Football League Youth Alliance (North East)
at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, Clipstone FC
Mansfield Town (2) 4
Tyler Blake 8, 24, 60 (pen)
Morgan Ratcliffe 54
Oldham Athletic (0) 0
FLYA (NE) Table and fixtures, click HERE
Flickr picture gallery from this game HERE
Adam Bishop, Teddy Bloor, Louis Danquah, Cain Smith, Morgan Ratcliffe (C), Kieran Harrison, Tyler Johal, Cameron Healey, Tyler Blake (Nyle Blake 63), Ali Smith (Tom Marriott 69), Zayn Hakeem (Devante Reittie 63)
Unused subs - Kane Baldwin, Charlie Shaw
Callum O'Neill, Tom Hamer, Rory Middleton, Dylan King, Tom Lent, Ryan Leonard (C) (Harry Norris 73), Ronaldo Brown, Francois Antoine,Bailey Whaley, Brendy Glackin (Max Norman 70), Ned Dry (Festus Arthur 64)
A convincing win for John Dempster's young Stags on the same day that second placed Scunthorpe United lost to Hartlepool United, means that the Stags destiny is in their own hands now and even if the Iron win their two remaining games, a Mansfield win at Grimsby Town next Saturday will see them crowned as champions.
Although development football is all about nurturing talent while results of of secondary importance, a league title, in a very strong division, would illustrate just how far the revamped Stags youth set up has come in such a short space of time, for that matter so would a runners up spot, but fingers crossed that this team of very exciting prospects won't fall at the final fence.
Mansfield looked comfortable from the off and the final score reflects their dominance as they knocked the ball around well on what is a remarkably well kept playing surface for a non league club, all credit to Clipstone for their efforts on that front.
Both Tyler Blake and Tyler Johal put the Latics on the back foot in the opening exchanges as they worked the ball deep into Oldham territory, ably assisted by Ali Smith and Zayn Hakeem.
Tom Hamer hooked a cross into the Stags area, but Johal, back helping his defence, intercepted the ball and knocked it square to his captain Morgan Ratcliffe, who is excelling in his new responsible role, to get the Stags momentum going again.
Mansfield launched a quick attack from Ratcliffe's clearance and Tyler Blake did well to bring a bouncing ball under control just outside the visitors goal area and he found the bottom corner of Callum O'Neill's goal with a crisp half volley.
When I grow up I want to be just like 'Captain Morgan'
The champions elect were proving to be a real handful for the visitors, as the forwards were joined by Teddy Bloor and Louis Danquah on the flanks, with Cain Smith and Cameron Healey pushing up behind them, while Ratcliffe and Keiran Harrison stayed back to sweep up any traces of attacking intentions from Oldham. Another Stags goal was almost inevitable and italmost arrived after 19 minutes when Hakeem glanced the ball narrowly wide from Bloor's left wing corner.
Cain Smith saw his long range shot clear the bar after another searching cross into the goalmouth had been half cleared.
The Stags next attack broke down and the Latics keeper stood bouncing the ball on the edge of his area, waiting for his teammates to find some space for him to pick out with his clearance, but he'd taken his eye off of Tyler Blake who was on him in a instant, stealing the ball as it hit the ground and steering it into the unguarded goal to make it two nil.
As the first half reached it's conclusion, Ali Smith rolled the ball into the path of Hakeem, but he leaned backwards as he connected with ball and put his intended effort out of the ground.
Louis Danquah, who had been pacing up and down the left wing all of the first half, knocked a pass inside to Ali Smith, who switched play to the right flank with one touch, but Bloor's delivery was put behind for a corner, which Oldham cleared, before mounting an attack of their own and when Bailey Whaley threaded a pass through to Brendy Glackin, Adam Bishop was forced to save a close range shot with his legs.
Tony Philliskirk's half time team talk seemed to pick Oldham up, for a while and they broke forward straight from the restart with Ned Dry sprinting 30 yards, before he met Harrison head on and came second in that particular contest... as most people do.
Ten minutes into the second half, Mansfield were carrying on in the same manner as they were prior to the break, but with just a two goal cushion, the next strike would be vital.
Rory Middleton conceded a free kick just outside the visitors area, earning himself a yellow card into the bargain and as Johal knocked the resulting free kick in towards a crowded six yard box, full of enthusiastic young men jostling for position, Ratcliffe wrestle free of his marker and got his head to the ball and flicked it just inside the left hand upright.
The Stags had a real spring in their step now and came close to increasing their lead when Hakeem nodded the ball to Tyler Blake, but his hooked shot fizzed into the side netting.
Cain Smith pushed forward from his holding roll and rolled a pass to Tyler Blake who flicked it on to Hakeem, who drilled the ball on target, but O'Neill had positioned himself well and gathered the ball to his chest.
Tyler Blake's close range thumping shot was deflected wide as the Stags threatened to run riot, but Bloor's corner kick was punched away.
Cain Smith charged right through the middle of the visitors defence, but as he steadied himself to
place the ball past O'Neill he was tripped from behind. Tyler Blake stepped up and made no mistake as he claimed his hat trick from the penalty spot.
The rhythm of the game was broken up for a short while, as both managers tweaked their systems and introduced their substitutes. But before long Devante Reittie, Tom Marriott and Nyle Blake were giving the visitors a whole new set of problems to solve.
Harrison ghosted in on the blind side of Oldham's defence, but could only direct Danquah's right wing corner wide of the back post as he met the Stags left back's in-swinging flag kick.
Nyle Blake drew a defendere towards him and slipped the ball into the space he'd left for Marriott to run on to, but his first touch knock rolled wide of the right hand post.
FT: Mansfield Town U18 4 v Oldham Athletic U18 0
A very convincing win all told, that sets up a grandstand finish to the season next weekend at Waltham against Grimsby Town, who currently are destined to finish in 12th place in tis 13 team league, but if their is one thing this Stags side will have learned over this highly enjoyable season, you can't underestimate anyone.