The Iron’s Under-23s were defeated 2-1 away at Mansfield Town in the Central League Cup Group Stages on Tuesday afternoon, in a game played in blustery conditions at the Stags’ training centre.
Winger Andy Dales scored United’s goal, as midfielder Yann Songo’o returned from a toe injury to play a full 90 minutes.
On four minutes, goalkeeper Adam Kelsey was alert to smother the ball following a through ball, with the intended target flagged offside, although there was another Stags player lurking.
The wind took its toll with the opening goal for the hosts on five minutes. Kelsey originally made a good save from Sterling-James to concede a corner. From the resultant set-piece, which Law took, the ball floated directly into the net.
On 15 minutes, Ryan Colclough drove into space before cutting onto his right foot and angling an effort from the edge of the box over the bar.
The 22nd minute saw a corner to the hosts following a deflection from Tomlinson’s long range effort. From the resultant ball in, the wind again took it towards goal, but this time it sailed over the bar and out of play.
The Iron won a free-kick right on the edge of the box soon after, just left of centre. John McAtee stepped up, floating the ball over the wall and narrowly over the bar.
The 32nd minute saw the best move of the game up to then for the Iron as Jacob Bedeau strode out of defence. Songo’o spread wide to Tom Pugh, who drove at his man before finding Jai Rowe on the overlap. His cross was spilled by the ‘keeper before being gathered.
The Iron came close on 37 minutes as Dales seized on a slip to curl a brilliant effort across goal and just wide of the far post, with the home goalkeeper scrambling.
A minute later, there was another marauding run from Pugh down the right as he skipped past one before firing in a cross. Again, the home ‘keeper’s handling was tested low to his right, but again he gathered.
The second-half saw an early corner for the hosts as Kelsey was forced to push over the bar from Khan’s effort.
On 52 minutes, there was then a big chance for a Mansfield second as the ball was spread wide to the left. The inside ball saw Sterling-James find space in the area but his shot was wayward.
Two minutes later, former Iron player Craig Davies doubled the Stags’ lead with a side-footed effort from just inside the area following a low ball from the left.
On 55 minutes, Kelsey made a brilliant save to deny Sinclair from point blank range. The Iron then countered, with Dales seeing his angled effort beaten away for a corner.
The 67th minute saw Sinclair break through and roll his effort wide. Kelsey had it covered and was adjudged to have saved it.
Four minutes after, Rowe had a low effort from the edge of the area deflected wide following play from McAtee, Dales and a near touch from Songo’o to create the chance.
In the 72nd minute. Dales got a goal back as he took down Colclough’s cross-field ball, before delicately touching past the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Seven minutes later, Dales controlled on the left and drove into the area before finding Pugh. His ball then found Colclough who saw his shot blocked.
On 80 minutes, Colclough fired a left-footed shot wide of the target from 25-yards.
With five minutes left, Rowe played a great one-two down the right with Potts before his cross came into an inviting area. Colclough met the ball with a header but couldn’t divert it goalwards.
In the 87th minute, Potts read Rowe’s wind-assisted cross from the right but his header sailed just wide of the post. The hosts held on for three points.
IRON TEAM: Kelsey, Rowe, Butroid, Hornshaw (Potts, 45), Cummings, Bedeau, Pugh, Songo’o, Colclough, McAtee, Dales.
UNUSED SUB: Riches.