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Archived News from November 2019

17th November 2019 22:10

FA Youth Cup - Round 2
Mansfield Town U18 4 - 2 Rotherham United U18 (after extra time)
Scott 45+2, Saunders 70, Ingram 116, Molyneaux 118. Grattan pen 9, 85. Beeden sent off 68
Attendance: 189

Wednesday 13 November 2019


Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town’s under 18 side are through to the third round of the FA Youth Cup after a thoroughly entertaining 4-2 win over Rotherham United at the One Call Stadium last night. Having beaten Doncaster in the first round, the young Stags were up against a Rotherham side that had already beaten them twice this season, but the Stags came out on top in this important tie. Mansfield will now face Queen’s Park Rangers in round 3 at the One Call Stadium in mid December on an exact date to be confirmed.

The Stags trailed to an early penalty converted by Rotherham’s hugely impressive Jacob Gratton, but deservedly equalised on the stroke of half time through striker Josh Scott, who slammed into the net from 10 yards.

Midway through the second half, Rotherham were reduced to ten men when the lightning fast Rio Molyneaux was scythed down by Harrison Beeden on the touchline right in front of the Stags dugout. And shortly afterwards, Mansfield were in front as substitute Nathan Saunders side-footed home from 12 yards after good play from Jimmy Knowles. The Stags were in control with the visitors down to ten men and looked comfortable to hold on for victory and could have increased the lead with a good run and cross-shot from Molyneaux that fizzed wide, but were guilty of unnecessarily knocking the ball around in their own half and gifted Rotherham an unlikely equaliser after 85 minutes as George Cooper left a backpass to his keeper Boyle well short and Grattan had the easy task to slot past the keeper. It was gutting for the Stags team to concede such an unnecessary goal. And it could have been curtains for the Stags on 89 minutes as Grattan was left unmarked and fired wide from the edge of the box and then on 90+5 a Stags defender cleared a header from Jake Hull off the line underneath his own bar.

Into extra time, and little happened in the first period, but in the second period, the Stags made the extra man count as Rotherham tired more than the Stags, and with just 4 minutes left, sub Ryan Ingram fired in to spark mass celebrations, and then two minutes later, the impressive Molyneaux scored a stunner, sending a left footed shot into the top left corner of the net after a great run. What a goal that was!

Overall a very enjoyable night and some impressive performances from the young Stags. Rio Molyneaux with his lightning fast pace is certainly one to watch and he possesses some real skill too, Jimmy Knowles played in a less-advanced role than he has played for the first team, more of an attacking midfielder than a striker, and looked good, Josh Scott played well as a good strong centre forward, and Ethan Hill impressed in central midfield rarely losing the ball and covering a lot of ground. Jordan Armsden and Kian Sketchley, who also played in last season’s FA Youth cup run, looked solid at the back, and it was a shame that Armsden had to come off with what looked a painful leg injury, but his replacement Nathan Saunders came up with a goal. For Rotherham, Jacob Gratton looked quite a talent.

Stags: Jamie Boyle, Ben Bayliss, Kian Sketchley, Kyle Tomlin, George Cooper, Jordan Armsden, Rio Molyneaux, Ethan Hill, Josh Scott, Jimmy Knowles, Shamar Lawson.
Subs: Nathan Saunders for Armsden, 57
Ryan Ingram for Lawson, 101
Arun Jones for Bayliss, 112
Isaac Fisher for Scott, 120+1
Subs not used: Leon Philips, Sadler, Nathan Caine.

Rotherham: Ellis, Makwedza, Smith, Spence, Hull, Beeden, Scott (Gateshill 46, Salah 116), Gratton (Wenham 120), Greaves (Hanley 71), Kenny, Peel-Evans. Subs not used: Burnett, Millen.


Youth report: Stags 4-2 Rotherham United
by Kelham Hilton, mansfieldtown.net

Mansfield Town under-18s progressed to the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup after a dramatic 4-2 victory over Rotherham United at One Call Stadium.

Two goals late in extra time from Rio Molyneaux and substitute Ryan Ingram sealed victory against the 10-man Millers.

Strikes from Joshua Scott and Nathan Saunders had seen the Stags ahead before the visitors equalised late on in regular time of the contest.


The young guns made their numerical advantage count as they struck late on in the additional 30 minutes to book their place in the next round.

The Stags started brightly and were almost rewarded for their high pressing approach in the fifth minute. Scott forced Harrison Beeden into a rushed clearance, but Elliot Ellis nipped in to clear the danger.

Moments later, Shamar Lawson went agonisingly close to opening the scoring. Jimmy Knowles cut-inside after marauding down the right channel and saw his shot blocked. The ball broke to Lawson who could only fire over.

Despite the hosts’ strong start, it was the Millers who took the lead after nine minutes. The referee pointed to the spot after a coming together between Jacob Gratton and George Cooper. Gratton dusted himself down and fired his penalty just out of Boyle’s reach.

The amber and blue responded strongly and went close to an equaliser after 12 minutes. After a second Millers’ penalty appeal was waved away, the Stags broke with pace through Molyneaux. The winger cut the ball back to Lawson who sliced his effort wide.

Mansfield went close again when Scott was denied by a stunning save from Ellis. Again, it was Molyneaux causing danger as he found the forward with a pinpoint cross but the Millers’ ‘keeper somehow got down low to parry it away from close-range.

The young guns were the Millers under sustained pressure and the visitors somehow survived again midway through the first half when the ball fell to a grateful Ellis, after a goalmouth scramble.

Another chance went begging for the home side on 28 minutes. Scott made a superb run to meet Lawson’s cross but he could only direct the ball wide of the far post.

Rotherham almost had a second against the run of play after 33 minutes. Gratton found a pocket of space and fired a powerful swerving effort which Boyle kept out with a strong right armed parry.

On 42 minutes Gratton was unlucky not to score his second of the evening. The ball broke to the midfielder on the edge of the box and his ferocious drive whistled just wide of the post.

The Stags deservedly equalised in first half stoppage time, when Hill picked Scott out and this time, the forward made no mistake, finishing empathically past Ellis.

The second half followed the same pattern of the first, with the Stags on top. Scott made another smart run to get on the end of a freekick but could only direct it wide on 48 minutes.

On the hour mark, it was Lawson’s turn to try his luck, as he set his sights from 25 yards. Ellis was relieved as he watched the midfielder’s effort fizz wide of the post.

Down the other end, Wilfred Peel-Evans tested Boyle with a swerving shot from distance. The Stags’ stopper initially parried his effort but managed to collect it on the second attempt.

The Millers were reduced to 10 men on 66 minutes after Beeden’s reckless challenge on Molyneaux gave the referee no option but to show him a red card.

From the resulting free-kick, Bolton Makwedza nipped in at the vital moment to deny Lawson a certain goal as he waited to pounce at back post.

The Stags made their numerical advantage count on 70 minutes, when substitute Nathan Saunders calmly slotted home after Lawson’s cross broke to him inside the penalty box.

The home side went searching for a decisive third goal and very nearly had it 15 minutes from time. Lawson’s shot at the front post was blocked after Knowles’ cutback, as the Millers managed to clear.

On 82 minutes, Molyneaux was inches away from sealing it after his cross-cum-shot narrowly flashed wide from a tight angle.

Two minutes later, the visitors were gifted a way back into the contest when Gratton latched onto a loose touch from Cooper and calmly finished one-on-one to level the game.

With a minute remaining Rotherham almost nicked it when Gratton slipped in Peel-Evans. Bearing down on Boyle’s goal, the forward could only fire wide as the Stags escaped.

Gratton’s late goal forced extra time, as both teams went searching for the goal that would send them to the next round.

Kyle Tomlin had the first effort of extra time, as he fired straight at Ellis from distance in the 93rd minute.

In the second period of extra time, Molyneaux was inches away from winning it as his perfectly weighted cross was missed by everyone in a yellow shirt. Knowles kept the attack alive but could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle.

Moments later, Makwedza couldn’t quite get on the end of a free kick for the visitors as the ball flashed wide.

The game was no end-to-end with both teams throwing caution to the wind to try and earn their place in the next round.

Ingram couldn’t get a shot away so elected to tee up Hill, from distance the midfielder lifted the ball over the crossbar.

With time ticking away, Ingram won it for the Stags with an unstoppable strike. The forward latched onto a pass and fired into the far corner.

With penalties looming, Molyneaux won it with two minutes to spare, with a stunning left-footed strike from distance.

The two goals sparked scenes of jubilant celebrations for the young Stags, as they booked their place in the next round.

STAGS XI: Boyle (GK), Bayliss (Jones 112’), Sketchley, Tomlin, Cooper, Armsden (Saunders 57’), Molyneaux, Hill, Scott (Fisher 120+1), Knowles, Lawson (Ingram 101’).

UNUSED SUBS: Phillips (GK), Sadler, Caine.

ROTHERHAM XI: Ellis (GK), Makwedza, Smith, Spence, Hull, Beeden, Scott (Gateshill 45’, Salah 115’), Gratton (Wenham 120’), Greaves (Hanley 71’), Kenny, Peel-Evans.

UNUSED SUBS: Burnett (GK), Millen.

REFEREE: Jack Forder

ASSISTANTS: William Murray & Michael Redgrift

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Anthony Wingate



REPORT - Mansfield Town 4 v 2 Academy - AET - FA Youth Cup

A brave performance from Rotherham United’s Academy, which saw them compete with their Mansfield Town counterparts for 10 men for a long period, were beaten 4-2 in extra time in the second round of the FA Youth Cup.

The Millers made the early running as Jacob Gratton calmly fired his side into the lead from the penalty spot before Joshua Scott restored parity seconds before half time. Substitute Nathan Saunders gave the hosts the lead after a bright start to the second period before matters were compounded for Ciaran Toner’s side as Harrison Beeden saw red for a tackle on the halfway line.


A gutsy display from the Millers though saw Gratton pounce to grab his second of the game late on and send the tie into extra time, where goals from Ryan Ingram and Rio Molyneaux cruelly ensured that the Millers’ 2019/20 campaign in the competition came to and end.

The hosts took the early incentive and threatened with the first chance of the game which fell to Shamar Lawson but his thunderous drive ended up wide of the target.

The tie would swing in the favour of the Millers minutes later though when the lively Jerome Greaves wriggled free of a home defender in the box, who clipped the heels of the forward as he escaped his attentions leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the penalty spot.

Gratton was the man tasked with taking the spot kick and stood up to the task confidently, expertly despatching his penalty into the bottom left corner, despite the goalkeeper diving the right way.

Greaves was unlucky not to see his side awarded another penalty as a result of his clever play in the box on 12 minutes, after a low pass in from the right paved the way for a brilliantly disguised stepover before he appeared to be clattered by a late challenge, but referee Jack Forder had a good view of the incident and opted to wave play on.

That decision saw the hosts break up to the other end of the pitch where Lawson had another sight of goal, where he fired narrowly wide from eight yards out.

The young Millers came close from a set piece routine with Wilf Peel-Evans heading Joel Spence’s corner at goal, but goalkeeper Jamie Boyle bravely got up to pluck the ball out of the air in a crowded penalty area.

Elliot Ellis was then forced into the save of the game at the other end, producing an excellent reaction save to somehow keep out Joshua Scott’s close-range effort and preserve Toner’s side’s advantage.

Boyle in the Stags’ goal then had to get a firm palm to Gratton’s piledriver before another powerful strike from the same player this time whizzed wide of the upright.

The Millers looked set to be ahead at the break as the board for two minutes of added time went up, but Mansfield had other ideas. Joshua Scott, who had already tested Ellis, this time made no mistake as he timed his run to perfection to steer home a cut back from the byline and make it 1-1 moments before half time.

Half-time - Mansfield Town 1 v 1 Academy

The hosts started the brighter of the two teams after the restart and threatened early through Kyle Tomlin and then Rio Molyneaux but the Millers stood firm and repelled the Stags’ early advances.

Peel-Evans then sent a warning shot across the bows of the hosts with a long-range strike which was initially too hot for Boyle to handle before he gathered at the second attempt, but the task was about to become much harder for Toner’s side.

There looked to be little danger as Molyneaux broke down the Mansfield right but a rash challenge from Harrison Beeden saw him sent for an early bath as he cleaned out the Stags’ midfielder in front of the home dugout.

Saunders then took advantage of the extra man in their ranks as he edged the Stags in front on 69 minutes, showing good composure to steer the ball home after it had dropped kindly for him in the penalty area.

The Millers understandably had to endure period of pressure but did so admirably with some brave defending from Bolton Makwedza and Joel Spence among those keen to ensure the hosts couldn’t extent their lead.

Jacob Gratton had proven to be a thorn in Mansfield’s side all evening and he came close to getting his reward as he twisted free on the edge of the area to fire a shot at goal which was well-blocked.

Gratton’s and the Millers’ persistence would eventually pay off as the attacker finally rippled the net. This time, he wasn’t the architect himself, instead pouncing on a defensive error to run through one-on-one and coolly slot the ball home to make it 2-2 a minute from time.

Toner’s side almost nicked it right at the death when Jake Hull’s goalbound header looked destine for goal following a corner, before being cleared from under the crossbar in stoppage time.

Full-time - Mansfield Town 2 v 2 Academy

There was little action of note to report on in the opening stanza of extra time with a couple of dangerous deliveries from the hosts amounting to the most danger, without testing Ellis in the Millers goal.

Gratton continued to try to carve an opening for his side ploughing a lone furrow as the man leading the line but was unable to conjure any magic before the interval.

Extra time half-time - Mansfield Town 2 v 2 Academy

Robbie Gateshill’s introduction had seen him provide some real quality from set piece situations and he obliged again in the second half of extra time with a delightful free kick cross which flashed agonisingly beyond three red shirts at the back post.

Makwedza was called into a fantastic last ditch tackle as the half progressed but despite the Millers’ resilience the Stags would find a way through.

With four minutes left of extra time, substitute Ingram drilled an effort from an acute angle to perfection and it rocketed it’s way into the far corner to give Mansfield a 3-2 lead.

The Stags then guaranteed their place in the next phase of the competition in some style, as a classy finish from Molyneaux saw him curl an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Extra time full-time - Mansfield Town 4 v 2 Academy

Academy - Ellis; Makwedza, Hull, Beeden, Smith; Scott, Spence, Gratton, Peel-Evans; Kenny, Greaves.

Subs - Burnett, Gateshill, Millen, Salah, Wenham, Hanley.

Mansfield Town - Boyle, Bayliss, Sketchley, Tomlin, Cooper, Armsden, Molyneaux, Hill, Scott, Knowles, Lawson.

Subs - Philips, Sadler, Saunders, Jones, Ingram, Fisher, Caine.


‘Heart’ and ‘honesty’ on show in cup win - coach

Mansfield Town under-18s’ coach Mike Whitlow says that his side showed great ‘heart’ and ‘honesty’ as they progressed to the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a dramatic extra-time victory over Rotherham United at One Call Stadium.

After falling behind to an early penalty, the young guns rallied to take a 2-1 lead through Joshua Scott and Nathan Saunders.

The Stags were pegged back late on, as Jacob Gratton netted his second of the evening to force extra-time.

With the contest heading for penalties, substitute Ryan Ingram stepped up to put Mansfield back in front before Rio Molyneaux sealed the victory with a stunning goal moments later.

Whitlow said that his team were a ‘credit’ but urged his charges to be more clinical in front of goal, after the amber and blue were taken to extra-time despite carving several clear cut opportunities throughout the 90 minutes.

“We were an absolute credit,” he began. “I think it was a really good advert for the FA Youth Cup tonight. We saw two teams battle hard against each other and there was some really good football on show. I think we showed great heart and honesty.


“I think Ethan Hill was impressive in midfield for us, he covered a lot of ground and looked after the ball very well.

“If the ball doesn’t go in the back of the net you don’t win the game. We’ve created the chances again, but we have to take them. It puts pressure on the back four when we don’t take our chances, so we need to take more.”

"We saw two teams battle hard against each other and there was some really good football on show. I think we showed great heart and honesty."

The young guns’ reward for defeating the Millers is another home game in the third round. This time, the Stags will be welcoming Queens Park Rangers under-18s to the One Call Stadium.

“QPR will come here - they’re a Championship club with a great academy setup and some unbelievable players,” added Whitlow.

“We’ll dust ourselves down. We’ve got a few games between now and then so we will look to try and build momentum.

“Winning games is great; we want these lads to go on and win professional contracts. If they keep performing and putting themselves on a big stage, they’ll have a great opportunity.”

Substitute Ryan Ingram, speaking after the game, said he was ‘buzzing’ with his contribution as he came off the bench to put the Stags in front in extra-time.

“I’m absolutely buzzing,” said the striker. “As soon as it got to extra-time, I knew I could get on and change the game. I feel like I did that, scoring the third goal to put us ahead.

“The feeling is indescribable. The ball fell to me and I just put my laces through it. I was buzzing to be able to celebrate with my teammates and the fans.”

Midfielder Ethan Hill played the full 120 minutes and was singled out for special praise from his coaches. Hill was pleased with the way he and his team-mates stuck together in testing circumstances.

“It was an unbelievable feeling to play in front of a crowd and win at the One Call,” said Hill. “I was absolutely shattered come the second-half of extra-time, but we got through it and stuck together.”

Stags’ under-18s will play Queens Park Rangers at home in round three. The tie will be played in the middle of December at a date and time to be confirmed.

All three interviews with Mike Whitlow, Ryan Ingram and Ethan Hill will be available to view on mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.



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