BURTON Albion Under-18s twice came from behind to draw level but ultimately fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Mansfield Town.
Tom Hewlett and trialist Mitchell White were the goalscorers for the Young Brewers in a close and competitive encounter at St George’s Park in the EFL Youth Alliance North East Division.
Mansfield first took the lead on 11 minutes when the visiting attacker’s curling effort from outside the box looped over captain Nathan Smith and into the back of the net.
However, the home side were not behind for long as just nine minutes later, a ricochet fell to Hewlett who showed impressive pace and power to hold off the defender to slot home into the bottom corner.
Just after the half-hour mark, Albion could have taken the lead when Jack Holmes cut inside from the right onto his weaker left-foot and unleashed a curling effort that was inches over the crossbar.
On the stroke of half-time though, it was the visitors who regained the lead as the Young Brewers conceded a penalty which was dispatched for the striker’s second goal of the game.
There was a double change made at half-time as White and Emmanuel Shittu replaced Yewo Nyirenda and Matty Richardson and, just before the hour mark, it was White who would impact proceedings. When Tyo Carter’s effort was blocked by a Mansfield defender, the striker was first to react to the loose ball and he calmly finished to level the scores.
The winner was also to be scored by a substitute as the visitors made a rapid response to being pegged back once more as the forward finished well from a tight angle just four minutes later to clinch the three points.
Speaking after the match, Professional Development Phase Coach Sam Rose focussed his post-match thoughts on looking ahead to Monday night's FA Youth Cup 1st Round Proper clash with Chesterfield.
He said: “We know today was a game that was there to be won. We will be making the point to the players that today’s performance was much closer to the levels we expect from them individually and as a team. We have played well for large spells and it’s not a bad thing that we now have a point to prove in the next game. We go into Monday full of confidence knowing that if we play like that more consistently we will be the better team in most games.”
Said Idouarab also impressed at full-back and he reflected on the mood in the dressing room. “We are obviously disappointed because we felt that we were the better team - we felt like we could and should have got more from the game,” he said. “We moved the ball, we created chances, it’s just about taking those chances and winning games.
“It’s just about moving on from this and onto the next game and looking to build performances by implementing some of the things we did well today.”