Mansfield Town secured a spot in the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy with a 2-1 victory at Burton Albion tonight.
After two draws, before losing to both Everton U21s and Crewe Alexandra on penalties for the extra point, the Stags, who made eight changes on the night, saw off the League One Brewers at the Pirelli Stadium to go through.
Goals from Danny Rose and Ryan Sweeney did the damage against Nigel Clough’s side with David Templeton’s scorcher a mere consolation for the hosts.
Stags’ shot-stopper Bobby Olejnik pulled off a string of super saves to ensure victory.
Burton burst out of the blocks with Olejnik producing a fine stop to tip Lucas Akins’ strike over the bar.
Down the other end, Omari Sterling-James was kept out by Ben Garratt after getting on the end of Willem Tomlinson’s ball.
Rose opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a delicate tip.
And 11 minutes later Sweeney rose highest to head home the second and double the visitors’ advantage.
But the two-goal lead lasted mere seconds as the Brewers hit back.
Templeton was the man to get on the scoresheet as helpless Olejnik couldn’t stop his superb curling effort nestling in the top corner.
But Olejnik denied Templeton a second with a good stop and frustrated the scorer again just before the break.
In stoppage time a sprawling Olejnik then denied Scott Fraser’s rasping drive to ensure John Dempster’s side went in ahead at half-time.
After the restart Sterling-James’ speculative volley flew wide.
On the hour Rose should have restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage. The forward raced away to meet James Clarke’s through ball before firing wide with the goal gaping.
Jacob Mellis and Tomlinson then linked up well with the latter seeing his effort from the outside of his boot kept out by Garratt.
Conor Shaughnessy could only glance Sterling-James’ cross wide late on as Mansfield saw it through in six added minutes.
The draw for the next round will take place on Saturday, live on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday from 2pm.
BURTON: Garratt, Daniel, Edwards, Buxton, Wallace, Quinn, Fraser, Akins, Templeton (Anderson 71), Sbarra, O’Toole (Brayford 76). Unused subs: Livesey, Sarkic, Beardsley.
MANSFIELD: Olejnik, Shaughnessy, Preston, Sweeney, Clarke, Tomlinson, Smith, Hamilton, Mellis (Afolayan 67), Sterling-James (MacDonald 88), Rose (Graham 62). Unused subs: Stone, Benning, Cook, Gordon.
REFEREE: Leigh Doughty.