Saturday 12th March 2016Football League Youth Alliance (NE)
at Kirklington Road, Rainworth MW FC
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Nyle Blake 88
Doncaster Rovers (0) 0
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Adam Bishop, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah, Kane Baldwin, Morgan Ratchiffe, Kieran Harrison, Drew Gibson (Nyle Blake 85), Cameron Healey (C), Tyler Blake, Cain Smith, Zayn Hakeem (Devante Reittie 78)
Unused subs - Sam Wilson, Charlie Shaw, Tom Marriott
James Leverton, Jack Turnbull, Michael Carberry, Tyler Walker, Kevin Mbuti, Reece Fielding, Matt Parkin (Will Longbottom 19), Jordan Lindley (C), Joe Pugh, Ryan Wanless (Lloyd Henderson 72), Josh Barker
Unused subs - Cody Prior, James Morgan
Nyle Blake had only travelled to Rainworth today to watch his brother Tyler in action, but was drafted into the squad in place of Tyler Johal, who was too unwell to take his place on the subs bench.
Such is the hand of fate in football; the younger of the Blake brothers came on with just five minutes of the game remaining and crashed home the only goal of the game from Keiran Harrison's long throw with his first touch of the ball to claim all three points.
A story book ending if ever there was one.
|Following in his brother's footsteps|
Mansfield's back four, looked solid with Teddy Bloor, Morgan Ratcliffe, Kieran Harrison and Kane Baldwin marshalling the visitors attackers well and protecting Adam Bishop to the extent that he had very little to do.
In fact Rovers were restricted to just one chamce in the first half, when Joe Pugh blazed the ball high and wide from Josh Braker's cross with the last kick of the first half.
HT: Stags 0 v Rovers 0
While Hakeen and (T) Blake, were keeping the visitors defence busy, it was Drew Gibson who came closest to breaking the deadlock when his downward header from Danquah's right wing corner was cleared off the line and two minutes later Danquah popped up on the left hand side of the area and fired just over after (C) Smith had squared the ball to him from a Bloor cross.
Will Longbottom was looking lively for Rovers as he tried to link up with Pugh, but Ratcliffe put his foot in three times to break up a succession of attacks, while Harrison and Baldwin provided back up.
Hakeem wrestled the ball from Mbuti thirty yards from goal but his shot was gathered by James Leverton.
Leverton was soon in action again, racing from the line to claim the ball as (T) Blake and Hakeem both homed in on him.
(T) Blake had put in a lung busting shift and he almost set up Devante Reittie when he turned Tyler Walker and crossed, but having just come on from the bench, Reittie was disappointed to see his shot bobble narrowly wide of the left hand upright.
The Stags mounted another attack and (C) Smith dropped a rasping twenty yard shot just over the bar and it was beginning to look as though, despite having the better of the game and creating some great chances late on, the Stags were going to have to settle for a draw.
But right on cue, Nyle Blake came on for his second substitute appearance of the season (the other one being at York City) and moments later he buried an unstoppable shot past Leverton from Harrison's right wing throw, it was a finish worthy of winning any game.
FT: Mansfield Town U18 1 v Doncaster Rovers U18 0
The Stags youth team don't have a game next weekend, but they are back at Rainworth to take on Bradford City on Saturday 26th March, in a game that has a noon kick off.