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Youth boss commends players in York win

24 February 2018

Academy manager John Dempster has praised his young side after their 4-2 EFL Youth Alliance win against York City at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday afternoon.

Two goals from forward Riley O'Sullivan, a penalty from midfielder Keaton Ward and a strike from right wing-back Nyle Blake secured the points for the Stags before York mounted a mini-comeback, scoring twice in the final few minutes.

The win keeps Dempster's side top of the North East Division with a pivotal match against third-placed Oldham Athletic to come next weekend.

And Dempster was pleased with the overall performance from his charges but was disappointed with the two late York goals.

“I thought we were magnificent for the most part, then had a mad 10 to 15 minutes towards the end and conceded some sloppy goals.

“We knew it was going to be tough be we dominated from start to finish, apart from the goals.”

“Riley was full of energy and scored some good goals and is a willing runner, so there's lots of promise there.

“We knew it was going to be tough be we dominated from start to finish, apart from the goals.”

John Dempster, academy manager

“Rhys Sarson played really well. We tweaked our formation and down the right Nyle [Blake] was good and took his goal very well and equally down the left Henri Wilder had a good game. We know he can defend, but we want him to get forward too.”

Similarly to Blake, Keaton Ward was performing a slightly different role to what he's been used to this season, playing further back and offering protection to the defence, rather than creating further up the pitch.

“We test Harry Bircumshaw and Keaton to sit deep, not only to protect the back three but to get on the ball and get us playing and I think they did that today. They got on the ball and played some great stuff.

“It looked like we were going to get the clean sheet which would have been the icing on the cake but we fell short of that, but overall it was a very good display.”

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