BURTON Albion under 18s were left frustrated in their opening game of the Youth Alliance Cup group stage as they were beaten by 2-1 by Mansfield Town.The Brewers had dominated much of the first half, with The Stags finding it hard to contend with the attacking force that Burton possessed, however, Sam Rose’s men were unable to take their early chances and were soon undone by a change of shape by Mansfield at half time, resulting in two early second half goals.
Burton did pull one back late on but Rose was unhappy with his side’s overall showing.
“We dominated the first half, it was a really one sided affair but we never managed to score, which was the most disappointing thing, for all of the good play we were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. We nullified any threat that Mansfield caused, defended really well and we did have a lot of the ball.
“The game changed in the second half, Mansfield came out on the front foot, presumably after a bit of a shouting at from John Dempster, they changed their shape to four-four-two and dominated us for large periods of the second half, they scored two goals and we nicked one back in the 90th minute.”
Rose had spoken before the game about how Burton were preparing for Mansfield’s recent change in formation, but felt that The Brewers were unable to handle their opponents when they reverted back to a more direct style.
“Mansfield have had a bit of a change in style, they’ve gone from being more direct to trying to play the ball and that is how it was in the first half but we had the dominance, we played similar formations of three-five-two and they struggled to play through and get any real foothold in the game.
“I said to the lads at half time that I thought they would change their shape and go more direct and go back to what we expected from Mansfield in the first place which is passionate, hard working and they had a couple of moments of quality which were the goals, we never really got to grips with it, we went two goals down pretty quickly and we changed our shape a little bit.
“We played some really good football today and I think we will play worse than that and get a win in other games.”
The youngsters face next Mansfield in the Youth Alliance League hoping to improve on their cup defeat that has left them bottom of the group after the first match day.