Mansfield Town's under-23s will join Leeds United U23, Sunderland U23 and Wigan Athletic U23 in the Premier League Cup group stage after a dramatic 3-2 win over Salford City under-23s earlier today.
Salford took the lead in the first-half through a Matt Sargent goal in the 17th minute, but the Stags responded through James Clarke and Jimmy Knowles at the Peninsula Stadium.
Late on, the hosts equalised through Ben Finley, but a stoppage time penalty, converted by Tyrese Sinclair, secured Mansfield's passage to the competition's group stage.
The Premier League Cup is a UEFA Champions League style competition, with 32 clubs' under-23 sides making up the group stage. Because more than 32 clubs entered this year's competition, there was an extra round of qualifying, which the Stags faced Salford in earlier today.
The Stags will face Leeds United U23, Sunderland U23 and Wigan Athletic U23 in their group, home and away. Fixture details will be announced in due course.
Each side in the Premier League Cup is allowed to field three 'over-age' outfield players, as well as a goalkeeper born before 01 January 1997 in the 2021/22 season. All other players must be under-23.
The competition format is as follows...
- Qualifying stage If more than 32 clubs enter the competition, a qualifying knock-out stage takes place between Category 3 and 4 clubs to determine who joins Category 1 and 2 sides in the Group stage
- Group stage The tournament will be split into eight groups of four clubs, with each team playing their opposing clubs home and away. The top two teams advance to the knockout stage.
- Knockout stage The last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all be one-off knockout ties. If the ties are level after 90 minutes, they go to extra-time and then penalties if the teams still can't be separated.
STAGS XI vs Salford City: Shelvey (GK), Anderson, J. Clarke (C), Charles, Ward, Hill, Davies (Bouch 83'), Law, Knowles, Sinclair, Caine (Wilson 75').
UNUSED SUBS: Stech (GK), Collins, Carter.