Monday, 29 August 2016

Retford FC 1 v Harworth Colliery 2 - CMFL North

Monday 29th August 2016
Central Midlands Football League (North)
at the Jones & Co, Stadium, Cannon Park
Retford FC (1) 1
Will Tomlinson 5
Harworth Colliery (1) 2
Greg Archer 45+ pen, Mickey Davies 88
Admission £3. Programme £1. Attendance 165
For more photos from today's game click  HERE
Never mind that over hyped kerfuffle that is going ahead at the Windsor Foodservice Stadium on Saturday, between two NCEL clubs. who both needed a re-arranged game to fill a fixtures gap, which was created when they were both knocked out of the FA Cup early doors.
This is the real 'Bassetlaw Derby', borne out of the grassroots end of the local football spectrum, that local MP's don't even bother to visit once every five years when there is an election.
It's where local players turn out for their local teams and represent their own communities.
And 165 people (inc. stuart Yates) turned out on a gloriously sunny afternoon and headed for the the green and pleasant outskirts of East Retford, to show their support for the beautiful game... and were treated to a half decent football match into the bargain.
And at the end of the afternoon, Harworth left to head back up the Great North Road in a happy frame of mind, having bagged all three points and the local bragging rights... until next time the two sides meet at least.
The game couldn't have started any better for Retford, when they scored from what was their third attack after just five minutes, when Will Tomlinson brought Nathan Fenn's right wing cross under control with his left foot, before crashing it into the bottom left hand corner of Steve Wibberley's goal with his right. He (Tomlinson) doesn't looklike a sportsman, in fact he reminds me often of why I stopped wearing nylon replica football shirts a few years ago, but give him a ball and a yard of grass and the guy is still lethal in front of goal. And you can see why he is Retford's captain and probably the first name on the team sheet every week too.
Harworth began to find their mojo and went in search of an equaliser. But when Retford conceded a free kick twenty yards out, Josh Davies' thumping shot cannoned back of off the home sides wall and though Jordan Hardman picked up the ball and tried to set Marley Alder free down the right wing, the ball went for a goal kick before the Colliery U19's graduate could deliver a cross.
The game was being played at a cracking pace, but must have been a pleasure to officiate and all the referee Ian Jackson and his two assistants Wayne Davenport and Sam Fisher, contributed to the afternoon's entertainment by adopting a common sense approach to help the game keep flowing.
It's a real ball ache when referee's kep stopping and starting the game for niggly and insignificant reasons, but you barely noticed Mr Jackson nad his officials today, which by my reckoning is a reliable indicator of how well the officials have carried out their duties. Credit where it is due I say!
Sam Clarke tore past Hardman and crossed for Tomlinson, but the ball skimmed off his head and went wide. 
Back at the other end of the pitch, Ryan Elkington kept Alders angled shot out with his feet and as Greg Archer delivered a deep flag kick into the home side's goalmouth, Tomlinson got in Harworth's way with his considerable presence and headed the ball to safety.
Josh Davies and Callum Hudson exchanged passes as they advanced on the Retford goal, but Ryan Elkington was well positioned to catch the ball hen Davies shot from just inside the Retford area.
Clarke picked up a loose ball and tried his luck from long distance, but Wibberley went down onto one knee and got behind the ball.
Joe Knowles thumped a long ball in towards Tomlinson, but when Greg Fox and and Musse Gabdon both bounced off of 'Big Will' as they went in to challenge him, the ref blew up and gave the visitors a free kick, seemingly penalising the Retford striker for being big and standing still.
Fox recovered from his fall but was soon in the wars again at the other end, when Hardman won a corner for the visitors that Josh Davies picked Archer out with just outside the Retford goal area, but his full bloodied blistering shot bounced to safety when the ball struck Fox.
Elkington saved well when Mickey Davies broke forward on his own as the Colliery started to see more of the ball and get on top of things.
Both sides were creating chances in this fast and frantic end to end tussle, but it looked as if Retford would be taking a single goal advantage into the break, but deep into stoppage time, amid a sea of flying boots, Callum Hudson was felled just inside the home sides penalty area and Mr Jackson had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and blowing up.
After the area had been cleared of players, Archer took no notice of the stalling tactics and didn't allow his focus to waver for a mooment as he calmy sent Elkington the wrong way and planted the ball into the top right hand corner.
It had been a fairly evenly matched first half, but Retford will have been gutted to have conceded a goaljust bbefore the whistle sounded for the break, but if they had been paying attention there was a lesson to be learnt there, that culd possibly come in useful later in the game.
HT: Retford FC 1 v Harworth Colliery 1
Archer on target... 1-1
At half time I was asked if I was genuinely approaching todays game from a neutral perspective, given my connections with and affections for Harworth Colliery FC.
Of course I was! What a preposterous allegation.
And anyway, by that point, I had already decided that I was going to cheer loudly and jump around like a demented loon whoever scored the next goal. 
So Retford had just as much of a chance of earning an OTT demonstration of my adulation as the victorious Colliery lads did. So there!
Both goalkeepers were straight into the thick of it as the game restarted, with Wibberley punching the ball away from Tomlinson, while Elkington did well to keep Chris Pickles at bay.
Tomlinson rolled the ball forward for Clarke torun onto but Wibberley charged out of his area before launching the ball into orbit.... "Ave it!!!"
Moments later Elkington was back in action as Fox pumped a long ball towards the Retford area that their defence struggled to clear and their hesitancy gave Mickey Davies the opportunity to test the home side's keeper from twelve yards.
Davies was soon back on  the attack and when Knowles blocked his attempt on goal, Huudson shot over from the rebound.
Jason Swannack made a timely interception as Kenzie Tomlinson showed a few neat touches to get himself into a position to shoot.
Clarke went to ground after colliding head on with Fox and though some of the home fans called out for the ref to blow up for obstruction, the official had seen nothing wrong in what happened and probably took into account that Fox wouldn't have meant any harm, he was just too bleedin' slow to get out of the way.
Mickey Davies timed his run to perfection as Pickles lobbed the ball into his path over a flatfooted Retford backline, but the Colliery striker knocked the ball just over the bar.
Memo to Retford defence: that was a useful set piece Harworth just executed you'd do well toprevent it from happening again.
Tomlinson crashed to the ground after Fox toppled him and while I was taking a call from my wife, telling me that all of her ornaments had just fallen off of our mantelpiece and asked if I'd experienced the earthquake too, Knowles free kick was saved by Wibberley.
Mickey Davies went close again after Sam Westerman had put Retford on the back foot with a thirty yard run forward.
Callum Rush carried the ball forward through the right channel but shot over the bar with Wibberley advancing fromhis line to meet him. Harworth fave the ball away fromthe goal kick and Clarke launched a telling ball towards Tomlinson, but though he steered his shot towards the bottom right hand corner, Wibberley got across well and manged to keep the ball out at full  stretch. 
Right, you remember how we were talking about Retford keeping things tight as the referee consulted his watch this time around and how dangerous Mickey Davies looked when he ran through the defence onto through balls?
Well, with just under two minutes to go, Davies started to make his run just as Westerman dropped a long pass over the Retford defence and this time the Harworth striker kept his shot down and the visitors were ahead for the first time in the game.
I kept my promise and fulfilled my obligation to celebrate the next goal wildly, then sat back down to continue writing a neutral overview of the remaining few mooments of action.
Karl Slack almost equalised, as the game went into stoppage time, but his shot deflected wide.
Swannack swung the corner kick into the Harworth six yard box but Archer hooked it away.
The crowd held their collective breath as the former Harworth midfielder Ollie Chappell took aim from twelve yards but his effort ricocheted off of one of the two dozen or so Colliery players who were crowding out their goalmouth and that was that.
Harworth had won the first real Bassetlaw Derby of the season.
FT: Retford FC 1 v Harworth Colliery 2
Nail biting closing minutes
I will be at Scrooby Road on Friday night to watch Harworth Colliery playing against Appleby Frodingham in a CMFL North fixture (7.45pm) and after today's showing I will be making the effort to watch Retford FC in action again ASAP.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Maltby Main 3 v AFC Mansfield 1 - NCEL Prem

Saturday 27th October 2016
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
at Muglet Lane
Maltby Main (2) 3
Steve Hopewell 5, 21, 49
AFC Mansfield (1) 1
Lynton Karkach 14
Admission £5. Programme £1.50. Attendance 57
For more pictures from this afternoon's NCEL game click HERE
Left click to enlarge
Maltby Main:
Danny Rusling, Craig Mitchell, Lee Hill, Reece Wesley, Dan Reilly, Shawn Mitchell, Ollie Lawrence, Jordan Snodin (Josh Hemmingway 65 (Callum Cheetham 72)), Steve Hopewell (C), Connor Gregg (Matt Semley 69), Sam Stacey
Unused subs - Jack Greeves, Jack Binney
AFC Mansfield:
Jason White, Jordan Annable (Danny Patterson 55), Mark Dudley, Grant Allott (Matt Plummer 55), Brad Wilson, John D'Laryea, Ryan Williams (C), Glyn Cotton (Gary Bradshaw), Lynton Karkach, Ollie Fearon, Jimmy Ghaichem
Unused subs - Josh Madin, Myles Wright
Put it down son, you'll go blind!
And the moral of this story is, if you're visiting Muglet Lane this season, you're going to have to graft damn hard to get anything against this resilient Maltby side... and even then, there is no guarantee that the 'Miners' won't be working a double shift and putting in twice as much energy you can muster anyway.
AFC Mansfield have the talent to beat anybody on their day, but they were given a bit of a lesson this afternoon, in playing with a lot of heart and sacks full of commitment.
I once saw, written on the Gents toilet wall in the 'Fighting Cocks' public house in Rawmarsh: "Hard work will always beat talent when talent doesn't work hard" and that outhouse graffiti artist knew what he was on about, because beneath the 'Scargill is a bastard' scrawl he'd added: "No he isn't, he's a self made man" in the same neat handwriting that suggested he was a dab hand at calligraphy and possibly suffered from OCD.
I suspect the offensive statement was aimed at 'King Coal' himself, Arthur Scragill and not the Athersley Rec player Kieron Scargill.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not actually saying that the Bulls weren't fired up enough today, but rather that Maltby Main most definitely were.... as they picked up a thoroughly deserved three points, with a display that redefined the words adrenaline and desire.
With Lee Hill in particular, playing like a man possessed, who'd just come out of a Tattooists where he'd had THEY SHALL NOT PASS inked on his forehead... and we're not talking about ball greedy players who won't give their mates a go either. A tattoo would certainly look more manly that a girly headband methinks.
The visitors weren't without a few creative touches and attacking intentions at times, but they were second to the ball and caught napping far too often, by a side who, toall intents and purposes looked as though they wanted it more... much, much more if I'm being honest.
The Forest Town based side are going to have to put considerably more in today next Saturday, if they want to progress past Stratford Town in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round.
It's a crying shame that less than sixty people were present this afternoon, to witness the progress that the host club is making, both on and off the pitch. But Rome wasn't built in a day... though it might have been if Wilf Race, John Mills, the unsung and hard working committee at the club along with Spencer Fearn and his back up team were on that job.
Far too many non league clubs peak far too soon and vanish without a trace, after living beyond their means, but that won't happen at Maltby, where the strides forward you can visibly see that are being made, are being taken at a realistic and sustainable pace.
They've only been around for one hundred years, why rush these things!?
Mansfield had a bit of a scare in the opening minutes, when Jason White completely misjudged Jordan Snodin's left wing corner and fumbled his attempted catch, but the match referee, one Eddie Pidduck, who was ably assisted by Glen Whitehead and Jamie O'Connor today, had spotted and infringement and Maltby were unable to take advantage of the uncharacteristic slip by the Bulls number one.
"It's mine and you can't ****ing have it!"
But there was no whistle to help out the visitors after just five minutes, when Connor Gregg slotted a delightful pass through the Bulls defence to Steve Hopewell, who put Maltby on their way towards what turned out to be a great result, with an emphatic finish.
Ollie Lawrence almost doubled the Miners lead two minutes later, but his shot from on the edge of the area deflected wide.
Lynton Karkach, who I still say Gainsborough Trinity will regret releasing, pulled Mansfield level on14 minutes with a well taken solo goal from around eight yards out, after bursting into the Maltby area at speed through the left channel.
But any ideas that the visitors had of building on their first goal were well and truly nipped in the bud by a determined rearguard action from Maltby, who were dealing comfortably with anything that Rudy Funk's side threw at them.
Meanwhile Lawrence, who had only just arrived at Muglet Lane in the nick of time before the team sheets were submitted, raced forward down the left flank, making light work of dealing with two half hearted challenges, before crossing the ball into the path of Hopewell who met it head on and powered the ball past White to restore the Main's lead on twenty one minutes.
Lawrence was buzzing around like some kind of Tasmanian Devil and proving to be problematic for the Bulls defence and White did well to hold onto the Maltby number seven's twenty five yard, speculative shot.
Mansfield were almost gifted an equaliser when the usually rock solid and reliable Reece Wesley, made a complete hash of passing the ball back to Danny Rusling, but the Miners keeper was alert to the danger and reached the ball a fraction before Karkach.
It was Karkach who had the next opportunity too, but as Jimmy Ghaichen fed a forward pass to the lively winger, but Craig Mitchell got across and forced him to shoot early and the ball flew high and wide of Rusling's right hand upright.
Karkach advanced down the left flank once again after Ghaichem had put him on his way, but this time round Wesley was in no mood for mucking about with a risky back pass and he launched a no nonsense clearance onto the adjacent cricket pitch, where thankfully the bails remained intact. 
Jon D'Laryea played a diagonal ball across Maltby's goal area to Karkach who got his angles horribly wrong and drilled the ball off target, well wide of the right hand post.
Brad Wilson played the ball wide to Fearon on theright hand side of Maltby's area, but Hill cleared the danger before the Bulls attacker had time to blink, let alone use the ball creatively.
Sam Stacey was having a lively personal duel with Jordan Annable, no doubt they'll be able to face time each other tomorrow to compare bruises, but it was Snodin who found a way through the visitors defence after dispossessing Ghaichem, before rolling a sideways pass to Hopewell who could have claimed his hat trick, but opted to hoof the ball out of the ground instead.
In a moment of deja vu that was identical to an incident not five minutes earlier, Wilson played the ball out to Fearon on the right, but Hill blocked his run again.
One can only assume that the number 3 on Lee Hill's back, indicated that he was playing in the left back berth, but if truth be told, he seemed to pop up in the thick of the action, wherever it was taking place anywhere on the pitch.
Ghaichem and Fearon finished the first half in the dog house with their management team, by reacting far too slowly to put the final touch on two decent left wing deliveries from Karkach.
On this evidence, the  neglect and abandonment of duty at critical times by the Mansfield attackers was almost tangible. A half time bollocking was the very least that some of the away team deserved, though their poor showing does actually beg the question, were they playing crap, or were Maltby applying themselves to the nth degree and making a usually effective and attack minded side look average, at best?
HT: Miners 2 v Bulls 1
As the second half kicked off, our conundrum was answered: Maltby were making their visitors look poor by closing them down and not allowing them to settle on the ball, while implementing an impressively high level work rate, that was almost unrelenting and Mansfield were contributing to their own downfall too, by playing well below the required level that is expected of them.
The Bulls faithful will be grateful that they have a midweek game coming up against Albion Sports, where they can endeavour to iron out some of the creases before next weekend's big cup game.
That said, although it would be churlish of me to name names, by my reckoning, some of the Bulls players were already getting some rest in out on the field of play today, in anticipation of the visit of Sandhurst. It's difficult to hide on a football pitch in a bright yellow shirt, but some of the Bulls team near on mastered the ancient art of invisibility. at times.
Just four minutes after the restart, Green intercepted a poor clearance by Annable and nudged the ball forward into the path of Hopewell who couldn't miss from there and the visitors now had a two goal cushion.
Ten minutes into the second half, Mr Funk chucked in his last throw of the dice and made three substitutions at the same time in a bid to galvanise and inject some new life into his ailing team. Needs must and it really was a back to the drawing board moment for the visitors, who would be hoping not to pick up any knocks or injuries now on the Muglet Lane incline.
Matt Plummer's forward pass found it's way through to Ollie Fearon, who had to shoot first time because Danny Reilly and Shawn Mitchell were homing in on him and he struck the ball straight at Rusling.
The Maltby keeper dispatched his long clearance towards Green and his opposite number White was forced to punch the ball away to safety.
The Bulls evergreen 'pocket rocket' Williams unleashed a shot from 30 yards, but that man Hill threw himself in front of the ball and took one for the team and Rusling held onto the ball from Ghaichem's right wing cross as Maltby only half cleared their lines.
Gary Bradshaw shot from 12 yards out but Mitchell blocked his effort and it deflected behind for a corner.
Rusling gathered the ball safely as Fearon and D'Laryea challenged him and as Mansfield began to up the ante towards the end of the game, Mitchell cleared another Ghaichem cross with a towering header.
Jason White had to save with his feet as Danny Patterson almost diverted Callum Cheetham's long throw into his own goal.
The Miners were inches way from adding a fourth goal, when Hopewell turned Mark Dudley and delivered the ball to the back stick, where Sam Stacey's diving header fell just the wrong side of the post.
Williams knocked a short free kick to Bradshaw who picked Karkach out in the area but Hill had read the situation and thwarted the Bulls again, while the referee deliberated over whether to give the Maltby defender his own ball to play with, to give the other twenty one players on the pitch an opportunity to get a touch.
Mansfield had a succession of free kicks froma few yards outside the Maltby area, but the home side had circled their wagons around Rusling's goal now and no matter how hard the Bulls banged on the door now, they weren't getting in.
Fearon played a square ball to the former Mansfield Town and Gainsborough Trinity midfielder D'Laryea, who put all of his higher league experience to good use and lashed the ball into a back garden on Lansbury Avenue.
It was evidently one of those days that AFC Mansfield will want to forget ASAP.
Rusling saved from Williams free kick as the rain started bucketing down and the sky turned to an ugly shade of grey.
"We will, we will, rock you!"
Fearon was unceremoniously upended by Craig Mitchell twenty five yard from the Maltby goal.
The Bulls regular free kick taker Williams made a dummy run and left the ball for Fearon who spanked a textbook delivery right into the top corner... of Maltby's defensive wall.
The home side broke forward, but just as it looked as though Matt Semley was going to add another goal the assistant referee, Jamie O'Connor raised his flag for offside... it must've been a close call Jamie! Are you sure you weren't just being a mardy bum because you'd heard that your beloved Chesterfied FC were getting gubbed by Millwall!?
In stoppage time, Karkach cut in from the right wing and went it alone, but there was far too much backlift in his shot and the ball flew harmlessly over Rusling's cross bar.
In conclusion: both sides got everything they deserved today as the Miners leapfrogged over Mansfield in mid table by virtue of this result.
FT: Maltby Main 3 v AFC Mansfield 1
Both teams have home games on Wednesday night, when in form Liversedge visit Muglet Lane and Albion Sports make the trek from Bradford to the Forest Town Arena.
And next Saturday these two sides will be playing a mile away from each other as the Bulls face Stratford town at home in the FA Cup First qualifying round and Clipstone host Maltby in a NCEL Premier Division encounter.
Good luck to one and all, in what should be a couple of decent games, to mark the occasion of 'Non League Day'.
However, shouldn't every day be a non league day... just saying!
Balls, John Mills!

Burton Albion 1 v Mansfield Town 2 - EFLYA Cup

Saturday 27th August 2016
EFL Youth Alliance Cup Group Stage
at Welbeck M.O.D. College, Nr Loughborough.
Burton Albion (0) 1
Tristan Matthews 88
Mansfield Town (0) 2
Tom Marriott 51, Ashanti Pryce 55
For more photographs from this game click HERE
Burton Albion:
Callum Hawkins, Tom Hammerton, Cameron Steel (Max Smith 85), Jack Hallahan, Jayden Cotterill, Jacob Savage (Jake Davies 63), Joe Hunt, Joe Sbarra, Cameron Shaw, Charlie Dowd (Tristan Matthews 63), Dylan Garnett
Unused subs -  Lewis Walker, James Harrison
Mansfield Town:
Sam Wilson, Aiden Walker (Teddy Bloor HT), Kane Baldwin, Cain Smith (C), Max Hunt (Surafel Behailu HT), Kieran Harrison, Henri Wilder (Keaton Ward 81), Alistair Smith, Nyle blake, Tom Marriott (Harry Bircumshaw 82), Ashanti Pryce (Devante Reittie 65)
When Tristan Matthews netted for the home side, late on in this EFLYA Cup group stage match, played at Welbeck M.O.D. College near Loughborough, it was the first goal that the young Stags have conceded in any competitive fixture since April 16th, when Jack McMenemy scored a late consolation goal for Lincoln City on a day that Mansfield ran out 3-1 winners as they edged ever closer to winning the league title last season.
For the record, that is a phenomenal run of 544 minutes without a goal being scored against John Dempster's team.
The Stags management rang the changes, with Morgan Ratcliffe being unavailable and Teddy Bloor not being up to the rigours of a full ninety minutes; which gave Kane Baldwin and Max Hunt the opportunity to shine, which they both did, even though Hunt was replaced at half time to make way for a tactical shift, that ultimately won the game and gave the Brewers different challenges to those they had faced in a fairly tight and evenly balanced first half.
Burton took the initiative to push forward from the start and Alistair Smith needed to hook the ball away for a corner from Charlie Dowd's right wing cross as the Brewers looked to get an early goal under their belts. Joe Sbarra found Joe Hunt from the corner kick, but the diminuitive midfielder headed over from close range.
From the Stags first attack, Aiden Walker chipped the ball over the crossbar as Callum Hawkins ran off of his line in vainglorious pursuit of Tom Marriott's defence splitting forward pass.
Marriott was involved again moments later, but Hawkins plucked his cross away from Henri Wilder before he had chance to divert it towards the goal,
Nyle Blake flicked the ball over the Burton defence, turned quickly and chased after it, but Hawkins was quickly down to make a save.
Cameron Steele attacked the Mansfield defence down the left flank and crossed to Hunt, but Sam Wilson had anticipated the situation well and saved well down to his left.
Steele was proving to be a problem for the visitors with his probing runs down the left flank, but Max Hunt calmly dealt with his cross and cleared the ball to safety.
Jacob Savage dwelled on the ball a moment too long and Walker nicked it away on the edge of the Brewers area, but Hawkins thwarted the Stags again.
Mansfield strung together a neat passing move when Cain Smith played the ball out wide to Walker, who nudged the ball forward for Ashanti Pryce, the former Birmingham City striker held off a challenge before finding Alistair Smith with a sideways pass, but his cross fell inches away from where Blake could get his shot in and Albion breathed a sigh of relief.
From Burton's clearance, Kieran Harrison picked up the ball and advanced twenty yards before shooting, but Hawkins got his body behind the ball and another opportunity went begging.
Burton attacked again but Kane Baldwin prevented Dylan Garnett's cross from causing the Stags any problems.
But Burton did threaten again shortly afterwards and looked odds on to score when Steele crossed to Hunt, but Wilson pulled off a wordly to turn his close range header over.
Blake and Marriott were having to play deep as Burton defended high up the pitch, but they were battling well and digging the ball out.
Charlie Dowd put on a sprint and advanced forward towards Wilson's goal, but Baldwin stop him in his tracks with a well timed tackle. The young defender had an exceptional game today.
Pryce made light work of coasting past three challenges and showed great maturity when he came up against a wall of yellow shirts by passing the ball backwards to Alistair Smith to pick up the momentum again instead of squandering possession with a hopeful shot.
The ever lively Marriott and Blake were still plugging away looking for an opening in the Burton defence but when Wilder joined in on the flank, his delivery into the area was cleared and Albion countered, but when Dowd almost found the decisive touch to break the deadlock, Hunt was on hand to make a timely clearance by Wilson's right hand post.
Marriott did well when he showed great close control and turned Hammerton before delivering a left wing cross that deceived Hawkins but dropped just over the bar.
Right on the stroke of half time, Alistair Smith won the ball inside the final third and switched play to the right with a knock to Walker, but Pryce couldn't quite get on the end of the right back's first time cross and had to run wide to the left of the goal, where the angle of the shot was a fraction too acute for him.
HT: Brewers Youth 0 v Stags Youth 0
At the interval, the Stags management made a tactical switch and started the second half with four at the back, as Walker and Hunt made way for Teddy Bloor and Surafel Behailu, not that either of them had played badly, it was purely a matter of regrouping, reorganising and giving the home side a fresh set of problems to unravel, the effect was positive and immediate.
Behailu picked up the ball thirty yards out, ghosted past a challenge and laid the ball out wide to Bloor on the right flank, the Stags substitute switched it back inside to Blake, who drilled the ball into the side netting.
The Stags were picking up the tempo now and putting their hosts on the back foot with a fast passing game that Burton were struggling to deal with.
Blake advanced into goal area and left the Brewers defence flat footed as he rolled the ball back to Bloor as they were expecting a shot, Marriott and Pryce timed their runs well as he played the ball in behind the static defence and the former thumped the ball gratefully past Hawkins to give the visitors the lead on 51 minutes.
Pryce dragged the ball past Jayden Cotterill and squared up to shoot but Hawkins dashed out and saved bravely at his feet.
But the powerhouse striker didn't have to wait long for another chance and when Marriott threaded the ball through to him from just outside the home side's goal area, Pryce dropped a shoulder, committed Hawkins to make a challenge and took the ball round the Brewers keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.
Burton responded with a double substitution of their own and adopted the same second half strategy as Mansfield, but the damage had already been done.
Having suitably impressed and given the visitors a great platform to see the game out from, Pryce was substituted, but Albion weren't about to get any respite from the Stags attacking game, because Devante Reittie came on in his place for the final 25 minutes as John Dempster and his team tweaked the system slightly again.
Reittie had only been on the pitch a matter of moments when he charged Hammerton's attempted clearance down... and although the home side scrambled the ball away, the quick footed striker had heralded his arrival and made his mark from the off.
Garnett, Dowd and Cameron Shaw tried passing their way into the heart of Mansfield territory, but Behailu was having none of it and he nicked the ball away and swept up at the back for his side.
Jake Davies, a second half substitute for the home side, looked useful and used his pace to get into the Stags area, but Harrison blocked his run, before being tripped as Burton conceded a free kick.
Blake chased the long ball forward but Hawkins stayed on his feet and collected the ball.
Back came Burton and the speedy wide man Hunt broke through the right channel with the goal in his sights, but Wilson turned the ball away with another quality reflex save.
Davies executed a training ground corner kick routine, but Garnett's shot flew high and wide.
Behailu was looking indefatigable since he came on and he beat Hammerton for pace on the wing before planting a teasing free kick to Blake at head height, but Hawkins showed his agility was on a par with Wilson's as he made a great stop, or it would have been 'game over'.
This being a cup game, teams are allowed to use five substitutes and Keaton Ward and Harry Bircumshaw were given a run out for the final 8 minutes as Marriott and Wilder both got a rest for a job well done.
With the Burton defence backing off and wondering what option Cain Smith was going to choose from among his team mates who were forward in numbers, the battling midfield lynch pin let fly with a shot from 25 yards that skimmed over the bar.
The home side conceded possession from Hawkins goal kick and Ward was unlucky to see his close range effort cleared off of the line after Behailu had provided another quality cross into the Burton area.
To their credit. although they had been under threat of getting over run by the Stags, Burton were unwilling to throw the towel in just yet and Harrison had to execute a firm (but fair) challenge on Davies, right on the penalty spot, as Sbarra played a through ball into the heart of the visitors defence.
Burton did get a goal back inside the final two minutes however.
Initially Wilson had cleared Garnett's left wing cross away, but a momentary lapse in the Stags defence (and that is all it takes), saw Garnett play the ball back into the box to Matthews who drilled it past Wilson from an angle.
But it was too late for the Brewers to salvage a draw now and Mansfield claimed a hard fought victory in their cup group, which also contains Shrewsbury and Walsall.
FT: Burton Albion Youth 1 v Mansfield town Youth 2
Next week the Stags U18 are playing at the same venue against the same opposition in an EFLYA (North) league fixture which kicks off at 11AM.
*Note... Only club staff and players relatives are allowed onto the Ministry of Defence site to watch the game.

Friday, 26 August 2016


Updated Friday 26th August 2016 
Sat 27 Aug - Burton Albion v Mansfield Town EFLYA Cup - Welbeck M.O.D. College, Loughborough - 11am
Sat 27 Aug  - Maltby Main v AFC Mansfield 0 - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Mon 29 Aug - Retford FC v Harworth Colliery - CMFL North - 3.00pm
Tue 30 Aug - Hartlepool United v Mansfield Town - U21 Friendly - 2pm at DH1 3SE
Tue 30 Aug - TBC - 7.45pm
Wed 31 Aug - TBC - 7.45pm
Fri 2 Sep - Harworth Colliery v Appleby Frodingham - CMFL North - 7.45pm
Sat 3 Sep - Burton Albion v Mansfield Town - EFLYA - Venue TBC - 11am
Sat 3 Sep - AFC Mansfield v Stratford Town - FA Cup 1QR - 3pm
Tue 6 Sep - Rotherham United v Mansfield Town U21 - Central League - 2pm at Parkgate FC
Tue 6 Sep - Rainworth Miners Welfare v Handsworth Parramore - NCEL Prem - 7.45pm
Wed 7 Sep - Ollerton Town v Rossington Main - NCEL Div 1 - 7.45pm
Thu 8 Sep - Mansfield Town v Southwell City - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm at Rainworth MW
Sat 10 Sep - Shrewsbury Town v Mansfield Town - EFLYA LC - Noon
Sat 10 Sep - TBC - 3pm
Tue 13 Sep - Retford United v AFC Mansfield - NCEL Prem - 7.45pm
Wed 14 Sep - Retford United v Sheffield United - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm at DN22 6QF
Thu 15 Sep - Mansfield Town v Eastwood Community FC - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm at Rainworth MW
Sat 17 Sep - Grimsby Town v Mansfield Town - EFLYA - 12 noon at Cheapside, Waltham
Sat 17 Sep - Cleethorpes Town v Maltby Main - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Tues 20 Sep - Rossington Main v Campion - NCEL Div 1 - 7.45pm
Wed 21 Sep - AFC Mansfield v Bridlington Town - NCEL Prem - 7.45pm
Thu 22 Sep - Mansfield Town v Kimberley MW - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm at Rainworth MW
Sat 24 Sep - Mansfield Town v Bradford City - EFLYA - 12noon at Rainworth MW
Sat 24 Sep - AFC Mansfield v Radcliffe Olympic - FA Vase 2QR - 3pm
Tue 27 Sep - Dunkirk v Mansfield Town - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm at RSSG Lenton Lane NG7 2SA
Wed 28 Sep - Espial v Swallownest MW - WVH NMU19L - 7.45PM at Chesterfield Rugby Club S41 9BF
Sat 1 Oct - Doncaster Rovers v Mansfield Town - EFLYA - 11AM at Cantley Park
Sat 1 Oct - Retford FC v Phoenix FC - CMFL North - 3pm
Wed 5 Oct - Retford United v Chesterfield - WVH NMU19L - 7. 45pm at DN22 6QF
Thu 6 Oct - Mansfield Town v Sandiacre Town - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm at Rainworth MW
Fri 7 Oct - Chesterfield v Handsworth Parramore - WVH NMU21L - 7.45pm at Play Soccer USA Arena (3G) NG16 3HB
Sat 8 Oct - Hartlepool United v Mansfield Town - EFLYA - 12 noon at Blackhall Colliery Sports Ground
Sat 8 Oct - Billingham Synthonia v Alnwick Town - Northern League Div 2 - 3pm
Tue 11 Oct - Handsworth Parramore v Hallam - WVH NMU21L - 7.45pm at Olivers Mount S9 4PA 
Thu 13 Oct - West Bridgford Colts v Mansfield Town - WVH NMU19L - 7.45pm Regatta Way NG2 5AT
Fri 14 Oct - Rotherham United v Mansfield Town - EFLYA - 2pm at Parkgate FC S62 6LA
Fri 14 Oct - Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City - EFL Championship - 7.45pm
Sat Oct 15 - Mansfield Town v Wycombe Wanderers - EFL Div 2 - 3pm
Wed Oct 19 - Harworth Colliery v Handsworth Parramore - WVH NMU21L - at Scrooby Road DN11 8JT
Sat 22 Oct - Mansfield Town v Walsall - EFLYA Cup - Venue & KO TBC
Sat 22 Oct - Handsworth Parramore v Cleethorpes Town - NCEL Prem - 3pm
Tue 25 Oct - Southwell City v Mansfield Town - WVH NMU19L - Bishops Drive, NG25 0JP
Wed 26 Oct - Brigg Town v Selby Town - NCEL Div 1 - 7.45pm 
Sat 29 Oct - Lincoln City v Mansfield Town - EFLYA - 11AM Venue TBC
Sat 29 Oct - Newark Town v Dinnington Town - CMFL North - 3pm
Tue 1 Nov - Eastwood Community FC v Mansfield Town - WVH NMU19L - Play Soccer USA Arena (3G) NG16 3HB
Sat 5 Nov - Mansfield Town v Notts County - EFLYA - 11AM Venue TBC
Sat 3 Dec - Mansfield Town v York City City - EFLYA - 12noon venue TBC
To be continued. Watch this space!
However, I have been told that I am contrary and impetuous by nature.
So I might end up just about anywhere else instead, on any of the above dates.