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Youth report: Stags 1-1 Burton

26 March 2018

Club News

Youth report: Stags 1-1 Burton

26 March 2018

Mansfield Town under-18s were held at home by a stubborn Burton Albion in the EFL Youth Alliance, drawing 1-1 at Brooksby College, Melton Mowbray.

Stags fell behind after 28 minutes due to a fortunate strike from Brewers captain Jacob Saville. His driven effort from the edge of the area deflected past Xavier Sundby, who stood no chance in the Stags goal. 

Mansfield captain Henri Wilder rescued a point for the Stags late in the second-half, when his right-footed shot found the bottom corner to earn the home team a point. 

The Stags came into the game fresh off an 8-1 victory against Scunthorpe United, while the visitors were defeated at home by Notts County last time out.

When the teams met last, Stags ran out 2-0 winners at St. George's Park thanks to goals from Sam Jackson and Iywrah Gooden. 

The return fixture proved a much tougher affair, with Burton starting on the front foot and Stags struggling to get to grips with their passing and movement. 

Twice in the first seven minutes, Burton's Tristan Matthews went close, first heading over when six yards out from a corner, then shooting wide after some neat build-up play.

Stags' danger man Riley O'Sullivan came off with an injury after 20 minutes, to be replaced by Jake Dumbleton. 

The game was stop-start throughout, with referee Simon Kavanagh baring the brunt of the frustration from both sets of players, coaches and fans. 

On 28 minutes, the breakthrough came when the ball fell to Saville on the edge of the area. The midfielder composed himself, and his well-hit strike took a wicked deflection on its way into the net. It was a fortuitous goal, but it gave Burton a deserved lead.

Two minutes later, Mansfield had their first real attempt when Harry Bircumshaw drove into the area, only to fire wide from the left of the penalty box. 

That opportunity sparked Stags into life, and on 36 minutes, Dumbleton raced onto a long pass, only to see his clever volley parried wide by Burton 'keeper Oliver Fairbrother. 

Matthews had been busy all game for the visitors, and it was the tricky midfielder who had the last attempt of the half, cutting inside and unleashing a sweetly struck shot, which hit the post from the edge of the area.

The second-half saw Stags come back into the game without troubling Fairbrother until the 64th minute, when Steve Johnson's header was somehow clawed back from the goal-line by the Burton 'keeper. 

A minute later, Johnson went even closer when his header smacked off the crossbar from close range. 

Some determined work from Wilder saw him whip in a cross from the left into Jackson, who volleyed wide from a tight angle.

On 72 minutes, it was Rhys Sarson's turn to be frustrated when his scrambled close-range effort was blocked by a sprawling Regan Ganley.

The closing minutes saw a flurry of chances for both teams, including Bircumshaw's surging run and pass, which resulted in Wilder firing over from inside the area.

He made up for it a minute later though, when the ball dropped to the Stags captain on the edge of the box. His right-footed attempt nestled in the corner to give Mansfield an equaliser they deserved. 

In injury-time, Gooden was played in by Bircumshaw after another run from the midfielder, but the usually clinical forward blazed over from inside the area and with that went Mansfield's best opportunity to take all three points. 

Instead, it was Burton who looked to snatch the win, left-back Tom Armitage stretched and poked his shot underneath an on-rushing Sundby, only for Wilder to clear off the line.

The ball went out for a corner, and when Sundby again ventured off his line to close down Ben Hart, the midfielder curled a cross-come-shot to the far post where Bircumshaw headed off the line and out to safety. 

The game ended 1-1, and would be seen as points dropped by the Stags in the race for the EFL Youth Alliance title. 

STAGS XI: Sundby, Gooden, Johnson, Bircumshaw, Gibbens, Walker, Wilder (c), Ward, Sarson, Sinclair (Cashmore, 78), O'Sullivan (Jackson, 20) 

SUBS NOT USED: Mars, Wells, Purvin 

BURTON XI: Fairbrother, Cooke, Armitage, Matthews, Ganley, Saville, Hart, Bromfield, Davies (Dowd, 58), Hitchinson, Vale (Melhado, 74) 

SUBS NOT USED: Smith, Harrison, McDonell

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