Academy manager John Dempster praised his strike force after an emphatic 8-1 win against Scunthorpe United in the EFL Youth Alliance at Brooksby Melton College on Saturday.
A hat-trick from striker Iyrwah Gooden and goals from Rhys Sarson, Lewis Gibbens, Keaton Ward, Aiden Walker and a first competitive Stags’ goal for recent recruit Tyrese Sinclair gave the home side a resounding win.
The three points keeps Stags top of the EFL Youth Alliance North East Division with a four-point cushion over second-placed Rotherham United with eight games remaining.
Mansfield's under 18s split their home games between Rainworth Miners Welfare and the Worksop Van Hire Stadium in Clipstone.
However, heavy rain meant the Rainworth pitch was unplayable and the match was switched to Brooksby Melton College in Leicestershire where the club runs its football academy and the players further their off-field education.
Dempster was keen for the game to be played and the college facilities certainly helped in allowing the match to go ahead.
“We were excited about today's game and were desperate to get it on at the 3G pitch at the college. We are blessed with a really good surface and it's an excellent backup plan,” Dempster said.
“Anyone who was here today would be impressed by the players’ bravery on the ball and how keen they are to win it back, which is something we emphasise at the academy.
“We don't mind them giving it away, but it's about how you react once you lose it. Our reaction to the transition of the ball when it went to them was fantastic today.”
“Anyone who was here today would be impressed by the players’ bravery on the ball and how keen they are to win it back, which is something we emphasise at the academy."
Scunthorpe came into the game with one win in twelve and although the final score suggests a easy afternoon for the Stags, Scunthorpe made life difficult for our young guns in the first period.
“First half we did dominate the ball, but they were quite impressive. At the start of the second half we hit fifth gear, and once we scored four they found it very difficult.”
“Iyrwah Gooden was excellent today, he was full of energy and caused the Scunthorpe defenders real problems in behind and was deserving of his hat-trick.”
The tricky Gooden also set up Tyrese Sinclair's first league goal for the Stags and Dempster was impressed by his new winger’s positive attitude.
“Sinclair played a couple of weeks ago in a friendly against Northampton Town and scored a good goal.
“He came off the bench today and we were impressed by the way he played. He has a real drive to go at people and get his shots off.”