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Reserves secure comfortable win

22 January 2014

Stags 2-0 Hartlepool United

Goals from Colin Daniel and Louis Briscoe earned our reserves a comfortable 2-0 victory over Hartlepool United at Kirklington Road.

The win also maintains our 100% record in Group B of the Final Third Development League.

The Stags went 1-0 up after just nine minutes as Colin Daniel directed a header over the Hartlepool keeper, following Lindon Meikle’s left-wing cross.

Mansfield regularly dictated play and Meikle went closing to adding a second on the quarter-hour mark, but his left-foot shot was narrowly off target.

Former Stags’ favourite Nialle Rodney spurned the visitors’ best chance during the first period, as he blazed over from the edge of the area on 27 minutes.

Our second-string should have doubled their advantage prior to half-time, but spurned a string of good chances.

Meikle beat two players and struck a 20-yard drive narrowly wide in one move, before the winger combined with Louis Briscoe, who was also off-target just a few minutes later.

Briscoe soon went within inches of scoring as he ghosted in at the far-post to reach a pin-point cross by Meikle, but his header landed the wrong side of the target.

Ollie Palmer also had an effort brilliantly saved by a full-stretch Andy Rafferty in first half injury time, as the Stags had to settle for just a one-goal cushion at the break.

Nevertheless, our reserves went 2-0 up shortly after the re-start as Briscoe slammed a six-yard shot into the top corner, after the visitors were unable to clear a right-wing cross by Liam Marsden.

The floodgates were now threatening to open and only a splendid full-stretch save by Rafferty prevented Jack Thomas from adding a third goal.

Mansfield continued to press forward in the closing stages and Daniel curled a low free-kick just wide, whilst substitute Dan Fletcher nearly grabbed a goal.

Fletcher, Chris Spencer and Jack Koczalski were three youth team players who all featured in the closing stages, and our side ran out as more than comfortable winners.

Team: Deakin, Marsden, Riley, Pilkington (Koczalski), Beevers, Meikle, Thomas (Spencer), McGuire (c), Briscoe, Daniel, Palmer (Fletcher).

Our full Final Third Development League fixture list can be found by clicking here.

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