‘Embarrassing’, ‘Can we end this circus now?’ – These Mansfield Town fans have seen enough this season

The EFL Trophy isn’t the most liked competition in the country, but that’s not stopped Mansfield Town’s fans being angry at their elimination last night.

The Stags came through the group stages to set up a trip to Vale Park to meet FA Cup heroes Port Vale. They’ve just bagged a third-round tie with Premier League giants Manchester City, but were back in action last night looking to keep their season alive on three fronts.

CJ Hamilton gave John Dempster’s side a second-half lead, looking to ease the pressure on the beleaguered manager. Rhys Browne levelled for the home side and Jake Taylor then slammed a nail in Dempster’s coffin with an 82nd-minute strike.

Just as the game looked to be over, Omari Sterling-James popped up with an equaliser in injury time to give the Stags a penalty shoot-out. Sadly, they don’t like spot-kicks in that part of Nottinghamshire, having been eliminated from the play-off semi-final by that method. Morecambe, Crewe and Everton Under 21s have already beaten the Stags on spot-kicks this season too.

CJ Hamilton set the tone for the sudden death period by missing his kick first and when Mal Benning also failed to score the game was up. Will Atkinson scored the fourth for Port Vale to send the Stags home dismayed.

Going out of this competition is a blessing for some, but for these Stags fans it is the continuation of a run of form that will surely soon see Dempster fired.

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