Mansfield Town’s under 18s resume their EFL Youth Alliance title defence on Saturday as they welcome Doncaster Rovers’ under 18s to Rainworth Miners Welfare (11am kick-off).
John Dempster’s young Stags return to action following a well-earned three-week break over the festive period, and are in a pole position in the league table with 28 points from 13 matches.
Our youth team began their campaign this term with a nine-game unbeaten streak across all competitions; and going into the second-half of the season, they have the highest goal difference in the league (+19), having conceded the fewest number of goals (6).
Moreover, the side have lost only five matches out of the 19 they have played across all competitions.
The strong showing in the league went hand-in-hand for the Stags’ youngsters in the FA Youth Cup as well, where they posted a fine run through to the third round.
With thoroughly dominating wins in the first two rounds against Bedworth United (3-0) and Dunkirk FC (5-2), under 18 Premier League outfit Fulham were the next opposition in December.
Dempster’s charges delivered a sucker-punch to their higher league opponents at Motspur Park when forward Nyle Blake scored the opener on 35 minutes following a superb move down the left. However, three second-half goals from the Cottagers turned the tide and Mansfield were defeated 3-1.
Stags’ academy manager John Dempster was full of praise for his team’s commitment and effort, and urged them to return from the year-end break in fixtures with the same zeal, energy and character that had stood them in good stead in the first phase of the season.
Mansfield’s under 18s will have a chance to secure the league double over Doncaster, who were earlier defeated on their own turf in October as winger Tom Marriott earned the Stags a win with the game’s only goal in the second-half.
Rovers’ youngsters reside eighth in the league with 16 points from 12 outings. Their last five games have yielded two victories and draws each, as well as a solitary defeat.
Their last fixture prior to tomorrow’s game was a 2-1 loss in December against Burton Albion.
Mansfield Town supporters wishing to watch our players in action against Donny’s young guns can do so at the following venue:
Rainworth Miners Welfare,