A youthful Rotherham United side slipped to opening day defeat in The Central League as a solitary Charlie Shaw strike saw Mansfield Town run out 1-0 winners.
The reserves returned to action at Roundwood with Garreth Barker’s Academy side deputising for the game against the Stags on a sunny afternoon in South Yorkshire.
It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams and it wasn’t long before Lewis Collins fired a warning shot on Harry Fidler’s goal, ensuring the young ‘keeper was alert in the early stages.
Six minutes had elapsed when the first and only goal of the game came with the Stags catching the Millers’ defence off-guard.
Pat Hoban’s powerful drive to the byline saw him find space to cut back for Shaw, who kept his composure to stroke the ball home from close range and give his side the advantage.
Adam Hassan was the difference later in the half ensuring the Millers’ youngsters didn’t register an equaliser deserving of the move.
Fabian Bailey’s lofted pass set Joshua Kayode free behind the defence but a superb save from the Mansfield stopper was enough to preserve his side’s lead one-on-one.
Kayode again threatened the Stags’ goal moments before the interval, this time with a dipping volley from 40 yards which had the height but not the accuracy as it whizzed past the far post.
HT | Reserves 0 v 1 Mansfield Town
Second year professional Mason Warren had donned the captain’s armband for the game and was leading by example in a central role in midfield.
His foray forward saw him come inside onto his favoured left foot and unleash a low effort from 20 yards which clipped the outside of the post and flashed agonisingly wide.
Warren was the architect again moments later, cutting inside to deliver a good ball into the box which picked out Kayode who saw the ball run away just too far after chesting it down in the area.
Revarnelle James then was at the heart of a promising Millers move which involved an electric burst down the right flank and a cross to Kayode, but the striker’s header was off-target.
Barker’s young side were inches away from a well-deserved equaliser with the final kick of the game when a cross from the left saw Bailey throw himself at the ball in the area and volley inches over the crossbar as the referee raised his whistle to his lips for full time.
FT | Reserves 0 v 1 Mansfield Town
Attendance | 130