Saturday, 7 November 2015

Notts County 4 v Mansfield Town 0 - FLYA

Saturday 7th November 2015
Football League Youth Alliance
at Eagle Valley, Arnold Town FC
Notts County (2) 4
Rutty-Smith 19, Cobain 30,
Aghastie 75, Howe 90+3
Mansfield Town (0) 0
Click here for a few photos taken just before the torrential rain threatened to murder my camera
Notts County:
Joe Searson-Smith, Nathan Cobain, Kenan Layton, Dominic Brownhill (Alex Howe 72), Jordan Richards, Jordan Ashantie, Tamar Clayton-Naute (Declan Dunn 81), Luther Wildin (C), Montel Gibson (Harry Gibbons 79), Jack McMillan, Yohan Rutty-Smith
Unused subs - Harry Bugg, Monty Parkes
Mansfield Town:
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah, Corbin Shires, Morgan Ratcliffe, Kane Baldwin, Drew Gibson (Charlie Shaw 75), Cameron Healey, Tyler Blake (C) (Surafel BEhailu 75), Tom Marriott (Zayn Hakeem HT), Tyler Johal
Unused subs - Frazer Hampson, Kieran Harrison
Following on from a fairly straightforward 3-0 win over Cambridge City in the FA Youth Cup at the One Call Stadium on Monday night, John Dempster's table topping young Stags travelled to Arnold, to take on Notts County, looking to build on their impressive run of results in the league so far this season, where they had only lost a solitary game in nine previous outings, prior to today.
There were a number of changes to the Mansfield line up today for a variety of reasons. Influential midfielder Cain Smith, who has been outstanding for the Stags youth team this season, was promoted through to the first team... and having impressed Adam Murray and Richard Cooper, he gets a place on the bench for this afternoon's FA Cup tie v. Oldham Athletic.
The Magpies, for their part started the day in seventh place, though they have been putting a few good results together of late, but on paper, this was a game that Mansfield would've been expected to win.
Alas, football isn't played on paper and this reshuffled Stags pack struggled to get to grips with the conditions today and the final result didn't flatter County one bit. In fact they could have had another goal when Montel Gibson's close range strike crashed off the underside of the crossbar on the stroke of half time and bounced on the line (apparently) and back into play.
Yet when Notts opened the scoring on 19 minutes, it was against the run of play, at that point... and Bloor had gone close with a free kick, after Tom Marriott had been upended 18 yards out and Joe Searson-Smith had smothered the ball at Tyler Blake's feet, when Marriott had played him through the right channel with a defence splitting pass.
The visitors defence froze like statues and allowed Yohan Rutty-Smith a clear path through to goal... and in spite of Sam Wilson dashing from his line to narrow the angles, the Magpies number 10 placed the ball past the stranded Stags keeper from 12 yards out.
County closed ranks and were going toe to toe with their local rivals and displaying a great battling spirit that seemed to knock the disjointed looking Stags out of their stride.
Mansfield's defence were slow to deal with a right wing corner and Nathan Cobain, forced the ball over the line to make it 2-0 on the half hour mark.
Tyler Blake tried to release Tyler Johal with a sideways knock between County's central defenders, but the wind was whipping up now and dictating where anything other than short passes were going.
As the game wore on the heavens opened, creating awful conditions for playing and spectating football in, but while Mansfield laboured to get to grips with playing into the strong wind, the young Magpies appeared to be relishing the challenge.
Tamar Clayton-Naute took advantage of yet another gap in the visitors defence, but was thwarted when Sam Wilson dived in at this feet to prevent a third goal before the break.
Montel Gibson thought he had scored a third for Notts, but the referee didn't agree... and the home side had to be content with a two goal half time cushion.
HT: Notts County 2 v Mansfield Town 0
The Stags made a switch at half time, throwing on Zayn Hakeem in place of Tom Marriott, but the in form powerhouse forward, was getting no change out of the tight knit, hard working defensive unit that County were building their game around.
At the outset of the second half, Notts invited the Stags to try breaking them down and for a while only left one player up front, while flooding the final third and congesting midfield.
Cameron Healey tried releasing Blake, Johal and Hakeem through the channels, but a determined home defence weren't allowing them any time and space top manoeuvre.
Kenan Layton floored Hakeem, but Bloors free kick was cleared by the dominant County defence and the home side pushed forward looking for a third goal that would just about finish this game off as a contest.
Montel Gibson blazed two shots just wide of the target as a lacklustre Stags struggled to get going, on what will go down as a very bad day at the office... and then some.
Blake and Hakeem were looking lively for a spell and the Stags reliable 'dynamic duo' began to make some inroads into County territory, with Bloor almost sneaking in on the blind side to put the Stags back into the game, but he couldn't quite reach the ball Hakeem had tried steering into his path.
But any notions of the Stags mounting a comeback were dashed, when their defence backed off expecting a pass into the box and Jordan Aghastie unleashed an unstoppable long range drive into the roof of the net in the 75th minute.
Wilson kept out an angled shot from Gibson after Jack McMillan had set up the Magpies number 9, with another angled pass through the out of sorts Stags defence.
The rain abated for the closing stages of the game, but the sun was shining on County and County alone now.
In stoppage time, Corbin Shires was wrongfooted and Alex Howe was left with the simple task of knocking the ball over Wilson, who had no option but to race from the line to rescue the situation... and right at the death it was 4-0 to County.
All told, days like this are character building and all part of the learning process.
The better team on the day won fair and square and now the Stags youth team will now have the opportunity to show if they can recover immediately and bounce back from such a setback, when they face Dereham Town, at the One Call Stadium (Field Mill) in the FA Youth Cup, at 7pm on Friday night (November 13th).
FT: Magpies Youth 4 v Stags Youth 0