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Official Nottinghamshire FA Sports Photographer: Mansfield Hoisery Mills FC Vs. AFC Vernon Red


Play Soccer USA 3G Arena, home of Eastwood Community FC, played host to The Nottinghamshire FA U13's Cup Final between Mansfield Hosiery Mills FC and AFC Vernon Youth.

Referee Steve Collington got things underway and it wasn't long until he was having to make a key decision waving away a penalty appeal after Mansfield's Aaron Clarke ended on the floor from a challenge inside the box in the fifth minute.

Mansfield started the stronger and only two minutes later a cross from the right looped over Daniel Odion in the Vernon goal, but Isaac Gbeze was on hand to clear off the line.

It wasn't until the 12th minute that Vernon started to get into the game, registering their first shot on goal from distance but straight at Morgan Jones in the Mansfield goal.

Then a goal from nothing, there appeared to be no danger as the referee awarded a free kick to Mansfield just inside the Vernon half, Harvey Ford struck the ball toward the Vernon area but no one made contact, the ball bounced in front of Odion who had stayed on his line and he could do nothing to prevent the ball hitting the roof of the net, 1-0 to Mansfield after 18 minutes.

It wasn't until the 30th minute for the next real chance on goal, Clarke hitting the Vernon bar with a great header and almost doubling Mansfields lead. Clarke was not to be denied though, as only two minutes later a quick break down the left and a superb low ball across the face of goal was met by Clarke who had got in front of his man and met the ball with a side footed finish leaving Odion with no chance from six yards out putting Mansfield in total control at half-time with a two goal advantage.

Vernon came out a different side in the second half, and in the opening minutes got themselves back in the game, Joel Djamah struck the ball towards goal which Jones could only half stop and could not prevent the ball from crossing the line, 2-1 and game on!

In the 12th minute of the second half Odion then kept Vernon in the game tipping a Joe England free kick onto the bar.

The next two minutes appeared to be a crucial turning point in the game, firstly Jack Hodgkinson scored for Mansfield to put them 3-1 up, then only a minute later a long through ball put George Bishton clean through on goal and he slid the ball low under the advancing Odion making it 4-1.

Then only a minute later a carbon copy incident, this time though Odion denied Clarke with a great save when he was clean through on goal.

With 10 minutes to go Vernons Bailey Forry scored the goal of the game, the ball broke to him on the edge of the area, one touch to control and his second touch was a powerful strike high into the roof of the net giving Jones no chance, giving Vernon hope again of getting back into the game.

Hodgkinson perhaps should have ended the tie with five minutes to go, he beat two Vernon defenders with some great skill but as he got into the area and with Odion closing down the angles Hodgkinson pulled his shot just wide.

To their credit Vernon still pushed to try to get back into the final, but they were caught with a fast break away Bishton clean through on goal and showing composure with a cool finish under Odion, 5-2 to Mansfield Hosiery Mills and game over.

Mansfield collected the Cup and Clarke collected a deserved Player of the Match award for his performance.

Photographs courtesy of Alexandra Johnson Photography -

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