Boston United exit FA Youth Cup after extra-time defeat to Mansfield Town

Boston United U18s 2 Mansfield Town U18s 5 (aet)
Foster opens the scoring. Photo: Craig HarrisonFoster opens the scoring. Photo: Craig Harrison
Foster opens the scoring. Photo: Craig Harrison

Boston United’s run in the FA Youth Cup came to an end against Mansfield Town – but the Stags needed extra-time to see off their hosts.

Elliot Foster had put the Pilgrims ahead at the Jakemans Community Stadium only for Freddie Pitts - who was later dismissed - and Jack Deakin to put the visitors ahead.

Ben Robson forced extra-time for the hosts, but two more goals from Deakin in front of Town manager Nigel Clough settled the contest in the additional 30 minutes, Max Hurdis adding a fifth in the final seconds.

Robson levels. Photo: Craig HarrisonRobson levels. Photo: Craig Harrison
Robson levels. Photo: Craig Harrison

Stags stopper Owen Mason was called into action early on, holding Foster's deflected effort on the goalline as it looped high off a defender.

At the other end, opposite number Charlie Wilkinson got down to palm Taylor Anderson's free kick onto the post.

But two scruffy goals saw the sides go in at the break with the scores locked at 1-1.

Mason had pushed Krisztian Gagyi's dipping 20-yarder round his post but the resultant corner found its way through the pack and was gleefully smashed home from close range by Foster with 25 minutes on the clock.

Pitts was dismissed for a last man challenge. Photo: Craig HarrisonPitts was dismissed for a last man challenge. Photo: Craig Harrison
Pitts was dismissed for a last man challenge. Photo: Craig Harrison

The Pilgrims' lead lasted just seven minutes as Pitts knocked a loose ball home.

A deep free kick looked set to evade all and find the net, but Wilkinson got a hand to the ball. But as it ran loose, Pitts was quickest to react.

A moment of class from Stags skipper Deakin put visitors ahead in the 56th minute, his rising 25-yard drive bulleting beyond the reach of Wilkinson.

While this was Mansfield's first outing in the competition this year, Boston has already beaten West Bridgford, Dunkirk, Mickleover and Chesterfield to reach the first round.

But this was the first time they had found themselves trailing.

Sam Harris looked to get the Pilgrims level as he broke free, but the angle was against him and Mason saved comfortably.

As Town looked for a third Wilkinson was called upon to deny two long range efforts from Jakub Kruszynski.

Boston almost pulled level when Bailey Dilley met Zane Millar's corner, his header blocked en route by Darien Wauchope before Foster prodded the stray ball over.

Pressure paid off with 15 minutes to go as another Millar corner caused more problems, this time Ben Robson reacting quickest to level the scores.

Diego Edwards could have nicked it for Mansfield in the final minutes but the substitute's close-range volley flew wide of the mark.

The Stags were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time after Pitts saw red for a last-man challenge on Gagyi, but the disadvantage wasn't obvious as Deakin restored Mansfield's lead in the seventh minute of extra time.

Rounding Wilkinson he slotted home from a tight angle, completing his hat-trick five minutes later with an inch-perfect lob 30 yards from goal.

Deakin’s final goal took the sting out the contest but Hurdis still had time to slot home in the 120th minute.

PILGRIMS: Wilkinson, Dilley (Jaine 105), Robson, Melson (Earth 93), Sheriff, Burdass, Gagyi, Stevens, Harris (Tate 68), Foster (Henderson 104), Millar; Subs (not used): Fox, Garner, Rodger.

STAGS: Mason, Anderson, Wauchope, Collins, Pitts, Carter, Flanagan (Edwards 57), Bouch (Hurdis 115), Deakin (Hamilton 120), Kruszynski, Abdullah (Hill-Smith 90); Subs (not used): Turner, Whelan, Whyle.

REF: Andrew Hitchcock.

ATT: 537.