AFC Mansfield U21 Development side secured a place in The H-K-L North Midlands U21 Knockout Cup Final with a narrow 1-0 win over Chesterfield FC U21's.
The game was played at Staveley Miners Welfare's Inkersall Road ground on a cold but dry Monday night.
It would be fair to say that it wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination. Both sides looked desperate not to lose and both sets of players were fully committed to every challenge. This gave us a scrappy sort of a game with chances at a premium as both defenses looked solid throughout the game.
The Bulls superbly marshalled by Captain Brad Wilson with Brad Newby, Jordan Annable and Adon Spencer giving nothing away. Bailey Caller in goal will be pleased with the clean sheet and didn't put a foot wrong all night.
In midfield Kurtis Chadburn played a defensive midfield role that allowed Steve Sowter and Eden Homer to push forward and the non stop running from both was good to watch. Danny Williams electric pace will always cause teams problems and did again tonight.
Finally the front pairing of Sam O'Malley and Declan Brewin must frighten defenders to death. Perfectly matched Sam holds the ball up well and Declan uses his lightening pace and strength to good effect and it is no surprise that he has scored 11 goals in 9 appearances.
The game was decided on 72 minutes when the leagues top goalscorer got behind the Chesterfield defense and drilled a low drive past the keeper from a tight angle. Cue the celebrations as the players and bench mobbed each other, it clearly meant a lot to all concerned.
The final 18 minutes saw a marked improvement in the ability to get a matchball back into play as Chesterfield chased the game. While quite funny it is nothing that hasn't happened before and all teams are probably guilty of it as well.
The Young Bulls will face either Sheffield FC or Staveley Miners Welfare in the final which will be held at Habdsworth Parramore's ground in Worksop. The other Semi-Final will be played Thursday night at Sheffield FC's ground next to the Waggon and Horses Pub in Dronfield.
AFC Mansfield: Caller, Annable, Newby, Spencer, Wilson (C), Sowter, Williams, Chadburn, O'Malley, Brewin, Homer. Subs not used: Cremin & Ganwiya.