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LEEDS U23 2-1 MANSFIELD U23
18th November 2021 19:19


Premier League Cup
Leeds United U23 2 - 1 Mansfield Town U23
McGurk 52, Dean 71. Gale 87
at York City FC (LNER Community Stadium)
15 November 2021

by Martin Shaw from the live stream

Mansfield Town U23 were beaten 2-1 by Leeds United U23 on Monday evening at York City’s new ground. The Stags will feel they should have won this game having played plenty of good football but missed a hat-full of good chances (about a dozen), denied by some fine saves, and had Leeds on the rack for long periods of the game.
The Stags U23 should have been ahead at the break, with George Cooper unlucky to hit the bar, Will Forrester denied by a very good save on the line, and James Gale firing over after Tyrese Sinclair's free kick was blocked. But it remained goalless.
Leeds U23 took the lead after 52 minutes when a shot from the edge of the area from Dean was touched by McGurk 6 yards out and it dribbled passed George Shelvey into the net. Such a soft goal to concede. Dean fired against the top of the bar for Leeds three minutes later, before the Stags piled on the pressure for a 15 minute spell in which Leeds didn’t even get out of their own half, with Sinclair twice and Gale missing three chances in 4 minutes, and Keaton Ward having a shot saved by the keeper.
Completely against the run of play, Leeds U23 added a second goal after 71 minutes as McGurk pulled back from the byline and Dean got away from George Cooper to smash into the net.
The Stags U23 side continued to create good chances with great play from Jason Law making space for a shot which was blocked, Ryan Burke firing the rebound over, and moments later Law got into the area in a 1-on-1 with the keeper and the keeper turned his shot onto the bar.
A terrible backpass from Jaden Charles after 79 minutes gifted Leeds a chance but Shelvey did well to get something on the shot and turn it wide.
The Stags U23 finally found the net after 87 minutes when Jaden Charles redeemed himself surging forward and found James Gale whose low shot from 22 yards was too powerful for the keeper.
The Stags were so close to equalising with a great piece of play as Sinclair put in a wonderful cross from the right and Keaton Ward got in a super header but the keeper saved very well. Then in stoppage time, Tyrese Sinclair fired over the bar from 22 yards.
A frustrating night for the young Stags side who played plenty of good stuff against a much younger Leeds U23 side, and a game that they should have won. Credit to the Leeds goalkeeper Harry Christy who made several excellent saves to keep the Stags out.


The Stags lined up with 5 in midfield (Ward and Burke in front of the back four; Caine, Law and Sinclair behind Gale up front).
(4-2-3-1)
George Shelvey;
James Clarke, George Cooper, Will Forrester, Jaden Charles;
Keaton Ward, Ryan Burke,
Nathan Caine, Jason Law, Tyrese Sinclair;
James Gale.
Sub: Taylor Anderson (for Caine, 85 mins)
Subs not used: Mason, Collins, Bouch, Scott.

The Leeds side contained mostly U18s, with one 15 year old (Archie Gray, grandson of Frank Gray) and one 16-year-old James Debayo. Leeds had a number of U23 players away on international duty.

Leeds:
Christy, Moore, McCarron, Jenkins, Kenneh, Debayo, Hughes (Carole 63), Gray, Dean, Allen, McGurk.
Subs not used: Ombang, Littlewood, Picksley, Buchan.

DETAILED REPORT :

15 mins Gale cut in from the left from a corner, curled in a shot which the keeper parried away. Caine’s follow up from a tight angle was saved.
16 mins Sinclair’s free kick from the right, Cooper glanced his header against the bar.
18 mins Allen fired wide for Leeds following a corner.
25 mins Comfortable save for Shelvey, pushing away a shot from Dean.
29 mins A good tackle from Burke as Leeds broke.
33 mins Sinclair tried a shot from a free kick from the right. The keeper pushed it wide. From the resulting corner taken by Law, Forrester’s header brought a great save from the keeper on his line.
43 mins Sinclair was brought down 25 yards out, left of centre. His shot from the resulting free kick was blocked, the ball ricocheted to Gale who sent the rebound from 12 yards over the bar. A bad miss from Gale.
HT 0-0
52 mins 1-0 A shot from the edge of the area from Dean was touched by McGurk 6 yards out and it dribbled passed Shelvey into the net. Such a soft goal to concede.
55 mins Dean cut in from the right and fired against the top of the bar. Forrester didn’t stop him getting the shot in.
60 mins Gale won the ball, he put Sinclair in on the left, he got into the area and slid his shot inches wide of the right post. He should have scored from there.
63 mins Law found Sinclair who shot wide from the left.
64 mins Law to Gale, on the edge of the area, a difficult chance, and he shot wide on the turn.
68 mins A great tackle by Ward, he surged forward, and his shot was saved by the keeper.
71 mins 2-0 Completely against the run of play, Leeds U23 added a second goal as McGurk pulled back from the byline and Dean got away from George Cooper to smash into the net. The Stags had piled on the pressure for a 15 minute spell in which Leeds didn’t even get out of their own half before that.
73 mins Great play from Law, he made space for a shot which was blocked, Ryan Burke firing the rebound over.
73 mins Moments later Law got into the area in a 1-on-1 with the keeper and the keeper turned his shot onto the bar.
76 mins Ward was booked for an earlier foul after the referee waved play on.
77 mins Burke was booked for sliding in despite winning the ball.
79 mins A terrible backpass from Jaden Charles gifted Leeds a chance but Shelvey did well to get something on the shot and turn it wide.
81 mins Sinclair set Charles away towards the byline, but his low ball across was too close to the keeper.
83 mins Allen volleyed wide from a Leeds corner.
85 mins Young Taylor Anderson replaced Caine.
87 mins 2-1 The Stags U23 finally found the net when Jaden Charles redeemed himself surging forward and found James Gale whose low shot from 22 yards was too powerful for the keeper.
88 mins James Clarke cleared off the line from a Gray shot.
89 mins The Stags were so close to equalising with a great piece of play as Sinclair put in a wonderful cross from the right and Keaton Ward got in a super header but the keeper saved very well.
90+4 mins Then in stoppage time, Sinclair fired over the bar from 22 yards.
90+5 mins Cooper blocked a Dean shot on the break.
FT 2-1 How did the Stags lose that!?

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Nigel Clough told iFollow Stags on the Leeds U23 game the following day:

"It was a funny game. We had so many opportunities, especially in the second half. Tyrese (Sinclair) could have had a hat-trick, similar to the Newcastle game last week. "We went 2-0 down ... two poor goals ... got one back late on. But we'd missed numerous opportunities and should not have lost the game."

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Leeds United edge out wasteful Mansfield Town youngsters in Premier League Cup
chad.co.uk, By Andrew Webb

Leeds United very narrowly edged out Mansfield Town 2-1 in a Premier League Cup tie at York City's new LNER Community Stadium on Monday, writes Andrew Webb.

It was a high energy, high-tempo encounter with loads of running involved and it had plenty of chances at both ends.

The key difference was Leeds took the openings which came their way whereas Mansfield’s youngsters didn't; striking the woodwork on two occasions, missing a couple and being denied by the keeper numerous times before James Gale eventually put the ball in the net in the 88th minute.

“It was a funny game,” said Stags boss Nigel Clough.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/leeds-united-edge-out-wasteful-mansfield-town-youngsters-in-premier-league-cup-3459867

“We had so many opportunities, especially in the second half - Tyrese (Sinclair) could have had a hat-trick similar to the Newcastle game last week. We went 2-0 down - two poor goals - got one back late on. But we'd missed numerous opportunities and should not have lost the game.”

Mansfield competed well against a quality team and despite Sinclair enduring one of those nights when the ball just wouldn't go in for him, he contributed a lot of positive energy - linking things up, running at players and posing a serious attacking threat.

Likewise, Keaton Ward put in a proper shift and supplemented attacks well - more so as the game progressed,Jason Law showed bits of quality on the ball at set-plays and Jaden Charles, bar a short attempted back-pass late on, made a couple of crucial interceptions under pressure.

Leeds netted the all-important first goal courtesy of Sean McGurk who stabbed a toe-end towards Dean's initial low effort to send the ball trickling past a rooted-to-the-spot Shelvey from only a matter of yards out.

Having missed a string of chances, Stags paid for their profligacy on 72 minutes as McGurk and Dean combined once more to make it 2-0.

Mansfield didn't give up and Gale found the bottom corner with a low edge-of-the-box shot to make it 2-1 with two minutes left.

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Leeds United U23 player ratings as Kristoffer Klaesson and Dani van den Heuvel sent warning
leeds-live.co.uk

A depleted Leeds United U23s impressed at home to Mansfield Town U23s securing a 2-1 victory in the PL Cup

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leeds-united/leeds-u23s-player-ratings-christy-22174741

Leeds United's U23s recorded their first win in the Premier League Cup this season with an impressive, professional 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town U23s.

The young Whites fielded a youthful starting XI due to various U23s being away on international duty this week, but conducted themselves very well on a slick, greasy pitch against a tricky opponent.

Mansfield's line-up included various 20 and 21 year-olds, whereas Leeds named 15-year-old Archie Gray and 16-year-old James Debayo in their starting XI.

The game remained in the balance up until the 70-minute mark when Max Dean put Leeds 2-0 to the good, after Sean McGurk had opened the scoring.

Mansfield's James Gale denied Harry Christy the clean sheet his goalkeeping heroics deserved with a late consolation.

Here are the Leeds United player ratings from the LNER Community Stadium.

Harry Christy - 9
Very impressive from Christy who made some top saves and commanded his area brilliantly. Whenever he was needed, he delivered what was required. Strong punches and saves - palmed and smothered - sometimes two at a time, ensured Leeds held onto all three points; Christy looked every bit a Man of the Match candidate.
Based on that performance, Leeds have three eligible candidates for the No. 1 spot in the U23s.

Kris Moore - 7
Cut a frustrated figure at times as his runs down the right flank went unnoticed and were subsequently wasted. Shuffled back into formation with his defensive teammates whenever Mansfield attacked, restricting the number of penalty box entries they were able to make on his side of the field.
Retrieved the ball well and carried more of a threat in the second 45.

Nohan Kenneh - 7
Swept up in defence with some firm tackles, interceptions and decisive clearances, allowing his centre-back partner Debayo to dribble and pass out from the back a touch more.

James Debayo - 6
Stood out as right-sided centre-back mainly due to his confidence in possession, Debayo had no qualms when it came to punching passes through lines or carrying it forwards, as he did in the opening 45 seconds of the game. A little bit of naivety creeping in with some of his defensive work, committing to challenges when he could have perhaps stood his man up instead; booked on the stroke of half-time for one such incident.

Liam McCarron - 7
Responsible performance from Leeds' oldest player on the night, McCarron stuck with his man in defensive phases and carried the ball forward well, particularly in the second half.

Jack Jenkins - 6
Received the ball from the goalkeeper and central defenders to begin moves from the back. It's a thankless task and often goes underappreciated but crucial to Leeds building attacks.

Charlie Allen - 6
Nudged off the ball one too many times as Leeds momentarily lost control in the second half. Technique was clean and crisp throughout but another who came across quite undersized on the night.

Archie Gray - 8
Always received the ball on the correct foot, opening his body into the space rather than closing his angles. Plenty of this Mansfield side were five and six years older than the promising teenager, but he wrestled the ball back on occasion and competed well throughout. A languid, assured display from the England U16 international.

Alfie Hughes - 6
Tried to stretch the pitch on the right-hand side but struggled to isolate the Mansfield left-back. Came across a little but undersized in duels, but the majority of the opposition were two and three years his senior. Played a major role in the opening goal, driving infield from the right and finding Dean who provided the assist for McGurk.

Sean McGurk - 7
A quiet first half from McGurk was followed up by a goal in the opening ten minutes of the second, sweeping the ball underneath the Mansfield 'keeper to open the scoring. A goal and assist apiece for he and Dean on the night, as McGurk turned provider for Leeds' second goal, getting to the byline and chopping across for the centre-forward.

Max Dean - 8
Started brightly by dropping deep and trying to link moves but faded as the first half wore on, but very easy to forget he's still 17. Shortly after the restart, he dropped into space yet again, sprayed it wide for a one-two before prodding it into McGurk's path for the game's opening goal.
Saved the best for his own finish on 72 minutes, controlling McGurk's assist and volleying in from close range.

Subs:
Keenan Carole - 6
Introduced shortly after the hour mark when Leeds were under the cosh ever so slightly. Tried to get his foot on the ball but the stretched nature of the game meant those opportunities were few and far between. A dynamic, endeavouring half hour.

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Sean McGurk and Max Dean on target as Leeds United Under 23s break Premier League Cup duck against Mansfield Town
yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk, By Graham Smyth

Leeds United Under 23s picked up a first Premier League Cup win of the season, beating Mansfield Town 2-1 at York last night.

Sean McGurk opened the scoring in the second half at York City's LNER Community Stadium, before turning provider for Max Dean.

The young Stags hit back through James Gale, but Mark Jackson's youngsters held on for three points as the group stage of the competition reached its midway point.

Jackson was without a number of his regulars through international duty but was still able to field Jack Jenkins, Liam McCarron, Nohan Kenneh, Dean and McGurk alongside Under 18s including 15-year-old Archie Gray and 16-year-old James Debayo.

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/football/leeds-united/sean-mcgurk-and-max-dean-on-target-as-leeds-united-under-23s-break-premier-league-cup-duck-against-mansfield-town-3459254

Leeds had early chances through centre-half Kris Moore and forward Dean but George Shelvey in the Mansfield goal kept the game scoreless.

His opposite number Harry Christy denied Nathan Caine from close range and the Stags hit the bar through George Cooper's header.

After the break Leeds hit the front, Dean's blocked shot falling to McGurk who stabbed home his third goal of the season.

As the game neared its final 20 minutes Moore played a ball over the top to McGurk who found Dean, the striker firing high into the net to make it 2-0.

Christy was forced into action again, pushing a Jason Law effort onto the woodwork, but three minutes from time Gale found the net to make it a nervy finish for the hosts.

Jackon's 23s return to action on Friday afternoon when they host Chelsea at Thorp Arch in Premier League 2 at 1pm.

Leeds: Christy, Moore, McCarron, Jenkins, Kenneh, Debayo, Hughes (Carole 63), Gray, Dean, Allen, McGurk. Subs not used: Ombang, Littlewood, Picksley, Buchan.

Mansfield: Shelvey, Clarke, Charles, Cooper, Forrester, Law, Caine (Anderson 85), Gale, Sinclair, Burke, Ward. Subs not used: Mason, Scott, Collins, Bouch.

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Why Leeds United Under 23s boss Mark Jackson postponed analysis of Mansfield Town game
yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk, By Graham Smyth

Leeds United Under 23s boss Mark Jackson postponed any analysis of the game against Mansfield Town last night so his players could bask in the winning feeling.

Jackson, without several regulars away on international duty, was delighted to see his youngsters hold on despite late pressure to clinch a 2-1 victory, their first in the Premier League Cup this season.

Results have not always reflected performances for the 23s of late but no matter how upbeat and positive Jackson has remained, the seven-game winless streak will have taken a toll on his players so he was keen to let them enjoy the emotions only victory can bring.

"Really pleased with the result," he said.

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/football/leeds-united/why-leeds-united-under-23s-boss-mark-jackson-postponed-analysis-of-mansfield-town-game-3459721

"There's been times recently when we've been disappointed with the result but I'm happy with it. They deserve that, not only tonight but in other games when we've played well and not deserved to lose but not got anything and it comes around. I'm just pleased for them to get the victory.

"They've not felt the winning feeling for a bit, it's nice for them to feel that and sometimes the performance might not be exactly like we want it or we might not have dominated as we want to, but they dug in and showed a togetherness and desire to see the game through to the end. I'm really pleased for the boys.

"There are certainly elements we can always get better at but I didn't have any negative comments to the players afterwards with regards to doing this or that better. It's not time for that, it's time for them to enjoy that winning feeling again. We'll get back in and look at the game and highlight things we can do, like we always do, it's the same process."

Jackson's initial analysis of the game was that his team did well to weather Mansfield pressure and manage the game a little better than they have previous outings.

"I thought we started the game really, really well," he said.

"They came back into it in the first half, had some dangerous players we had to try and get a grip of. For the most part the boys did that. A big thing for us as a staff is that the boys stuck together, even conceding a goal late on they stuck to it. There's some signs of them learning to win games, which is important."

Leeds fielded a young side again, but that was always their intention in the Premier League Cup. There were a number of regular starters in the line-up but they were joined by Under 18s as young as 15, including Archie Gray.

Jackson hopes they will take inspiration from being part of the win.

"We've got a lot of players away with internationals, we left some players out as well who could have been available but we decided to stick to the principles of what we wanted to do in this competition from the start of the season, blood a few of the youngsters," he said.

"We did that and they showed some good things. Hopefully it'll give them confidence to move forward and keep pushing their performances on."

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