Mansfield Town’s under 21s feature in the final game of their Central League campaign against Rotherham United tomorrow at Kirklington Road (25 April, 2.00pm kick-off).
The Millers’ fixture, originally scheduled on 08 March but postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, is the first competitive game for the Stags’ youngsters in just over a month.
Head coach Mike Whitlow’s Mansfield side have served up an encouraging array of displays since the turn of the calendar year, winning four and losing twice across six matches in all competitions.
Stags' boss Steve Evans has revealed that a number of first team players in need of game-time will be involved tomorrow, including skipper Lee Collins, striker Pat Hoban and winger CJ Hamilton.
Also expected to play a part against the Millers are midfielders Jamie McGuire, Lewis Collins and James Baxendale, winger Ashley Hemmings and striker Yoann Arquin.
While several first-team fringe players have maintained match sharpness with their involvement in the squad, the under 21s have steadily climbed to third in the table with 12 points from nine outings.
It all began when striker Danny Rose and wideman Kevan Hurst – now on loan at Guiseley – scored in a 2-1 Central League Cup victory over Notts County.
Five consecutive Central League fixtures followed, resulting in three wins and two unfortunate losses along the way.
Striker Tyler Blake netted a fine treble alongside centre-back Kieran Harrison’s goal to script a 4-2 thrashing of York City, while Irish frontman Pat Hoban’s brace coupled with midfielder Lewis Collins’ goal yielded a 3-1 victory against Chesterfield.
However, Whitlow’s charges slipped to successive 2-1 defeats against Hartlepool United and Grimsby Town, despite giving a good account of their abilities away from home.
But the tide turned soon with a 3-2 victory over the Spireites last time out – Hoban being on the scoresheet with another double and winger Alfie Potter finding the net with a deft chip.
For Ritchie Humphreys’ men, Charlie Wakefield and Luke Rawson pulled two goals back at the Proact Stadium.
Tomorrow's visitors Rotherham sit bottom of the pile now, with nine points from nine games.
Manager Garreth Barker’s men fashioned two wins and were consigned to three defeats in their last five games across all competitions.
While Grimsby won 4-3 against the Millers’ youngsters in the League, Hartlepool took the plaudits 1-0 in the Cup before themselves losing 3-0 in the League.
Rotherham picked up another win over Chesterfield 3-2, but slipped to a 1-0 loss against Grimsby, with Town’s Cameron Hough bagging the decisive goal at Blundell Park.
When the Stags and the Millers met in the League’s curtain-raiser in September 2016, Whitlow’s men clinched full points following wing-back Charlie Shaw’s sixth-minute goal.
Supporters are welcome to watch the game tomorrow at the following address:
Rainworth Miners Welfare FC,
Admission prices are as follows:
Seniors and unaccompanied juniors: £1
Accompanied juniors: FREE