Forward McKeal Abdullah scored a brace as Stags under-19s beat Scunthorpe United 2-1 on Friday in the Youth Alliance League.
Sam Collins’ side faced the Iron at the same venue only a week and a half ago in a game which ended 1-1, with Abdullah on the scoresheet.
After going behind on 17 minutes, Abdullah fired a first-half double to see his side ahead at the break.
Right-back Taylor Anderson marshalled a defence which managed to see out the game in the second-half.
The opening exchanges saw both sides with chances on goal, with the first coming on 12 minutes.
A lofted through ball from centre-back Tyler Whyle attempted to pick out the on rushing Abdullah, who looked to bring the ball down but it was ultimately collected by Scunthorpe ‘keeper Joshua Murtagh.
The Iron had their first opportunity of the encounter just one minute later when winger Nathaniel Wallace played the ball inside to Charley Strouther who fired over Stags’ crossbar.
The visitors opened the scoring on 17 minutes when forward Harrison Poulter slotted beyond Louie Turner in the Mansfield goal to give his side the lead.
Following the goal, Sam Collins’ young guns improved their level of performance and restored parity on 29 minutes.
A swift counterattack from the hosts saw Abdullah collect the ball on halfway. The in-form forward then drove forward and after twisting and turning beyond their defence, he fired into the bottom left corner to bring his side level.
The amber and blue had an opportunity to take the lead just four minutes later when defensive midfielder Charlie Carter placed a perfectly weighted ball to Anderson who delivered a fierce pass into attack-minded midfielder Jakub Kruszynski, but the ball was turned over the bar.
Stags’ shot-stopper Louie Turner came to the rescue ten minutes prior to the interval when Poulter took aim at goal but the ‘keeper got down low to make a fine save.
Abdullah continued his rich vein of form on 40 minutes when he received the ball inside the area and hammered his effort into Scunthorpe’s goal to give Mansfield the lead.
Sam Collins’ side went in at the break with the lead following a bright attacking half.
Anderson had a great chance to extend the hosts’ advantage on 49 minutes when a brilliant passage of play which included box-to-box midfielder Finn Flanagan ended with our right-back, who fired over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Scunthorpe’s defender Joshua Cunningham was cautioned on the hour mark as Abdullah looked to sprint free down the right-hand flank in what would’ve been a fine chance in front of goal.
Sam Collins made his first substitution of the afternoon on 66 minutes when under-16s’ right-back Elliot Hartmann replaced Flanagan.
The Iron had a brilliant chance to level proceedings on 73 minutes when a free-kick was swung into the area but Turner stood tall and collected the ball despite there being several opposing bodies around him.
The Stags made their second switch of the afternoon on 76 minutes when forward Daniel Organ replaced versatile attacker Ronnie Kokkinos.
The closing stages of the clash saw Mansfield battle to keep a hold of all three points and they had the opportunity to wrap the game up in stoppage time when Abdullah found himself in front of goal but the forward ultimately fired over the bar.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Turner, Anderson, Whyle, Wauchope, Bonser, Carter, Flanagan (Hartmann 66), Kruszynski, Kokkinos (Organ 76), King, Abdullah
UNUSED SUBS: Avery, Hamilton, Walsh
SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Murtagh, Elliott-Bell, Pike, Robertson, Cunningham (Dickinson 77), Abraham (Corbett 86), Burden-Whittleton (Hill 81), Moore-Billam, Poulter, Strouther (Larkin 67), Wallace
UNUSED SUB: Stadler