Buidling Dreams Together


Mansfield Town kickstart pre-season schedule with two comfortable wins

After missing out on the Play-Offs last season by a single point, the Stags have got back to work immediately and recorded impressive pre-season wins over Retford United and Alfreton Town.

Mansfield Town have begun their pre-season with two positive games against Northern Counties East League Division One side Retford United and against National League North side Alfreton Town.

Retford United v Mansfield Town

The Stags’ first fixture came against the Badgers away at Cannon Park as boss Nigel Clough fielded decided to field two different sides in each half.

In the first-half, Christy Pym, signing on a permanent contract from Peterborough United, started in goal with a backline of Kieron Freeman who joined the club on a short-term basis to maintain fitness, the tough-tackling Alfie Kilgour, new signing Baily Cargill and ex-Carlisle United man Brennan Dickenson who was also at the club to maintain fitness after leaving the Cumbrians.

The midfield saw new signing Aaron Lewis start alongside the experienced Stephen Quinn and the creative Louis Reed with James Gale, Rhys Oates and Jordan Bowery starting as the attacking trio.

The first and only goal of the first-half came in the 26th minute as Gale got on the end of Lewis’ through ball. His initial shot was saved by the on-rushing Tom Crosby but the Stags forward fired home the rebound.

For the rest of the half, the amber and blues did not add to their goal tally but played some good football as they looked to get back the match sharpness and integrate the new signings into the side.

In the second-half, Clough named a whole different starting XI as Owen Mason went in goal with Callum Johnson, John-Joe O’Toole, George Cooper and Calum MacDonald in the backline.

George Maris, Hiram Boateng and Anthony Hartigan started the second-half as the midfield trio with Davis Keillor-Dunn, permanently signed Will Swan and the experienced Lucas Akins looking to do the damage in the attack.

It took three minutes for the Stags to get their second of the game as Boateng’s cross was volleyed home by Akins. Two minutes later, it was 3-0 as Maris’ cross took a deflection and landed in the back of the Retford net.

With 20 minutes to go, Johnson added a fourth as he pounced on a loose ball following Boateng’s shot on goal. After he failed to find the back of the net, Boateng got himself another assist as he found Swan who tapped home.

In quickfire fashion, Akins completed his hat-trick with two goals within the space of two minutes as Keillor-Dunn got on the scoresheet in the latter stages to earn the Stags a very solid 8-0 win in their first pre-season friendly.

Alfreton Town v Mansfield Town

Four days later, Mansfield Town travelled to the Impact Arena to take on Alfreton Town in their second pre-season run-out.

Pym was once again the goalkeeper of choice for the first-half with a back four of Bowery and Freeman as the full-backs with Kilgour and Cargill as the two central defenders.

Lewis, Hartigan and Quinn started in midfield with an attacking trio of Keillor-Dunn, Swan and Akins looking to cause trouble to the Reds’ defence.

Six minutes into the first-half, the Stags found the breakthrough as Keillor-Dunn’s through ball found Swan who tapped home to open the scoring.

Keillor-Dunn remained on the pitch in the second-half as the rest of the side was changed by manager Nigel Clough. Scott Flinders went in goal with the backline of Johnson, O’Toole, Cooper and MacDonald playing together once more.

Maris, Reed and Boateng were the midfield trio with Keillor-Dunn joined by Gale and Oates in the attack for the second-half.

On the hour mark, the strike partnership of Gale and Oates combined for the second as the former squared it for the latter to tap home from close range.

Stags’ Academy product Jakub Kruszynski came on as a sub for Keillor-Dunn and got on the scoresheet 10 minutes later. MacDonald’s cross found its way to Kruszynski who fired home to give the amber and blues a three-goal advantage.

MacDonald rounded off the scoring for the Stags as he curled an effort into the top corner in the 90th minute and hand Mansfield Town a 4-0 victory over Alfreton.

Nigel Clough’s men are now up in Scotland for their pre-season camp before they return to face Rotherham United in their third pre-season friendly and their first at the One Call Stadium.

The Stags did participate in a practice match against SPFL Championship side Airdrieonians FC which was broken up into three 30-minute games with the amber and blues running out 8-0 victors. Akins scored his second hat-trick of pre-season with Gale, Quinn, Lewis, Boateng and MacDonald also getting on the scoresheet.

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