Mansfield Town’s under 18s will aim to wrap up their second consecutive EFL Youth Alliance title when they host Burton Albion at Rainworth this Saturday (22 April, 11am kick-off).
Requiring just three points to retain their crown, the young Stags were made to wait last time out following a 1-1 draw against York City.
The Minstermen went ahead on 35 minutes after Josh Rogerson struck the post from Sam Fielding’s free-kick, only for the ball to sneak into the Stags’ net from a combination of Mansfield defender Kane Baldwin’s shin and the lunge of York substitute Josh Berry.
After a change of shape at half-time, John Dempster’s men restored parity on 63 minutes via substitute Nyle Blake’s well-timed volley.
One point against York saw the Stags take an eight-point lead at the top of the table over second-placed Oldham Athletic, who have 41 points from 21 outings. Stags now need two points to retain their league crown, with two games remaining.
Moreover, this draw arrived after five consecutive wins for Mansfield’s young guns, and extended their unbeaten run to nine games since January
Our under 18s had brushed aside Notts County 3-2 and Hartlepool United 3-1 before a vital 2-1 win over Oldham, followed by back-to-back 1-0 victories over Chesterfield and Scunthorpe United.
Prior to the Stags’ third meeting against Burton Albion this season across all competitions, the two sides had met in both the League and the Youth Alliance Cup.
Encouragingly, Dempster’s charges gained the upper hand on both occasions away from home, after a 2-1 success in the Cup last August, and a 6-0 drubbing the next month in the League’s fixture.
This Saturday’s visitors Albion currently reside fifth in the table, with 34 points from 22 matches.
Manager Sam Rose’s side have had mixed fortunes in the League recently, notching two draws and a solitary win in their last five games.
A 3-2 win over Doncaster Rovers was sandwiched between a 3-2 loss against Chesterfield and a 3-0 defeat by Rotherham United. Meanwhile, the previous two rounds of matches resulted in 1-1 draws against Bradford City and Notts County, respectively.
Supporters can watch the match this Saturday at the following venue:
Rainworth Miners Welfare