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Glory day as young Stags retain title for third year in a row

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Mansfield Town’s youth team secured the EFL Youth Alliance North East Division title for the third successive season in a 2-1 win at Bradford City this afternoon.

Goals from Rhys Sarson and Nyle Blake ensured the young Stags kept their U18s crown with three games still to play.

Paying tribute to the work being done at that level of the club by John Dempster, Richard Cooper and staff, delighted first boss David Flitcroft said: “The foundations the club is laying underneath the first team will be very strong. We watch the youth team a lot more.

“We need to know what’s underneath so we can build a matrix for the football squad and certainly, when loan signings come in you have to ask do you actually need that loan signing or have we got it underneath already?

“I’m not sure that question’s been asked before. But we are asking that question now.

“John Dempster knows that group inside out – he knows their qualities. Until he has married that up with the first team we don’t know how that fits and that’s we are trying to do.”

Sarson put Mansfield ahead today at the far post from a 22nd minute corner only to see Kielen Adams level on 39 minutes with a neat finish from the right-side of the box.

Stags survived some pressure from the home side after the break and Xavier Sunby made a fine save before, on 77 minutes, Blake met Walker’s cross at the back post to clinch victory.