Stags’ under-18s conquered Boston United in a seven-goal-thriller to progress to the second round of the FA Youth Cup despite playing a lengthy period of the game with ten men.
A Jack Deakin hat-trick inspired the young guns to an electrifying victory at Jakemans Community Stadium.
Stags headed into the cup tie following three successive victories heading into the game, it was the home side who took the lead.
A driven delivery from a corner was forced low into the Mansfield penalty area which evaded all in amber and blue. A Boston forward subsequently prodded the ball home at the back post on 25 minutes.
Determined not to be behind for long, the Stags equalised through a set-piece of their own.
A Taylor Anderson delivery from the right found defender Freddie Pitts, who excellently brought the ball under control before slotting home to level the contest.
A cup classic unfolded in the second-half with drama aplenty.
Striker Jack Deakin provided a typically deadly finish after what was great forward play from the frontman. A lofted ball from Anderson well controlled from Deakin, who beat a defender before rifling a shot into the Boston net.
The young Stags conceded with 15 minutes of normal time to play. Another corner from the hosts launched a scramble inside the Mansfield penalty area before United notched an equaliser from a close-range finish.
The game took another twist on 91 minutes. A mistake in the Stags’ backline resulted in Pitts being shown a red card for bringing down a Boston attacker who threatened to win the game.
Extra-time beckoned and what followed was an excellent display of courage and maturity from the young Stags.
As the contest reached 100 minutes on the clock, Jakub Kruszynski found Deakin in the United half. With ice in his veins, Deakin rounded the onrushing goalkeeper before tapping home to give Mansfield a 3-2 lead.
Just as the home team hoped to get back into the game, Finn Flanagan intercepted the ball in the middle of the park and played a great through ball into the path of Deakin.
Deakin, in no mood to settle for a brace, saw the goalkeeper off his line and chipped the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards out.
The talented teen assured that the Stags had all but booked their place in the next round of the FA Youth Cup by tallying the Stags’ fourth goal of the contest.
With seconds remaining, Mansfield found time for another goal before the game was over.
Substitutes Diego Edwards and Max Hurdis combined before Hurdis sealed the victory for the Stags with a first-time finish.
The 5-2 away win confirms Mansfield’s place in the FA Youth Cup second round where they will face Fleetwood Town in Lancashire on Friday 12 November.
STAGS XI: Mason, Anderson, Wauchope, Collins, Pitts, Carter, Flanagan (Hurdis, 115’), Bouch (Edwards 56’), Deakin (Hamilton 118’), Kruszynski, Abdullah (Hill-Smith, 90’).
UNUSED SUBS: Turner, Whyle, Whelan.