The Addicks had a three-on-one advantage but Fosu’s cross for Ajose was cut behind for a corner, that came to nothing.
Clarke was introduced with twenty minutes to play as he finally put his eleven month lay-off behind him and returned to first-team action – and the Addicks drew level moments later.
Stevenson, who bagged a hat-trick on his only other first-team appearance at Stevenage in the EFL Trophy, bundled a corner over the line with just over fifteen minutes left to play.
The hosts came inches away from regaining their lead as Jacob Mellis’ effort took a deflection, but it brushed the outside of the post with Phillips completely wrong-footed.
Neither side could find a winner and so the tie will be replayed at The Valley the week after next.
Photos: Kyle Andrews
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