Mansfield Town’s under 18s will face their first game of 2016 away at Lincoln City tomorrow (Saturday 09 January) in the Football League Youth Alliance (11am kick-off).
John Dempster’s youngsters will be looking to bounce back from their FA Youth Cup third round defeat to Sunderland with a third straight league victory.
It was a positive first half to the campaign for the young Stags, who topped the table several times and now find themselves in third position, two points off top spot with a game in hand. In their last league outing, Cameron Healey produced a first-half header to hand Mansfield a slender 1-0 win over Grimsby Town.
Mansfield are still set to be without Surafel Behailu who remains sidelined with a broken collarbone, while Corbin Shires could return after a long spell out injured.
Drew Gibson will be absent due to illness, but there’s positive news for Tom Slone who’s back in non-contact training after a spell out, while Joel McLean has a hip problem and will be missing from the matchday squad.
Lincoln City are two points above the Stags in the division, in second spot on goal difference. Dempster has described the previous encounter between the two sides as one of the ‘toughest’ his young players have had this season when they faced them on the opening day.
Saturday’s hosts have impressively won ten of their last 11 games to establish themselves in the upper echelons of the table – they went out in the second round of the FA Youth Cup, losing 1-0 to Wigan Athletic.
It was Cain Smith’s late penalty that rescued a point against the Imps at Kirklington Road in August, with many of Dempster’s first year scholars making their debuts in the amber and blue.
The venue for the fixture is as follows:
Lincoln Utd FC,