THE Young Brewers began their Youth Alliance Cup group stage with a 3-1 defeat to Mansfield Town, with a second-half own goal providing Albion’s strike.
The Young Brewers struggled to get going in the first-half and could have been a goal down inside five minutes. Mansfield had the ball in the net from an early set-piece, but the goal was ruled-out for a foul.
On 17 minutes, the Stags took the lead. Jimmy Knowles sprinted in-behind the Brewers defence and slotted the ball past Callum Hawkins and into the corner of the net.
Midway through the first-half, Mansfield were awarded a penalty. The ball struck the arm of an Albion defender from point-blank range, and the referee pointed to the spot. Tyrese Sinclair stepped-up for the visitors but was denied by a brilliant save from the feet of Hawkins.
However, Mansfield were not to be denied and doubled their lead before half-time. Cashmore got in one-on-one and slid the ball under Hawkins and into the net.
The Young Brewers almost pulled a goal back before the break when James Melhado smashed a dangerous free-kick across the face of goal, but nobody got a touch to guide it into the net.
Mansfield made it 3-0 just after the break. Knowles was presented with a golden opportunity for his second of the game and tapped home from close range.
With 20 minutes to go, the Brewers pulled one back. Jack Holmes cut inside and saw his shot blocked. The Mansfield defender scuffed his clearance and the ball crossed the line, with Kyle Clamp making sure.
Ciaran Gilligan flashed a shot just wide not long after the goal, while Hawkins made another brilliant save to keep the score at 3-1.