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Dempster praises 'professional performance' in Youth Cup win

2 November 2016

Youth team head coach John Dempster has praised his side’s mature performance in their 3-0 victory over Bedworth United in the FA Youth Cup this evening.

The Stags led 1-0 through a Brennan Howe own goal at half time, after the defender deflected midfielder Cain Smith’s vicious effort past his own goalkeeper. 

The away side improved markedly in the second half, as they grabbed control of the game and scored twice through Cain Smith and forward Nyle Blake.

“I was a bit disappointed at half time,” said Dempster. “I thought Bedworth pressured us well early on when we were on the ball and we could have done better with that.

“In the second half we played some good stuff at times and we put in a good professional performance and ran out comfortable winners. We had some good composure out there.

“We came to a place the team aren’t used to. The lads are used to playing on a Saturday and not on an artificial pitch in games.”

As well as the collective performance, Dempster was pleased with the work of individual players going forward. 

“There would have to be something wrong with you if you weren’t up for a game like this, but I was pleased with the individual performances, especially going forward. 

“Jason Law has been training with the first team and he’s come down here and done very well; he’s a good, technical player. 

“Zayn Hakeem did well too, considering he only landed from international duty yesterday.” 

Now the focus switches back to the EFL Youth Alliance, which the Stags top, and Dempster wants his young players to take the positives and keep the momentum going.

“It’s always positive to see a back four and ‘keeper keep a clean sheet and for the midfield to do well with the ball. 

“We’ve been expecting to see the shifting of the ball in the midfield and to keep the ball well as we’ve worked on it."

A large following from Mansfield travelled to Coventry for this evening’s match and the former Stags’ defender hopes the crowd enjoyed the performance from his talented young squad.

“We hope the fans enjoyed it tonight, and now we need to take the positives forward.” 

Supporters will be able to view John Dempster’s post-match interview, in full, tomorrow on Stags PlayerHD.

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