Ben Hutchinson inspired Mansfield Town to a 4-0 victory away at Rainworth Miners Welfare after a dominant display from the Stags.
Hutchinson stood out as the star man in a game which somehow managed to get the green light following torrential rain, lightening and thunderstorms before kick off.
A crowd of 232 braved the weather to see Stags lift the newly named Green Energy Challenge trophy, which is expected to be competed annually between the two sides.
With Paul Cox and assistant Adam Murray scouting elsewhere, first team coach Richard Cooper oversaw proceedings, and his side almost took an early lead following impressive play on the left-wing from trialist Calvin Andrew. After beating his man, the ex-Crystal Palace forward crossed for Ross Dyer whose first time shot was saved at point blank range by home ‘keeper James Martin.
But Stags made no mistake in front of goal two minutes later. Chris Clements’ pass found Andrew who tried to round Martin inside the box and as the ball ran free, Ben Hutchinson was on hand to place home the rebound.
Mansfield’s early dominance nearly earned them a second goal on 19 minutes. Hutchinson drifted a pin-point cross from the right for Andrew to head home from ten yards, only for his joy to be short-lived by the sight of a linesman’s flag.
The pair combined once more just four minutes later – Hutchinson acted as architect from a corner, but Andrew headed over from inside the six-yard box.
Rainworth failed to cope with Hutchinson’s quality all-round play, and they were punished for a second time on 25 minutes. The ex-Celtic man darted down the right flank before crossing for Ross Dyer who placed his shot inside of Martin to double Stags’ advantage.
On the half-an-hour mark, Poku unleashed a powerful drive from long-range, but Martin was well behind it.
Hutchinson gave Stags a three goal cushion on 32 minutes. Latching on to Dyer’s pass, the 25-year-old blasted home from the right-side of the area.
Clements and Ball followed up with efforts on goal as goal-hungry Stags tried to increase the deficit.
Rainworth gifted Stags a fourth before the interval when goalkeeper Martin made a mess of his clearance, the ball hitting one of his defenders to fall invitingly into the path of Jordan Ball who found the net from the edge of the area.
Hutchinson gave the Rainworth defence no respite just after the break, shooting just wide two minutes after the restart.
Stags took their foot off the gas in a quieter second half and Stags’ goalkeeper Ian Deakin was tested for the only time in the contest just after the hour-mark, making a routine save following Ricky Hanson’s tame effort.
Martin then denied Hutchinson of a hat-trick with a save to his left before pulling off the stop of the game.
Ross Dyer, another of Stags’ star players on the night, laid it off to centre-half Jason Gregory inside the box, but his snapshot was expertly tipped onto the post by Martin to deny Stags of a textbook goal.
Three minutes from full time, captain Ritchie Sutton flung himself at a shot from Theakston from inside the area, as the hosts tried to salvage a late consolation.
STAGS: Deakin (Smith 81), Pilkington, Kelly (Marsden 85), Poku (Thomas 83), Sutton, Gregory, Dyer (Marsden 85), Clements, Ball (Smith 77), Hutchinson (Flint 77), Andrew (T. Damar-Thompson 65)
Unused subs: Birch, Vilums, Spencer, Jones,
RAINWORTH: Martin, Hanson, Magee, Rickards (Shaw H/T), Archer, Dudley, O’Callaghan (Claxton H/T), French (Theakston), Clarke (Somes), Holmes, Buttle
Unused subs: Walker, Brown, Saunders, West