Mansfield Town’s U21 side endured a disappointing 3-0 defeat away to York City in the Central League this afternoon.
A brace from Scott Fenwick and an own goal from Stags’ ‘keeper Adam Hassan secured a 3-0 victory for the Minstermen on a cold winter's day in Yorkshire.
Hassan was unfortunate to turn a cross from Alex Bruton into his own net for the final goal, but the damage had already been done by Fenwick’s brace earlier.
His second came from a missed interception from a floated cross, with Fenwick allowed to shape a shot off the crossbar and into the net.
Despite the 2-0 lead, the away team had chances to get a goal back. Captain Lewis Collins came closest as his drive at goal was tipped over by ‘keeper Kyle Letheren.
Substitute Devante Reittie then went close, but he could only curl and effort into the hands of Letheren.
A glorious opportunity also fell to the feet of Adriel George, but he couldn’t get a grip on the wet turf and failed to test the ‘keeper.
Those narrow chances came after a positive response from the Stags after going 2-0 down, but the damage was done early in the match.
The away side struggled to get a foothold in the game from kick-off as York controlled possession, but centre-halves Mohammed Kamara and Kane Baldwin defended resolutely at the heart of defence.
Despite frustrating the home team initially, the away side switched off momentarily and allowed Matty Dixon to steal in and smash the post as Henri Wilder slid in to put the opposition off.
The Stags recovered quickly afterwards, but their improved defensive showing was cruelly ended by a deflected clearance.
As the defence attempted to counter, the ball ricocheted through the centre halves and fell to the feet of Fenwick, who lifted a shot over Adam Hassan.
With the home team now 1-0 up, Town responded well. Captain Lewis Collins went on a slaloming run that freed him down the left-hand side of the box and fired a ball across the face of goal but it went out for a goal kick with no Stags’ forward on hand to convert the chance.
There was then some nice interplay between George and winger Louis Danquah, but the latter was denied the chance to equalise after a last ditch tackle.
Not to be deterred, midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick surged forward from the midfield late in the half to fire in a dangerous looking cross which was cleared for a corner.
Danquah then played in a teasing ball from the corner and, for all of the Stags’ possession in the opposition box, they couldn’t work an opening.
The half then ended with Hassan standing strong to a barrage of crosses from Callum Rzonca’s free-kicks and corners.
Despite Hassan keeping the team in the game at half time, any chances of a comeback were hampered when Fenwick grabbed his second eight minutes into the second half.
The ball came in from the left and left-back Henri Wilder, under no pressure, sliced a clearance straight up in the air and the impressive Fenwick smashed a shot in to the roof of the net to double the home side’s advantage.
York then really took control of the game and dictated possession with maturity and guile.
The Minstermen boasted a number of players with EFL experience and they ultimately proved to be too much for the young Stags.
Although chances were at a premium, the home side did manage to score a third and final goal.
Substitute Alex Bruton weaved his way to his byline and hit a low left-footed cross in to the six-yard box, which Hassan got a hand to, but could only palm the ball over the line.
Stags launched a late foray of attacks through George and Danquah, but they couldn’t reduce the arrears as York ran out comfortable winners.
Mansfield Town under 21s: Hassan, Lewis Collins (C), Wilder, Fitzpatrick (Reittie 70), Kamara, Baldwin (Ratcliffe 65), Law (N.Blake 46), Healey (Ricketts 55), T.Blake, George, Danquah.
York City: Letheren, Jackson, Higgins, Clappison, Newton (C), Dixon, Woodland, Brodie, Fenwick, Rzonca.