Youth Team Report: Mansfield Town 1-3 Bolton Wanderers

The Young Whites made it three wins from three with a comfortable win in their final group game of the Youth Alliance Cup.

Bolton started brightly and were controlling possession from the start and Mansfield struggled to stop the Whites playing out from the back.

Bolton played with confidence and, although they made some mistakes, they stuck to their principles and provided a high quality performance for the support in attendance.

Mansfield had their own way of playing and looked to play long, win the aerial battles and pick up second balls.

However, this was a day when the Young Whites were up for the fight and showed great defensive resilience that more than matched their opponents.

Centre backs Noah Halford and Lamine Toure were dominant in the air and dealt with almost everything that was thrown at them.

The first goal arrived from a set-piece and was something straight off the training ground.

A short corner into Mitchell Henry, who turned and set up full back Max Conway who finished into the bottom corner of the goal.

It was no more than Bolton deserved after creating numerous chances in the opening period of the game.

Against the run of play, Mansfield got an equaliser when they stole the ball deep in their own half and managed to get in a cross for a tap in at the far post.

Following the interval, Bolton’s dominance was still on show, we started playing some great football and they got their rewards with a fantastic individual goal from Mitchell Henry. Tackles were flying in thick and fast as frustration set in for the young Mansfield players as a large number of them ended up with yellow cards.

The third goal was the highlight of the day, as young academy prospect Connor Lewis was introduced to the game at the age of 14-years-old. He made his U18 debut and, with only his first touch the game, picked up the ball in centre midfield and played a defence splitting pass that any player would have been proud of.

His vision and awareness to see the clever movement of Samuel Olawumi and then execute the pass was outstanding. There was still a lot to do for young Samuel, but he showed great composure to control the ball and finished past the oncoming Mansfield keeper.


Lead Professional Coach Dave Gardiner said: “Today the lads were outstanding each and every one of them.”

“The bravery they showed to keep getting on the ball in tight spaces and play through the press was excellent. The football at times was outstanding and the goals we scored just highlighted the hard work the lads have been putting in on the training pitch.”

“What was even more pleasing today was how we competed and won the physical battle. There have been times this season were we have let teams get on top of us but today that wasn’t the case. We won the battle and then imposed our game on them.”

Team: Dallimore, Conway, Toure, Halford, Burgess, Tweedley, Sharples, Pettifer, Wilcox, McEvoy, Henry, Toure.

Subs: Kamara, Jones, Lewis, Olawumi, Frimpong

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