Saturday, 26 March 2016
Mansfield Town 1 v Bradford City 0 - FLYA (NE)
Football League Youth Alliance (North East)
at Kirklington Road, Rainworth MWFC
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Cain Smith 52
Bradford City (0) 0
Adam Bishop, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah, Cain Smith, Morgan Ratcliffe, Kieran Harrison, Tyler Johal, Cameron Healey (C) (Devante Reittie 79),Tyler Blake, Jason Law, Zayn Hakeem (Nyle Blake 83)
Unused subs - Sam Wilson, Kane Baldwin, Charlie Shaw
George Kenworthy, Tom Windle, Sam Wright, Neil Patience, Kesi Omolokun (C), Jack Waters, Ellis HUdson, Danny Deane, Ville Moilanen, Omed Gardezi, Raeece Ellington
Unused subs - Jake Maltby, Andrew McIntosh
John Dempster's side had to work doubly hard to earn the three points, as Bradford flooded the midfield in an attempt to stifle the game and prevent the home side from getting their attacking rhythm going by smothering their supply lines.
But the biggest obstacle either side had to overcome was the strong wind that howled diagonally across the Rainworth pitch for the entire match, making life difficult for the players and spoiling the game as a spectacle for the parents and supporters who had turned out to brave the elements and watch the Stags complete an impressive double over a very good Bradford City side.
Teddy Bloor swung the flag kick in, but it dipped sharply in the wind and Morgan Ratcliffe was unable to connect with his attempted header, having got in front of his marker and the ball bounced wide off of his shoulder.
Adam Bishop dealt well with a couple of tricky crosses and Ellis Hudson thumped a twenty yard free kick over the bar, as Bradford looked to take advantage of the conditions.
Danny Deane chased a bouncing ball into the Mansfield goal area, gambling on where it was going to drop, but a no nonsense combination of defending by Kieran Harrison and Ratcliffe dealt with the potential danger.
Tom Windle fouled Tyler Johal and from Bloor's free kick bounced unkindly for Hakeem and he got in a tangle with his feet but the loose ball fell to Law whose first time shot crashed off of Omololkun's arm, but the referee ruled that it was 'ball to hand' and waved play on.
On the stroke of half time, Bloor's free kick was headed away to the edge of the box and Cain Smith tried his luck from 18 yards, but that man Omolokun blocked the shot and deflected the ball for a corner.
Danquah's delivery into apacked six yard box was headed clear by Neil Patience and the sides went in level at the break.
HT Stags Youth 0 v Bantams Youth 0
Windle tried to play the ball forward out of defence, but Tyler Blake was on him in an instant, chasing the ball down, taking it past the Bradford right back and knocking the perfect cross to Cain Smith who crashed the ball past Kenworthy, for what turned out to be the winning goal.
Johal almost added a second goal for Mansfield within two minutes of Smith's strike, but his twenty yard shot dipped narrowly wide of the upright.
The wind picked up and the rain poured down, while Mansfield were making hard work of finding a second goal to give themselves some breathing space against a well drilled Bantams defence.
Cain Smith tried to catch Kenworthy out with a speculative long shot, but the ball skidded wide of the upright.
Danquah took the next corner from out on the right and Harrison was unlucky to see his header clear Kenworthy's crossbar, with the Bradford keeper well beaten.
Cameron Healey let fly with a crashing shot from distance but his effort was deflected over.
Devante Reittie and Nyle Blake both came on late in game, to add some fresh legs and impetus to the attack, but though they both offered the Stags some fresh options and caused problems for the visitors defence, Mansfield had to settle for a hard won single goal victory.
FT: Mansfield Town U18 1 v Bradford City U18 0