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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

15 October 2019 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

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The Central League

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Match Previews

Reserves preview: Walsall vs Stags

14 October 2019

Stags’ reserves begin their Central League campaign on Tuesday 15 October, when they travel to face Walsall reserves (2pm kick-off).

Mansfield’s second string have completed one match this season, a 4-3 loss to a strong West Brom side in a behind-closed-doors Central League Cup clash.

The amber and blue found themselves 4-0 down in the game, but fought back to 4-3 in a highly entertaining affair.

A hat-trick from Wales international Hal Robson-Kanu helped the Baggies towards a seemingly comfortable lead, but strikes from Andy Cook, Omari Sterling-James and Tyrese Sinclair cut the deficit to just one goal.

Speaking after the game, academy manager Richard Cooper said: “We know that we have talented players and we can open up other teams. The one thing that we have to look at is the manner of the goals they scored.

“They had some high-level players out there but it’s about nullifying the weaknesses that we showed.

“There were loads of things that we could learn from the game but it’s all positive really.

“We could have got something out of the game but West Brom could also argue that they had some good chances themselves.

“The one thing I will say to our boys is full credit must go to them for keeping going. We actually nearly got back into a football match that we thought at times had ran away from us.

“The lads kept going and that’s a real positive about the group and where they’re at. Their attitude is always good. It would have been easy to put their heads down and let the game pass them by but it was a really good performance in terms of attitude and I can’t fault them for that.”

Following their season-opener against West Brom, the Stags will go up against Walsall in their first Central League match of the campaign.

Last term, Mansfield finished seventh in the Central League table, winning five and drawing one of their 14 matches.

This term, with a new-look North East division, the Stags will compete in a six-team league consisting of Doncaster, Grimsby, Rotherham, Scunthorpe and Walsall.

No games have yet been played in this division, yet all six teams will look to get off to a positive start in Tuesday afternoon’s round of matches.

Entry to the match is free of charge and can be found at the following venue: Birmingham County FA Headquarters, Ray Hall Lane, Great Barr, Birmingham, B43 6JF.

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Match Reports

Reserves report: Walsall 1-1 Stags

15 October 2019

A late Jordan Graham finish secured Stags’ reserves a point against Walsall in their opening Central League fixture of the season.

After eight months on the sidelines, 21-year-old Graham combined with CJ Hamilton to score a deserved equaliser in the 87th minute.

The amber and blue had been behind since the half hour mark when James Hardy powered past Aidan Stone from the edge of the area.

The Stags were on top during the opening stages, creating the first goal-scoring opportunities of the afternoon.

Tom Fielding came close with a low drive which flew narrowly past the post. Hamilton was then denied by a last ditch Callum Cockerill-Mollett challenge as he closed in on goal.

Walsall then, with their first and only clear opportunity of the match, opened the scoring after 30 minutes. Hardy picked up a loose ball before striking firmly into the top left corner.

Despite falling behind, the Stags continued their control of the game after the break, as they pressed for an equaliser. Willem Tomlinson and Hamilton both sent efforts over the crossbar.

Jimmy Knowles then had two openings. The first, a header, fell just wide after a Tomlinson cross. He then fired over after the ball fell his way on the edge of the area.

Richard Cooper’s side finally, after persistent pressure, got what they deserved when substitute Graham, making his first appearance since injury back in February, slotted home the leveller.

Hamilton flew down the right before laying off to Graham who calmly side-footed into the net to ensure the two sides would begin their Central League seasons with a point apiece.

Next up for the reserves is a meeting with Peterbrough United in two weeks’ time in the Central League Cup as they look to earn their first victory of the season.

WALSALL RESERVES XI: Rose, Pring (Foulkes 67’), Bates, Cockerill-Mollett, Roberts, Campbell, Mukadam, Allamby-John (Pearce 67’), Hardy (Moss 67’), Norman (Little 67’), Willis (Johnson 67’).

UNUSED SUBS: Rogerson.

STAGS RESERVES XI: Stone, Gibbens, Walker, Hamilton, Smith, Tomlinson, Fielding (Graham 62’), Knowles, Afolayan, Clarke, Law.

UNUSED SUBS: Campbell, Chisholm, Sketchley, Tomlin.

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