Saturday, 6 February 2016

York City 0 v Mansfield Town 1 - FLYA (NE)

Saturday 6th February 2016  11AM Kick Off
Football League Youth Alliance (North East)
at St. John's University, York
York City (0)
Mansfield Town (1) 1
Tom Marriott pen 43
York City:
Kieran Price, Alex McMillan, Kyle Tranter, Sam Fielding, Richard Da Groot (Joe Kemp 73), Aaron Brettell, Alex Brotton, Dec Leen (Reece Breslin 57) Ben Hurst, Brad Freer, Nick Kennedy (Aaron Heswell 57)
Unused subs - Matty Parker, Sam Jefferson
Mansfield Town:
Adam Bishop, Teddy Bloor, Charlie Shaw, Drew Gibson (Alistair Smith 53), Morgan Ratcliffe, Kieran Harrison (C), Cain Smith, Cameron Healey, Devante Reittie (Surafel Behailu 87), Tom Marriott (Nyle Blake 80), Tyler Johal
Unused subs - Sam Wilson, Kane Baldwin
In spite of their lowly standing in the league, York City showed today, as they had done at Rainworth earlier in the season when a solitary headed goal by Morgan Ratcliffe was all that separated them, that there isn't such a thing as a bad team in this division and that every side has a seam of quality players, who are capable of stepping up within their club ranks; which illustrates what a great job John Dempster and Mark Peters are doing, to be maintaining their youngsters challenge for the title in such a strong league.
Owing to York's usual venue having fallen foul to the recent flooding, the game was switched to the 3G pitch at the University on Haxby Road and the surface proved to be a great example of just how fast artificial pitch technology has developed in recent years.
Teddy Bloor opened up the hosts defence in the opening exchanges, with a measured through ball to Cameron Healey, who came very close to opening the scoring.
Though the pitch was never going to be a problem today, the game started to be become a hard slog due to the pouring rain that was lashing down from start to finish.
Devante Reittie timed his run well to stay onside as Bloor dropped the ball in front of him from out on the wing, but with the goal at his mercy, the Stags centre forward narrowly failed to connect with an attempted header with the goal at his mercy.
Ben Hurst, who has had several outings with City's first team, came close to opening the scoring twice, but hit the post in the first instance and then headed Alex Brotton's right wing cross wide.
Brotton was evidently one to watch as the home side's defence were always looking to find him with the ball whenever they made a clearance.
Tom Marriott, playing a wide role on the left today, was having a battle royal with the Minstermen's right back Alex McMillan, he got the better of his marker, when he cleverly drew the York skipper forward out of position and released Reittie down the left wing with a well weighted pass, Reittie crossed to Cain Smith who had moved forward to fill in the hole left by the striker's run, but Richard Da Groot put his foot through the ball and launched it to safety.
The Stags had a great opportunity to break the deadlock, when Reittie dispossessed Sam Fielding on the edge of the area and surged forward five yards before unleashing an angled shot that Kieran Price did very well to deal with.
Reittie attacked the York goal at pace again and Aaron Brettell had to put the ball out of play to alleviate the danger. Tyler Johal dropped the corner kick into the six yard box where Ratcliffe met it at the back stick but couldn't keep his header on target.
McMillan caught the Mansfield back four out with a long range pass for Hurst to run on to, but Adam Bishop was out in a flash to limit the York striker's options and he rolled the ball wide of the target.
Say NO to photobombing encroachment.
Tom Marriott (obscured) scores the only goal of the game.
Both sides had certainly had their chances, but the visitors finished off the opening period with a flurry: Marriott, Drew Gibson, Cain Smith and Healey, put together a fast moving cross field advance into York terrain, with a succession of passes, but York once again, cleared their lines at the expense of a corner, from which Bloor picked out Kieran Harrison, who looked odds on to score, but the ball skimmed off of his head.
Cain Smith picked the ball thirty yards from goal, weighed up his options and realised that York were defending in numbers, so he opted to go it alone, but put the ball just wide of the target.
Charlie Shaw moved forward down the left flank and chipped the ball deftly towards Healey, who flicked the ball narrowly over the top left hand corner of the York goal.
Inside the last two minutes of the first half, Reittie went to ground as he ran towards the York goal and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and awarded a spot kick for what he saw as a trip by Aaron Brettell.
Marriott stepped forward and though Kieran Price went the right way, but he didn't get anywhere near the ball and the Stags were ahead.
HT: Minstermen 0 v Stags 1
Cain Smith slipped the ball through to Healey, but he prodded the ball just wide of the net.
York had obviously regrouped at half time and had more of a physical presence in the middle of the park now, forcing the  Stags to play deep in an effort to combat the switch. With the tackles flying in Drew Gibson, so influential in last week's win against Scunthorpe, took a heavy knock and had to be withdrawn, with Ali Smith coming on in his place to add his trickery to the mix.
Brotton was getting a lot of service out on the right from his midfield, but as he ventured forward Shaw nicked the ball from the lively winger and took it thirty yards before launching the ball to Reittie in the York box, Price and Brettell got into a bit of a tangle over who was going to take responsibility for clearing the ball and were luckily to see it roll behind the goal for a corner. Bloor took it, Marriott connected well with the ball, but his crashing shot cannoned off of Da Groot and City cleared their lines.
York made two prearranged substitutions around the hour mark and it would probably be fair to say, that the Stags were holding on to their slender lead a bit from then on in.
But they showed their collective mettle and battled well against a home side who were evidently up for the challenge of getting something out of this game. They provided Dempster's young charges with a real challenge, so credit where it's due.
Bloor was penalised for a heavy slide tackle on Brotton and Mansfield were relieved to see Brad Freer's free kick land on the roof of the net as it swung towards the goal.
Kyle Tranter got free down the left flank for York and whipped a low cross into the Stags six yard box that only needed the slightest of touches from one of his team mates, but Bishop went down amongst a scrum of feet and claimed the ball.
Brad Freer's corner caused alarm in the Stags rearguard, but Harrison diverted the ball away with Sam
Fielding arriving moments too late to claim an equaliser.
With ten minutes to go, the York right back would've been pleased to see the back of Marriott as he was replaced by Nyle Blake, the brother of Tyler (who wasn't available today) and the first thing that the younger Blake sibling did was topple McMillan with a firm but fair challenge to remind the York player that he still had another ten minutes of his shift left to put in and he wasn't going to get an early finish today.
Johal and Blake picked up where Marriott had left off and Mansfield began to pick up their momentum going forward again.
Surafel Behailu was also introduced late, as Reittie who is looked much stronger today as his return to fitness from a spell on the sidelines with injury, which is a massive plus for the Stags with the run in to the season just over the horizon.
The fresh legs brought fresh impetus into the visitors game plan and they frustrated the Minstermen by running the clock down with a string of passing triangles over by the right hand corner flag.
Nyle Blake, making his debut, did enough in the ten minutes he was on, to vindicate his promotion to the next tier up in the club's development ranks.
York were obviously disappointed that they hadn't got anything out of the game when the final whistle sounded, but a Stags side who were missing Louis Danquah, Tyler Blake and Zayn Hakeem, had worked damn hard for all three points as a team unit today.
Both sides played well on the day and can be happy that they've got a good calibre of players focusing on making the grade at their respective clubs.
FT: York City Youth 0 v Mansfield Town 1