Football League Youth Alliance
At Kirklington Road (Rainworth Miners Welfare)
Mansfield Town (1) 3
Luke Randle OG 6, Devante Reittie 50, Louis Danquah 76
Chesterfield (1) 1
Martell Daswell 25
Admission £3. Attendance 92
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Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah (C), Morgan Ratcliffe, Corbin Shires, Kane Baldwin, Cain Smith Cameron Healey 65), Drew Gibson, Tyler Blake, Devante Reittie (Zane Hakeem 71), Ellis Ogle (Tom Marriott 80)
Unused subs - Keiran Harrison, Luke Bacon
Dylan Parkin, Jake Hudson, Luke Randle, Ryles Ovenden, Tom Jarrard, Brad Holmes (C), Joe Rowley, Martell Daswell, Ricardo German, George Milner, Derek Daley
Subs - Jack Brownhill, Ellis Spencer, Owen Darwent, Dan Thistlewaite, George Lynham
A decent crowd of 92 turned out in the midday sun at Kirklington Road, to watch this lunchtime's local derby, between the Stags youth team and their traditional club rivals from over the M1, Chesterfield FC.Prior to today's encounter, the highly rated Spireites youngsters, were tipped by those in the know, as being a stern test for the current crop of promising Mansfield talent and a barometer to gauge whereabouts John Dempster's charges are on the development scale at this current moment in time.
I am happy to report that the home side weren't found wanting in any department and thoroughly deserved all three points, as they took the game to the Derbyshire club, with an impressive high tempo performance in what must have been strength sapping conditions as Rainworth experienced a mini heat wave.
With just six minutes on the clock, the home side were ahead, when Devante Reittie caused the Spireites defence to panic and having blocked the lively Mansfield forward's initial shot, Luke Randle lobbed the ball over his own keeper Dylan Parkin in a vainglorious attempt to clear his lines. 1-0
For the first fifteen minutes the Stags were having by far the better of the game, with both Bloor and Tyler Blake making some serious inroads into the Chesterfield half.
But the visitors began to find their feet and mounted several attacks of their own.
Randle and Derek Daley combined well, but the latter's speculative shot skimmed wide of Sam Wilson's left hand post, while George Milner's right wing cross needed Corbin Shires to hook the ball away for a corner, with Ricardo German loitering in the Stags area with intent.
Sure enough, the inevitable Spireites equaliser came on 25 minutes, when Martell Daswell took a through ball from Milner in his stride and cracked home the levelling goal on 25 minutes. 1-1
Boosted by their goal, Chesterfield upped the tempo and within two minutes of scoring came close again, when Tom Jarrard headed over from Daley's left wing corner.
Parkin's poor clearance fell straight into the path of Drew Gibson, but the visitors keeper made amends for his sloppy kicking by getting down well to his left to block Gibson's stinging drive.
German battled his way into the Mansfield area but Morgan Ratcliffe had the strength to stave the threat posed by the Chesterfield centre forward and blocked his route to goal while Sam Wilson came bravely off his line to claim the ball, with Kane Baldwin on hand to cover his keeper's back.
Cain Smith had been a thorn in the visitors side with a range of telling passes and free kicks into the final third, but Parkin hadn't let his errant kicking trouble him unduly and was dealing with almost everything the Stags could throw at him.
Right on the stroke of half time Parkin held onto the ball well as it moved about in the air from Louis Danquah's free kick.
HT: Stags Youth 1 v Chesterfield Youth 1
Bloor's right wing cross was headed back out to him by Shires and the Stags right back drilled a shot-cum-cross across the face of the goal, that Parkin just about managed to stop Gibson from turning over the line.
Ogle and Reittie passed their way into the box through the Spireites back line, but the latter's shot from 12 yards was deflected wide at the expense of a corner.
There was no let up from the young Stags at this point and Parkin had to be alert to keep out Ratcliffe's downwards header from yet another Bloor delivery.
The Stags right back cued up another chance from the resultant corner and Baldwin headed narrowly wide of the upright.
Reittie dispossessed the Spireites captain Brad Holmes and unselfishly played the ball sideways to Tyler Blake, who couldn't keep his shot down and the visitors defence were afforded some breathing space as the ball cleared the crossbar.
Daley ventured forward for Chesterfield, but was forced into rushing his shot, which Baldwin intercepted and cleared round the post to safety. Daley whipped the ball into the six yard box from the corner and although Wilson only caught sight of the ball at the very last moment, he held onto it well.
Chesterfield needlessly squandered possession in their own half which allowed Cain Smith to gratefully take advantage of a gifted opportunity, but his effort flew just wide of Parkin's upright as the visitors keeper berated his lackadaisical back four.
The visitors resorted to pumping hopeful balls into the Stags area, but the assured Wilson wasn't unduly troubled and he confidently handled the situation.
Tom Marriott entered the fray for the last ten minutes and was evidently keen to impress, covering every bade of grass and keeping the tired looking visitors defence busy.
Blake took the ball down centrally and played Marriott in through the left channel, but the diminutive Stags substitute went to ground under a heavy challenge as he cued up an angled shot. I've seen penalties given for less, but the referee waved play on.
Having had his corner half cleared back out to him, Marriott was fouled out on the left wing. He took the free kick himself and dropped the ball invitingly to Corbin Shires, but as he powered his header towards the Chesterfield goal, Tom Jarrard was on hand and his last ditch interception diverted the ball wide of the post.
FT: Mansfield Town Youth 3 v Chesterfield Youth 1
The Stags youth team have a day off next Saturday, but return to league action with back to back away games against Rotherham United and Scunthorpe United on 5th September and 12th September respectively. Both games kick off at 11am.