The league action continues for Mansfield Town’s under-18s as they host Grimsby Town at the RH Academy on Saturday (11am).
The visitors find themselves eighth in the Youth Alliance League (North East division) with four points from just two games, whilst the Stags sit sixth in the ten strong league with six points.
Striker Jack Deakin will be looking to continue his rich vein of goalscoring form after a magnificent hat-trick in the 4-3 defeat to Lincoln City last weekend, whilst the Mariners come into the game off the back of a 1-0 victory at home to Salford In the Youth Alliance Cup.
Mansfield’s youngsters tasted victory in their last contest with the Lincolnshire outfit, with the Stags running out 2-1 winners.
Goals from Nathan Saunders and Shamar Lawson secured the points for the Stags after Lennon Stead opened the scoring for Grimsby.
The Mariners started the contest strongly and took the lead after 16 minutes. Forward Luis Adalard slipped Stead through on goal, and the midfielder composed himself before sliding the ball past Maison Campbell in the Mansfield net.
And it took an inspired showing from Campbell to prevent Grimsby from extending their lead 15 minutes later.
The Mansfield ‘keeper made a smart stop to deny midfielder Evan Khouri before a stunning double save moments later.
Ayodeji Owoeye found himself in space in the box but looked on in awe as Campbell somehow managed to tip his goal-bound effort onto the post, before the ‘keeper reacted quickly to keep out the rebound from point-blank range.
And the goalkeeper’s heroics proved a turning point in the game as the Stags levelled the scores just five minutes later.
Midfielder Ethan Hill worked the ball out wide to Lawson, and the winger cut inside and gave Grimsby goalkeeper Hugo Banks no chance as he curled his effort into the top corner to make it 1-1 in the 35th minute.
The teams went in level at the break after an end-to-end first-half, and the game continued in a similar fashion after the restart.
The Mariners came out the blocks quickly once again, but it was the amber and blue who went ahead in the 55th minute.
Lawson turned creator as his corner was met by Jamie Chisholm, and his header was finished off by his defensive partner Saunders who powered home to make it 2-1 to the Stags.
Grimsby pressed for an equaliser after going behind, with the lively Khouri again denied by the outstanding Campbell as he pushed away his low effort.
The Stags dug deep and stood strong against the Grimsby onslaught, but the visitors did squander a golden opportunity to equalise right at the death.
Midfielder Joseph Starbuck swung in an inviting cross which evaded everyone but the unmarked Joey Hope, but the left-back was unable to connect at the back post and the Stags breathed a sigh of relief as the referee blew the full-time whistle to give them all three points.