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Young Stags' side lose at Vale Park

6 February 2018

A young Mansfield Town reserves side slipped to a 6-0 defeat to Port Vale in freezing conditions at Vale Park in the Central League this afternoon.

Vale frontman Anton Forrester scored a first half hat-trick as the hosts dominated the game.

Defender Callum Howe and midfielder Cristiano Montano also got on the scoresheet in the second half, before striker Dior Angus scored late on to make it 6-0.

Academy manager John Dempster was in charge of a youthful Stags' side, many of whom are part of the under 18s' side who top the table in the EFL Youth Alliance League, tasked with ending Vale's eight-league game unbeaten run.

After a cagey opening five minutes, midfielder Louis Danquah was allowed time and space in the area to unleash an effort but he couldn't keep the shot down.

Nine minutes in and goalkeeper Sam Wilson was called into action for the first time. The Stags' stopper was able to get a hand to deny Vale winger Donovan Wilson, who volleyed towards goal from the edge of the six-yard box.

The hosts continued to put the Stags' defence under pressure and almost had the lead inside 18 minutes, Forrester finding the ball at his feet eight yards out but he couldn't keep his effort down.

Vale were inches away from finding an opener two minutes later when striker Dior Angus and left-back Cristiano Montano combined with the latter sending a volley narrowly wide of the right-hand post.

Mansfield struggled to get out of their own half before Port Vale took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Midfielder Chris Regis and Forrester combined well before the striker drilled a low effort into the bottom right past Wilson, who had no chance with the ball darting through the legs of the Stags' defence.

Stags went close to equalising just minutes later, as frontman Zayn Hakeem found himself in space on the edge of the box before seeing his well-hit effort palmed away by Vale 'keeper Ryan Boot.

Vale doubled their advantage in the 37th minute when Forrester was able to dance through the Mansfield defence and ended a counter-attack by slotting the ball past Wilson with an air of calmness.

Montano almost produced a moment of magic to give the hosts a third goal but his curling effort was well matched by Wilson. The ball was parried out but Vale's Donovan Wilson could only find the side-netting.

Five minutes before the half-time break, defender Aiden Walker did well to block a Forrester chance on the edge of the area with the Valiants' forward eyeing his third of the afternoon.

Forrester had his first-half hat-trick and his ninth goal in the competition in the 44th minute. The striker received the ball from a cutback from the byline and did well to evade the attentions of two Stags' defenders before firing an effort into the roof of the net.

The three-goal Forrester was replaced at half-time, with Tyrone Barnett taking his place, whilst Stags altered their system to a 5-4-1, with Louis Danquah moving to right wing-back.

Vale immediately put the Stags' defence under pressure and forced a corner within two minutes of the restart. The ball made its way to the far side of the box, where half-time substitute Charlie Walford helped it back into the danger area.

The cross looped over the head of Wilson, who was left stranded as Howe headed into an empty net.

In the 52nd minute, Wilson produced a fantastic double save as Stags were able to race forward on the counter-attack. However, it came to nothing as frontman Zayn Hakeem saw his shot blocked and eventually hooked clear.

On the hour mark the hosts scored their fifth of the afternoon. Substitute Tyrone Barnett's cut-back from the byline was met by the incoming Montano who slammed it home from 12 yards out.

Barnett then couldn't keep his effort down in the 65th minute as the home side continued to pressurise the Mansfield backline.

Five minutes from the end, striker Iyrwah Gooden, who had replaced Jason Law after 70 minutes, had Mansfield's best chance of the match as Stags looked to score a consolation.

Gooden did really well to get in behind defender Callum Howes but as he prodded the ball towards goal, Boot did well to stand tall and deflect it wide for a corner.

Just a minute later, Gooden had another clear cut opportunity. The ball was worked from left to right well by the Stags as they forced it to the lively Gooden, but he was again thwarted by Boot, who forced him into missing the target.

In the 87th minute, Port Vale added a sixth. A long ball forward from goalkeeper Ryan Boot, which evaded everyone, allowed striker Dior Angus to run in behind and slot the ball past Wilson.

PORT VALE XI: Boot, Davis, Montano, Middleton, Howkins, Howe, Wilson (Walford 46'), Regis, Harness (Benns 60'), Forrester (Barnett 46'), Angus

SUBS NOT USED: Crockwell, Ryder

STAGS XI: Wilson, Baldwin, Wilder, Bircumshaw, Harrison, Walker, Law (Gooden 70), Collins, Hakeem (Sarson 75'), George (O'Sullivan 55'), Danquah (Weston 60')


REFEREE: Richard Watson

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