Storm surge too great for Mansfield.
The home side began by playing at a high tempo and zipped the ball about confidently in front of the record crowd.
Taviner and Wakefield were rapacious down the right and hit the by-line to create a number of chances. Berisford-Ince was proving to be a tenacious thorn in the visitor’s side and the Tornados looked in firm control. Against the run of the play though, a 30 yard strike found the top corner despite Jenyon’s best efforts.
Toft did not have long to ruminate on why he had so much space in which to shoot because they swiftly brought about parity through Berisford-Ince to the delight of the home crowd. With so much passion and commitment surging through the veins the game boiled over with a crazy ten minutes. First, the Mansfield winger was sent off for kicking out off the ball and then Toft’s centre midfielders were both booked as the importance of the tie led to frustration and murmurs of opprobrium on the sidelines. After a few minutes, more sagacious heads prevailed and Toft began to make the extra man tell by passing their opponents off the park.
The sides were still level at half time but it didn’t take the team from Knutsford long to take the lead. The ball was centred to Wright who finished easily from close range. It was just rewards for a gutsy performance from the winger who flashed his chest in celebration.
After that, it was a fairly one sided affair with Toft breaking at will and looking to finish off their opponents. In response, Mansfield looked to use their physicality and play a direct game but were met with fierce resistance from back to front. Baker, in particular, showed an astonishing desire to win and was dominant in the air.
His partner, Conway, oozed class and the third goal looked imminent. It duly arrived when Gibson belied his youth to maturely square to Harrison who passed the ball in before rushing to the fans. The game was well and truly put to bed by Hunter who converted a corner from close range. A perfect way to celebrate the arrival of Harry his new son. The final whistle brought a huge cheer from the crowd who will all be looking forward to the semi-final in two weeks time.
Toft Tornados 4 -1 Mansfield AFC
Man of the Match – Dom Baker