FA YOUTH CUP RD4: STAGS BEATEN BUT TERRIFIC
FA Youth Cup Round 4
Mansfield Town 0 - 3 Stoke City
Date: 19 January 2015
STAGS BEATEN BY STOKE BUT PUT IN TERRIFIC PERFORMANCE IN FA YOUTH CUP
Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill
Mansfield Town’s Youth Team were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup in round 4 this evening by Premier League Stoke City, but Mansfield’s players can hold their heads high after a terrific display. It was also a terrific achievement by the Stags to reach round 4 for the first time since 1999/2000 (a team that included Liam Lawrence and Lee Williamson). Indeed the Stags had only once ever reached round 5, in 1984/85, with a team including Craig McKernon, Les Robinson and Ian Stringfellow.
Mansfield more than held their own for 45 minutes, creating more chances than Stoke. The impressive and dynamic midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick had two shots on target in the opening 13 minutes, both straight at the keeper. Dan Fletcher, the only Stags player who has played in the first team, had a left footed shot saved by the keeper’s legs on 15 minutes. And then Tyler Blake was so unlucky not to put the Stags in front on 27 minutes as his shot deflected inches wide of the left post from 12 yards. Stoke had only threatened once though they were unlucky as a shot from Douglas hit the outside of the right post on 13 minutes. But on the stroke of half time, Stoke took the lead with a powerful run through the middle from Julian N’Goy who held off defenders before firing past Stags keeper Sam Wilson. It was a bitter pill for the Stags to swallow and one they didn’t deserve.
Straight after the break, Stags captain Chris Spencer fired into the side-netting. Stags keeper Sam Wilson was called into action on 56 minutes with a fine save for a corner after the ball came off a combination of Stags centre half Corbin Shires and a Stoke striker from a cross from the right. But Stoke increased their lead on 65 minutes as Renee-Pringle fired into an empty net after a shot from the left hit the post and rebounded to Renee-Pringle. Within a minute, Dan Fletcher headed straight at the keeper from a corner. Stoke got a flattering third goal on 80 minutes as Mansfield were caught napping by a quick free-kick, Stoke got the ball to the byline, the ball was pulled back and Daniel Jarvis’s shot deflected into the net off Jack Koczalski. The Stags were close to a goal on 84 minutes as Chris Spencer’s excellent free-kick from 24 yards was heading for the top corner before Stoke keeper Gyollai tipped it over. Then in stoppage time, Anthony Dwyer’s low cross-shot was saved by the keeper’s legs and sub Kieran Harrison’s follow-up shot was just wide of the angle of crossbar and post.
So 3-0 to Stoke, who were the better side in the second half, but overall 3-0 was a very harsh scoreline on the Stags.
Some impressive performances. Joe Fitzpatrick was terrific in central midfield with accurate set pieces and surging runs. Chris Spencer alongside him in central midfield also played extremely well. Anthony Dwyer, on the right showed good skills. Dan Fletcher caused the Stoke defence problems with good strength. At the back, Corbin Shires was a man mountain and at 6 ft 7 inches looked very solid and a no-nonsense defender. Jack Koczalski had a good game at right back, as did Tom Slone getting up and down the left flank. Sam Wilson, just 15 years old, in the Stags goal, showed fine handling and had little chance with the goals. But the whole team impressed and can be extremely proud of their performance.
Mansfield: Sam Wilson, Jack Koczalski, Corbin Shires, Kyle Hempshall, Tom Slone, Anthony Dwyer, Chris Spencer, Joe Fitzpatrick, Tyler Blake, Dan Fletcher, George Holloway. Subs: Ollie Roome (for Holloway, 72), Kieran Harrison (for Blake, 81), Charlie Brownlie (for Hempshall, 83). Subs not used: Frazer Hampson, Rory Thomson.
Brave Stags’ FA Youth Cup journey is over
mansfieldtown.net, 19th January 2015
Youngsters eliminated by Premier League opposition in Last 32.
2014/15 FA Youth Cup - 4th Round
Monday 19 January 2015
Mansfield Town 0
Stoke City 3 (N'Goy 45, Renee-Pringle 65, Koczalski (og) 80)
A battling young Stags side were unable to make it to the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup, after a gusty fourth round defeat against grade one Premier League academy outfit Stoke City at One Call Stadium on Monday evening.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/youngsters-ready-for-biggest-game-next-week-2207912.aspx#PQIdUDGlb5R5gZWD.99
In what was the biggest night of our youth team’s 2014/15 campaign, the boys entered the game knowing they were massive underdogs, playing against a side with fantastic resources and experience at their disposal.
However, the Stags’ line-up would have been buoyed by their fine form of late, picking up five wins from their last six Football League Youth Alliance games and having already disposed of Boston United, Northampton Town and Tranmere Rovers, in the previous rounds of the cup.
The first chance of the game fell to the Stags after nine minutes of play, as Joe Fitzpatrick rifled a low shot from 30 yards out, with Stoke keeper Dan Gyollai doing well to get his body behind the ball.
The Potters then went close to opening the scoring four minutes later as Theo Vassell broke away from the Mansfield defence, only for his shot to clip the outside of Sam Wilson's left-hand post and roll out for a goal-kick.
Despite the perceived gulf in class between the two sides, the game remained equally balanced in the opening exchanges and the Stags went close again on 16 minutes, when Anthony Dwyer's neat back-heel set up top scorer Dan Fletcher, but the marksman's shot couldn't find its way past Gyollai.
Mansfield continued to put the visitors’ defence under significant amounts of pressure and on 27 minutes Tyler Blake was unlucky not to find the net, when a corner kick fell perfectly for the ex-Nottingham Forest youngster, but his well-struck shot from the penalty spot was deflected away for a corner kick by a City defender.
In a game which was arguably the biggest of our youngster's careers so far, they were certainly looking unfazed and could have considered themselves unfortunate not to have had their noses in front as the break approached.
However, right on half time, the Stags were hit with a sucker-punch, when having sloppily lost possession in the middle of the park, Stoke's Belgian forward Julien N'Goy was then able to out-pace the home defence and slot home past Wilson, to put the Potters a goal to the good against the run of play.
Back in December, City dished-out a third round, 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough and no doubt this would have been preying on Mansfield minds, knowing they would have to produce a similar or improved performance to the first half, to get back into the game.
Things did look promising early on, when after three minutes of the re-start Chris Spencer unleashed a fierce long-range effort, which just crept past the wrong side of the visitor's post, but after 68 minutes the Potters managed to double their lead, when Yusuf Coban's initial shot struck the foot of Wilson's right-hand post, before Johnville Renee-Pringle was on-hand to blast the rebounded ball into an empty net from eight yards out.
Despite the best efforts of our youngsters, they struggled to find a way back into the game and with 10 minutes remaining, Stoke made it 3-0, via an unfortunate own goal from Koczalski, who deflected a Dan Jarvis shot into his own net.
Spencer's well-placed free-kick almost found a consolation goal for Mansfield with five minutes left but a flying Gyollai save to his right saw the ball tipped over the bar and away from danger.
Two more close efforts from Dwyer and Kieran Harrison came and went in stoppage time but it is the Potters who now look forward to a fifth round trip to Manchester City but the young Stags can be rightly proud of their performance against such esteemed opposition, along with their record-breaking run in this prestigious competition.
Our youngsters now quickly turn their attentions back to the Youth Alliance, as they prepare to travel to Lincoln City this Saturday and face an Imps side they beat 4-1 at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium back in September.
Team: Wilson, Koczalski, Hempshall (Brownlie), Fitzpatrick, Shires, Blake (Harrison), Dwyer, Spencer (c), Fletcher, Holloway (Roome), Slone.
Stoke City see off brave Stags youngsters in FA Youth Cup
Mansfield Town’s youth team bravely bowed out of the FA Youth Cup as Premier League Stoke City’s stars of the future won 3-0 at One Call Stadium last night to book a place in the last 16.
Nevertheless, it was a superb effort by Stags to get as far as round four - the club’s best run since the Academy returned in 2011.
Stags manager Adam Murray said: “At times it was a pleasure to watch them. They are trying to play some good football at the minute and I know they’ve worked really hard.
“They were up against a grade one academy with excellent players. But their shape worked for 40-odd minutes and the game plan worked. We just keep having these lapses of concentration throughout the club.
“But it was a great run for them and some of the individual performances out there were superb.
“My focus has to be on first team matters as it is important we keep this club in the Football League. But if the youth team were on a different page to us it won’t work.”
Despite having won five of their last six league games and having seen off Boston United, Northampton Town and Tranmere Rovers, in previous rounds, Mansfield started as firm underdogs before a crowd of 337 on a chilly night.
In the early stages Theo Vassell clipped a Mansfield post, but the home side went on to dominate the game and the chances.
However, right on half-time the Stags were hit with a sucker punch when, having lost possession in the middle of the park, they were unable to prevent Stoke’s Belgian forward Julien N’Goy outpacing the home defence and slotting past Wilson.
The Potters then doubled their advantage on 68 minutes when Yusuf Coban’s initial shot struck the foot of Wilson’s right hand post, before Johnville Renee-Pringle was on hand to blast the rebound into an empty net from eight yards out.
Then with 10 minutes remaining Koczalski agonisingly deflected a Dan Jarvis shot into his own net to finish off the home side and confirm Stoke’s fifth round trip to Manchester City.
STAGS: Wilson, Koczalski, Hempshall (Brownlie), Fitzpatrick, Shires, Blake (Harrison), Dwyer, Spencer, Fletcher, Holloway (Roome), Slone.
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