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Match Reports

Youth report: Stags 2-1 Shrewsbury

30 January 2023

Match Reports

Youth report: Stags 2-1 Shrewsbury

30 January 2023

Stags' under-19s came out on top to progress into the semi-final of the Youth Alliance Cup with a 2-1 win against Shrewsbury Town at RH Academy on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Louie Turner returned to the amber and blue’s starting line-up after returning from his work experience loan at Long Eaton United.

Forward McKeal Abdullah kept up his goalscoring form as he converted the opening goal early on in the encounter.

Right-back and captain Taylor Anderson - who featured on the first team bench twice within the last month - converted a penalty midway through the second-half to give Mansfield under-19s the victory.

The hosts took an immediate lead after only three minutes when a lofted through ball from behind the halfway line managed to superbly pick out the onrushing Abdullah who managed to shrug off the defender, look up and fire a composed effort beyond Shrewsbury ‘keeper Reece Thompson.

The returning Louie Turner was called into his first moment of action on 11 minutes as Salop attacker Harvey Kirby-Moore fired a venomous effort on goal but the amber and blue's goalkeeper managed to get down low and make a vital stop.

Kirby-Moore had the opportunity to equalise once again on 24 minutes with a close range header following a cross from winger Josh Bailey but Turner made a brilliant stop to keep his side in the ascendancy.

Despite Kirby-Moore looking like the opposition's main threat on goal, it was centre-back Declan Hutchings who brought the game level after catching a cross on the volley and firing the ball into the top corner, giving Turner no chance at making the save.

The cup tie saw the two sides go in level at the interval.

Mansfield made two changes at the break which saw box-to-box midfielder Finn Flanagan and attacker Alfie King replaced by centre-back Cormac Maher and right-back Elliot Hartmann - both part of Stags under-16s' setup.

As well as personnel changes, the hosts made tactical adjustments which saw Sam Collins’ side switch to a back five with Anderson moving inside to centre-back and Tyler Whyle, who started the game at centre-back, moved into defensive midfield for the remainder of the game.

Hartmann - who was deployed at right-wing-back due to tactical changes - came close to making an immediate impact on 48 minutes. Versatile attacker Ronnie Kokkinos rounded a defender exceptionally and fired a dangerous ball into the area which was met by Abdullah whose effort was saved and pushed out to Hartmann to crash the ball against the post.

The young Stags made their third change of the game on 67 minutes as forward Daniel Organ replaced Kokkinos.

Hartmann was fouled inside the area on 69 minutes following a driving run into the visitors’ box and the hosts were provided with an opportunity to regain the lead.

Skipper Taylor Anderson stepped up to take the penalty and rifled the ball into the bottom left-corner to put his side 2-1 up.

Following the goal, the game was end-to-end as both sides looked to score a decisive goal.

Shrewsbury came close to levelling proceedings on 84 minutes when Bailey fired over the bar from the edge of the box.

And they had one final opportunity in stoppage-time which fell to striker Kirby-Moore who headed over the bar from close range.

MANSFIELD: Turner, Anderson, Whyle, Wauchope, Bonser, Carter, Flanagan (Maher 46), Kruszynski, Kokkinos (Organ 67), King (Hartmann 46), Abdullah

UNUSED SUBS: Leech, Aynsley-Johnson

SHREWSBURY: Thompson, Owusu, Godwin, Vicente, Paternoster, Hutchings, Knight (Watts 65), Hermes, Kirby-Moore, Antal, Bailey

UNUSED SUBS: Dadie, Beckles, Cairns, Starkey-Jones

REFEREE: Alex Cotterill

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