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Archived News from January 2020

20th January 2020 21:26

FA Youth Cup - Round 4
Mansfield Town U18 0 - 3 Burnley U18
Fenlon pen 11, Conn-Clarke 15, Moonan 19.
Attendance: 432

Thursday 16 January 2020


by Martin Shaw

Mansfield Town’s under 18 side were beaten 3-0 at home by Premier League Burnley’s under 18 side in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup this evening. Burnley stormed into a 3-0 lead after just 19 minutes to blow the Stags away at a very windy One Call Stadium, and although Mansfield performed very creditably after that, there was no coming back. The Stags were the lowest ranked club left in the competition, and had done exceptionally well to reach the fourth round with exciting wins over QPR in round 3 (report here), Rotherham in round 2 (report here), and Doncaster in round 1.

Burnley, with four internationals in their starting line-up, plus Wayne Rooney’s cousin, and plus another international on the bench in Mickey Mellon’s son, effectively won the game in the early stages coping better with the swirling wind in the first half and making it pay to devastating effect.
After 11 minutes, they took the lead from the penalty spot after Stags right-back Ben Bayliss was adjudged to have fouled the impressive left winger Conn-Clarke. There was minimal contact, and it looked a poor decision from the referee to award a penalty, which was soft at best. Fenlon stepped up and sent Stags keeper Maison Campbell the wrong way from the spot.
It was 2-0 after 15 minutes as Conn-Clarke made a good run down the left, cut inside and curled a shot inside the far post with the assistance of a strong gust of the wind, though Stags keeper Campbell might feel he could have done better.
And it was 3-0 after 19 minutes as a Burnley corner from the right was flicked on and Moonan was unmarked to knock in at the left post.
The Stags were shell-shocked and star players Jimmy Knowles and Rio Molyneaux who had been so influential in previous rounds had barely had a kick.
Gradually Mansfield started to get a foothold in the game as centre forward Josh Scott sent a shot wide, Molyneaux finally had the ball on the right and his shot was deflected over, then Molyneaux fed inside to Shamar Lawson who sent a shot over the bar from 12 yards. Then on 38 minutes, Mansfield’s best move so far as Molyneaux played inside to Ethan Hill who found Lawson who fired just wide. Jimmy Knowles curled a shot over the bar before half time.
3-0 to Burnley at the break and it looked a long way back for the young Stags.
Early in the second half, Burnley keeper Allen made his first save of the night as a combination of him and Conn-Clarke did well to block a header from George Cooper on the line following a Stags corner.
Midway through the half, Jimmy Knowles had two chances to reduce the deficit as first his low shot was saved, then he curled wide from 12 yards from a chance that he normally gobbles up.
Burnley left back Rain flashed a shot wide after 79 minutes, which turned out to be more or less the last chance for either side.

In the end, this was a comfortable victory for Burnley thanks to those 3 early goals, but Mansfield played with plenty of spirit and created plenty of chances to pull goals back but were unable to take them. Indeed the Stags were clearly the better side in the second half. Much to be proud of and once again great credit to all the Stags players, to the coaches including Mike Whitlow, Simon Ward and Jamie McGuire, the rest of the Academy staff led by Richard Cooper, and of course to former manager John Dempster, plus directors Steve Hymas and Mark Hawkins who have paid a special attention to the youth team.

Having been at the One Call Stadium for the previous two rounds I was disappointed not to be able to go to tonight’s game as I’m in Cornwall ahead of the first team’s game at Plymouth on Saturday. So it was great to be able to watch the game live on the club’s youtube channel. Thanks to Mark Stevenson, Ryan Johnson and Alex Shaw for providing excellent coverage.

Stags (4-4-2):
Maison Campbell;
Ben Bayliss, George Cooper, Nathan Saunders, Kian Sketchley;
Rio Molyneaux, Ethan Hill, Kyle Tomlin, Shamar Lawson;
Josh Scott, Jimmy Knowles.
Subs: King for Bayliss, 60
Ryan Ingram for Hill, 70
Subs not used: Boyle, Fisher, Adams, Jones, Caine.

Burnley: Allen, Patterson, Rain, Moonan, Pruti, Rooney, Fenlon, Woods, McGlynn (Mellon 88), George (Thompson 66), Conn-Clarke. Subs not used: Thomas, Chima, Armstrong, Brennan, Connolly.


FA YOUTH CUP: Mansfield Town U18s 0 Burnley U18s 3
Early goals seal passage through as Clarets reach round five


Captain Chris Conn-Clarke spearheaded the Clarets’ march into the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup.

The Northern Ireland youth international earned the early penalty converted by Rhys Fenlon before curling in Burnley’s second goal himself.

And when Dylan Mooney volleyed home a third with only 20 minutes gone, Tony Philliskirk’s youngsters already had a foot in round five.

West Bromwich Albion now await the Clarets, who have advanced this far only once since their run to the semi-finals of the competition in 2012.

The home tie against the Baggies will be at Curzon Ashton, where Burnley launched their challenge with a 5-0 win over the National League North side.

And they again avoided an upset thanks to a flying start which effectively ended Mansfield’s hopes of prolonging their impressive run in the competition.

The Stags had knocked out Doncaster, Rotherham and Queens Park Rangers to reach round four - all at Field Mill.

But their home advantage wasn’t enough to compete with the Clarets once the visitors had taken early control.

Mansfield couldn’t cope with the pace and trickery of Conn-Clarke in the opening stages and he duly made them pay.

After just five minutes his twisting run, following a pass from Ben Woods, was ended by a trip from Ben Bayliss.

Fenlon, stretching the Stags on other flank, had scored the opening goal at Curzon Ashton from the penalty spot and repeated the dose to calm any early nerves.

Conn-Clarke then took matters into his own hands when another positive run ended with him cutting in to bend a shot into the top corner from just inside the penalty area.

Things might have been different had Harry Allen not saved smartly at the feet of Shamar Lawson at the other end with the tie goalless.

Instead, Mansfield were left with a near impossible task when midfielder Mooney met a corner from Woods inside the six-yard box to make it 3-0.

To their credit, Mansfield - watched by the Stags’ Turf Moor Academy graduates James Clarke and Aidan Stone - responded well and almost pulled a goal back through Lawson, who fired just wide before the break.

And they had the better second-half chances on a wet and windy night as the Clarets relaxed their grip.

Defender George Cooper saw a combination of Allen and Conn-Clarke keep out his goalbound header before Jimmy Knowles - who has scored at first-team level - shot wide when he looked a certain scorer.

Allen also had to dash off his line to save well at the feet of Joshua Scott.

But while the Clarets enjoyed a three-goal margin they were never under any real threat of letting things slip.

And left-back Matty Rain almost added a fourth - and the goal his impressive performance merited - when he got forward to screw a low shot across the face of goal.

Mansfield: Campbell; Bayliss (King 60), Cooper, Saunders, Sketchley; Molyneux, Hill (Ingram 70), Tomlin, Lawson; Scott, Knowles. Substitutes: Boyle, Fisher, Adams, Jones, Caine.

Burnley: Allen; Patterson, Rooney, Pruti, Rain; Fenlon, Woods, Moonan, Conn-Clarke; George (Thompson 65), McGlynn (Mellon 88). Substitutes: Thomas, Chima, Armstrong, Brennan, Connolly.

Referee: Andrew Humphries


Philliskirk: Last 16 A 'Fantastic Achievement'
Boss hails Clarets youngsters after sealing fifth-round place


Tony Philliskirk hailed a ‘fantastic achievement’ as the Clarets booked their last in the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup.

A 3-0 win at Mansfield Town took Burnley into round five for the first time in five years and only the second time since their epic run to the semi-finals in 2012.

And Philliskirk was full of praise for his young side who scored three times in an early eight-minute burst to set up a home tie against Premier League Two second-tier outfit West Bromwich Albion.

“There’s a really good spirit about them and we’re now into the last 16, which is a good achievement,” said the Under-18s’ boss.

“We’ve got a really tough game at home to West Bromwich, but it’s fantastic for the lads to do that.

“Curzon (in round three) was a banana skin game and this was a tough game. They’ve been on a good run and have beaten good teams.

“I am so proud of the boys. I always say ‘every day in training, every game you play. Look yourself in the mirror at the end and if you’ve given everything you’ve got, we can’t ask for any more’.

“The boys are doing that at the moment. The spirit amongst them is really good and I’m so proud of them. It’s a fantastic achievement to get through to the last 16.”

A Rhys Fenlon penalty after Chris Conn-Clarke had been tripped set the Clarets on their way.

Top scorer Conn-Clarke then curled in the second before Dylan Moonan virtually made the tie safe when he volleyed in the third inside the opening 20 minutes.

Mansfield refused to buckle and goalkeeper Harry Allen needed to make a couple of smart second-half saves to nullify any threat of a fightback.

But the Clarets got the job done to make it four successive wins in league and cup.

“Mansfield have a good academy and work their lads hard, but I thought our application and preparation for the game was really good. We won the game in the first 20 minutes,” Philliskirk added.

“In our last three games we have been 3-0 up at half time. In the previous two games against Hull and Barnsley they have come back to 3-2 and we have been hanging on at the end.

“We didn’t move the ball or keep the ball as well in the second half. But I thought we game-managed this much better.

“Credit to them, they changed their system and caused us a few more problems, but I thought when we had to defend, we defended well. I was really pleased with the clean sheet.

“That’s a sign of a good goalkeeper. Harry has had virtually nothing to do for 45 minutes and then pulled off two great saves at 3-0.

“One of those goes in and it gives them some impetus and could get quite panicky. But apart from those two saves I never felt under any real pressure.”


Conn-Clarke: Brilliant And Professional Performance
Youth team skipper delighted with team performace over Stags


Captain Chris Conn-Clarke believes a ‘brilliant and professional’ performance got the Clarets through to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup last night (Thursday), with a 3-0 win over Mansfield Town.

Tony Philliskirk’s side ran riot in the first half, with three goals in eight minutes, as Rhys Fenlon slammed home a penalty, won by Conn-Clarke, then the Northern Irish winger curled in a spectacular effort to double the visitor’s lead, before Dylan Moonan turned home a corner with just 19 minutes played.

And the second-year scholar, who also cleared an effort off the line, admitted a brilliant and professional display, at the One Call Stadium, ensured the Clarets secured a fifth-round home tie with West Bromwich Albion.

Conn-Clarke said: “It was good to get the ball rolling, when I won the penalty, but it also shows the defensive side we work on, with the goal line clearance in the second-half.

“It was a brilliant and professional performance and a dominant first-half spell that got us through it.

“I think everyone out there did very well, the defence, the two middle men, the forwards, Harry Allen and myself and Rhys out on the flanks caused problems.

“We also did well to cope in the conditions as well I thought, you know, we came to Mansfield’s ground, where they have beat three teams in the competition already.

“It was a very wind pitch as well and in the second-half the pitch was beginning to tear up.

“It was a bonus though to play here at the stadium, it’s a big stadium with a few fans as well which gives it that extra edge.”

“Fair play to Mansfield, they came out and gave it a good go in the second half, some teams could have crumbled after being 3-0 down, but they gave it a good go.”

And with a date to be confirmed for the Clarets’ home game with West Brom, Conn-Clarke insists the team will remain focused on the up-coming league games, until the cup clash comes around.

“Obviously, we are all looking forward too it, but we have two or three league games now to focus on and climb back up the table.

“It’s easy to be distracted by it all and just look forward to the youth cup, but the league is just as important.

“We just take it game by game and always prepare for the next match in-front of us, which is now Bolton away next week”, said the Northern Ireland U19 international.



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