Saturday, 24 September 2016

Mansfield Town 4 v Bradford City 0 - EFL U18 Youth Alliance

Saturday 24th September 2016
EFL U18 Youth Alliance
at Kirklington Road, Rainworth Miners Welfare FC
Mansfield Town (4) 4
Zayn Hakeem 3, Ashanti Pryce 17, 34, Nyle Blake 44
Bradford City (0) 0
For more photos from this game click: HERE
Mansfield Town:
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor (Aiden Walker 83), Henri Wilder, Cain Smith (C), Kane Baldwin, Kieran Harrison, Nyle Blake (Devante Reittie 52) Cameron Healey (Surafel Behailu 73), Zayn Hakeem, Ashanti Pryce (Alistair Smith 79), Tom Marriott (Harry Bircumshaw 76)
Bradford City:
George Kenworthy, Jake Maltby, Tom Windle, Sam Wright, Ollie Fitzpatrick, Reece Powell, Ville Mollanga, Kwame Boateng, Casey Taglione, Niall Payne (C), Ellis Hudson
Subs -Ross Mullett, Harry Warren, Christian Farrar, Dan Aitken
John Dempster's young Stags did the double over Bradford City last season, with Cain Smith netting the only goal of a close game at Rainworth, while Ali Smith scored two and Surafel Behailu claimed a third and final goal in a 3-1 win at Rawdon Meadows, with Ellis Hudson scoring a consolation goal for the Bantams.
Mike Whitlow and Mark Peters took charge of the Under 18 side for this game at Rainworth, which was effectively over as a contest after 45 minutes, by which time the home side had stormed into a four goal lead.
Mansfield made the early running through Tom Marriott out on the left. Inside the opening minute the tricky winger sped forward past Jake Maltby's challenge, but having done the hard part and making himself room to shoot, he launched his effort over the crossbar.
But Marriott's blushes were spared when he tore down the left flank again after three minutes and played a slide rule pass into the path of Zayn Hakeem who opened the scoring from ten yards.
Cain Smith and Cameron Healey were fighting for every ball and winning control of the midfield as the Stags kept pushing forward in an attempt to cement their lead, but the Bantams counter attacked at speed and Casey Taglione was unlucky to see his volley from Niall Payne's cross, crash back off of the crossbar.
He was even more unfortunate to come up against Kieran Harrison today, who is playing out of his skin at the moment for both the Under 18 and 21 sides and the Bradford striker barely got another sniff of a goal scoring opportunity all afternoon.
Henri Wilder picked up the ball on the left hand side of midfield and advanced towards the Bradford area before delivering a defence splitting through ball into the path of Ashanti George, who left the Bradford defence chasing shadows before drilling the ball past George Kenworthy to double the Stags lead after 17 minutes.
Sam Wright tried to get the visitors back into the game, but just as he was about to shoot, Harrison timed his tackle to perfection, before taking the ball away from the danger zone, while Kane Baldwin moved across to cover his position. These two are developing a great understanding in centre of defence in Morgan Ratcliffe's (who had traveled to support his teammates today) absence with a shoulder injury.
Mansfield were putting on a great demonstration of pass and move flowing football, with the full backs linking up with the midfield engine room and wide players in an aesthetically pleasing fast tempo manner, that was a pleasure to watch and sweetened the bitter pill coming through from the One Call Stadium that the first team had fallen behind against Grimsby Town.
The Stags were using both flanks well, with Blake and Marriott causing the visitors a lot of problems.
Bloor launch a long free kick into the visitors goalmouth, that Bradford's defence struggled to deal with as Healey chested the ball down into the path of Pryce and Hakeem, but Kenworthy came off of his line quickly to retrieve the situation.
The Stags made it 3-0 in  the 34th minute, when Wright bravely threw himself in front of Hakeem's shot from just outside the area, only to see the ball arc over his head and fall at the feet of Pryce, who took a touch before planting the ball past Kenworthy.
Birmingham City's loss has definitely been Mansfield Town's gain as regards Ashanti Pryce.
Hakeem broke into the Bantams area but his cross was cleared behind by Ollie Fitzpatrik. Baldwin almost scored from Marriott'scorner kick, but Niall Payne managed to scramble the ball away from the Bradford goal.
In the final minute of the first half, with Mansfield still pushing forward in search of another goal, Reece Powell managed to nudge the ball out of the path of Pryce, but only managed to knock it into the path of Nyle Blake, whose first time shot found the back of the net via Kenworthy's outstretched fingertips.
HT: Stags Youth 4 v Bantams Youth 0
The second half carried on in pretty much the same vein as the first half had finished, with the vast majority of the game being played in the Bradford half.
Wright did well to block Pryce's shot from Hakeem's cross at the expense of a corner, Kenworthy saved from Hakeem's close range effort from (C) Smith's through ball and Tom Windle managed to divert Marriott's effort wide of the upright after Harrison had diverted Bloor's free kick into his path.
In spite of him not having an awful lot to do today Sam Wilson, still was alert and focussed and he made a double save, parrying a long ball into his area that moved all over in the ever increasing wind, before recovering quickly and smothering the ball at Talione's feet.
Today marked Wilson's fifth clean sheet in six league games with his only 'goal against' coming in last Saturday's 3-1 win at Grimsby Town. Outfield players often get all of the glory, but Wilson is underpinning his side's title defence this season and his contribution shouldn't be underestimated.
Hakeem executed a 'step over' of sorts, in the middle of the park, before spraying the ball wide to Marriott, who had now switched to the right wing, but as Pryce pounced to put the final touch to his cross, Kirkpatrick hooked the ball away.
Marriott went close when Harrison rolled the bbal intohis path from Bloor's free kick, but Windle blocked his shot on the line.
Maltby air kicked as he attempted to clear the ball on the edge of the Bradford area and Hakeem, who had instinctively anticipated the potential for error, seized possession and raced forward, but shot straight at Kenworthy.
Wilder put on a burst of pace and left two defenders in his wake on the left flank, but found the side netting with his cross.
Surafel Behailu dug the ball out of a congested midfield and played a diagonal pass out wide to Marriott, but within seconds he found himself surrounded by four Bradford players before he could deliver a cross.
Pryce came close to claiming his hat trick when Dan Aitken struggled to clear Harrison's free kick, but Kenworthy plucked his header from under the bar.
Alistair Smith went close from Hakeem's through ball, but Windle managed to get a touch on the ball and steer it past the post.
It was one way traffic as the game reached it's climax but the final touch to increase the margin of victory was proving to be elusive.
The visitors defence now had the added problem of dealing with the lively Devante Reittie, whose pacey movement both on and off the ball was pulling them out of position. Hakeem almost took advantage of the space that Reittie's introduction had created, but the ball clipped off the underside of his boot when he looked odds on to score from close range.
All in all an excellent display of attacking and entertaining football from the Stags youth team as they collected another well deserved three points, to keep them perched at the top of the table.
FT: Mansfield Town U18 4 v Bradford City U18 0