Goals from Diego Edwards, Jack Deakin and Oliver Wilson inspired Mansfield Town’s under-18s to a 3-0 win at Harrogate Town on Saturday.
To add to the drama, Stags managed to win the game with ten men after Darien Wauchope was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
The dismissal led a Harrogate penalty, which was superbly saved by Stags’ goalkeeper Louie Turner.
It was Harrogate, however, who began the game on the front foot.
In the second minute of the match, the ball broke for the home side but an attacker blazed an effort over the bar.
The Stags’ under-18s first chance of the game came from great hold-up play from Edwards to bring Jonty Bouch into play. Bouch darted towards the touchline and cut the ball back to McKeal Abdullah, but his shot landed into the hands of the Harrogate ‘keeper.
With ten minutes to go until the interval, Harrogate broke Mansfield’s second line of defence and found themselves in the Stags’ penalty area. The hosts almost took the lead but for Freddie Pitts’ goal-saving block, which was subsequently cleared.
The Amber and Blue took the lead in the 40th minute. Edwards received the ball on the half-turn and struck an effort which deceived the Harrogate goalkeeper to find the back of the net.
Mansfield doubled their lead just three minutes after the opener following a set-play from the right-hand side. Pitts rose highest to connect with the initial delivery which could only be half-cleared by a Sulphurites’ defender.
And Deakin was on hand to place a left footed volley into the corner to give the Stags a two-goal lead before the break.
The home team began to pile on the pressure after the interval.
A corner from the left-flank found a Harrogate head but Darien Wauchope was quick to react and headed the effort off the line.
In the 70th minute, Wauchope was penalised for a challenge in the box that the referee determined to be late. The defender was shown his second yellow card of the game resulting in both a sending off for Wauchope and a penalty to Harrogate.
The young guns were forced to play the remainder of the match with ten men and faced a difficult remaining twenty minutes in North Yorkshire.
The penalty proved to be a decisive moment in the game. Stags’ ‘keeper Louie Turner was equal to the spot-kick and dived to his bottom left to prevent the home side a clear route back into the game.
With the game approaching the closing stages, Mansfield sealed the three points when Anderson made a superb solo run down the right side of the Harrogate defence.
The under-18s’ skipper burst through the home side’s backline and found Wilson unmarked. The forward, who had not long been brought onto the pitch, was on hand to grab the Stags’ third goal of the game with just his first touch of the game.
It means that Mansfield have recorded back-to-back victories in the EFL Youth Alliance League.
The Stags’ next fixture is against Huddersfield Town at RH Academy on Saturday 30 October.
STAGS' XI: Turner, Anderson ©, Whelan, Pitts, Wauchope, Bouch (Wilson, 79), Carter (Hamilton, 45), Flanagan (Whyle, 70), Abdullah, Edwards (Kokkinos, 85) Deakin
UNUSED SUB: Avery