{ match reports }
 
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Season 20/21 Stagsnet Match Report
English Football League Trophy
Mansfield Town  
0 - 3
 Manchester City U21
 
 Bernabe 25, Delap 89, 90+1
Attendance: behind closed doors
 
Date: 8 September 2020

STAGS LOSE 3-0 TO MAN CITY U21 IN EFL TROPHY

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City U21 at the One Call Stadium in their first game in the group stages of the EFL Trophy (now with no sponsor but recently known as the Leasing.com Trophy and Checkatrade Trophy).
Manchester City U21 led 1-0 at half time thanks to a fine goal as the hugely impressive England U17 striker Liam Delap played a great ball forward to Adrian Bernabe who slid his shot past Marek Stech in the Stags goal from a tight angle. The Stags’ best moment of the half came with a corner kick straight off the training ground as a great delivery from Tyrese Sinclair, in his first start in a competitive game, found Ollie Clarke just inside the area and unmarked, and Clarke volleyed left-footed just wide of the right post with the keeper motionless and beaten. It was Ollie Clarke’s debut, having been injured through much of pre-season, he took over the captain’s armband, and was Mansfield’s best player on the night.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw Mansfield create a host of good chances but unable to take any of them. The best chance fell to the impressive Sinclair after his own high cross was volleyed goalwards by Mal Benning and pushed away into Sinclair’s path by the keeper. The empty goal was gaping but the ball was a fraction behind Sinclair and he completely miscued his shot. Jamie Reid had a free header from a terrific Benning cross but headed too close to the keeper who pushed it wide, Nicky Maynard headed over the bar, the keeper saved again this time from Sinclair, and Aaron O’Driscoll headed over the bar.
Mansfield were worthy of an equaliser based on chances created but missed those chances and were made to pay in the final two minutes as Manchester City U21 scored twice, both goals as a result of defensive mistakes, to put a gloss on the scoreline. After 89 minutes, Alistair Smith gave the ball away and Delap showed tremendous skill to keep hold of the ball on the edge of the area before making space to shoot and fire into the bottom corner of the net. The third goal was a defensive calamity as Benning tried to head a long punt forward from Bernabe back to Stech but didn’t get enough on it and then slipped as he tried to recover the situation allowing Delap to run through, knock the ball over the advancing Stech and then finish the job tapping it into the net.
So, not ideal preparation for Mansfield in the build-up to Saturday’s league opener against Tranmere, but there were some positives from the night, notably the excellent performance of Ollie Clarke and the inventiveness of Tyrese Sinclair.

The game was again played behind closed doors as all games will be until at least October. Hopefully a limited number of fans, those with season tickets, will be allowed back in October.

The Stags gave a debut to Ollie Clarke who took over as captain from Ryan Sweeney. It was a first start in a competitive game for Tyrese Sinclair. Alongside Clarke and Sinclair in midfield was Alistair Smith. Probably Smith’s best game for the Stags was in this competition at Burton last season. Aaron O’Driscoll was in the centre of the back three, with Rollin Menayese and Ryan Sweeney. Up front, Nicky Maynard started with Jamie Reid. It was a very young bench apart from Kellan Gordon.

The Stags were gifted a corner in the opening minute. Sinclair’s corner was over everyone.

O’Driscoll did well to cut out a ball after 4 minutes. Then a good clearance from Ollie Clarke after 8 minutes.

A free kick for Manchester City U21 after 10 minutes. Felix Nmecha took it from 30 yards and Stech watched it all the way. Sweeney showed good defending after 16 minutes, holding off Robinson and showing his Football League experience. City played the ball around in triangles around the edge of the box after 22 minutes before Benning cleared.

A good move from the Stags after 24 minutes. Ollie Clarke won the ball, played forward to Sinclair who turned away from his man and played a low ball across which was cleared for a corner by the keeper. From the resulting corner, O’Driscoll had the ball in the net but the whistle had long since gone.

Manchester City U21 took the lead after 25 minutes thanks to a fine goal as Liam Delap played a great ball forward to Adrian Bernabe who slid his shot past Stech from a tight angle. The Stags looked for an offside but there wasn’t one.

Sweeney got in a great tackle as Delap forced his way into the area after 30 minutes.

Sinclair lost the ball and did brilliantly to win it back after 35 minutes. He played it forward to Clarke whose cross was deflected for a corner. The resulting corner kick was straight off the training ground as a great delivery from Sinclair found Clarke just inside the area and unmarked, and Clarke volleyed left-footed just wide of the right post with the keeper motionless and beaten.

Menayese was booked for shirt-pulling after 36 minutes. Yellow cards only count towards disciplinary issues within this same competition.

Benning gave Robinson too much space to cross two minutes later, but Stech claimed the cross.

Sweeney and Delap were booked for pushing after the whistle had gone on 40 minutes.

Great play from Ollie Clarke to win the ball after 41 minutes, eventually a chance for Maynard but he scuffed his shot straight to the keeper.

At the other end a minute later, Stech pushed a shot wide.

Half time 0-1

After 48 minutes Benning’s free kick from the right was over everyone and out for a goal kick. At the other end two minutes later, a great block by Smith on a Nmecha shot.

A great backheel from Maynard found Sinclair after 52 minutes, but his low ball in was claimed by the keeper.

After 54 minutes, a great chance fell to the impressive Sinclair after his own high cross was volleyed goalwards by Benning and pushed away into Sinclair’s path by the keeper. The empty goal was gaping but the ball was a fraction behind Sinclair and he completely miscued his shot.

Clarke was booked after 55 minutes for back chat to the officials.

On 56 minutes, Jamie Reid had a free header from a terrific Benning cross but headed too close to the keeper who pushed it wide. From the resulting corner, Benning played back to O’Keeffe who curled in a cross and Maynard headed over the bar.

A mistake by O’Driscoll after 58 minutes as he left a backpass short, Delap nipped in and tried to chip Stech but Stech made a great stop.

Reid made a good turn on the edge of the area on the hour and his shot was deflected over.

A double change from the Stags after 61 minutes and clearly a planned one as the two players who have not had a full pre-season, Ollie Clarke and Maynard were replaced, by Gordon and youth team striker Josh Scott. Gordon went in at right wing-back while O’Keeffe moved into midfield. It was Scott’s debut.

After 62 minutes, the keeper saved again this time from Sinclair, as Reid found Sinclair and he shot across the keeper who saved at full stretch.

Two minutes later, Gordon put in a good cross and Aaron O’Driscoll headed over the bar.

O’Driscoll was involved at the other end a minute after that as he blocked Delap’s shot into the side netting.

Great defending from Menayese on 74 minutes to put Delap off as he was through one-on-one. Menayese was careful not to dive in rashly.

The Stags might have had a penalty after 77 minutes as Gordon got into the area and went down. The referee had a long look before turning it down.

O’Driscoll did well after 80 minutes as he was in a good position with Delap pushing forward and Delap shot well wide. Two minutes later, a super block from Menayese on another Delap shot.

Jimmy Knowles replaced Reid after 83 minutes.

Sweeney, at full stretch, did well to cleared a low cross after 87 minutes.

Brilliant from Delap after 88 minutes as he fired in a great shot which brought a great save from Stech.

Mansfield had been worthy of an equaliser based on chances created but missed those chances and City had come on strong in the latter stages. The Stags were made to pay in the final two minutes as Manchester City U21 scored twice, both goals as a result of defensive mistakes, to put a gloss on the scoreline.

After 89 minutes, Alistair Smith gave the ball away and Delap showed tremendous skill to keep hold of the ball on the edge of the area before making space to shoot and fire into the bottom corner of the net.

The third goal on 90+1 minutes was a defensive calamity as Benning tried to head a long punt forward from Bernabe back to Stech but didn’t get enough on it and then slipped as he tried to recover the situation allowing Delap to run through, knock the ball over the advancing Stech and then finish the job tapping it into the net.

A yellow card for Knowles after 90+3 minutes, for being involved in a bit of “afters”.

Great skill from Gordon to win a corner after 90+4 minutes. From the corner by Sinclair, Smith had a free header and the keeper saved at the left post.

So a disappointing result. On to the big league kick-off on Saturday.

Man of the match: Ollie Clarke


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



Line Up:
(3-5-2)
Stech;
Menayese, O’Driscoll, Sweeney;
O’Keeffe, O.Clarke, Sinclair, Smith, Benning;
Maynard, Reid.
Sub Line Up:
Gordon (for O.Clarke, 46 mins)
Scott (for Maynard, 46 mins)
Knowles (for Reid, 83 mins)
Subs not used: Stone, J.Clarke, Law, Walker.
Opposition Line Up:
(4-3-3): James Trafford; Sammy Robinson, Finlay Burns, CJ Egan-Riley, Joshua Wilson-Esbrand; Felix Nmecha, Luke Mbete, Adrian Bernabe; Ben Knight, Liam Delap, Sam Edozie (James McAtee 69). Subs not used: Slicker, Gbadebo, Bobb, Ogbeta, Wright-Phillips, Sobowale.
Referee:
Tom Nield


Season 20/21 Reports