Report: Tranmere 2-0 Stags
Tranmere Rovers progressed into the Second Round of the Capital One Cup following a routine victory over Mansfield Town at Prenton Park.
The League One side found themselves in the ascendency after just two minutes when Andy Robinson swept home from within the six-yard box.
Rovers doubled their advantage in first half stoppage time through Chris Atkinson, who finished after an intelligent lay-off from Robinson.
Nevertheless, Mansfield did look more threatening after the break with James Jennings, Louis Briscoe and Lindon Meikle all enjoying chances.
On a warm night at Prenton Park, The Stags made the worst possible start as Tranmere went ahead in just the second minute.
Steve Foster’s inviting right-wing cross was flicked on by Ryan Lowe, which allowed an unmarked Robinson to slot beyond Alan Marriott.
The hosts’ early opener was harsh on Mansfield, but Rovers did play some delightful one-touch, fluid football in the first period.
The closest that Mansfield came to a first-half equaliser was through Sam Clucas, whose low 20-yard effort was gathered in comfortable style by Owain Fon Williams.
Jennings also saw a similar shot from distance saved by the Rovers custodian in a rare opening that The Stags managed to create.
Tranmere almost doubled their lead on 13 minutes when the towering Akpo Sodje headed narrowly wide following a left-sided corner by Robinson.
And after a quiet period, Marriott produced a superb full-stretch save to keep out a stunning long-range attempt by Atkinson on the half-hour mark.
Prior to the interval, there was also a bizarre stoppage in play as assistant referee Michael D’Aguilar had to receive treatment for a head injury.
On 43 minutes, the hosts came close again as Evan Horwood’s left-sided corner into the six-yard box, was headed over by Ash Taylor.
D’Aguilar’s innocuous injury meant there were four minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first period, during which Tranmere doubled their lead.
Robinson was again the chief tormentor, turning into empty space inside the area, before playing a simple pass to Atkinson.
Atkinson caught the slightest glimpse of the target and unleashed a thunderous left-footed drive that flew into the top-right corner.
Following their impressive display in the opening 45 minutes, Tranmere also looked bright in the early stages of the second period.
The result would have been put beyond doubt three minutes after the re-start, if anyone had latched on to Joe Thompson’s low pull-back through the area.
However, Mansfield almost reduced arrears soon afterwards when Jennings worked his way along the by-line and saw a powerful drive beaten away by Fon Williams.
Prior to the hour mark, Briscoe had a long-range attempt deflected wide as The Stags began to enjoy their brightest spell of the match.
In another move, Ollie Palmer showed exceptional vision with a sublime pass forward, which Clucas was able to race onto.
Fon Williams advanced off his line and did just enough to force Clucas out to a tight angle, before the winger’s pull-back was hit wide by Briscoe.
Meikle came even closer two minutes later, when his side-footed attempt from Beevers’ deep cross was saved by Fon Williams at point-blank range.
With a quarter-of-an-hour left, Jake Speight replaced Briscoe as The Stags sought new options in their quest to find a route back into the match.
But Tranmere remained resolute in order to progress to the Second Round of the Capital One Cup for the second season in succession.