Stags’ under-18s produced a fine home performance on Saturday as they ran out 2-0 winners over Doncaster Rovers under-18s in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup.
Mansfield – who had beaten their opponents 4-0 just two weeks prior to the game – recorded another win and clean sheet against the side from South Yorkshire.
Goals from Jack Deakin and Diego Edwards in either half saw the Stags rise to the summit of Group F after two games.
Mansfield started the contest as the stronger of the two sides, playing through the thirds well in the opening stages.
On eight minutes, Finn Flanagan and Curtis Davies linked up before feeding Jakub Kruszynski on the edge of the area. The midfielder struck from 18-yards but saw his effort go narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
Doncaster were close to taking the lead against the run of play on 18 minutes, but Louie Turner produced a fine save from a back-post header.
Mansfield were on the scoresheet just a minute later to go ahead in the game. Darien Wauchope’s cross was kept alive by Flanagan, who pulled the ball back to Deakin. The frontman was left with a routine finish to put his side one goal in front.
Another floated cross by the visitors caused problems for the Stags, as a header back across goal dropped narrowly wide of Turner’s post.
Doncaster were almost masters of their own downfall on 34, as a stray pass was intercepted by Flanagan. The midfielder drove forward before seeing his strike well-blocked by a Rovers’ defender.
Just after the break, the Stags doubled their lead via a swift counter from a Doncaster corner.
Edwards, after taking a loose touch, was fortuitous to see the ball spin into the net after the goalkeeper’s clearance struck the Mansfield forward.
Doncaster searched for an immediate reaction, but were denied by committed defending from the Stags. First, Ben Whelan blocked a goal-bound effort, before Taylor Anderson produced a similar stop to keep the visitors at bay.
A short corner routine led to a near miss for Doncaster, as Turner was saved by the woodwork following an impressive strike.
Throughout the remainder of the second-half, the Stags were professional in their display and limited the visitors to few chances.
Doncaster did come close to reducing the arrears late on, as some eye-catching combination play down the Mansfield right-side led to a chance.
Rovers’ striker cut in from the right and sent an effort towards goal, but Turner remained alert in the latter stages to protect the Stags’ clean sheet.
Next up for the Stags is a return to league action against Burton Albion on Saturday 02 October at The RH Academy.
STAGS' XI: Turner, Anderson, Whelan, Collins, Wauchope, Carter, Flanagan, Davies (Wilson 43’), Kruszynski, Edwards (Pitts 85’), Deakin (Reynolds 63’).
UNUSED SUB: Avery.