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Match Reports

Youth report: Stags 3-0 Hartlepool

21 January 2023

Stags' under-19s produced a battling display to secure a 3-0 win against Hartlepool United at RH Academy on Saturday.

Theo Avery started in goal for Mansfield following news of a call up to a Republic of Ireland under-19s training camp.

Central midfielder Curtis Davies broke the deadlock to give the Stags the lead and second-half goals from attacker Alfie King and forward McKeal Abdullah secured all three points for Sam Collins’ side.

Hartlepool started the game the strongest and came close to opening the scoring after only three minutes when striker Loui Evans latched onto the end of a lofted through ball but ultimately fired over the bar.

The amber and blue had their first half-chance on 11 minutes when Abdullah cut the ball back to the edge of the box to pick out midfielder Jakub Kruszynski who was unable to make the most of the opportunity as right-back Louis Stephenson came to the rescue for Hartlepool.

The young Stags opened the scoring just four minutes later when a corner from Kruszynski was played short to box-to-box midfielder Finn Flanagan, who managed to look up and pick out Davies on the edge of the area to fire the ball into the bottom corner and give the hosts the lead.

Mansfield grew in confidence following the goal and started to create an array of chances. One of which saw Abdullah fire wide following an exceptional run down the left-wing from Kruszynski, who managed to beat a number of defenders prior to whipping the ball into the area towards the forward.

Opening goalscorer Davies was replaced on 37 minutes after picking up a knock with attacker Alfie King replacing the midfielder. 

A strong first-half display saw the hosts enter the interval with the advantage. 

The amber and blue had a number of opportunities to double their lead within the opening 10 minutes of the second-half. The most dangerous of which came on 55 minutes when a lightning counter-attack provided attacker Ronnie Kokkinos with a chance in front of goal but visiting ‘keeper Jake Wilkinson managed to get down low and make the save.

Hartlepool had the opportunity to level proceedings just minutes later as they delivered a dangerous free-kick but shot-stopper Avery was alert and confidently climbed highest to collect the ball.

Sam Collins’ young guns were rewarded for the grit and determination shown in the second-half when they doubled their advantage on 75 minutes. A superb through ball from under-16s’ right-back Elliot Hartmann picked out the run of substitute King who managed to get the vital connection and stab home Stags’ second of the game.

Mansfield’s newest under-19s recruit, forward Daniel Organ, replaced Kokkinos following the goal. The final change of the match saw energetic-forward Noah Aynsley-Johnson come on for Flanagan with seven minutes remaining.

The in form Abdullah got Stags’ third goal on 90 minutes. An initial effort on goal from Aynsley-Johnson deflected and found its way through to Abdullah who had the simplest of finishes at the back post to wrap up the game.

MANSFIELD TOWN: Avery, Hartmann, Whelan, Whyle, Bonser, Carter, Flanagan (Aynsley-Johnson 83), Kruszynski, Davies (King 37), Kokkinos (Organ 75), Abdullah

UNUSED SUBS: Ellis, Hamilton

HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Wilkinson, Stephenson, Lynn (Grundle 86), Robinson, Darcy, White, Rowe, Kitching, Evans, Storey, Burnett (Aunggrs 75)

UNUSED SUB: Small


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