An early goal from Charlie Shaw and a fine goalkeeping display from Adam Hassan saw Mansfield Town’s new U21/reserve side make a winning start to life in the Central League with a 1-0 victory at Rotherham United this afternoon.
Winger Shaw struck after only six minutes, turning home Pat Hoban’s pull-back from the byline at the far post.
Hoban was one of three first team players given precious minutes along with Jamie McGuire and James Baxendale.
It is a luxury the Stags have not had in recent seasons with no reserve side, though the new set-up is also designed to give as many U21s as possible the opportunity to make the step-up from youth to first team level.
The match was played at Parkgate’s Roundwood Sports Complex with Stags’ new U21s boss Mike Whitlow in charge for the first time.
On 35 minutes the Millers came close to levelling as Joshua Kayode smashed a finish against the bar and then saw Hassan superbly keep out Tom McGuire’s follow-up header.
The home side stepped up the intensity after the break, though Stags threatened on the break with sub Zayn Hakeem twice going close, and Louis Danquah forcing an acrobatic save out of Fidler.
When Bailey sent a half-volley over the Stags bar in the dying seconds, the visitors knew the points were secure.
MILLERS: Fidler, Bailey, Adeyemi (Hinds), Sterling, Rose (Saxton), Warren, Murr, McGinley, James, Maguire (Atherton), Kayode. Subs not used: Martin, Abraham.
STAGS: Hassan, Bloor, Ricketts, Harrison, Danquah, Shaw (Bilson 75), McGuire (Smith 65), Baxendale, Collins, Marriott (Browne 55), Hoban (Hakeem 46). Sub not used: Roughton.