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Last updated : 07 November 2005
Nottingham Evening Post:

Rotherham United 3 v 4 Mansfield Town

The Millers fans behind the makeshift press box at Millmoor were under no illusions as to what was going to happen.

"Yer know oo's goin' t'score winner? Richie Barker."

There is not an emotion in football that can satisfy one person and infuriate thousands of others in the same place more than a player scoring against his old club.

It will have been something chuntered about in Rotherham pubs throughout Saturday night.

They could console themselves over Sod's Law, but their team's failure to win since September 10 might be more of a pressing concern to the followers of Mick Harford's side.

As for the Stags, it was their work ethic and determination, allied to manager Peter Shirtliff deciding to go for the win in the closing stages, that meant they just deserved to book their place in the next round.

It should not have been left to Barker anticipating a knock-down from Rhys Day in injury-time to jab the ball past his mate Rotherham keeper Gary Montgomery.

The Stags had the chances to finish off the Millers long before that, including Adam Rundle's one-on-one in the first half and a couple of Simon Brown misses towards the climax.

They showed qualities that can only help them make sure the threat of relegation to the Conference becomes someone else's problem.

Looking at the final score it is incredible to consider that the first 20 minutes was a washout.

Then Stags scored twice before allowing the Millers to get back on terms, admittedly from two good finishes from Paul McLaren.

Now that the victory is safely tucked away, that might be one of the most notable lessons the young Stags learned from their trip to South Yorkshire.

Against a League Two team, you might be able to switch off a little bit after scoring a goal. But against higher-division sides you are more likely to be punished for a lack of concentration.

The fact they had the qualities to still go on and win bodes well for their league survival fight.

In centre-forwards Barker and Brown they have a partnership that is on fire at the moment.

Brown put the Stags in the lead with a neat header that Montgomery will probably be disappointed to have let in at his near` post.

And after McLaren had smashed an immediate riposte, the Stags did well to get back in the lead with a Giles Coke header that exposed a static Millers defence.

Rotherham got straight back into the game again and, when former Derby striker Deon Burton got the finishing touch to a corner ten minutes into the second half, it seemed order would be restored.

But the Stags kept battling and their positivity was rewarded with Barker's two goals.

The captain did his best to play down his contribution afterwards, ultra-critically describing it as going through the motions in the first 70 minutes.

What he means is he didn't have many shots on goal.

Although he was muted in his celebrations after his late winner, the rest of the team were not and it will be a huge boost for them to win their second away game on the trot. Just as long as it does not go to their heads.

What was going through Gus Uhlenbeek's head when he and Michael Keane were sent off after a skirmish just before the winner, only he will know.

Although the Stags are going well, Shirtliff could really do without these disciplinary problems, after Gareth Jelleyman was sent off in similar circumstances last week.

But you have little doubt the manager will get to grips with it, just as he has everything else since the departure of Carlton Palmer.

He is the third consecutive Stags manager to take his first game in an FA Cup tie - but the first to win.

Now that is the sort of omen to build on.

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More reaction available in todays Evening Post
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Rotherham Official Website:
A hugely disappointing home defeat saw the Millers bow out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle after they had looked on course for an elusive victory but two late goals from the visitors extended the run of games without a win to 11.
With Barry Conlon not allowed to play by Barnsley Martin Butler returned to the attack and the Millers were soon on the offensive but Deon Burton's second minute free kick hit the defensive wall.
He then wasn't far off the target with a shot from 20 yards before Grant Leadbitter set up Butler whose shot was saved. A great 18th minute passing move saw Michael Keane fire just wide from 18 yards as Rotherham, dictated the play and then a 22nd minute Butler cross won a corner.
After being on the back foot it was Mansfield who opened the scoring in the 28th minute when a cross from the right by Uhlenbeek saw Brown score with a glancing header.
But the lead lasted just two minutes before Paul McLaren levelled matters when he latched on to a Keane pass to score with a superb drive from just outside the penalty area.
Town almost restored their lead on 34 minutes when Rundle raced clear but Gary Montgomery saved the day as he made a fine save to concede a corner.
Town weren't to denied, though and they did go in front again on 37 minutes when David Worrell headed the ball away only for Coke to head the ball into the goal and it was allowed to stand despite the appeals that another player was in an offside position in front of the keeper.
However, once again the Millers pulled level again straight away with McLaren scoring again, this time with an absolutely brilliant volley from Burton's pass.
Butler then fired just wide after Burton had seen a shot blocked and the first half ended in deadlock. Town opened brightly after the interval but two free kicks and a corner brought no reward and it was the Millers who then led for the first time in the 53rd minute.
A Keane corner was headed on and there was Burton at the far post to notch his tenth goal of the season with a simple tap in.
A minute later Leadbitter was off the target from a John Mullin cross while at the other end Mansfield squandered a great chance when somehow Brown lifted his effort over the bar from a couple of yards.
Burton headed wide from a Worrell cross and on 75 minutes it was all square again when a high ball from the left found its way to Birchill on the right and he squared the ball back in for Richie Barker to score easily from six yards.
Both sides went in search of a winner and Butler looked as if he might get it when he ran clear but keeper Pressman came out well to stop him.
At the other end Brown fired wide but Mansfield showed they weren't happy to settle for a draw as they forced two late corners.
Then on the stroke of full time both sides were reduced to ten men when Keane and Uhlenbeek were shown the red card for a needless flare up.
Then in the 93rd minute it was Town who grabbed a dramatic winner when the ball was headed out by the Rotherham defence and when it was played back in, Richie Barker reacted quickly to poke the ball past Montgomery.

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