Mansfield Town U18s begin their FA Youth Cup campaign tomorrow night (Tuesday), when they take on Doncaster Rovers at the One Call Stadium (7pm).
The Stags will be looking to emulate or improve on last season’s impressive run in the competition, which saw them reach round three before they were narrowly beaten by Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.
The young guns fell to defeat in their last match against Scunthorpe.
The hosts took the lead through Ryan Ingram and, despite dominating the contest, the Iron won the game with two goals in the final 15 minutes.
Mansfield will be looking to bounce back against league leaders Doncaster, who they have a good recent record against.
Two trips to face the South Yorkshire side this season in league and cup have ended in victory and Stags will be hoping to extend that record tomorrow.
Back in September, the U18s won a closely fought contest courtesy of Jamie Chisholm’s second-half header.
Youth team coach Simon Ward was full of praise for his team’s performance in their defeat to Scunthorpe and says the side will have learnt a cruel lesson ahead of their clash with Rovers.
“I can’t question the boy’s effort and attitude,” said Ward, speaking after the game.
“We prepared really well, and they worked hard in training.
“It’s a cruel lesson but it’s also a great development opportunity for them as well, you learn more from losing than you do winning.
“It’s now about how they react, they’re all so disappointed in the changing rooms but we have to take the positives from the display.”
Tickets for tomorrow’s match are priced £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Supporters will be housed in the lower tier of the Ian Greaves Stand for the match and tickets are cash only at the turnstiles.
Tea, coffee and refreshments will be available to purchase from Sandy’s Bar & Kitchen for the game.