Mansfield Town under-18s’ coach Mike Whitlow was pleased with the way Stags’ young guns ‘backed each other’ as they came from behind to produce a stunning late comeback away at Huddersfield to win 2-1.
After conceding midway through the first half, the Stags completed a five-minute turnaround to claim their first win of the season late on in the game.
A Josh Scott penalty and a delightful curling effort from Jimmy Knowles at the death inspired the amber and blue to victory, delighting Whitlow.
“It’s massive. We keep talking about players and development, that was probably the biggest education we’ve had as a team today”, he said.
“Huddersfield play football but they also do the ugly side of the game. Jimmy Knowles got took out at least six times. They stopped us getting momentum.
“We conceded a sloppy goal. It was a good goal from the lad, but for him to beat three of our defenders was not good.
“In the second-half we’ve come out on the front foot and the players have stuck together as a team.
“We backed each other as a team, pressed for each other and worked hard. That was the most pleasing thing today.
“They found that if you battle as a team and stick up for each other that the rewards will come.
“As coaches all we want to see is these lads give themselves and opportunity and impress the academy manager Richard Cooper. That’s why we’re here.”
Arguably the most deserving player on the scoresheet was striker Joshua Scott, who’d been a threat all afternoon with his work rate and application.
“He’s (Joshua Scott) not changed, he must go banging his head against a brick wall with the chances he gets!
“The left footer was harder to miss but sometimes you need luck. I was delighted for him when he got the goal.
“He grafts at half seven every day, he works his socks off. He’s a young man who wants to play football. He puts the work in and hopefully this’ll give him the confidence he needs.”
The under-18s’ coach also spoke of the performances of forward Jimmy Knowles and defender Jamie Chisholm, who were both included in the matchday squad for Mansfield’s recent Leasing.com Trophy match with Everton U21.
“It’s a massive step. You know what you’ll get with Jimmy Knowles, he’ll get the ball and cause them problems. He’ll always score goals.
“Chis headed it and kicked it, did the ugly bits [against Huddersfield]. He did better when the other lad nailed him, he knew he was in a battle then and he started winning it.”