Andy Todd’s reserve team left the One Call Stadium in seventh heaven last night after smashing Bradford City reserves 7-0, to move up to second in the Central League Division Two standings.
Ben Hutchinson was the pick of the bunch, scoring two and being involved in virtually every goal of the seven goal bombardment in a match which saw fellow striker Nick Wright claim the match ball with a hat-trick and visiting keeper Stuart Morrison excelling for Bradford keeping the score to single figures.
Mansfield were unlucky not to have a third minute lead as Louis Briscoe drilled narrowly wide following a short corner with Chris Clements. The winger came close again a minute later before Hutchinson opened the scoring on eight minutes.
It all stemmed from an excellent Clements delivery after Hutchinson had won a corner from good hold up play to the left of the box. Clements’ cross was headed back across the box by Nick Wright for Hutchinson, who leapt high to thunder a header beyond the stranded Morrison.
The visitors briefly scared Mansfield on eleven minutes with a deep free kick from Forrayah Bass which caused trouble, but an assured clearance from Luke Jones gave Todd’s men breathing space
Then at the other end, Hutchinson split the defence with a drilled pass and the on rushing Wright latched onto the ball, to slot beneath Morrison.
Jobe Shaw, Mansfield’s youngest player on show, maintained Stags’ lead on 17 minutes when Scott Brown’s corner was headed down into the mix by Carl Hugh as Shaw then stood firm to clear the loose ball.
Andy Owens launched a trademark long throw into the middle three minutes later from which the visitors defended; the same couldn’t be said moments later as rampant Mansfield made it 3-0.
Once again it came from Hutchinson winning a corner which was taken by Clements. Luke Jones was first to the ball but saw his thunderous header palmed away by Morrison but the Bantams keeper remained static as Ben Hutchinson fired home the loose ball on eight yards on the volley.
Hutchinson was certainly looking hungry and was majorly unlucky to be denied a hat-trick with 25 minutes played. Wright fed the dangerous front man into some space and Hutchinson stepped inside the challenge of McHugh before drilling a shot towards the bottom corner, which was expertly turned behind by the goalkeeper.
Shane Redmond was kept on his toes seconds later as youngster Connor Erangey had a pot shot from the edge of the box, but it was a comfortable save for the Stags’ glovesman.
Hutchinson was then cursing his luck as he headed home a deep Clements free kick, only for the offside flag to be raised, denying the hit man a first half treble.
With 30 minutes played Hutchinson took the paint off the post as he drilled an effort wide of the mark. Then, Wright and Lee Stevenson both saw goalbound efforts tipped away before the forth finally arrived in spectacular fashion.
Another dominant surge from Hutchinson earned a corner with seven minutes of the first half remaining. Briscoe took the set play quickly to find Clements who curled a beautiful effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.
The roles were nearly reversed on the stroke of half time as Clements fed Briscoe, however Bantams shot stopper Morrison again pulled off an excellent save to keep the score line 4-0 in Mansfield’s favour at half time.
Stags were still sniffing another goal, which they found on 55 minutes when Lee Stevenson’s thunderous header forced another expert stop from Morrison. Luke Jones then arrived at the same spot to power home a header from Clements’ pin point corner.
On the hour mark Solomon Taiwo was replaced by last season’s youth team player of the season Scott Rogers, who soon became involved with play. After laying it off to Stevenson, The ex Eastwood man then sent Wright charging free through the middle but was thwarted by the Bantams’ keeper.
Youth team duo Nuha Jabbi and Joe Flint then replaced Chris Clements and Lee Stevenson respectively.
Three minutes later Mansfield made it 6-0 after excellent creative play from Hutchinson. Dropping into midfield to collect a low pass, he spun well before clipping beautifully over the top for Wright and the former Kidderminster man grabbed his second of the game as he fired in from the left of the box with his left boot.
The visitors then enjoyed a five minute spell of pressure where Hepworth, Brown and Erangey all wasted their individual opportunities. Todd’s second string then completed the scoring with five minutes remaining as Nick Wright collected the match ball.
Again it stemmed from Hutchinson who took a quick free kick after being felled on the right hand side and his low pass to Briscoe saw the creative wide man turn Bass inside out before cutting the ball back into the middle. Wright arrived on the penalty spot and controlled well before slotting in his third and Mansfield’s seventh of the night.
Line Up: Shane Redmond, Jake Green, Luke Jones, Jobe Shaw, Andy Owens, Louis Briscoe, Chris Clements (C) (Nuha Jabbi 65), Solomon Taiwo (Scott Rogers 60), Nick Wright, Lee Stevenson (Joe Flint 65), Ben Hutchinson
Substitutes Not Used: Joel Holland, Ben Birch, Kurtis Turner.