Our under 18s completed the season double over local rivals Notts County with a superb 3-2 win on Saturday.
The damage was done in the first half at the Nottingham High School’s playing fields as goals from Jason Law and Nyle Blake were well complemented by an own goal.
The Magpies scored either side of half-time to set up a nervy finale, but academy manager John Dempster’s side held on to reaffirm their position at the top of the EFL Youth Alliance.
On 12 minutes, a well-worked throw in from right-back Teddy Bloor led to Nyle Blake and Jason Law combining on the edge of the box. Blake rolled the ball into the feet of Law and he unleashed a rocket which the County ‘keeper had no chance of saving as it went in off the crossbar.
County reacted to going a goal down and their forward players began to pin back the well-organised Stags’ defence, but the back three, supported by the full-backs, dealt well with the Magpies’ threat.
The impressive Jason Law and Alistair Smith were again involved in the build-up to the second goal. Striker Law set the ball for Smith and he played a sublime pass with the outside of his foot for the on-rushing wingback Henri Wilder and he drove a low cross into the danger area which was deflected in by the County right-back to double Stags’ lead.
On 31 minutes, County linked up well in midfield and a forward pass to their frontman allowed him to shimmy on the edge of the box and he curled a precise shot past the out-stretched Xavier Sundby with real quality.
Despite being pegged back, Stags soon reinstated their two-goal advantage. Right wing-back Teddy Bloor won a powerful header which found Law’s feet and he slid a diagonal pass to strike partner Nyle Blake who dribbled one way and then the other before unleashing a shot which found the top corner from a near-impossible angle.
Stags had a shout for a penalty on 65 minutes as Cain Smith was dragged down before he had the chance to finish the ball from six yards out, but nothing was given.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, County’s skipper worked the ball out wide and a decent cross led to a scramble in the box before the Notts’ striker turned and finished to set up a nervy final few minutes. But the Stags held on for all three points.
Stags’ line-up: Sundby, Bloor, Baldwin, Ratcliffe, Harrison, Wilder, C.Smith ©, Healey, A.Smith (Dumbleton 75), Law (Marriott 80), Blake (Morgan 85)
Subs not used: Wilson (GK), Walker