Mansfield Town 1-2 Liverpool
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Third Round Proper
4pm, Sunday 6 January 2013
The One Call Stadium, Mansfield Town FC
Winning clubs receive £67,500 from The FA's prize fund
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Liverpool were pushed all the way by Mansfield Town as they edged through to the Fourth Round Proper in a tricky tie at the One Call Stadium.
Debutant Daniel Sturridge, who arrived from FA Cup holders Chelsea on Wednesday, scored inside the first seven minutes, while Uruguay international Luis Suarez continued his fine recent form with a controversial second half goal.
Mansfield, though, caused their illustrious opponents several problems after the interval and pulled one back through the lively Matt Green, much to the delight of the home fans.
But it was not enough and the seven-time winners held on to secure the win.
The Reds, last season’s beaten finalists, started very brightly and deservedly made their breakthrough early on.
Jonjo Shelvey released a ball from deep into the path of Sturridge, who raced ahead of Exodus Geohaghon and calmly slotted the ball past Alan Marriott to open his Liverpool account and record his ninth competition strike in just 12 outings.
The England forward should've doubled his tally eight minutes later but dallied when one-on-one with Alan Marriott, with the Mansfield goalkeeper thwarting the resulting shot.
Sturridge showed several signs of a burgeoning relationship with Shelvey in the first 45 minutes, but despite their good work, the pair failed to add to the Merseysiders' lead.
The Conference Premier side upped the ante after the restart, though, and pegged Liverpool back into their own half. Green, in particular, was proving to be a nuisance to the Reds backline, teasing Jamie Carragher and Sebastian Coates with his movement and persistence.
Brad Jones had to stand up tall to repel Green's backheeled effort, but within moments Suarez, who had come on in place of Sturridge, added a second goal to ease Liverpool's nerves, though the home side appealed for a handball against the striker.
Shelvey's superb 50-yard pass located Suarez, who squared the ball to Stewart Downing. The winger swiftly fed the ball back to his team-mate, who fired a shot towards the goal.
The ball rebounded back from Marriott, hitting Suarez's hand before falling into the path of the Uruguayan who bundled home from close-range.
Liverpool had several chances to put the tie to bed but Green ensured a tense finale when he netted with just eleven minutes remaining.
The Mansfield striker, who was unmarked in the middle of the box, hammered the ball beyond Jones and Coates.
Both sides had chances to score in the final ten minutes but neither found the back of the net, and it is the Premier League outfit who will face Oldham in the next phase.
Marriott; Thompson, Geohaghon, Dempster, Beevers; Murray, Howell; Briscoe (Daniel 64), Clements (Rhead 81), Meikle; Green
Subs not used: Sutton, Speight, Wright, Hutchinson, Stevenson
Jones; Wisdom (Flanagan 79), Coates, Carragher, Robinson; Lucas, Allen, Shelvey; Suso (Henderson 55), Sturridge (Suarez 55), Downing
Subs not used: Gulacsi, Sterling, Coady, Skrtel
Referee Andre Marriner
Mansfield Town 1-2 Liverpool