EFL U18 Youth Alliance (NE)
at Grimsby Town Training Ground, Cheapside, Waltham
Grimsby Town (1) 1
Jamie Goddard 19
Mansfield Town (3) 3
Zayn Hakeem 6, 35, Ashanti Pryce 35
For more photos from this game click: HERE
Oakley Heath-Drury, Alex McMillan, Mikey Davis (Corey Briggs 86), Adam Lawis, Cameron Howe, Jack Keeble, Dec Slater (Myles Lawman 60), Jamie Goddard, Lawrence Burchell (Charlie Loft 60), Tom Sawyer, Ben Flowerdue (Bilal Sassey 65)
Unused sub - Ryan Evans
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Henri Wilder, Cain Smith (C), Kane Baldwin, Kieran Harrison, Nyle Blake (Surafel Behailu 88), Cameron Healey, Zayn Hakeem, Ashanti Pryce (Keaton Ward 64), Tom Marriott (Devante Reittie 57)
Unused subs - Harry Bircumshaw, Aiden Walker
The game got underway at a frantic pace, in a biting wind diagonal wind that cut across across the exposed Cheapside ground. But the Stags were brewing up a storm of their own and blew their hosts away with a double whammy inside the opening eleven minutes.
Hakeem was involved in the Stags second goal too, when Nyle Blake picked him out with a pinpoint cross after seeing off two challenges on the right flank, which the Stags striker rolled back into the path of Ashanti Pryce who drilled the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Henri Wilder picked out Hakeem with a measured ball into the Grimsby area, but his shot skimmed over the bar.
Cameron Healey won a headed challenge and directed the ball into the path of Marriott who advanced forward before shooting, but Jack Keeble blocked his shot and Grimsby countered down the right flank, where Wilder was exposed wit two players to cover as McMillan tore past him and crossed to Burchell, whose first time shot was blocked but Goddard got to the rebound first and pulled a goal back from just outside the area.
The home side looked threatening again when Goddard's free kick was headed down by Adam Lawis into the path of Cameron Howe, but he turned the ball wide of the right hand post.
Blake attacked on the right, drawing two defenders towards him and planted the ball through the gap they had left to the feet of Hakeem; Heath-Drury was quickly off his line to narrow the angle though and the live-wire front man directing his chance just past the right hand upright and into the side netting.
The Cheapside pitch has been widened this season and the Stags were using the wings to good effect, with Teddy Bloor combining well with Blake as Kane Baldwin plugged the gap he left when he frequently got forward in support of the attackers and Wilder was combining linking up with Marriott on the left, with a personal tussle against McMillan. Cameron Healey and Cain Smith were holding the fort in midfield, with the sort of confident, assured manner that stems from having such a reliable pairing backing them up as Baldwin and Harrison.
Healey picked up possession on the left hand side of Grimsby's area and chipped the ball towards the back stick, to where Blake made a darting run and was desperately unlucky to see his effort go wide of the post.
Right on the stroke of half time Pryce almost claimed a fourth goal for the visitors, but his thumping shot from Smith's cross, glanced wide of the post off of a Grimsby defender.
HT: Mariners Youth 1 v Stags Youth 3
Pryce laid the ball out wide the Blake and ran on to take the return pass, before unleashing a blistering shot that Hetah-Drury turned round his left hand post at full stretch.
Keeble had to lungee in with a last ditch challenge on Hakeem, when Bloor had unlocked the home side's rearguard with a clever knock.
Marriott, having taken a heavy knock, was replaced by Devante Reittie and the home side now had to contend with two central strikers tearing through the middle, supported by Hakeem and Blake on the flanks. But still, to their credit, the Mariners parked the bus and repelled a tidal wave of Stags attacks.
But after that brief interlude, the Stags show of strength resumed, as Wilder won the ball in the Grimsby half before taking three strides forward and trying his luckfrom thirty yards out, only to be denied by the outstretched leg of Lawis.
The visitors were knocking the ball around well, with training ground passing drills that must have had John Dempster and Mark Peters drooling with pleasure.
And Blake went close himself when he got onto the end of Hakeem's cross from the left.
Keaton Ward came on from the bench and gave the Grimsby defence a different sort of problem to contend with as he chased down and battled for every ball, he almost added an elusive fourth goal when he cleverly chipped the ball over Keeble ans homed in on goal, but a crowded Mariners defence cleared their lines.
FT: Grimsby Town U18 1 v Mansfield Town U18 3