Mansfield Town succumbed to a 5-2 defeat against League One side Stevenage in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Broadhall Way this afternoon.
In boiling hot temperatures, The Stags were level for much of the match before a late surge from the hosts earned them a victory.
In the first period, Stevenage played what looks to be their strongest XI, including Ex-Stag Luke Jones, but scores were level at half-time.
After the break, it was 2-2 until the late exchanges when Stevenage took advantage of our players’ tired legs and added three further goals, one of which was a penalty.
Winger Nathan Arnold and midfielder Anthony Howell were our scorers.
Nevertheless, boss Paul Cox, who opted to field almost an entirely different XI to the one which played at Worksop Town last night, was pleased with what he saw.
He said: “A lot of good things came out of this match. I was really pleased with us against a strong side, who I think will be up there in the League One promotion race next season.
“It was about 26 degree heat and I think it just caught up with us in the end. We ran out of steam. But our fitness levels looked really good.”
He added: “I have mixed the sides up over and my next task now is to put together an XI that can play together and can take us forward.
“Last night hurt a bit, but today I was pleased. We bossed proceedings for an hour against really tough opposition.”
Our side began the match as follows: Marriott; Beevers, Tafazolli, McCombe, Jennings, McGuire, Howell, Clucas, Stevenson, Rhead, Daniel.