Nottingham Forest youngster Riley Harbottle endured a bittersweet evening as Mansfield Town drew 2-2 with Hartlepool United.

The centre-back joined the Stags on loan for the 2022/23 campaign in the summer after signing a new deal with the Reds.

Harbottle has become a regular in Nigel Clough’s team and he’s clearly benefitting from regular first-team action.

The 21-year-old is fancied by the staff behind the scenes at Forest and this loan is part of his journey.

Harbottle bittersweet Mansfield
(Credit; Jon Hobley; MI News; Photo; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Harbottle has made 13 appearances at One Call Stadium and has quickly become integral to the team.

He is still honing his trade, however, and on Friday night he experienced what can only be described as a learning curve.

Things started brilliantly for the Forest youngster. He put the Stags into a two-goal lead on 59 minutes after George Lapslie opened the scoring.

It was the youngster’s third goal of the campaign and the knack of popping up with goals certainly won’t harm his chances.

At the other end of the pitch, it proved a night to forget, however.

A loose backpass allowed Josh Umerah to half the deficit and another error saw the same player equalise in the final minute of the clash.

Harbottle endured bittersweet Mansfield evening but he will learn

The youngster hasn’t become a bad player based on a couple of mistakes so all is not lost just yet.

Harbottle is still relatively raw when it comes to playing professional football and he will learn from Friday night.

Some statistics from Who Scored showcase that on the whole, he was impressive once again during the draw.

Harbottle bittersweet Mansfield
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

He won six aerial duels, completed two clearances and also attempted 40 passes during his time on the pitch.

Friday proved a bittersweet experience for Harbottle and he will want to park the defensive aspect of his performance quickly.

Clough is a manager that will nurture him and he will come back stronger after the experience of Friday night.

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