Mansfield Town's under 18s will be looking to bounce back from their narrow FA Youth Cup defeat to Crystal Palace when they take on Walsall in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup at Clipstone FC's Worksop Van Hire Stadium on Friday (12.00pm kick-off).
The Stags more than matched Premier League Crystal Palace and were unfortunate to go out of the FA Youth Cup 6-5 on penalties after twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 after extra-time.
Goals from centre-back Aiden Walker and striker Jake Dumbleton showed Stags' resilience and quality, which has been present all season, to force the South Londoners to extra-time and spot kicks.
Academy manager John Dempster was, of course, disappointed with the defeat but was immensely proud of his team's positive attitude and ability to take their higher division opponents all the way.
Stags can secure qualification for the next stage of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup as group winners if they avoid defeat on Friday.
Mansfield have made light work of Group 5 so far, with three wins from three against Burton Albion, Wrexham and Shrewsbury Town. The winners of the group will progress directly to the next round.
Qualification would cap an excellent 2017 for the Stags, who last season secured their second successive EFL Youth Alliance North East Division league title and currently sit top of the table on goal difference.
Walsall visit the Worksop Van Hire Stadium with a win and draw from their two group games but can make life difficult for the Stags' with a win.
The Saddlers have a game in hand over the other teams and could draw level on points with Mansfield if they win both, a scenario which could see them displace the Stags at the summit, or qualify as one of the best-placed runners-up.
However, they have only won three out of their eleven North West Division league games this season and have lost three of their last four. They were also dumped out of the FA Youth Cup in the first round.
Supporters are welcome to watch the encounter and food and beverages will be available, whilst parking is free around the ground.
The address for this fixture is:
The Worksop Van Hire Stadium
Clipstone Road East