Mansfield Town’s under-19s secured a superb 4-2 win against Huddersfield Town on Saturday at RH Academy in an enthralling Youth Alliance League contest.
Defenders Taylor Anderson and Darien Wauchope joined forward McKeal Abdullah in the starting lineup following their absence in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Scunthorpe after travelling with the first team to Newport County.
Left-back Louis Bonser donned the captain’s armband for the second league fixture in a row.
Meanwhile, under-16s’ attacker Che Whitman-Brown made his first under-19s start in attack alongside Abdullah.
Huddersfield came racing out the blocks and had their first chance of the game after only three minutes as left-back Shane Maroodza rifled an effort on goal. However, Stags’ shot-stopper Theo Avery was equal to the attempt and managed to make the save.
The Terriers’ sharp start seemed to have paid off just one minute later as they found the back of the net following a corner, but the referee blew for a foul on Avery in the Mansfield goal.
The Stags' first big chance of the match came on 12 minutes as Abdullah drove beyond the halfway line with the ball, picking out Anderson - who had sprinted forward on the right - to whip a sensational ball to the back stick for Che Whitman-Brown, but the youngster skewed his effort wide.
An opening which provided chances for both to break the deadlock saw the Terriers come even closer on 18 minutes as midfielder Cian Philpott rattled a free-kick against the crossbar.
But it was Sam Collins’ side who scored the first goal on 30 minutes. A perfectly weighted ball by versatile attacker Ronnie Kokkinos picked out the run of Whitman-Brown who expertly rounded ‘keeper Francis Hurl and tapped home into an empty net.
The visitors from West Yorkshire look determined to find an equaliser before the break. Two attempts on goal in five minutes from attacker Charles Ondo and left-back Ajay Weston - who replaced Maroodza on 12 minutes due to injury - forced two great stops from Avery.
The young Stags led at the interval in a game which was far from over.
And the hosts found themselves with extra work to do on 48 minutes as attacker Hazeem Bakre restored parity for Huddersfield.
The Terriers weren’t done there. Hakeem Sandah, who entered the fray following the break, hammered an effort off Avery’s post just moments later in a lucky escape for the Stags.
On 56 minutes, Mansfield won a corner following a deflected effort on goal from box-to-box midfielder Finn Flanagan.
Anderson whipped a fine ball into the area, where centre-back Tyler Whyle made a great run to climb highest and smash a header across goal into the top corner beyond a helpless Hurl to regain the lead for his side.
Flanagan and Bonser both fired simultaneous efforts on goal just three minutes later but failed to extend Mansfield’s advantage.
Attack-minded midfielder Jakub Kruszynski had the next opportunity as he drove towards the edge of the box, took aim at goal but fired just over the bar.
On 75 minutes, Sam Collins’ young guns stretched their lead further as Abdullah continued his rich vein of form as the forward stabbed home an effort from inside the area following a cross which was flicked on by Whitman-Brown.
And just when it looked like Mansfield had found the crucial goal to secure all three points with 15 minutes remaining, the visitors scored immediately to make it 3-2. Substitute forward Hakeem Sandah hammered home from close range to make it a nervy ending at RH Academy.
Following the goal, the Stags made their first and only change of the game as attacker Daniel Organ replaced Che Whitman-Brown.
Kokkinos, who picked up the assist for the opening goal, restored the Stags' two goal advantage on 80 minutes in a game which went back and forth. The ball dropped kindly for the attacker who made no mistake from close range.
Huddersfield had one final clear cut chance in stoppage time as a scramble in the area following a corner resulted in the ball slipping beyond Avery but Whyle managed to clamber back and make a sensational goal line clearance.
Sam Collims' side therefore secured back-to-back wins ahead of Thursday’s final Youth Alliance League fixture of the season against Hartlepool United at RH Academy.
MANSFIELD TOWN: Avery, Anderson, Whyle, Wauchope, Bonser, Carter, Flanagan, Kruszynski, Kokkinos, Whitman-Brown (Organ 76), Abdullah
UNUSED SUBS: Leech, King, Walsh, Warnaby
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Hurl, Deru, Maroodza (Weston 12), Fletcher, Sheppard, Vost, Whittingham (Okuwa 46), Ojungu (Sanusi 61), Bakre, Philpott, Ondo (Sandah 46)
UNUSED SUBS: N/A