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Match Reports

Under 21s report: Chesterfield 2-3 Stags

21 March 2017

Mansfield Town secured a deserved 3-2 victory over local rivals Chesterfield in the Central League at the Proact Stadium this afternoon.

Stags were sailing at 3-0 with ten minutes to go of the clash before two late goals made it a nervy final few minutes. 

The visitors had enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the attacking areas and they went into the break 2-0 ahead thanks to a brace by striker Pat Hoban. 

Winger Alfie Potter made it three with a delightful chip in the second half, before the Spireites scored two goals in the final ten minutes through substitutes Charlie Wakefield and Luke Rawson. 

Stags fielded a strong side for the short trip to Derbyshire for this afternoon's Central League fixture, with the entire starting XI being made up of manager Steve Evans' first team squad. The only player who is yet to make his first team debut for the Stags is midfielder Lewis Collins, but he has been training with the senior squad for some weeks. 

Defenders George Taft and Kyle Howkins lined up in at centre-half and they were flanked by Ashley Hemmings and James Baxendale, who were deployed in unfamiliar full-back positions. 

After the hosts got the game underway, it was Stags who created the first opportunity when Hemmings received the ball back from his own throw and clipped a cross onto the head of Hoban, but his header was cleared by Chesterfield's Dylan Hand. 

Stags had the first corner of the game after five minutes following a good interception from Chesterfield defender George Lynam. Baxendale swung the cross in and the Spireites Jake Beesley was there to head away. 

Chesterfield broke from the clearance and veteran stopper Brian Jensen had to be alert to sprint out of his box and clear the ball ahead of the on-rushing Owen Darwent. 

After the brief scare at one end, Stags upped the ante and started to assert some real pressure on the Spireites' back line. 

Winger CJ Hamilton drove into the box and curled a right-footed cross into the six-yard area where goalkeeper Dylan Parkin was fortunate to see his punch away ricochet back into his arms. 

Stags were enjoying some pressure down the left and striker Yoann Arquin pulled the ball back from the byline for Hoban, but the Irishman's shot was blocked in the six-yard box by defender Connor Fowler. 

Again down the left, makeshift left-back Ashley Hemmings rolled the ball into the box for Hoban and he smashed a left-footed effort against the outside of the post. 

Then, Stags got the breakthrough which their early pressure deserved, even if it didn't come as a result of their eye-catching play. 

Chesterfield defender George Lynam received the ball on the edge of the box and Pat Hoban was on him like a shot and his tackle ricocheted beyond Parkin to give Stags the lead. 

Stags were now much the better side and they could have doubled their lead in the 20th minute. Baxendale played a diagonal ball from right-back onto the head of Yoann Arquin and his cushioned header played Hoban through one-on-one with Parkin, but his lob landed on the roof of the net.

Baxendale was next to try his luck as he curled a left-footed effort wide of the far post from 22 yards out. 

The Spireites were offering nothing going forwards but began to put Stags under some good pressure as they tried to claw themselves back into the game. 

Stags almost created a lovely opportunity with half-an-hour played when Hoban scooped the ball over the defence for the run of Ashley Hemmings, but Fowler came across to play the ball out for a corner. 

Despite the corner being played straight out for a goal kick, Stags' second goal came as a result of it. 

Spireites played the ball short from the goal kick and it made its way back to goalkeeper Parkin. He stepped inside Yoann Arquin, who was pressuring the stopper, but squared his pass straight to the thankful Pat Hoban, who simply rolled the ball into the empty net. 

After the second goal went in, Chesterfield came to life a bit more as they went in search of a lifeline in the match. 

They wanted a corner when, after some good tidying up, James Baxendale's clearance rebounded off Chesterfield forward Jack Brownell and hit the former Walsall man in the face on the line, but a goal kick was given. 

The energetic Alfie Potter then chested the ball down nicely for Arquin, he cut in from the right but could only fire an effort well over the bar. 

The final action of the half came in Chesterfield's favour. Brownell and left-back Iffy Ofoegbu worked the ball well on the edge of the box and after receiving it back with a sight of goal, he hammered an effort towards the bottom corner which Jensen did well to turn behind for a corner. 

Stags replaced Pat Hoban with youth team striker Zayn Hakeem at the break. 

Defender George Taft, who was making his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in September, played a good ball down the line for Hakeem and he laid it off for Arquin, but he curled his effort well wide of the far post. 

Another defensive mix-up almost led to a third for the Stags. A ball was played in behind the Spireites' defence and neither Hand or Parkin took control of the situation, which allowed Hakeem to steal in behind but he could only drag his shot wide from 12 yards out. 

A good ball over the top by Taft was collected by Potter on the right, and he won a corner by playing it against Ofoegbu. The resulting flag kick was well-cleared by the hosts. 

The first booking of the game went to Kyle Howkins for booting the ball away after being penalised for a foul on the left-hand touchline. 

Then moments later, Stags had their third goal of the afternoon. Hamilton's cross from the left was completely missed by Taft on the edge of the box, but the loose ball fell to Zayn Hakeem at the back post. 

Hakeem weighed up his options before laying it off to Alfie Potter on the edge of the box, and he lifted a delicious chip over Parkin and into the top corner. 

Stags then replaced Kyle Howkins with Kieran Harrison and Charlie Wakefield replaced Connor Fowler for the hosts, after an hour had elapsed. ]

The next ten minutes yielded few opportunities, with the closest efforts for either side being headers. 

Jack Beesley flicked a free-kick tamely into the arms of Brian Jensen, before George Taft glanced a header wide from a corner. 

A nice piece of play by Potter saw him lift the ball over his shoulder and the Chesterfied defender before steadying himself and flashing an effort wide. 

Chesterfield then replaced Marc McKenna and Owen Darwent with Jay Smith and Luke Rawson. 

A good ball through by Potter found Hakeem and he carried the ball in to the box before firing an effort wide of the far post, but the linesman had his flag up for offside nonetheless. 

Skipper Jamie McGuire and Chesterfield's Dylan Hand then had a clash of heads which left both players requiring treatment, however both were able to continue. 

Stags had a good chance to extend their lead after 80 minutes when Harrison did well to keep the ball alive at the back post, before his cross was headed over by Arquin. 

Chesterfield scored a consolation with eight minutes remaining when substitute Charlie Wakefield took the ball around Jensen and calmly slotted home. 

Stags almost scored a fourth through another defensive mistake when goalkeeper Dylan Parkin's clearance hit Zayn Hakeem and dribbled inches wide of the post. 

Ritchie Humphreys' Chesterfield then made it a nervy few minutes for the Stags when Luke Rawson carried the ball into the box, got past Baxendale and fired the ball low under Jensen in the Stags' goal. 

However, Stags saw the game out to secure a deserved 3-2 victory in a game where a number of first team players got some valuable minutes under their belts. 

CHESTERFIELD: Parkin, Ofoegbu, Fowler (Wakefield 60), Taylor, Hand, Lynam, Darwent (Rawson 72), McKenna (Smith 69), Phillips, Brownell, Beesley


STAGS: Jensen, Baxendale, Howkins (Harrison 60), Taft, Hemmings, McGuire (C), Lewis Collins, Potter, Hamilton, Hoban (Hakeem 46), Arquin

SUBS NOT USED: Roughton, Law, Healey

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