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Season 19/20 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League Trophy - Leasing.com Trophy
Mansfield Town  
1 - 1
 Everton U21
Everton U21 win penalty shoot-out 4-1 for an extra point Sterling-James 87.
 Gordon 28. Baningime sent off 70
Attendance: 824 (55 from Everton)
Date: 27 August 2019


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town drew 1-1 with Everton U21 at the One Call Stadium in their first game in the group stages of the EFL Trophy (now named Leasing.com Trophy, formerly Checkatrade Trophy). There was then a penalty shoot-out for an extra point, which Everton U21 won 4-1, so Everton U21 came away from the game with two points and Mansfield one point. Mansfield play Crewe and Burton in the remaining games in the group stages to decide who progresses to the next round.
Mansfield gave a first team debut to goalkeeper Aidan Stone, and fielded youngsters James Clarke, Lewis Gibbens, Alistair Smith, Jason Law and Jimmy Knowles against the Premier League academy side. Everton themselves fielded six players who featured in this corresponding fixture two years ago in the same competition, when a much more experienced Mansfield side (containing no youngsters) won the game 1-0.
The Stags side, containing so many youngsters, did well to hold their own in the first half, but trailed at the break to an outstanding solo goal from the hugely impressive Anthony Gordon. The highly-rated Gordon, already identified as the Everton danger man, lit up the first half with superb football that will make him a target for many football league clubs who might want to secure his services on loan. Everton U21 looked very comfortable on the ball in the first half and held on to it for long periods without creating too many chances. In terms of chances it was an even half as Omari Sterling-James cracked the woodwork with an outstanding free kick from 26 yards, fired another great shot into the side netting from 23 yards, and drew a great save from the keeper with a flick from close range from a CJ Hamilton pull-back from the byline. Everton U21 also hit the woodwork from a free kick, through Antony Evans from 33 yards, while Stags keeper Stone saved well from Gordon and Dennis Adeniran. For Mansfield, in addition to the impressive Sterling-James, youngsters Clarke, Gibbens and Smith did well in the first half. Young striker Jimmy Knowles was feeding off scraps though and had little chance to impress.
The Stags brought off Law and Knowles at half time, and replaced them with Otis Khan and Alex MacDonald to make it a more experienced side. And as a result, the Stags controlled more of the second half. Early in the second half, Sterling-James forced the Everton keeper to tip wide, then Matt Preston volleyed wide from a great position, before Anthony Gordon was at it again curling in a great shot which forced a brilliant diving save from Aidan Stone. Everton U21 were reduced to 10 men on 70 minutes when Beni Baningime was sent off for a second yellow card. Alistair Smith forced a save at full stretch from the keeper with a great effort from distance, but it was fitting that it was the excellent Sterling-James who got the equaliser after 87 minutes, turning on the edge of the area and sliding a low shot under the keeper.
So 1-1 at full time, and one point each, and I think on balance that was a fair scoreline. Then a penalty shoot-out for an extra point. Otis Khan had his penalty saved, and Sterling-James fired over the bar, as Everton U21 won the shoot-out 4-1. Khan and Sterling-James were the same two players to miss in the shoot-out against Morecambe two weeks ago in the Carabao Cup.

Despite his penalty miss, again, Sterling-James has done enough in this game, and in sub appearances against Morecambe in the Carabao Cup and against Stevenage in the league, to force his way into contention to start in the league. Indeed if Nicky Maynard is not fit on Saturday, I would expect Sterling-James to start up front with Danny Rose. Youngsters Clarke, Gibbens and Smith all did well, and Tyrese Sinclair, despite only coming on for the final few minutes, really caught the eye. Sinclair, in my opinion, is a real talent to watch out for.

On a statistical note, the attendance of 824 was the second lowest at Field Mill for any competitive Stags game, just 24 more than the 800 against Torquay United in the football league on 08 March 1939.

Mansfield made six changes to the side that drew with Stevenage. In came goalkeeper Aidan Stone for his first team debut. Also Lewis Gibbens, Omari Sterling-James, Alistair Smith, Jason Law and Jimmy Knowles. Out went: Logan, Sweeney, MacDonald, Tomlinson, Khan and Rose. Young James Clarke again started at right back.
It was a 4-2-3-1 formation:
Clarke, Preston, Gibbens, Benning (captain again);
Smith, Mellis;
Law, Sterling-James, Hamilton;
On the bench for Mansfield were Tyrese Sinclair, who was to come on near the end for his first team debut, Jamie Chisholm, and Tom Fielding (who came on as sub in last year’s competition).
Everton U21 fielded six players who featured in this corresponding fixture two years ago in the same competition, when it was an Everton U23 side.

Sterling-James had the first shot of the night after 4 minutes, when his effort from 33 yards was blocked.

Anthony Gordon showed good trickery in the box after 6 minutes, and his shot from a tight angle was tipped wide by Stone, though was going wide anyway.

After 8 minutes, Sterling-James sent a fine shot into the side netting from 23 yards.

Stone and Mellis got in a pickle after 12 minutes. Stone rolled a pass to Mellis on the edge of his own box, Mellis lost the ball, and a shot from Gordon was straight at Stone. This is the sort of unnecessary error the Stags have been making at the back this season and in pre-season.

A low shot from Charsley was saved by Stone after 14 minutes.

After 16 minutes, Benning won a free kick 26 yards from goal. Sterling-James cracked a brilliant shot against the left post. Sterling-James’s kick was in the style of a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick.

James Clarke made a good run from the half way line to just outside the area after 18 minutes and fired just over the bar.

A good save from Stone after 22 minutes, as Gordon laid off to Adeniran whose shot was saved.

Everton U21 took the lead after 28 minutes. We had just been talking in commentary about how much Anthony Gordon was impressing when he beat three Stags players on the edge of the area and curled a wonderful shot wide of Stone into the net. An outstanding goal.

After 31 minutes, Hamilton shot just wide of the right post from 20 yards. Three minutes later, Mellis was fouled 34 yards from goal. Sterling-James took the free kick, it was powerful and looked on target but was blocked. A minute after that, Mellis’s free kick from the left, 33 yards out, was just over the diving Preston coming in at the far post.

After 37 minutes, a long ball forward from Gibbens was good, Hamilton did well to run onto it and he was fouled a yard outside the area. Mellis took the free kick, a really good shooting position, but it was well over the bar.

A great move after 41 minutes, Hamilton got to the byline on the right and pulled back to Sterling-James who back-flicked towards goal and keeper Tyrer made a great save to push it away.

Everton U21 were having long spells keeping the ball, without creating many chances. After 44 minutes, they hit the woodwork though, as the Stags had done earlier in the half. Gibbons was booked for clipping the excellent Gordon 33 yards out. Antony Evans curled the resulting free kick against the left post with Stone beaten.

An even first half. Everton were very comfortable on the ball, keeping it for long periods. Both sides had hit the woodwork but Everton U21 were ahead with a wonderful goal from the outstanding Anthony Gordon.

Half time 0-1

Otis Khan replaced Law and Alex MacDonald replaced Knowles at the start of the second half. Sterling-James went up front. It was now a 3-4-2-1 formation:
Preston, Gibbens, Benning (captain again);
Clarke (right wing-back), Smith, Mellis, Hamilton;
MacDonald, Khan;

After 46 minutes, Sterling-James did well to get the ball on the edge of the area with good control, he turned inside a curled a shot over the bar.

The Stags went very close after 47 minutes. Clarke curled in a lovely ball from the right, Sterling-James improvised to chest goalwards towards the bottom corner and the keeper tipped it wide. From the resulting corner from the right from Benning, Preston met it with a volley from beyond the far post and sent it wide of the right post. He put his hands on his face.

After 53 minutes, a good move from Everton, to Gordon whose curling shot brought a brilliant save from Stone.

On the hour, Khan showed great strength and played a great ball to Hamilton, who probably should have run at goal, but lacked confidence and instead tried to square to Sterling-James and it was intercepted. A minute later, Khan payed a 1-2 with Mellis, and from 30 yards Khan shot straight at the keeper.

MacDonald fired in a low shot from 30 yards after 66 minutes which the keeper parried away. A decent effort.

Preston was booked for a clumsy challenge after 68 minutes. Note that yellow cards in this competition only count towards suspensions in this competition.

Everton U21 were reduced to 10 men on 70 minutes when Beni Baningime was sent off for a second yellow card, for a foul on Sterling-James. His second yellow was a clear booking but he had been unlucky earlier when his first booking looked very soft.

Alistair Smith forced a save at full stretch from the keeper with a great effort from distance after 80 minutes.

Mellis was booked for a deliberate trip on Gordon after 82 minutes.

After 86 minutes, a long throw from Clarke, the ball wouldn’t sit up nicely and eventually Gibbens poked a shot straight at the keeper.

It was fitting that it was the excellent Sterling-James who got the equaliser after 87 minutes, turning on the edge of the area and sliding a low shot under the keeper.

Everton U21 hit back after 89 minutes as Stone made a good save from Charsley before sub Mampala sent in a follow up shot which was deflected wide.

Tyrese Sinclair replaced Smith after 90 minutes. Smith went off with a shoulder injury.

Great play from Sinclair after 90+3 minutes with a low cross. A minute later, a short corner from Benning to Mellis, who sent a left foot shot well wide.

After 90+7 minutes, two Stags shots were blocked before Sinclair’s cross found Hamilton at the back post, he knocked back, but Sterling-James conceded a free kick with a foul.

Full time and a point each.

On to a penalty shoot-out at the Quarry Lane end, for an extra point:
Everton U21 went first.
1-0 Evans fires into the top right corner.
1-1 Hamilton coolly slots into the left corner.
2-1 Foulds fires low down the middle, Stone wasn’t far from saving it with his feet.
2-1 Khan’s penalty is saved. He fires low to the right and Tyrer saves. Khan misses, as he did against Morecambe.
3-1 Charsley fires into the top right corner.
3-1 Sterling-James fires over the bar. He missed against Morecambe too.
4-1 Markelo converts the winning penalty low into the right of the net. Everton U21 win the shoot-out 4-1.

Man of the match: Omari Sterling-James

Report by: Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Line Up:
Stone 7.5 First team debut. Three really good saves. Unable to save any in the penalty shopt-out.
Clarke 7 Did well. A couple of good runs forward, including a shot and a good cross. Defended well.
Preston 6.5 Booked for a clumsy challenge. Volleyed wide from a good position.
Gibbens 7 Did well. One quality ball forward.
Benning 7 Captain again. Some good corners.
Smith 7 Did well. Forced a save at full stretch from the keeper with a great effort from distance.
Mellis 6 Gifted Everton U21 a chance early on.
Law 6 Didn’t get into the game. Replaced at half time.
Sterling-James 9 Excellent. Got the equaliser late on. Earlier, cracked the woodwork with an outstanding free kick, fired another great shot into the side netting, and drew a great save from the keeper with a flick from close range. Blotted his copybook by missing in the shoot-out, again.
Hamilton 6.5 Converted his penalty. Good first half, setting up a chance for Sterling-James. Lacked confidence to run at goal on one occasion in the second half.
Knowles 6 Feeding off scraps and had little chance to impress. Replaced at half time.
Sub Line Up:
Khan (for Law, 46 mins) 6 A couple of good moments in the second half. Missed his penalty, again.
MacDonald (for Knowles, 46 mins) 6 One decent shot in the second half.
Sinclair (for Smith, 90 mins) - Despite only coming on for the final few minutes, really caught the eye.
Subs not used: Logan, Sweeney, Jamie Chisholm, Tom Fielding.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-5-1): Harry Tyrer; Alex Denny (Ryan Astley 86), Morgan Feeney, Matthew Foulds, Kyle John; Dennis Adeniran (Ellis Simms 68, Manasse Mampala 88), Beni Baningime, Antony Evans, Nathan Markelo, Harry Charsley; Anthony Gordon. Subs not used: Jack McIntyre, Joe Anderson, Einar Iversen, Bobby Carroll.
Ben Toner 7 Had a good game. The first booking of Baningime looked very soft.

Season 19/20 Reports