EFL Youth Alliance (NE)
at the Proact Stadium
Chesterfield (0) 0
Mansfield Town (0) 1
Devante Reittie 73
THE66POW PHOTO GALLERY
PART 1 CLICK HERE
PART 2 CLICK HERE
Brad Jones, Iffy Ofoegbu, Harry Taylor, Jack Brownell, Alex Phillipson (Jamie Sharman 82), George Lynam, Mark McKenna, Charlie Wakefield, Ricky German, Josh Tipping (Luke Rawson 62) , Connor Fowler (Robbie Foster 62)
Unused subs - Dylan Parkin, Jack Holmes
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Henri Wilder, Keaton Ward, Kane Baldwin, Kieran Harrison, Jason Law (Harry Bircumshaw 85), Cameron Healey (C), Devante Reittie, Alistair Smith, Nyle Blake (Jake Dumbleton 79)
Unused subs - Xavier Sundby, Aiden Walker, Luke Morgan
The Stags youngsters reclaimed top spot, when they came from behind, to claim a hard fought 2-1 win at fellow title contenders Oldham Athletic last weekend, when Jason Law notched a brace of goals, for John Dempsters side.
The Latics themselves face a trip to Hartlepool United tomorrow for a noon kick off.
The goal came from a sweeping end to end move, that saw Kieran Harrison set the ball rolling with a cross field pass to Jason Law, who shrugged off a challenge before stroking the ball down the right flank to Ali Smith, where the industrious attacking midfield twisted one way then the other before rolling a slide rule pass into the path of Reittie, who took a touch to make himself the space to shoot and drilled the ball past Brad Jones, who was wrong footed when he anticipated thar the Stags number nine was going to shoot first time. A clever goal to top of a great performance from the lively striker, who had been causing the Spireites defence lots of problems already and thoroughly deserved a goal.
The young Chesterfield side had plenty of possession in the final third, but this afternoon's win was built from a base of a solid defensive performance,
Sam Wilson did well to turn away Charlie Wakefield's cross towards German at the expense of a corner.
Teddy Bloor picked out Jason Law with a pass down the right, but when Law cut inside to shoot, he was crowded out by the Spireites defence.
German, who was being rendered inert in and around the Stags goalmouth, tried his luck from twenty five yards from Jack Brownell's lay off to the right, but Wilson got down quickly to pull off a great save.
Cameron Healey, the Stags captain today, was playing in the role of holding midfielder, which gave Keaton Ward the freedom to link up with Smith, Law and Nyle Blake, while dropping back to cover the ground whenever Bloor or Henri Wilder got forward down the flanks.
With half time approaching, the Spireites defensive wall stood firm to repel a thumping free kick by Law andWard was only inches away from opening the scoring, when the rebound fell to him and he hooked the ball narrowly over the bar, with Jones at full stretch.
HT: Spireites U18 0 v Stags U18 0
Law received the ball from Blake on the edge of the area with his back to goal and flicked it first time into the path of Reittie who took the ball wide to get a clear sight of goal, but shot into the side netting.
Brownell laid the ball out wide to Wakefield, who paused momentarily on the ball and allowed Wilder to pounce, taking advantage of his opponents hesitancy, before breaking up the Spireites attack.
German finally made himself a yard of space and met the flight of McKenna's cross head on, but couldn't keep the ball on target.
Bloor delivered the ball in from the resulting corner and it reached Law on the right hand side of tthe area, who lofted it back across the face of goal, to where Blake rose above Alex Phillipson, but directed his header just past the wrong side of the left hand upright.
The Stags saw a string of corners amount to nothing as the home side's defence put up a strong rearguard action as well.
But it was the visitors who had the scent of a goal in their nostrils and Jones had to be alert when he denied Smith, who struck an angled shot from ten yards out on target, after Law had threaded the ball to him through the narrowest a gaps in a crowded area.
Ward knocked the ball into the area and it seemed to hang in the air as Healey headed it back into the six yard box, but Wakefield launched along clearance away from the danger zone.
Luke Rawson, who'd scored against a Stags U21 side made up largely of first teamers just last week, was thwarted by Harrison's timely interception and then Smith put in a blocking tackle on German and defence turned into attack, at the flick of a switch as Harrison played the ball forward that led to Reittie's goal, via Law and Smith who had covered a lot of ground quickly to join in with the attack.
Baldwin broke up another attempted raid on goal by Chesterfield, witha timely tackle on German and knocked the ball straight down the middle to Ward, who released Blake, but his shot was deflected wide.
Jake Dumbleton came on in place of Blake for the last ten minutes and was inches away from scoring with his first touch, ashe narrowly failed to connect with Bloors left wing corner to the back post.
Rawson and Robbie Foster combined in front of Wilson's goal, Healey cleared, then Wilder did and Rawson's shot took a deflection over the bar.
Wilson was then called on preserve the Stags clean sheet and he held onto Wakefield's speculative long shot, to maintain the reigning champions impressive goals against record.
Law took a knock, his second off the game, with five minutes remaining and had to leave the field of play, but Harry Bircumshaw slipped seamlessly into the visitors game plan and hit the ground running at full tilt to fit in comfortably with the pace of the game.
A hard fought game against a Spireites side who had given the visitors a stiff work out, came to a close after five minutes of stoppage time and for now at least, the Stags opened up a six point gap at the top of the table.
FT: Chesterfield 0 v Mansfield Town 1