Academy manager John Dempster has cited his players’ performances in both boxes as the main reason for the 2-0 FA Youth Cup win over Chester at One Call Stadium.
In a closely-fought affair, Stags’ under-18s took the lead through Jimmy Knowles’ penalty just before the hour mark, before Riley O’Sullivan doubled the home advantage late on.
Dempster says that Mansfield’s clinical finishing was the difference between the two sides on the night.
“I’m really pleased with some of the things that were on show tonight. I don’t think it was one of our best performances in possession, but Chester make it very difficult for you as they sit back and are very compact.
“As it happened, it’s probably a tale of two set pieces that have won us the game, but I think we were good value for it.
“If you look at the opposition that Chester have knocked out in Barnsley, Hartlepool and Wrexham, they’re no mugs.
“They recruit well, have some good players and are well organised. At times this season we have struggled to get that clean sheet, but our boys put their bodies on the line tonight.
"It was probably a tale of two boxes. We finished the chances that we had inside the 18-yard box and defended ours well."
“We took the two chances we had from set plays. They had long throws, corners, and put everything in our box. I thought Jamie Chisholm was excellent tonight.
“It was probably a tale of two boxes. We finished the chances that we had inside the 18-yard box and defended ours well.
“Chester had a couple of chances that they didn’t finish, and they couldn’t keep hold of our goalscorers today.”
The academy manager also said that tonight’s win was just as pleasing as Mansfield’s victory away to Grimsby Town in round one, in which his side came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the closing stages.
“There’s a million ways to win a football match. The romantic way was in the last round, beating Grimsby 3-2 and coming from behind.
“Tonight was winning ugly, but that pleased me as much as the last performance. I’m delighted with the players and there were some really good individual performances.”
Dempster looked ahead to his side’s next fixture in the competition, an away trip to Bournemouth in round three.
“It will be a completely different challenge [against Bournemouth]. They’re a Premier League outfit and they’ll bring a different style.
“The directors have promised us an overnight stay which will be a great experience for our players. We didn’t mention the third round until just before kick-off.
“The directors promised us the finances to stay over if we got to the third round and the boys have done that and deserve it.”
Details concerning Stags’ fixture against Bournemouth will be announced in due course.