Friday, 14 October 2016

Mansfield Town 1 v Rotherham United 2 - EFL U18 Youth Alliance

Friday 14th October 2016
EFL U18 Youth Allaince (NE)
at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, Clipstone FC
Mansfield Town (1) 1
Kiearan Harrison 41
Rotherham United (0) 2
Josh Kayode 52, 77
For more photos from this game click HERE
Mansfield Town:
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor (Surafel Behailu 80), Morgan Ratcliffe, Cain Smith (Alistair Smith 80), Kane Baldwin, Kieran Harrison (C), Henri Wilder, Cameron Healey, Zayn Hakeem (Devante Reittie 8), Tom Marriott, Nyle Blake
Unused subs - Xavier Sundry (GK), Aiden Walker
Rotherham United:
Harry Fiddler, Deegan Atherton, Akeem Hinds, Lewis Murr, Adam Saxton, J.Cee Abraham, Revarnelle James, Tom Maguire(Sam Martin 71), Josh Kayode, Reece McGinlley, Matt Wilson (Akeel Francis 55).
Unused subs - George McMahon, Carlton Mitchell, Matt Coleman
The Millers arrived at Clipstone sat in third place in the league table, off of the back of a six game unbeaten run and proved to be a stiff test for the young Stags who were looking to bounce back from last weekend's 1-0 reversal at Hartlepool United, which they lost by virtue of a stoppage time goal.
Alas, several of John Dempster's side were feeling the effects of a sickness bug in the camp and struggled to put in a whole 100% and their game plan was disrupted further and probably to a far worse degree when Zayn Hakeem picked up an injury after just four minutes, when he landed awkwardly after challenging Josh Kayode. 
To compound matters, the Rotherham striker then landed on Hakeem's injured leg.
Having struggled his way through a couple more minutes it was obvious that he wouldn't be able to play on, and sadly, he limped off the pitch, just 48 hours before he is meant to be flying out to make his international debut.
Matt Wilson battled his way past Kane Baldwin, but Morgan Ratcliffe, back in action for the first time since missing several games through injury and Teddy Bloor combined to clear up the threat he posed.
The same duo were involved at the other end a few minutes later, when Cameron Healey flicked on Bloor's right wing cross to Ratcliffe whose first time shot on the run was blocked in the six yard box.
Revarnelle James made inroads deep into Mansfield territory down the right wing, but as he delivered the ball for Kayode, Kieran Harrison, relishing the captain's role, won the aerial battle and headed the ball away to safety.
Tom Marriott back on board from his night out, living the dream of being chosen as the man of the match in the first team EFL Trophy game away at Port Vale, put a decent corner into the Millers area from out on the left, which was only cleared as far as Bloor, who skipped past two challenges, but saw his shot charged down by J.Cee Abraham.
With half time fast approaching, clear cut chances had been at a premium at both ends thus far, with much of the game developing into a real battle for the midfield, with physicality rather than finesse seemingly being the preferred option for both teams, with Mansfield withstanding a few borderline firm but fair challenges from the larger players in the visitors ranks.
But Mansfield finally broke the dealock just four minutes before the break, when Harrison timed his run well to meet another well executed flag kick from Marriott and powered a header past Harry Fiddler. 
The Stags almost doubled their lead in first half stoppage time, when yet another good delivery by Mrriott was headed down by Cameron Healey to Devante Reittie, whose shot was cleared off of the line and when the rebound fell to Nyle Blake, he crashed a shot against the upright.
HT: 1-0
Rotherham came out after the break like an express train; James tore forward down the flank, but his route to goal was blocked by Blake, back helping his defence, who headed the ball away.
But the visitors were soon back on the attack as Kayode turned a header onto the bar from Tom Maquire's right wing cross. Alas, that one was just the dress rehearsal, because less than a minute later, James found Kayode with an identical ball and he made no mistake with a free header from eight yards out to level the score.
The Stags almost replicated their opening goal, but this time Harrison nodded Marriott's probing cross just wide of the right hand upright.
Blake was battling to find a way through to Fidler's goal, but Rotherham were defending well and it was becoming apparent why they haven't been losing games this season.
James unleashed an angled shot at the Stags goal from the left hand edge of the area, that Sam Wilson did well to keep out and he was alert enough to deal with Marquire's attempt at reaching Kayode from the resulting corner.
Their were appeals for a Stags penalty when Reittie went down under a challenge from Abraham, but the referee Minesh Gupta decreed that the two players had merely tangled while challenging for the ball and waved play on.
Healey threaded a sideways pass to Marriott just outside the Millers area and the way he executed his shot reminded me of a world class England international... Jonny Wilkinson!
Special camera effects (major fail)
Kayode hit a shot on the turn, that Wilson could've only have seen for a split second, before he still managed to make a save.
Rotherham were rampant,but when Kayode pushed the ball into the path of James, Wilson saved Mansfield once again as he smothered the ball.
Reittie, Blake and Marriott were still trying to unlock the visitors defence, but Abraham had thrown away the key.
Everybody makes mistakes, even match officials of the calibre of Mr Gupta and he missed a blatant push in Marriott's back by James as he nicked the ball and sprinted forward down the right flank, before teeing the ball up for Kayode to place just inside the left post from a free header.
Trick photography - Mansfield equalise and make it 2-2 on 88 minutes ;-)
The Stags were in a quandary now. They were already under the cosh and pushing men forwards to chase the result would leave them even more exposed, but merely sitting back and absorbing pressure would have been tantamount to accepting defeat and throwing the towel in, while resorting to damage limitation... never an option for champions.
In the event Marriott pushed forward down the left, cut inside and drilled the ball just wide of the right hand post.
Wilson was tested once again, but got down to his right to deny Kayode his hat trick.
With the clock ticking down, both sides were guilty of putting in a few overly heavy challenges, which had more to do with battling for space in a heavily congested middle third of the pitch. But Rotherham had the resolve to hold on to all three points in a very competitive, no holds barred encounter.
FT: Stags Youth 1 v Millers Youth 2
The young Stags are still at the top of the table, but Rotherham have well and truly announced their arrival on the scene and are obviously capable of putting together a very serious challenge for the championship themselves.