Pre-season report: Rainworth MW 0 Mansfield Town 2

The One Call Stadium, home of Mansfield Town FC.
The One Call Stadium, home of Mansfield Town FC.

Mansfield Town began their pre-season schedule with a comfortable victory at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday afternoon.

With several new signings on show, this was a routine outing for the Stags as they stretched their legs following the summer break, with NCEL Premier Division side Rainworth nonetheless proving useful opposition.

In what will largely have been deemed a fitness exercise by Stags boss Adam Murray given his troops only returned to training last week, the win will no doubt have still been welcome in a bid to generate some early momentum as the new season approaches.

It took the Stags just six minutes to register their first goal of the summer. Matt Green received the ball in the penalty area but couldn’t get a shot away before he was clattered by keeper Ben Townsend. The ball ran free and James Baxendale rolled it home off the post from ten yards out.

As expected, Mansfield were dictating the pace of the game and having the lion’s share of possession, Mal Benning next to go close with a low drive from the edge of the penalty area which Townsend held.

Stags keeper Brian Jensen’s first major involvement was to fumble a 25-yarder from Wrens’ Matty Sykes on 23 minutes before gathering the ball at the second attempt, Mansfield then going close at the other end as Ashley Hemmings’ cross was headed at Townsend by Pat Hoban.

Hemmings then drove in a low shot from 25 yards which Townsend got down low to push wide, Corbin Shires forcing Townsend into another save moments later after controlling the ball well and firing in left-footed following a corner.

Rainworth were struggling to make much of an impression in the attacking third although Jack Barnett’s free-kick was held by Jensen on 37 minutes, that being the last action of note before the break.

Mansfield made a plethora of substitutions at half-time to add to the introduction of young striker Zayn Hakeem who had replaced Green half-an-hour in.

Danny Rose shot wide from 25 yards in the early stages of the second period, the same player forcing Townsend to parry a powerful drive on 55 minutes.

CJ Hamilton’s low shot called Townsend into further action three minutes later as he claimed the ball at the second attempt, Jordan Edridge then seeing a looping header drop too high for the hosts after a cross from Perry Russell.

The second Mansfield goal finally came on 61 minutes as Adi Yussuf received the ball just outside the penalty area and drilled his shot into the top corner of the net.

Chances became few and far between as the game became more of a procession for the visitors, Danny Rose forcing substitute keeper into a save low down on 76 and then Yussuf beating his man before firing wide when it looked easier to score.

Chris Clements was inches wide with a free-kick in the latter stages but the game petered out with the Stags comfortably claiming the victory.

Rainworth: Townsend (Davies 72), Cheeseman, Claxton (Mansell 49), Barnett, Plant, Wankiewicz, Edridge (Weir 77), Clarke (Widdowson 64), Moxon (Russell 49), Theakstone, Sykes.

Stags first-half: Jensen, Benning, Hurst, Shires, Chapman, Hemmings, Green (Hakeem 35), Pearce, Bennett, Baxendale, Hoban.

Stags second-half: Shearer, Shires (Healey 67), Clement, Thomas, Wheatley (Law 74), M Rose, Yussuff (Wheatley 85), D Rose, Hamilton, Danqurah, McGuire.

Att: 629.