JUST IN: Peterborough United was eliminated from the Carabao Cup as Mansfield Town’s hero was a club villain.

Christy Pym, the custodian, saved penalties from Jonson Clarke-Harris and Ronnie Edwards to help the Stags win 3-1 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in a thrilling third-round match. His sad behaviour while still under contract at the Weston Homes Stadium has made him one of the more unpopular Posh old boys among the management team and the fans.

Posh are solely responsible for their actions. They fielded a full strength lineup against a League Two team that made five substitutions, and they should have looked superior for three-quarters of the match. However, they failed to finish off their hosts, and they eventually disintegrated when the rest of the Mansfield first team players came off the bench.

Stags on the spot again to sink Peterborough and reach last 16 of Carabao  Cup

Posh lost their way both on and off the ball in the latter moments, which Mansfield controlled. After grabbing the lead with a first penalty kick in the third minute following a sluggish play from Archie Collins, they needed a penalty in the 93rd minute after a slip-up from Jonson Clarke-Harris to advance to the shootout.

Posh were in complete control thanks to two goals from Clarke-Harris, one of which came as a result of a terrible Pym error. However, despite Posh having an abundance of chances, none of them were converted, and this—rather than a terrible final period or some horrendous penalty kicks—was the actual reason Darren Ferguson’s team lost.

Ferguson made a suggestion that he would pitch a strong team following Saturday’s draw against Bolton Wanderers, and he kept his word as he selected the same starting XI.

Despite a pending ban, captain Peter Kioso continued to play right back.

Pym and well-known midfielder Louis Reed, both former Posh players, were on Mansfield’s seasoned team. After beating Barrow on Saturday by a lone goal, manager Nigel Clough made five changes to the lineup.

Posh started out looking like they would cruise to victory as they sought their third place in the fourth round in the previous 30 years.

Their passing was precise and accurate, and in the second minute Ricky-Jade Jones, who had already caused a stir with a run in the opening minute, sprinted past his defender to set up Clarke-Harris. However, Baily Cargill cleared his shot off the line.

And Posh fell behind in under a minute. When Will Swan threw himself to the ground, Archie Collins grabbed him after losing control of the ball near the perimeter of his own area. Swan scored down the centre after referee Sebastian Stockbridge gestured to the penalty area.

On the 10th minute, George Maris had a good chance to make it 2-0, but it didn’t matter because Posh kept easily passing through the defence and Kwame Poku appeared unstoppable on the right wing.

Though many crosses were obstructed or redirected, Pym’s handling remained secure. Hector Kyprianou’s brilliant ball was taken by Ephron Mason-Clark, who then fired towards the corner after making one terrific low saw.

However, the two ex-Posh players later worked together to provide their old team a goal. Mason-Clark was fouled by Louis Reed 25 yards from the goal, and Pym mishandled Clarke-Harris’ free kick that found the centre of his goal. The custodian was not absolved by a minor deflection off the wall.

When Posh stopped playing, Kyprianou almost immediately capitalised on Pym’s short stature with a meek header that was tipped over the bar.

During the last minutes of the first half, Mansfield passed the ball about at the back while under zero pressure.

But after the break, Posh quickly took the lead and everything changed. After being set free down the right, Koso attempted to score or, possibly, pass the ball to Jones, but George Williams blocked his shot, allowing Clarke-Harris to easily score.

Posh seized complete control of the game two minutes later as Kioso headed a Harrison Burrows corner onto the crossbar. At the hour mark, Clough made a quadruple substitution.

It didn’t instantly change how the game was played. One of Clarke-Harris’ shots from the edge of the box was a free kick. The centre forward met a Burrows corner, but his header slammed into Kioso.

However, Mansfield suddenly roused themselves, supported by a boisterous crowd, which unnerved Posh and caused them to pass extremely carelessly.

A long free kick was allowed to strike James Gale at the far post, and the same player then managed to head in from close range when Bilokapic was beaten by a deflection.

The Stags persisted in pushing through. On the 70th minute, a score by substitute Lucas Akins was disallowed for what could have been a questionable offside call, and Ronnie Edwards made a superb block to deflect an Aaron Lewis attempt behind.

Jones’ cross appeared to be handled, therefore Posh were unfortunate not to receive a penalty. Then, the speedster was replaced by David Ajioboye, forcing Poku and Mason-Clark to alter positions. Mason-Clark subsequently darted into the area, but a retreating defender stopped him from scoring.

However, Mansfield was far superior at this point. Aden Flint’s header straight at Bilokapic was followed by a corner that produced chaos before Calum Macdonald was fouled by Clarke-Harris, earning the home team a second penalty that Akins converted.

Posh had to survive a few more corners before participating in the competition’s third consecutive penalty shootout.

Akins and Jordan Bowery made it 2-0 for Mansfield with Pym’s assistance, but Flint missed and Bilokpaic stopped Ollie Clake both before and after a successful Mason-Clark penalty kick.

Posh were once again in the game, but Davis Kiellor-Dunn secured the victory when Josh Knight hit the outside of a post.

Naturally excited, Pym appeared to be taunting Ferguson after the tie. His attempt to shake hands seemed to be declined. All of it was fairly trivial.

Nicholas Bilokapic, Harrison Burrows (substituted by Zak Sturge in the 89th minute), Ronnie Edwards, Josh Knight, Peter Kioso, Hector Kyprianou, Archie Collins, Ricky-Jade Jones (substituted by David Ajiboye in the 74th minute), Ephron Mason-Clark, Kwame Poku (substituted by Jadel Katongo in the 89th minute),

Fynn Talley, Romoney Crichlow, Ryan De Havilland, Joel Randall, Emmanuel Fernandez, and Kai Corbett were the substitutes that were not utilised.

Christy Pym, George Williams (substitution Davis Killor-Dunn, 74 minutes), Aden Flint, Lewis Brunt, Bailey Cargill (substitution Calum Macdonald, 61 minutes), Louis Reed (substitution Jordan Bowery, 46 minutes), Aaron Lewis, Hiram Boateng, George Maris (substitution Ollie Clark, 61 minutes), James Gale, and Will Swan (substitution Lucas Akin, 61 minutes) are the Mansfield players.

Scott Flinders, George Cooper, Finn Flanagan, and McKeal Abdullah were all inactive subs.

Posh scores twice, at 30 and 47 minutes.

Swan (pen, 5 minutes) and Akins (pen, 90 + 2 minutes) for Mansfield.

Warnings: Posh – Collins (unsportsmanlike conduct), Burrows (unsportsmanlike conduct), Mason-Clark (foul).

Mansfield: Reed (unsportsmanlike behaviour), Flint (foul).

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge 6

Attendance: 4,372 (682 Posh).

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