at Welbeck M.O.D. College, nr Loughborough
EFL Youth Alliance (North)
Burton Albion (0) 0
Mansfield Town (4) 6
Alistair Smith 2, Kieran Harrison 5, Zayn Hakeem 6,
Tom Marriott 17, Ashanti Pryce 82, Devante Reittie 90
For more photos from today's game click HERE
Sam Wilson, Teddy Bloor, Henri Wilder, Cain Smith (C)(Henry Bircumshaw 80), Kane Baldwin, Kieran Harrison, Nyle Blake (Ashantti Pryce 55), Surafel Behailu, Zayn Hakeem, Alistair Smith (Devante Reittie 62), Tom Marriott
Callum Hawkins, Tom Hammerton, Reece Hutchinson, Jack Hallahan (C), Jayden Cotterill, Jacob Saville, Cameron Steele, Joe Sbarra, Cameron Shaw, Charlie Dowd, Dylan Garner
Subs - Jake Davies, Lewis Walker, Max Smith, Tristan Matthews, James Harrison
The visitors doubled their lead on five minutes, when Tom Marriott, out on the left flank, forced Tom Hammerton into conceding a corner and delivered the resulting kick himself, to the back post, where Kieran Harrison met the ball head on and planted a thundering through a crowd of defenders.
Cameron Steele launched a right wing cross into the Stags are, but Surafel Behailu, who has impressed so far in the opening games of the season cleared the danger.
Hakeem, who has been training with the first team this season, returned to the under 18 squad today to get some valuable game time under his belt and he was obviously chomping at the bit and eager to get involved.
The home side tried to find a way through the closely knit visitors midfield, but Henri Wilder intervened and took the ball away with a timely interception and put Mansfield back on the front foot.
Smith was combining well with Nyle Blake who was playing out wider on the right today, but when the pair of them combined to release Teddy Bloor on the overlap, Hawkins smothered his low cross before Hakeem or Cain Smith could add a finishing touch.
(C) Smith, played a pivotal midfield holding role today and passed with flying colours in very tiring and trying conditions. The hard work players like Cain and Kieran Harrison do, doesn't always get the plaudits, but it doesn't go unnoticed.
Behailu won the ball in the middle of the park and sprayed the ball wide for Blake to run onto and only a good stop by Hawkins stopped the younger of the Mansfield Town Blake brothers from increasing the lead.
It would be fair to say that the Stags were rampant in the first half and they almost added a fifth when Marriott bore down on goal through the left channel before Hawkins just about held on to his cross/shot at the foot of the near post.
Hakeem chased a lost cause down by the left hand corner flag and retrieved the ball, before crossing to Marriott who laid it off to (A) Smith, but he was denied by Hawkins, who by now was becoming quite vocal with his team mates, who were chasing shadows every time the visitors advanced.
HT: Brewers U18 0 v Stags U18 4
Burton changed their personnel at the break and Tristan Matthews, who had scored a late consolation goal against the Stags last week when they beat Burton in EFLYA Cup group match, went close from fifteen yards, but Wilson dealt well with the wet ball on an increasingly slippery pitch as the rain began to reach Biblical proportions.
Hakeem splashed his way towards the Albion goal on the left hand side of the home side's area, but was thwarted when Jayden Cotterill got across to make a timely interception.
The home side were trying to unlock the visitors down the left flank, but weren't getting any change out of Behailu and Bloor as they looked to push forward down the left. While Kane Baldwin, who has stood in to deputise for the injured Morgan Ratcliffe over the past couple of weeks as slotted in well alongside Harrison as a like for like replacement.
Matthews crossed to Dylan Garner, but Baldwin moved into action and stole the ball away with an assured touch.
The Stags, with a four goal cushion and one hand already on the three points, were sitting back and letting Burton come at them, while patiently waiting for gaps to appear that they could exploit.
Credit to the home side, who were at least trying to chip away at the deficit, whilst clinging onto the old adage that 'football at this level is about developing players, not results'.
Hakeem ventured forward, but with time and space to deliver his cross uncharacteristically delivered the ball straight to Cotterill who launched it back towards the halfway line.
Pryce almost scored when Devante threaded a pass through to him, but the home side's defence crowded him out and scrambled the ball away.
Bloor was working the ball out wide to Marriott who had switched flanks, but some last ditch defending kept two telling crosses away from Pryce and Reittie.
Davies tested Wilson, but the young Stags keeper still hasn't conceded a goal in the league this season and he gathered the ball well, before instigating another box to box swift break, that saw Pryce muscle past two chasing defenders, before rolling an angled shot past Hawkins to make it 0-5 with eight minutes remaining.
FT: Burton Albion U18 0 v Mansfield Town U18 6
The Stags travel to Shrewsbury Town for the second of their EFLYA Cup group matches next week, details of the venue etc. will appear on the Mansfield Town FC official website later in the week.