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Match Reports

Report: Stags U18s 0-3 Notts

25 January 2021

Mansfield Town under-18s relinquished hold of the Matt Salmon Trophy to Notts County after a difficult day at The RH Academy.

Two goals within as many minutes late in the first-half saw the visitors into an ultimately unassailable lead that they compounded in the second from the penalty spot.

It was though the Stags who had the better of the early exchanges, with Taylor Anderson a constant threat flooding forward from right-back.

He was involved in the first real goalmouth action when Kyle Tomlin split the opposition defence with a slide-rule pass to find the advancing Anderson.

The full-back looped in a cross, but Diego Edwards couldn’t quite get the purchase on a stooping header, and County keeper Bill Harrison fielded it well.

After a strong Stags opening, the visitors began to grow into proceedings, primarily from set-pieces.

Some heroics from Kian Sketchley turned behind a goal-bound James Snedden header, for which the left-back received a whack from the post for his troubles.

The resulting corner presented County with another opportunity, but Stern Irvine couldn’t direct his far-post header on target.

After a collision with his opposition number earlier on, Jack Deakin tried in vain to run off the knock was replaced just before the half-hour mark by Jonty Bouch.

Stags picked it up following the change, with Bouch the catalyst in raising the tempo and on one occasion getting a shot off on the edge which was blocked.

But then came the County double salvo.

The first resulted from a bouncing ball into the area that Tyreace Palmer pounced on the poke home, and the second, on the stroke of half-time, saw Cameron Smith picked out centrally to volley in.

A two-goal lead at the half flattered the visitors, and the Stags challenge only heightened when Edwards was forced off early in the second.

The forward had been carrying a knock from a first-half collision with Harrison, and could no longer continue.

His misfortune presented the opportunity for his replacement, Oliver Wilson, to make the jump from under-16s football for the first time.
After the switch, the youngsters began to assert themselves again and reacted well to going behind.

In what turned out to be the most presentable chance of the half, Lewis Hill-Smith threaded through an inch-perfect pass to find the run of Anderson inside the area.

Upon receiving the ball, the full-back jinked inside from the byline and flashed a ball across the box, but no one could apply the finish as it whistled past the post.

Shamar Lawson started to become more involved in proceedings, first with a drive through the centre before unleashing to force a smart save from Harrison who turned behind.

And then from the resulting corner Lawson picked up where he left off as his devilish delivery found the head of substitute Bouch, but his header fell wide.

Another Lawson delivery created another chance, but centre back George Cooper could not guide his effort on target.

And then all the pressure popped at the other end ten minutes from time when a mix up in defence led to the referee pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Snedden, who sent Campbell the wrong way and settled the contest.

Following the final whistle, Academy manager Richard Cooper paid tribute to the late Matt Salmon – the former Academy physio - before presenting County captain Palmer with the trophy.

The Stags will have a chance to win it back in just ten days’ time, but before that, they welcome Scunthorpe United to The RH Academy next weekend.

STAGS XI: Campbell, Anderson, Sketchley, Hill-Smith, Cooper, Tomlin, Hill (Hurdis 69'), Lawson, Edwards (Wilson 55'), Deakin (Bouch 28'), Caine

UNUSED SUBS: Mason, Pitts


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