RESERVES BEAT YORK
Reserves report: York City 0-5 Stags
mansfieldtown.net, 7 Nov 2017
Five-star Mansfield Town comprehensively defeated York City 5-0 in Tuesday afternoon's Central League clash at Bootham Crescent.
A first-minute strike from right-back Hayden White and braces from striker Jimmy Spencer and midfielder Calum Butcher ensured Stags breezed past their opponents on a wintery day in Yorkshire.
The Stags' side - overseen by assistant manager Paul Raynor - was full of first team players who were lacking in competitive minutes.
Goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik started between the sticks with White, Paul Digby, Rhys Bennett and Johnny Hunt across the back four.
Will Atkinson and Calum Butcher started in central midfield, with Alfie Potter and Jack Thomas on the flanks. Frontmen Jimmy Spencer and Omari Sterling-James were tasked with leading the Stags' line against a youthful York side.
Stags started incredibly quickly and were ahead within a minute. Skipper for the day Rhys Bennett played a magnificent cross-field ball with his left foot and found marauding right-back Hayden White. The former Peterborough United man drove into the box before firing past York stopper Simpson and into the bottom corner.
The game evened out slightly after the first goal with both sides appearing to be equally matched in intensity and physicality. It was a slightly cagey affair with both teams unable to get any momentum or control of the game in the first quarter of an hour.
The Stags' next effort came from some nice play down the flank from winger Alfie Potter who teed up striker Omari Sterling-James. He hit a decent strike but straight down the middle of the York City goal, which was dealt with comfortably by York 'keeper Simpson.
Stags started to look more meaningful in possession and striker Jimmy Spencer was at the far post to knock down a cross for Alfie Potter who swiveled, made some space for himself, and fired a low effort into the arms of the York 'keeper.
Encouraging play from the Stags saw another effort from Spencer saved after a Sterling-James knock down on the edge of the box fell nicely for Spencer to drill a low shot across the surface, only for Simpson to save again.
York's first effort on target came in the 30th minute after midfielder Harry Thompson picked the ball up just inside his own half and released winger Aaron Haswell who beat Rhys Bennett for pace and struck a high effort towards Stags' 'keeper Bobby Olejniks's near post, but Olejnik saved accordingly.
Stags were starting to dominate and the next opportunity came when Jimmy Spencer won the ball back in the Mansfield half and showed some nice footwork to beat two men, opening up space in the centre of the park to run into. Spencer released the ball onto the right wing for Sterling-James to run onto who played a low squared ball across the York City box, only for it to be cleared by the York defence.
Sterling James then saw a solo effort from just inside the York City box whistle past the wrong side of the York City post after taking a slight deflection from York defender Theo Walton. The resulting corner then saw Potter play a short pass into Spencer on the edge of the box who drilled a shot towards the far post only for the York City defence to block on the line.
The Stags doubled their lead, after continuous pressure, in the 40th minute. Sterling-James received the ball on the edge of the York City box and held it up well, before he was clipped by a defender.
The referee played a good advantage as the ball rolled out to an onrushing White down the left flank. White clipped in an inch-perfect cross onto the lively Spencer's head who finished comfortably with an excellent effort, directed back across goal and beyond the reach of Simpson.
The Stags' first notable effort of the second half came when midfielder Will Atkinson picked up the ball on the edge of the York box and weaved past two York defenders.
His attempted pass to Potter took a deflection and ran nicely into the path of Sterling-James who was through on goal and dinked over the onrushing 'keeper but saw his effort cleared off the line by the tiring York defence.
Stags continued to look lively after the restart and a lovely scooped pass from Butcher beat two York defenders to put Alfie Potter through on goal, but the York 'keeper saw the danger early and came out to smother the attack.
York had a rare opportunity on goal which saw midfielder Tyler Walton hit a fierce effort from the outside of the Stags box which went just wide of the 'keeper's right-hand post.
Stags had the majority of second half possession but were falling short of the mark with the final ball at times.
York City then broke away on the counter with Walton picking up the ball in his half and playing in Haswell, only for Bennett to make a superb sliding challenge to deny prevent Haswell from getting a shot away.
The resulting corner saw Stags 'keeper Olejnik collect the ball unchallenged and send his side quickly onto the counter.
He found midfielder Butcher and the former Millwall man played the ball down the line for Sterling-James, who beat his man and squared it to Spencer on the penalty spot and he made no mistake as he side-footed past a helpless Simpson to make it 3-0 in the 73rd minute.
Stags made it 4-0 in the 80th minute. Sterling-James attempted to beat the York defender and although he was tackled, the tricky frontman pressed him into a mistake.
A back pass which was too short for York 'keeper Simpson was pounced upon by Calum Butcher and he nipped it round Simpson before rolling it into an empty net.
After grabbing the fourth, Stags made the scoreline even more comprehensive with three minutes left on the clock.
Goalkeeper Olejnik bowled the ball out to striker Zayn Hakeem, on as a substitute for midfielder Jack Thomas, and the fleet-footed frontman raced down the right-hand side, beat his man and got a cross in from near the byline.
The ball fell to the feet of Alfie Potter at the back post and after his effort was blocked, the ball fell to the feet of Butcher who side-footed it across the floor into the far corner, beating the York defenders on the line.
The referee then blew for full-time to bring to an end a dominant Stags' display at Bootham Crescent.
YORK XI: Simpson (C), Kemp, Lawrence (Watson 70), Wharton, Rogerson, Sukar, Haswell, Walton, McNaughton, Thompson, Jackson (Harrison 77)
SUBS NOT USED: Wilton, Berry, Overton
STAGS' XI: Olejnik, White, Bennett (C), Hunt, Atkinson, Butcher, Thomas (Hakeem 82), Potter, Spencer, Sterling-James
SUBS NOT USED: Wilson, Healey, Wilder
York win was 'job well done' - Raynor
Assistant manager Paul Raynor said yesterday's 5-0 Central League win over York City was 'a job well done' after a dominant display at Bootham Crescent, but admitted Stags could've scored even more against the Minstermen.
Stags' reserves got off to the best possible start when right-back Hayden White drove into the area and fired into the bottom corner to open the scoring with just a minute on the clock.
Striker Jimmy Spencer and midfielder Calum Butcher both bagged braces later in the game to make the scoreline even more emphatic.
And Raynor, who oversaw the team at Bootham Crescent whilst manager Steve Evans took training at One Call Stadium, was pleased with the outcome of the match, but believes Stags could've scored more against their youthful opponents.
"There's not many games you win 5-0 and you can be slightly disappointed," said Raynor. "I think we didn't really move the ball as quickly in the second half as we should've done.
"I think the couple of goals at the end contributed to [York's] own downfall a little bit. They got a little bit sloppy at the back and we punished them.
"To say we've won 5-0, it was a job done, a job well done, but I think we could have exploited them a little bit more if we'd have moved the ball a little bit quicker, especially in the second half.
"The attitude was spot on and the work rate was spot on. We were playing against a youthful York side who, it has to be said, were a good side and they played some lovely football."
Right-back Hayden White scored the first goal and provided the cross for Jimmy Spencer to head home the second and the Stags' assistant boss wants to see more from the former Peterborough United full-back in the final third of the pitch.
"He's incredibly fast, he's a very, very good attacking full-back and that's where we want to see him, in those sorts of areas. I thought it was a fantastic ball from Rhys Bennett; I didn't expect him to hit that with his left foot but the switch was on and it was a fantastic first touch from Hayden and then a really cultured finish.
"In those sorts of areas, with his pace and the quality of his cross, he's picked out Jimmy [Spencer] with a great ball for the second.
"There were some good individual performances, Hayden was one of them."
The stand-out man for the Stags was striker Jimmy Spencer who, in addition to bagging a brace, linked the play between midfield and attack incredibly well, which pleased the on-looking Raynor.
"I thought Jimmy Spencer was absolutely magnificent, as he has been in recent weeks in the Checkatrade Trophy. He's come on in first team games and done well.
"Everyone likes to score goals but it's not just about the goals for Jimmy, it's about his all-round play and when plays like that - bringing people into the game - his link-up play is fantastic.
"The nice thing is all the guys are in there patting him on the back because they know what a good performance it was, not just the goals but his all-round performance. He's a likeable guy, people want to see him do well and I'm delighted for him."