Craig Priest & Emily Sykes Report....
Fixture: Rainworth MW V Mansfield Town U19s
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Venue: Kirklington Road
Date & Time: Wednesday 1st August – 7.45pm
Match Referee: Sean Richardson
After a tough pre-season so far and with numerous injuries and illnesses with saw a trip to Stourbridge cancelled, Paul Cox opted to rest his senior stars and hand the fixture over to Mark Hemingray’s U19s as they prepare for their second season in the Football Conference Youth Alliance North Division.
Hemingray’s side included three of the four Youth Team graduates from last term, along with various new faces for the forthcoming season.
Line Up [4-3-3]: Ryan Hopkins, Liam Marsden, Ben Horsley (C), Jobe Shaw, Abadu Barry, Curtis Turner, Scott Rogers, Nuha Jabbi, Matt Harris, Adam Somes, Jordan Villums
Substitutes: Remmi Davies, Callum Pursglove, Lewis Chambers, Blake Vincent, Dean Robinson, Jack Hawkins, Joe Flint, Matty Jones and Danny Barke
Up against a physical Rainworth MW side it was the Stags who came the closest in the opening exchanges as Jordan Villums struck the post of five minute. Intricate play between youth team graduate Scott Rogers and new signing Nuha Jabbi saw the latter play Villums down the left channel. The skilful midfielder, playing in a more advanced role, cut inside and saw his driven effort cannon back of the inside of the post before the Wrens defence scrambled to safety.
The hosts then tested the water with two corners in quick succession but failed to break the deadlock as new youth team captain Ben Horsley rose at the far post to head away former Stags youngster Ryan Goward's corner.
Mark Hemingray’s side we’re facing up well to the Wrens seniority however we’re pegged back with 14 minutes gone as quick movement saw Alex Bolt with space on the left hand side. Bolt delivered the cross and the young Stags defence failed to pick up the run of another familiar face to the on looking Stags fans, Danny Bacon breaking free to head home at the near post.
Rainworth MW 1-0 Stags
Hemingray’s boys were dealt a further blow four minutes later as impressive midfielder Nuha Jabbi picked up a knock and had to be replaced by Jack Hawkins. Hawkins was involved in the Stags next chance as he picked out Villums on the left hand side. Villums then chipped a delightful ball into the box for Adam Somes to latch onto, the deadly front man stopped at the last by a strong sliding challenge from the Lee Cooksey.
A Scott Rogers free kick had the hosts on the back foot with 34 gone after the tough tackling midfielder was fouled to the right of the box. Jordan Villums rose unmarked at the back post but was a whisker away from connecting.
Ryan Hopkins was called into action with four to go before the break as Callum Lloyd broke free past Jobe Shaw and skipper Horsley. Lloyd, who was a Stag himself between 2004-07 struck well but was denied by Hopkins who recovered to collect the follow up cross, ensuring it was only a one goal lead the Wrens held at the break.
HALF TIME: Rainworth MW 0-1 Stags
It was the hosts that started the second period the brighter, Ryan Hopkins again on form to keep out Jared Holmes’ effort from the edge of the box, the first of three Rainworth corners which failed to trouble. At the other end Jobe Shaw blazed over on the volley from the edge of the box following a Liam Marsden cross.
Despite Mansfield showing a bit more pace as the second half progressed it was sloppy defensive play which saw the hosts grab a second on 52minutes. Danny Bacon played a crisp pass to the right of the box for Alex Bolt who beat Hopkins to the ball and rolled across the face of an inviting net, Ryan Goward on hand to tap in from four yards.
Rainworth MW 2-0 Stags
Ten minutes later the Stags came close to reducing the deficit as new recruit Curtis Turner gained ground and curled wide from the edge of the area, Turner again tested the water from a free kick from the same spot as he was upended on 81 minutes.
Substitute Joe Flint also saw an effort curl wide as opportunities for a comeback opened up; however the more senior Wrens soon put the game beyond doubt in empathic fashion with five remaining. A long throw from the right hand side caused havoc and wasn’t dealt with; a weak headed clearance saw the ball sit up nicely for Wrens substitute Barry Payne who smashed into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Rainworth MW 3-0 Stags
The Wrens third goal had pretty much taken the final sting from the game, with the Stags happy to hear the referee’s full time whistle.
FULL TIME: Rainworth MW 3-0 Stags Youth
Paul Cox’s senior side return to action on Friday with a trip to Boston United, before a final friendly the following day at home to Rotherham United.
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