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Young Stags triumph over league leaders

1 February 2016

Mansfield Town’s under 18s recorded a brilliant 2-1 victory over league leaders Scunthorpe United on Saturday.

Tyler Blake and Drew Gibson grabbed the goals for the Stags in an entertaining affair at Kirklington Road, despite Jack Dyche equalising for the Iron. 

Mansfield started on the front foot with the visitors’ defence called into action almost immediately when Zayn Hakeem saw off a challenge from Fortunate Sitole and powered a shot towards the Iron goal.

Kieran Harrison, who had been handed the captain's armband in recognition of some solid performances in the centre of defence, played a long free-kick to Tyler Blake which Ben Ledger initially struggled with, but saved at the second attempt.

The Stags took the lead on 22 minutes - Zayn Hakeem won the ball on the left-side of the area and laid it back to Charlie Shaw who crossed first time to Drew Gibson. Two Scunthorpe defenders blocked Gibson's route to goal and the ball broke loose to Tyler Blake, who without any hesitation fired past Ledger from ten yards out.

Morgan Ratcliffe was solid in defence alongside Harrison, who was excelling in the role of captain and effectively snuffing out the threat of the highly-rated Jack Dyche. 

The full backs were both getting up in support of their attackers, with Charlie Shaw putting in a superb performance, while Cameron Healey and Cain Smith fought doggedly for control of the midfield, which freed up Blake and Gibson to join in with the attack.

As the first half came to a close, Ratcliffe cut out a cross to the prolific Dyche from Noel Burdett, which typified Scunthorpe's attacking play.

Goalkeeper Adam Bishop left the field of play at the interval with a clean sheet under his belt, but apart from dealing with a few awkward crosses, hadn't had a single save to make.

HT: Mansfield Town 1-0 Scunthorpe United 

The second half started similarly to the first, with the Stags’ defence and midfield suffocating any attempt to get back into the game by the league leaders.

A sustained spell of attacking pressure from the home side put Scunthorpe ‘under the cosh’, but the much-anticipated second goal evaded a very lively Stags’ side, thus far.

Soon after, Drew Gibson muscled through the defence with a powerful run and once again the Iron had Ledger to thank for keeping them in the game as he saved bravely at Gibson's feet.

The visitors tried to switch things around by moving their defensive line higher up the pitch, which allowed Tyler Johal to race forward unchallenged from Gibson's through ball and Ledger had to sprint twenty yards out of his area to launch the ball out of harm's way.

Scunthorpe were trying to get back into the game, with Burdett in particular looking to be a threat, but the home side were flying and looking to finish this very enthralling game off. 

The visitors changed to a back three as they looked to grab an equaliser inside the last ten minutes. Dyche broke into the box and homed menacingly towards Bishop's goal, but Ratcliffe had the situation covered and nicked the ball away with a timely block.

With only four minutes left on the clock, Dyche exchanged passes with Hornshaw inside the Stags' area and converted the equaliser, although fears that Mansfield would only get a point from the contest were soon forgotten. 

There was still enough time for John Dempster’s side to net the dramatic winner. The match was quickly restarted and the Stags broke forward at pace as Drew Gibson surged into the area and thumped a low shot past Ledger to secure all three points. 

FT: Mansfield Town 2-1 Scunthorpe United

Mansfield Town: Adam Bishop, Teddy Bloor, Charlie Shaw, Drew Gibson, Morgan Ratcliffe, Kieran Harrison, Cain Smith, Cameron Healey, Tyler Blake, Tyler Johal, Zayn Hakeem

Unused subs: Devante Reittie, Tom Marriott, Alistair Smith, Kane Baldwin, Sam Wilson (GK)

Scunthorpe United: Ben Ledger, Riley Baker, Fortunate Sitole, James Dean-Atkinson, Charlie Cleminshaw (Harvey Ablett 73), Lewis Butroid, Noel Burdett, George Hornshaw, Jack Dyche, David Barber (Leslie Sackey 60), Sonny Shilling

Unused subs: Joe Parker, Michael Tolchard

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