Saturday, 27 August 2016

Burton Albion 1 v Mansfield Town 2 - EFLYA Cup Group Game

Saturday 27th August 2016
EFL Youth Alliance Cup Group Stage
at Welbeck M.O.D. College, Nr Loughborough.
Burton Albion (0) 1
Tristan Matthews 88
Mansfield Town (0) 2
Tom Marriott 51, Ashanti Pryce 55
For more photographs from this game click HERE
Burton Albion:
Callum Hawkins, Tom Hammerton, Cameron Steel (Max Smith 85), Jack Hallahan, Jayden Cotterill, Jacob Savage (Jake Davies 63), Joe Hunt, Joe Sbarra, Cameron Shaw, Charlie Dowd (Tristan Matthews 63), Dylan Garnett
Unused subs -  Lewis Walker, James Harrison
Mansfield Town:
Sam Wilson, Aiden Walker (Teddy Bloor HT), Kane Baldwin, Cain Smith (C), Max Hunt (Surafel Behailu HT), Kieran Harrison, Henri Wilder (Keaton Ward 81), Alistair Smith, Nyle blake, Tom Marriott (Harry Bircumshaw 82), Ashanti Pryce (Devante Reittie 65)
When Tristan Matthews netted for the home side, late on in this EFLYA Cup group stage match, played at Welbeck M.O.D. College near Loughborough, it was the first goal that the young Stags have conceded in any competitive fixture since April 16th, when Jack McMenemy scored a late consolation goal for Lincoln City on a day that Mansfield ran out 3-1 winners as they edged ever closer to winning the league title last season.
For the record, that is a phenomenal run of 544 minutes without a goal being scored against John Dempster's team.
The Stags management rang the changes, with Morgan Ratcliffe being unavailable and Teddy Bloor not being up to the rigours of a full ninety minutes; which gave Kane Baldwin and Max Hunt the opportunity to shine, which they both did, even though Hunt was replaced at half time to make way for a tactical shift, that ultimately won the game and gave the Brewers different challenges to those they had faced in a fairly tight and evenly balanced first half.
Burton took the initiative to push forward from the start and Alistair Smith needed to hook the ball away for a corner from Charlie Dowd's right wing cross as the Brewers looked to get an early goal under their belts. Joe Sbarra found Joe Hunt from the corner kick, but the diminuitive midfielder headed over from close range.
From the Stags first attack, Aiden Walker chipped the ball over the crossbar as Callum Hawkins ran off of his line in vainglorious pursuit of Tom Marriott's defence splitting forward pass.
Marriott was involved again moments later, but Hawkins plucked his cross away from Henri Wilder before he had chance to divert it towards the goal,
Nyle Blake flicked the ball over the Burton defence, turned quickly and chased after it, but Hawkins was quickly down to make a save.
Cameron Steele attacked the Mansfield defence down the left flank and crossed to Hunt, but Sam Wilson had anticipated the situation well and saved well down to his left.
Steele was proving to be a problem for the visitors with his probing runs down the left flank, but Max Hunt calmly dealt with his cross and cleared the ball to safety.
Jacob Savage dwelled on the ball a moment too long and Walker nicked it away on the edge of the Brewers area, but Hawkins thwarted the Stags again.
Mansfield strung together a neat passing move when Cain Smith played the ball out wide to Walker, who nudged the ball forward for Ashanti Pryce, the former Birmingham City striker held off a challenge before finding Alistair Smith with a sideways pass, but his cross fell inches away from where Blake could get his shot in and Albion breathed a sigh of relief.
From Burton's clearance, Kieran Harrison picked up the ball and advanced twenty yards before shooting, but Hawkins got his body behind the ball and another opportunity went begging.
Burton attacked again but Kane Baldwin prevented Dylan Garnett's cross from causing the Stags any problems.
But Burton did threaten again shortly afterwards and looked odds on to score when Steele crossed to Hunt, but Wilson pulled off a wordly to turn his close range header over.
Blake and Marriott were having to play deep as Burton defended high up the pitch, but they were battling well and digging the ball out.
Charlie Dowd put on a sprint and advanced forward towards Wilson's goal, but Baldwin stop him in his tracks with a well timed tackle. The young defender had an exceptional game today.
Pryce made light work of coasting past three challenges and showed great maturity when he came up against a wall of yellow shirts by passing the ball backwards to Alistair Smith to pick up the momentum again instead of squandering possession with a hopeful shot.
The ever lively Marriott and Blake were still plugging away looking for an opening in the Burton defence but when Wilder joined in on the flank, his delivery into the area was cleared and Albion countered, but when Dowd almost found the decisive touch to break the deadlock, Hunt was on hand to make a timely clearance by Wilson's right hand post.
Marriott did well when he showed great close control and turned Hammerton before delivering a left wing cross that deceived Hawkins but dropped just over the bar.
Right on the stroke of half time, Alistair Smith won the ball inside the final third and switched play to the right with a knock to Walker, but Pryce couldn't quite get on the end of the right back's first time cross and had to run wide to the left of the goal, where the angle of the shot was a fraction too acute for him.
HT: Brewers Youth 0 v Stags Youth 0
At the interval, the Stags management made a tactical switch and started the second half with four at the back, as Walker and Hunt made way for Teddy Bloor and Surafel Behailu, not that either of them had played badly, it was purely a matter of regrouping, reorganising and giving the home side a fresh set of problems to unravel, the effect was positive and immediate.
Behailu picked up the ball thirty yards out, ghosted past a challenge and laid the ball out wide to Bloor on the right flank, the Stags substitute switched it back inside to Blake, who drilled the ball into the side netting.
The Stags were picking up the tempo now and putting their hosts on the back foot with a fast passing game that Burton were struggling to deal with.
Blake advanced into goal area and left the Brewers defence flat footed as he rolled the ball back to Bloor as they were expecting a shot, Marriott and Pryce timed their runs well as he played the ball in behind the static defence and the former thumped the ball gratefully past Hawkins to give the visitors the lead on 51 minutes.
Pryce dragged the ball past Jayden Cotterill and squared up to shoot but Hawkins dashed out and saved bravely at his feet.
But the powerhouse striker didn't have to wait long for another chance and when Marriott threaded the ball through to him from just outside the home side's goal area, Pryce dropped a shoulder, committed Hawkins to make a challenge and took the ball round the Brewers keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.
Burton responded with a double substitution of their own and adopted the same second half strategy as Mansfield, but the damage had already been done.
Having suitably impressed and given the visitors a great platform to see the game out from, Pryce was substituted, but Albion weren't about to get any respite from the Stags attacking game, because Devante Reittie came on in his place for the final 25 minutes as John Dempster and his team tweaked the system slightly again.
Reittie had only been on the pitch a matter of moments when he charged Hammerton's attempted clearance down... and although the home side scrambled the ball away, the quick footed striker had heralded his arrival and made his mark from the off.
Garnett, Dowd and Cameron Shaw tried passing their way into the heart of Mansfield territory, but Behailu was having none of it and he nicked the ball away and swept up at the back for his side.
Jake Davies, a second half substitute for the home side, looked useful and used his pace to get into the Stags area, but Harrison blocked his run, before being tripped as Burton conceded a free kick.
Blake chased the long ball forward but Hawkins stayed on his feet and collected the ball.
Back came Burton and the speedy wide man Hunt broke through the right channel with the goal in his sights, but Wilson turned the ball away with another quality reflex save.
Davies executed a training ground corner kick routine, but Garnett's shot flew high and wide.
Behailu was looking indefatigable since he came on and he beat Hammerton for pace on the wing before planting a teasing free kick to Blake at head height, but Hawkins showed his agility was on a par with Wilson's as he made a great stop, or it would have been 'game over'.
This being a cup game, teams are allowed to use five substitutes and Keaton Ward and Harry Bircumshaw were given a run out for the final 8 minutes as Marriott and Wilder both got a rest for a job well done.
With the Burton defence backing off and wondering what option Cain Smith was going to choose from among his team mates who were forward in numbers, the battling midfield lynch pin let fly with a shot from 25 yards that skimmed over the bar.
The home side conceded possession from Hawkins goal kick and Ward was unlucky to see his close range effort cleared off of the line after Behailu had provided another quality cross into the Burton area.
To their credit. although they had been under threat of getting over run by the Stags, Burton were unwilling to throw the towel in just yet and Harrison had to execute a firm (but fair) challenge on Davies, right on the penalty spot, as Sbarra played a through ball into the heart of the visitors defence.
Burton did get a goal back inside the final two minutes however.
Initially Wilson had cleared Garnett's left wing cross away, but a momentary lapse in the Stags defence (and that is all it takes), saw Garnett play the ball back into the box to Matthews who drilled it past Wilson from an angle.
But it was too late for the Brewers to salvage a draw now and Mansfield claimed a hard fought victory in their cup group, which also contains Shrewsbury and Walsall.
FT: Burton Albion Youth 1 v Mansfield town Youth 2
Next week the Stags U18 are playing at the same venue against the same opposition in an EFLYA (North) league fixture which kicks off at 11AM.
*Note... Only club staff and players relatives are allowed onto the Ministry of Defence site to watch the game.