Wednesday’s miserable start to the season continued at Hillsborough t0night when we were dumped out of the Carabao Cup in a penalty shootout by division two Mansfield.
This latest defeat increases the pressure on manager Xisco Munoz after failing to get a point fr0m our opening four league games and with a Yorkshire derby at Leeds to follow this Saturday.
We looked to be going through 1-0 to the third round draw before Mansfield snatched an 85th minute equaliser, Wednesday allowing Rhys Oates to cut in from the left and curl an excellent low 20-yarder past Cameron Dawson to take the tie to penalties.
Michael Smith, Josh Windass and Barry Bannan converted our first three spot kicks with Mansfield, who began the shootout, also scoring their opening three penalties.
Dawson saved their fourth effort from Will Swan to give us the advantage, only for Will Vaulks to see our next kick kept out by Christy Pym. Mansfield then made it 4-3 before Lee Gregory levelled matters to take the shootout to sudden death.
Former Owls loanee Aden Flint stepped up next to put Mansfield ahead again before Liam Palmer saw his kick saved by Pym to signal an early Carabao Cup exit for Wednesday.
We had looked the more likely side to break the deadlock in the first half, with Josh Windass proving a particular threat, and went ahead just before the half-hour mark when Callum Paterson knocked the ball back across goal and Anthony Musaba nodded home for his first goal for the club.
Mansfield played some neat football without troubling Cameron Dawson and the Owls almost made it 2-0 in first-half added time, Windass cracking a fine effort against the bar from outside the box.
Wednesday twice went close at the start of the second half, Michael Ihiekwe’s header stopped by keeper Pym and then Windass seeing another long-ranger pushed away.
Mansfield were more threatening in the second 45, Jordan Bowery going close and Oates missing a good chance to level for the visitors before Juan Delgado saw his header pushed onto a post by Pym.
However, the visitors were not be denied, Oates cracking home that late equaliser to take the game straight to penalties and the Stags then securing a sudden death 5-4 spot kick victory.
Dawson, Valentin (Palmer 80), Iorfa, Ihiekwe, Famewo, Paterson (Delgado 64), Bannan, Bakinson (Vaulks 80), Musaba (Gregory 71), Windass, Fletcher (Smith 71). Unused subs: Vasquez, James, Bernard, Gassama. Attendance: 10,724.