Mansfield Town’s under 21s play their final home game of the Central League season on Wednesday when they host Rotherham United at Kirklington Road (08 March, 2.00pm kick-off).
Mike Whitlow’s men will be looking to sign off their home campaign in style against the Millers after slipping to two consecutive 2-1 defeats.
The Stags’ young guns have recorded three wins in their last five matches across all competitions, but their two previous outings have resulted in consecutive defeats, and they reside fifth in the table with nine points from eight games.
Mansfield’s under 21s opened proceedings in 2017 by sinking local rivals Notts County 2-1 in the Central League Cup, followed by back-to-back League victories against York City (4-2) and Chesterfield (3-1).
However, their fortunes turned sour against Hartlepool United away, where the hosts won a closely-fought battle 2-1.
The match looked destined for a well-earned point for Whitlow’s men when Stags’ midfield ace Lewis Collins superbly cancelled out Tyler Harvey’s opener for the Pools. But a last-gasp strike from Josh Hawkes settled the tie in United’s favour.
Another 2-1 defeat followed against Grimsby Town, where all the goals came in the first-half at Blundell Park.
Grimsby midfielder Sean McAllister and striker Scott Vernon quickly handed them a two-goal cushion, with ex-Reading man Collins reducing the arrears for Mansfield from a swerving free-kick; but it could not stave off the loss.
Wednesday's visitors Rotherham have struggled for form lately, with their last five games across all competitions yielding a solitary win.
A 4-3 loss against Grimsby in the League punctuated a run of three games in the Cup, where the Millers’ youngsters drew 2-2 against Newcastle United but lost 4-1 against Sheffield United and 1-0 against Hartlepool.
However, the South Yorkshire outfit avenged their slender defeat against the Pools with a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the League, which gave them a much-needed boost ahead of the Stags’ game.
Substitute Suleman Naeem completed a second-half double after 21-year-old Swansea City loanee Alex Bray had broken the deadlock in the first period on home soil.
When the Stags and the Millers met in the competition’s opening fixture in September 2016, Mansfield gained the plaudits with a 1-0 win thanks to winger Charlie Shaw’s early goal, coupled with goalkeeper Adam Hassan’s heroics at Roundwood Sports Complex.
Supporters wishing to attend the match on Wednesday can do so at the following address:
Rainworth Miners Welfare FC,
Admission prices will be £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.