Mansfield Town’s under-18s fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup.
After the visitors opened the scoring, Finn Flanagan drew the Stags level in the first-half.
However, following the break, Group F’s leaders scored twice without reply to record a 3-1 victory and continue their perfect start to this season’s competition.
Bolton crafted the first opportunity of the game in the early stages, working the ball before a shot from the edge of the box, which Mansfield goalkeeper Louie Turner was equal to.
Stags’ high pressing led to a chance on eight minutes. Charlie Carter looked to take advantage of the opening but snatched at his shot inside the area.
The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first-half from a corner. A short flag-kick routine was played to the edge of the box, with a Bolton runner firing first time into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0.
Mansfield responded well to conceding, as they restored parity 11 minutes later. Taylor Anderson produced a sensational run down the left-hand side before cutting the ball back to Flanagan for a tap-in.
After the break, Bolton started the stronger of the two sides and were rewarded not long after the restart. The visiting left winger managed to skip past two challenges before firing into the bottom right corner to restore their lead.
The Stags looked to get back on level terms with some great build-up play down the left-hand side. Jack Deakin drove into the area before searching for McKeal Abdullah with his pass. The forward’s first-time effort was blocked superbly by a Bolton man before the defence were able to clear.
Five minutes from time, the away side doubled their lead. A midfield man played a sensational pass to breach the Stags’ back-line before the Bolton striker was able to confidently finish to wrap up the victory.
The Stags’ next fixture is away to Harrogate Town on Saturday 23 October.
STAGS' XI: Turner, Anderson, Whelan, Collins (C), Bouch, Carter, Flanagan (Maher, 65’), Kruszynski (Hamilton, 85’), Edwards (Kokkinos, 65’), Deakin, Wilson (Abdullah, 50’).
UNUSED SUB: Avery.