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Match Reports

Youth Report: Stags 4-0 Grimsby Town

28 April 2018

Match Reports

Youth Report: Stags 4-0 Grimsby Town

28 April 2018

Mansfield Town under-18s celebrated being crowned EFL Youth Alliance North East Division champions in mid-week with an emphatic 4-0 win against Grimsby Town at Rainworth Miners Welfare.

Stags had wrapped up the league title with an away win against Bradford City last time out and Saturday's game reaffirmed their dominance as champions. 

First-half goals from Riley O'Sullivan and Iyrwah Gooden put Mansfield in control before James Tague and a Tyrese Sinclair penalty secured a comfortable victory for the home team.

The win stretched Stags' unbeaten run to 15 league games while Grimsby have enjoyed a solid but unspectacular season in mid-table.

This clash was the fourth time the teams have met this season, with Stags winning 3-2 on the opening game of the season and knocking The Mariners out of the FA Youth Cup at Blundell Park.

Grimsby have had some success against Mansfield though, winning 4-3 on penalties in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup in January.

Mansfield didn't want complacency to slip in despite securing a third consecutive league title and were positive from the first whistle.

Within two minutes a chance presented itself to Jack Cornell, the central midfielder collected the ball on the edge of the area, took a touch but his firmly hit strike sailed over the bar.

It was sign of things to come as seven minutes later O'Sullivan shot from the left side of the penalty area was saved by the legs of Grimsby 'keeper Ollie Battersby.

The breakthrough came on 19 minutes and O'Sullivan was involved again, after a scramble in the area the ball bounced up to the winger who, under pressure from a defender, nodded in a close-range header to put Stags a goal up.

Nyle Blake could have doubled the lead a few minutes later when he cut inside onto his left foot only to thrash his attempt over the bar.

Grimsby were struggling to get a foothold in the game as the ball failed to stick in the final third and they created little of note in the first half.

Their problems increased on 26 minutes when Gooden battled for the ball on the edge of the area, and his tenacity was rewarded when his left-footed strike deflected off Mattie Pollock and looped over the hapless Battersby who stood no chance.

Centre forward Rhys Sarson, who opened the scoring against Bradford, was having another fine game, his sharp turn and perfectly weighted through ball was seized upon by Gooden who struck his shot just wide of the right-hand post.

Sarson was involved again just before the break as he linked up with Tague and presented another shooting chance for Blake who kept his low drive on target only to see it tipped around the post by Battersby.

In the second-half, there was no rest for Grimsby, as centre-back and frequent scorer, Aiden Walker, volleyed wide from six-yards and Battersby had to use his feet to clear Cam Weston's dangerous cross.

Another looked likely and it was the busy midfielder, Tague, who delivered when his surging run took him into the penalty area and his well-placed shot found the bottom-right corner to settle the game.

Conley Poyntor saw his attempt fly wide of Xavier Sundby's right-hand post on 67 minutes but it never looked like troubling the goalkeeper who was never seriously tested throughout the game and again shared his clean sheet with Keaton Mars who came on with 14 minutes to go.

Tyrese Sinclair entered the action around the same time and worked tirelessly in closing down the Grimsby back-line.

His efforts were rewarded when with five minutes remaining he wriggled away from Jay Hope who was a little too keen to stop Sinclair and clumsily brought him down in the area.

Sinclair picked himself up and calmly slotted his penalty into the bottom right corner, sending the keeper the wrong way and securing another four-goal win for the Stags.

Despite having achieved another league title success, there's plenty for Mansfield to play for, starting places for Tuesday's game away at Rotherham United and the final day derby against Notts County will be motivating factors for the Stags’ players.

STAGS XI: Sundby (Mars, 76), Weston, Purvin, Cornell, Gibbens, Walker (c), Blake (Sinclair, 73), Tague, Sarson (Dumbleton, 69), Gooden (Jackson, 65), O'Sullivan.


GRIMSBY XI: Battersby, Goddard (Stead, 73), Saunders, Curran, Pollock, Powles, Starbuck, Derrick (McPherson, 56), Paul-Jones, Buckley, Poyntor (Hope, 78)

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