Hutchinson, Lamb and Hemagou on target to sink the Harriers.
Our youth team kept alive their slim title hopes in the FCYA (Midland Division) with a 3-1 win over Kidderminster Harriers this afternoon.
Due to reserve team commitments several players were unavailable for selection, but our side produced a resolute display and survived the sending-off of Trovarn Thompson to record maximum points.
Louis Danquah, a left-back who has featured regularly in our Under 16s team this season, made his youth team debut, whilst Tyler Blake and Drew Gibson also made substitute appearances.
The victory means we move back above Chasetown into second position in the table, though we are still seven points adrift of table-toppers Ilkeston, who we face next week.
Our youngsters, who had only one recognised defender in Charlie Brownlie, were under pressure in the early exchanges as Kidderminster began brightly.
Only five minutes had been played when Matty Jones was perfectly positioned to clear Kennedy Digie’s goalbound header off the line, following a cross into the area.
Goalkeeper Harry Waldram produced a smart stop only a few moments later, when he bravely dived at the feet of Josh Riis in order to deny the Harriers striker.
The visitors attempted to use the width to their advantage and went close again on 13 minutes, when Digie cut inside from the left channel and had a low effort saved by Waldram.
Mansfield’s first chance arrived on the quarter-hour mark as Thompson linked up with Kevin Hemagou, whose low effort was smothered by Jack Hamilton in the Harriers goal.
The Stags gradually started to settle and almost took the lead when Jones’ lofted long ball found Hemagou, whose powerful drive from a tight angle drive clipped the woodwork.
Nevertheless, our youngsters were soon celebrating as Jack Hutchinson latched onto a lay-off from Ollie Roome and curled a beautiful 20-yard effort into the bottom-left corner.
Kidderminster continued to look dangerous and would have equalised before half-time had Brownlie not produced a superb goal-line clearance, following Digie’s header from George Forsyth’s free-kick.
Our young guns could have made it 2-0 shortly after the re-start when Hemagou latched onto a long ball, but saw his attempt blocked in a one-on-one with the ‘keeper.
The Harriers’ hopes of launching a comeback were helped moments later as Thompson received a straight red card for a poor tackle just inside the Stags’ half.
Having an extra man, Kiddy seized the initiative to attack and grabbed an equaliser through the impressive Digie, who guided a close-range header beyond Waldram, with Forsyth claiming the assist.
Karime Farrell should have put the visitors ahead on the hour mark when he showed some excellent footwork to twist and turn away from two markers, but his six-yard shot was wild and off-target.
That miss proved costly as the Stags re-took the lead when Danquah’s corner was cleared only as far as Spencer, whose low snap-shot was going wide until Ross Lamb turned the ball home from a few yards.
Our young guns’ win was sealed with less than five minutes remaining as Hemagou headed home from five yards out, despite being clattered into by the Kiddy ‘keeper.
Team: Waldram, Lamb, Brownlie, Fitzpatrick, Spencer, Danquah, M.Jones, Hutchinson (Gibson), Thompson, Roome (Blake), Hemagou (L.Thomas).