Saturday, 31 October 2015

Mansfield Town 2 v Hartlepool United 2 - FLYA

A football pilgrimage, to the twin towers... of Clipstone
Saturday 31st October 2015
at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, Clipstone FC
Football League Youth Alliance
Mansfield Town U18 (0) 2
Tyler Blake 63 pen, Zayn Hakeem 85
Hartlepool United U18 (0) 2
Frazer Briggs 74, Liam Travers 88
Left click on any of the pictures to big them up.
Flickr photo group from this game CLICK HERE
Mansfield Town:
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah, Corbin Shires (Drew Gibson 77), Morgan Ratcliffe, Kieran Harrison, Tyler Johal (Charlie Shaw 86) Cameron Healey, Tyler Blake (C), Cain Smith, Zayn Hakeem
Unused subs - Frazer Hampton, Kane Baldwin, Tom Marriott
Hartlepool United:
Ryan Catterick, Aaron Cunningham, Scott Howes, Frazer Briggs, Jack Turnbull (C), Brad Varga, Jordan Jewson, Dylan Elliot, Liam Travers, Ethan Wood, Jack Blackford
Subs - Josh Hawkes, James Dawson, Jordan Fielding, Adam Male, Niall Short
Though it had looked, to all intents and purposes, that Zayn Hakeem had won the game for the Stags, when he curled the ball around Ryan Catterick to put Mansfield ahead in the 85th minute, 'Pools' drew level inside the last 70 seconds, to earn a share of the points.
And if truth be told, the draw was probably a fair result.
The point sent John Dempster's side back to the top of the table, one point ahead of Doncaster Rovers who were involved in cup action today and who now have a game in hand.
Corbin Shires, back in action after a lay off with illness got nearly 80 minutes under his belt today and appears to have shaken off any lasting effects, which is good news for all concerned.
Mansfield looked like the livlier side during the opening exchanges and Catterick was forced into action early on, when Zayn Hakeem slipped the ball through to Tyler Blake, but it sat up at the critical moment, causing the Stags number 9 to have to rush his shot rather than pick his spot and the visitors keeper was able to cut out the danger fairly easily.
Cameron Healey and Cain Smith linked up and swept the ball across to midfield out to Tyler Johal (a new arrival from Ilkeston) on the left flank, who showed a good touch to stroke a crossfield pass into the path of Shires whose 20 yard shot was charged down.
It was evident, even early in the game, that Hartlepool were a strong and robust side and that the referee was willing to let quite a lot go to keep the game flowing.
Kieran Harrison showed that he's got the mettle to stand up for himself and those around him on days like this, whilst Morgan Ratcliffe is obviously over the understandable worries he possibly had when he initially returned from injury and he showed no fear about standing his ground in the thick of some fairly physical stuff in and around the Stags penalty area.
Blake broke forward down the left flank and crossed to Johal, who forced a point blank block out of Catterick... the loose ball fell to Hakeem but the visitors managed to divert his strike round the upright for a corner.
Louis Danquah tried to bring Shires into the game from the flag kick, but Catterick was on hand to gather up the ball from the flick on, with Blake loitering dangerously nearby.
Hartlepool mounted an attack down the right flank and Teddy Bloor had to put in a last ditch clearance inside the six yard box as Jordan Jewson's cross-cum-shot veered sharply towards the goal.
The game was end to end and frantic at times and before long the visitors came close again as Jack Blackford's shot from 15 yards out was deflected over Wilson's crossbar.
Ratcliffe played the ball forward to Hakeem who stripped the 'Pools' full back for pace, but his cross was a touch too far in front of Blake and Catterick cleared his lines.
At the other end Sam Wilson had to make two saves in quick succession, turning away Dylan Elliot's stinging shot around the post one handed, before blocking Jack Blackford's shot as the Stags defence only half cleared the resulting corner.
The tide turned again and Catterick miscued a clearance into the path of Blake, who nudged the unexpected opportunity wide of the mark.
Once again Ratcliffe wasn't found wanting as he was thrown into the thick of the action when he intercepted a Hartlepool break as Blackford surged forward, the Stags defender played the ball forward quickly and released Shires, who was denied a shot on goal by a last ditch challenge by Jack Turnbull, the visitors captain, who conceded a corner.
Bloor swung the ball into the area and Catterick pulled off a great save at full stretch, to keep out Danquah's powerful header.
As the first half came to a close, the referee waved away penalty appeals from the home side, when Shires played Johal through and the Stags newcomer went to ground when he was nudged in the back.
There was definite contact, but possibly not enough for Johal to have gone down in such a flamboyant manner, which in itself had probably helped the match official to make his decision.
HT: Stags Youth 0 v Pools Youth 0
Wilson was in action again at the start of the second half when Jewson teed up a shot for Ethan Wood, but the Stags keeper anticipated well and got his body behind the ball.
Cain Smith almost opened the scoring for Mansfield, but having picked up a lay off from Johal, the hard working midfielder beat Catterick but put the ball just wide of the upright.
The home side breathed a sigh of relief, when Scott Howes overhit a cross from out wide on the left, that crashed back into play off the inside of the right hand post.
Shires headed just wide from Blakes cross as the Stags upped the ante again and Hakeem skipped through two challenges but drilled the ball into the side netting.
Tyler Blake... One-nil to the Mansfield!!!
On 63 minutes, Johal evaded his marker and was sliced down in the box as he advanced on Cattericks goal. There was no doubting the credentials of Mansfield's appeals this time and Blake made no mistake with an emphatic finish from the penalty to give his side the lead.
Howes came close to grabbing an immediate equaliser for the visitors, but he knocked a clear cut chance past the post.
But having spurned a great opportunity, the Pools left back created the opening for Frazer Briggs to level things up in the 74th minute with a perfectly weighted free kick through the left hand side of the Mansfield defence.
The all action Howes was certainly involved in everything for a while and he set up an opportunity for Hakeem with a sloppy back pass, Catterick blocked Zayn's shot and second half substitute Drew Gibson blasted the ball over the bar with his first touch of the game.
Bloor delivered one of his trademark dead ball into the mix, but as Healey moved forward to pounce on the gilt edged chance, Brad Varga tugged on the towering midfielder's arm and sent him crashing to the floor with a perfectly executed crafty foul on the referee's blind side.
Smith played the ball out wide to Hakeem and with the visitors defence anticipating a cross, the winger sprinted across the edge of the twelve yard box and made himself space to get a shot in, but his left footed drive was deflected wide.
Johal crossed to Smith, who in an instant sidefooted a measured pass to Hakeem who spotted Catterick off of his line and curled the ball round him to give the Stags the lead with just five minutes to go.
With a number of the crowd heading to stand near the exit in readiness for a quick getaway on the final whistle to go to this afternoon's first team game at the One Call Stadium, Hartlepool dug deep into their reserves and showed a great 'never say die' attitude as they battled their way deep into the heart of Mansfield backline and during a frantic finish to the game Liam Travers forced the ball over the line, to snatch his side a point right at the death.
FT: Mansfield Town U18 2 v Hartlepool United U18 2
A very entertaining, end to end, action packed 90 minutes, ended all square.
The draw, in my humble opinion, was a fair result because both sides had created a string of chances at either end.
The FLYA side are back in action again next Saturday, when they face a trip to neighbours Notts County. Today's game kicked off at noon, to allow for the long distance journey the opposition had made, but next week's game will resort to the usual kick off time of 11am.