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Match Reports

Youth report: Rotherham United U18 3-2 Stags U18

29 August 2021

Mansfield Town under-18s were involved in a back-and-forth contest with league leaders Rotherham United on Thursday, with the Stags narrowly losing 3-2.

The game started in an end-to-end fashion with both sides creating chances in the opening ten minutes.

Stags' first real opportunity of the contest came following a good interception from Curtis Davies, who then sprayed a long pass out towards Diego Edwards on the left-hand side. Edwards saw his deflected shot fall into the path of Charlie Carter, who fired at the goalkeeper.

It was the hosts who took the lead on 12 minutes. A long punt forward from the goalkeeper was flicked onto the Rotherham winger, who was able to pull the ball back for a tap-in.

Darien Wauchope and Jakub Kruszynski linked up well before feeding Davies, who saw his long range effort go over the crossbar.

On the stroke of half-time, the Stags found their equaliser. Kruszynski played the ball to Jack Deakin, who skipped past several challenges before firing home from distance.

The visitors would not have to wait long after the break to complete their comeback, with Deakin once again on the scoresheet. Kruszynski drove down the line before crossing towards the Mansfield frontman, who provided a first-time finish into the top corner.

However, the hosts responded five minutes later. A central through ball beat the Stags' back-line and the Millers' striker was able to keep his composure to fire past Owen Mason.

It turned out to be a two minutes of madness for the Stags, who conceded once more shortly after the Rotherham equaliser. The ball was crossed into the area from a Millers' free-kick, and after some pinball in the area, a home attacker was alert to a loose ball and struck home the eventual winner.

A stop-start rhythm to the game ensued for the closing 30 minutes, with the Stags only creating one more clear-cut opportunity before full-time.

McKeal Abdullah broke down the left-hand side before crossing accurately to Davies, who headed wide.

Thursday's match was a thrilling affair which the Stags will have been disappointed to lose after a spirited showing against the league leaders.

STAGS XI: Mason (GK), Hill-Smith, Pitts, Collins, Wauchope, Carter, Bouch (Abdullah 78'), Davies (C), Kruszynski, Deakin, Edwards.

UNUSED SUBS: Turner (GK), Hurdis, Flanagan, Whelan.

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