JORDAN CHIEDOZIE admitted he scored his best-ever goal as Concord defied the odds to keep their FA Cup dream alive.
The former Bournemouth striker arrowed a 30-yard screamer into the top corner for a 17th-minute equaliser which the non league side gallantly defended for the rest of the game against their League Two hosts.
It came just 45 seconds after Danny Glozier’s headed own goal had given the Stags the lead and prompted unanimous applause and acclaim from the 2,023 crowd at Field Mill gathered for the FA Cup first round tie.
It was richly deserved for Chiedozie for his tireless leading of the line in the 1-1 draw, and afterwards he told Sport In Essex: “I’ve never scored a better goal than that in a competitive match.
“I’ve scored some like that when I was younger and in training but never on a big occasion like this. It felt like a special goal.
“I picked it up and was going to lay it off because I did not realise how much time I had.
“But there wasn’t an option there so I turned and I just thought I might as well hit it.
“I saw where the keeper was but the way it was moving in the air made me think it was going to miss. When it went in it felt surreal.”
The howitzer only served to shoot down any dregs of confidence left in a Mansfield side who came into the game without a win in eight and with just three goals to their name during that barren run.
The closest they came to a winner was when Arsenal loan keeper Josh Vickers made a sensational one-handed stop to keep out Rakish Bingham’s low, drilled effort five minutes after half time.
The performance was not enough to stop the home fans chanting “Cox out” towards their under-fire manager Paul Cox after the final whistle.
Concord’s travelling 101 fans, on the other hand, were in fine voice and routinely out-sung their melancholy hosts all evening.
And the Stags will have to brace themselves for an amplified version of that in the replay, which is likely to be next Tuesday night.
* Report supplied by sportinessex.com