Two goals from Remi Davis proved to be enough as Mark Hemingray’s youth team recorded a narrow 2-1 victory over Retford United at Cannon Park last night.
The Stags saw far more of the ball than their lowly opponents, but lacked a cutting edge infront of goal on what was a bitterly cold evening in North Nottinghamshire.
Skippered by the industrious Kurtis Turner, it was Mansfield who started brightly with Davis coming close on three occasions in the first quarter-of-an-hour.
The bustling striker finally opened the scoring midway through the first period when he latched on to an excellent through ball from Jordan Vilums and powerfully fired home from inside the area.
Davis soon claimed his second goal when he capitalised on some sloppy defending, before rounding Badgers shot-stopper Jack Aldred to tap into an empty net.
Reece Thompson’s shot cannoned off the post, whilst Ben Birch was forced to clear off the line as Retford threatened to hit back almost instantaneously.
Stags keeper Ryan Hopkins also denied Thompson with a superb low save prior to the half-time interval after the Badgers striker had broken clean through on goal.
Despite a sluggish start to the second period, Turner almost further extended Mansfield’s advantage with a deflected shot that fortuitously sailed into the arms of Aldred.
Retford pulled a goal back just after the hour mark as Zak Oxby hit a thunderous 20-yard free-kick straight into the top corner after Jamie McAllister had fouled Thompson.
Turner showed some individual brilliance as he ghosted past four players and narrowly fired wide, whilst substitute Matt Jones also lashed a shot inches wide of the target.
Nuha Jabbi and Ross Lamb both came close in the closing stages, whilst Thompson and Aaron Hutchinson both wasted two golden chances for the hosts.
In stoppage time, the mercurial Turner again came close when his sweet right-foot shot rebounded off the woodwork, but it mattered little as Mansfield held on to record victory.
Retford: Aldred, Mitchell, Oxby, Bramall, Holdsworth (c), Capsticks, Ellis, Marsden, Thompson, Colton, Hutchinson. Subs: Haslam, Sharps, Hutchinson.
Mansfield: Hopkins, Barry (Williams 46), Coupe, Birch, Vincent (McAllister 46), Hawkins (Jones 46), Turner (c), Jabbi, Vilums, Pursglove (Ganyiwa 61), Davis (Lamb 74).