Thursday 16th January 2017
WVH North Midland U19 League
at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, Clipstone
Mansfield Town (0) 0
Dunkirk (3) 4
Pierce Bird 17
Tim Berridge 37
Takunda Mushambi 42
Oliver Robinson 63
Joe Marson, Ashley Hobster, Callum Wilkinson, Carter Widdowson, Jeremiah Owusu, James Matthews, Charlie Hardwick (Hayden Wharmby 58), Jake Batty (C), Ethan Wieztort (James Gregory 58), Callum McGarry (Todd Allan), Liam Jepson
Unused Subs - Kye Teasdale, Angus Findlay
Ryan Howes, Oliver Robinson, Joel Howes, Ellis read, Darian Roberts (Liam Waddingham 50),
Pierce Bird (C) (Connor Butler 50), George Harrison, Lorgan Hickey, Tim Berridge (Omar Aikman 50). Kai Manners, Takunda Mushambi
All three subs used
Charlie Hardwick was linking the Stags defence and attack out on the right, but the Boatmen's youngsters were proving to be very well organised at the back.
Jeremiah Owusu, a late addition to Mansfield's starting line up, did well to block Lorgan Hickey's goal attempt from just outside the eighteen yard box and the Stags swept forward, turning defence into attack and were unlucky not to take the lead, when Wieztort broke forward quickly, spotted Ryan Howes advancing from his goal line and lobbed the ball over the Dunkirk keeper, but saw the ball drop a few inches the wrong side of the right hand upright.
The visitors, inspired by Bird's opening strike, upped the ante and Owusu needed to get across Ellis Read, to thwart another effort on goal, Bird fizzed the ball wide of the target as he tried his luck from long range again, and Marson had to move quickly off his line to deny Hickey as he took the ball down well just inside the area and turned on the spot.
Tim Berridge doubled the visitors lead in the thirty seventh minute, when he held off Carter Widdowson's challenge twelve yards from goal and planted the ball inside the right hand post, beyond Marson's reach.
In spite of their lively start to the game, Mansfield found themselves two goals behind against a Dunkirk side who had grown in stature as the first half went on and would need to use their interval team talk well to tweak their game plan, but just before the break, their task took on mammoth proportions, when Kai Manners fed a sideways pass into the path of Takunda Mushambi who bent a twenty yard shot through the Stags defence from out on the left hand side of the area, that nestled into the corner of Marson's net, who couldn't have seen the ball until very late.
The hill that the young Stags would have to climb in the second half, had just become a vertical glacier.
Five minutes after the restart, Dunkirk's manager David Robinson made a triple substitution, to bolster his side and add to Mansfield's problems as Jamie Hardwick and his coaches looked to undertake a salvage mission.
Time was running out for the Stags to get back into the game, but they created a couple of chances as they kept nibbling away at the visitors rearguard; Howes had to dash from his line to gather the ball at Wieztort's feet after Jake Batty had put him through into the visitors area with a slide rule pass.
Jepson met the ball from Callum McGarry's delivery, but thumped his shot over the bar from fifteen yards.
Just before the hour Mansfield made two changes themselves, because there had been a few signs since the break that there might still be a way back into this game and the timing was right for a 'now or never' fightback, but Dunkirk put paid to that in the sixty third minute, when Robinson levitated above the penalty spot to meet Mushambi's left wing corner and directed a looping header over Marson and under the crossbar to net the visitors fourth goal.
Todd Allan looked useful for the Stags when he came on for the last twenty five minutes and Callum Wilkinson was motoring down the left flank from his full back berth, to link up with the Stags forward play, but the Boatmen had shut ups hop now and saw the game out to leapfrog over Mansfield into second place in the table, where they are now four points behind the leaders Southwell City, with five games in hand.
FT: Mansfield Town U19 0 v Dunkirk U19 4
A bad night at the office for the Stags youngsters who face Southwell City at Clipstone next Thursday night.
Tonight's visitors who I think you can safely assume it is okay to call 'champions elect Dunkirk', are next in action in an away game at Eastwood Community on Tuesday 28th February.