Mansfield Town under-18s secured their fourth successive victory in a hard-fought battle against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
After missing a penalty early in the second-half, the amber and blue showed great character to recover from that disappointment and secure victory.
The Stags’ winner came from defender Jamie Chisholm, who rose highest to head home Shamar Lawson’s 55th-minute corner.
The young guns survived a late scare, as Junior Smith missed a golden opportunity to equalise deep into injury time.
Both defences were on top in a cagey first-half and chances for both sides were very much at a premium.
The first opportunity went to the hosts as Junior Smith shot wide from just outside the box, after combining well with Will McGowen.
Shamar Lawson then tested Kian Johnson in the Doncaster goal on 24 minutes. The midfielder cut-inside and fired a rasping drive down the throat of the Rovers ‘keeper.
The best chance of the half fell to the visitors as the lively Rio Molyneaux darted down the right and crossed low to substitute Nathan Caine. The striker, however, could not get enough on his flicked effort as it ran through safely to Johnson.
On the stroke of half-time, Lawson almost unlocked the hosts’ defence with a moment of magic. Another marauding run from Molyneaux saw him glide past Lewis Cunningham and whip in a cross which was just behind Jimmy Knowles.
Lawson kept the move alive and stepped past two defenders before unleashing a fierce curling shot which Johnson did well to get across and save.
The visitors were gifted the chance to take the lead three minutes into the second-half, when Cunningham clipped Molyneaux in the box.
Knowles stepped up but his penalty lacked power, as Johnson guessed right to make a comfortable save to keep the score level.
This missed opportunity seemed to lift Doncaster as they put the Stags’ backline under pressure. Luca Nelson was desperately unlucky as he flashed a diving-header wide from Elliot Walker’s cross.
The Stags weathered the storm and took the lead on 55 minutes. Lawson’s perfectly weighted corner was met by Chisholm who rose highest to plant a powerful header home.
The amber and blue had to dig deep and limited Rovers to few chances thanks to a solid team display. Nathan Saunders epitomised this, as he nipped in to deny Jack Watson a goalscoring chance on 68 minutes.
Mansfield had chances to wrap up the points before surviving a late onslaught from their opponents.
The first of them fell to Molyneaux as he cut inside from the right and drove through the middle of the pitch. The space opened up for the winger as he fired a low effort into the gloves of Johnson.
Caine then spun away from his marker before bending in a cross for Knowles, but the striker could only direct his header over the bar.
Rovers then had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping their hopes alive, as he made a stunning double save from Ryan Ingram.
The forward raced onto a superb through ball from Saunders but was denied by the Rovers stopper who saved with his feet.
From the rebound, Ingram tried his luck again, but Johnson was there once more to deny him.
In the dying embers of the contest, Rovers were inches away from stealing a draw. Jack Watson beat Kian Sketchley to a loose ball and drilled a low cross agonisingly past an outstretching Smith.
The referee blew for full-time shortly after as the Stags held out for their fourth successive win in all competitions.
This was a great team performance from the young guns, with a solid defensive display setting the foundations for a richly deserved three points.
DONCASTER ROVERS XI: Johnson, Walker, Cunningham, Ravenhill, Dimou, Blythe, Bell, Nelson, Watson, McGowen, Smith.
SUBS: Jemson, Chadwick, Derrett, Clemiston, Cole.
STAGS XI: Campbell, King (Cooper 60’), Sketchley, Tomlin, Saunders, Chisholm, Molyneaux, Hill (Ingram 75’), Scott (Caine 22’), Knowles, Lawson.
UNSUBS: Philips, Adams.