Mansfield Town’s under-18s produced a solid home display as they beat Burton Albion under-18s 3-0 at Brooksby Melton College on Friday afternoon.
The Stags opened the scoring through Jimmy Knowles who headed home a first half corner. The home side looked comfortable from there on out and added a further two goals through a powerful Kamen Cashmore effort and a cool finish from Tyrese Sinclair.
The quality of their defensive play throughout the game and the amount of chances they created going forward will no doubt please the Stags’ manager and coaching staff as they secured their first win of the new campaign.
The first half an hour of the game was a tightly-contested affair with both teams quick to close-down the opposition and neither team willing to concede any space in the midfield.
Burton Albion had the better of the early exchanges with Mansfield goalkeeper Keaton Mars twice being called into action; firstly, from an Emmanuel Shittu drive from the right-hand side, and secondly, from Tom Armitage who found his left-footed effort well saved at the near post, following a neat piece of skill from the Burton left winger.
In the 34th minute, Tyrese Sinclair curled in a corner to the back post only to see it come back off the cross bar and headed behind for another Mansfield corner. It was from this corner, delivered by skipper James Tague, that the game’s opening goal would arrive.
Jimmy Knowles was first to anticipate the ball as it came into the box and neatly guided his header low into the corner of the Burton ‘keeper’s net to give the Stags a 1-0 lead.
Mansfield seemed to grow in confidence following the goal and could have added to the scoreline shortly after through Kamen Cashmore, but the forward couldn’t quite keep down his attempt from the edge of the area. James Tague then dragged his shot wide following some brilliant build up play from the Stags.
As the first half drew to a close, Mansfield were firmly on the front foot and thought they had got the second goal their pressure deserved. An excellent Rhys Sarson cross was met by Tyrese Sinclair who squeezed the ball in at the goalkeeper’s near post. Celebrations were cut short, however, as the linesman judged Sinclair to have strayed offside.
Only moments later, Mansfield got their much deserved second goal. Kamen Cashmore collected a loose ball on the edge of the area and after a neat turn drove his shot through the hands of the Burton goalkeeper to make the score line 2-0 as the referee blew the half-time whistle.
As the rain came down in the second half, the Stags set about keeping control of the game in an almost flawless fashion. There were some brilliant individual performances on display, including that of Jamie Chisholm who produced some sensational defensive work at the heart of the Stags’ back line.
With just under ten minutes remaining, Mansfield Town wrapped up the three points as Tyrese Sinclair beat the offside trap and kept a cool head to slot home Mansfield’s third for 3-0.
The match ended 3-0 to the Stags, who showed the kind of excellent performance that has seen them lift the last three consecutive Youth Alliance League Titles.
Next up for the Stags is a trip to Scunthorpe United under-18s and John Dempster’s side will be keen to carry the positive momentum from this match into next Saturday’s fixture.
STAGS’ XI: Mars, King, Davis, Langton, Armsden, Chisholm, Sinclair, Tague (c), Sarson, Cashmore, Knowles.
SUBS: Boyle, Purvin, Cornell, Molyneaux, Saunders.
BURTON XI: Fairbrother, Hart, Lal, Vale, Ganley, Gilligan, Shittu, Melhado, Clamp (c), Hewlett, Armitage
SUBS: Bromfield, Smith, Holmes, Oddy, Harley.