Mansfield Town’s under 18s fell to only their third defeat of the season as they lost 4-0 to rivals Notts County on Saturday.
Stags’ youngsters travelled away to Arnold Town in the hope of building on their FA Youth Cup first round victory over Cambridge City on Monday, but the Magpies were in clinical form to consign the Stags to a
first defeat in four games.
Influential midfielder Cain Smith was unavailable for selection after being called up to Adam Murray’s first team squad for their Emirates FA Cup tie against League One outfit Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
In the opening stages, Teddy Bloor went close with a free-kick after Tom Marriott had been upended on the edge of the box and soon after, Joe Searson-Smith smothered the ball at Tyler Blake's feet when Marriott had played him through with a defence-splitting pass.
It took the hosts just 19 minutes to take the lead, albeit against the run of play. Yohan Rutty-Smith was afforded a clear path through on goal and despite Sam Wilson dashing from his line to narrow the angles, the Magpies’ number ten placed the ball past the stranded Stags’ ‘keeper from 12 yards out.
County upped the ante after getting the one-goal advantage and they soon doubled the lead. A corner was delivered from the right and Nathan Cobain forced the ball over the line to make it 2-0 on the half-hour mark.
Aiming for a response and to reduce the deficit, Tyler Blake tried to release Tyler Johal with a threaded pass between County's central defenders, but the wind intervened to bring the attack to an abrupt halt.
As the match wore on the heavens opened, creating awful playing conditions and Mansfield struggled to get to grips with playing into the strong gales. Tamar Clayton-Naute was looking promising for the hosts, but was thwarted when Wilson dived in at this feet to prevent a third goal before the break.
Montel Gibson thought he had added a third for Notts, but the referee didn't agree as he adjudged the ball not to be over the line and the home side had to be content with a two-goal half-time cushion.
HT: Notts County 2-0 Mansfield Town
The Stags made a switch at the break, throwing on Zayn Hakeem in place of Tom Marriott but the powerhouse forward, who impressed in the FA Youth Cup first round, was getting no change out of the hard-working defensive unit which County were building their game around.
At the outset of the second half, Notts invited the Stags to try breaking them down and momentarily left only one player up front, while flooding the final third and congesting the midfield.
Cameron Healey tried releasing Blake, Johal and Hakeem through the channels, but a determined Magpies’ defence weren't allowing them any time and space to manoeuvre.
Kenan Layton felled Hakeem but Bloor’s free-kick was cleared by the dominant County defence and the home side pushed forward looking for a third goal that would just about finish the encounter off.
Blake and Hakeem were looking lively and the Stags’ reliable dynamic duo began to make some inroads into County territory, with Bloor almost sneaking in on the blind side to put the visitors back into the game, but he couldn't quite reach the ball Hakeem had tried steering into his path.
But any notions of John Dempster’s men mounting a comeback were dashed when Jordan Aghastie unleashed an unstoppable long-range drive into the roof of the net 15 minutes from time.
In the final moments of the contest, Alex Howe was left with the simple task of knocking the ball over Wilson who had come out to close the former down, and right at the death he sealed the game with a fourth.
FT: Notts County 4-0 Mansfield Town
Saturday 7th November 2015
Football League Youth Alliance at Eagle Valley, Arnold Town FC
Notts County (2) 4
Rutty-Smith 19, Cobain 30,
Aghastie 75, Howe 90+3
Mansfield Town (0) 0
Notts County XI: Joe Searson-Smith, Nathan Cobain, Kenan Layton, Dominic Brownhill (Alex Howe 72), Jordan Richards, Jordan Ashantie, Tamar Clayton-Naute (Declan Dunn 81), Luther Wildin (C), Montel Gibson (Harry Gibbons 79), Jack McMillan, Yohan Rutty-Smith
Unused subs: Harry Bugg, Monty Parkes
Mansfield Town XI: Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah, Corbin Shires, Morgan Ratcliffe, Kane Baldwin, Drew Gibson (Charlie Shaw 75), Cameron Healey, Tyler Blake (C) (Surafel Bahailu 75), Tom Marriott (Zayn Hakeem 45), Tyler Johal
Unused subs: Frazer Hampson, Kieran Harrison