Goals by Matthew Dixon and Jonathan Margetts condemned our youthful second-string to their first defeat of the season in the Final Third Development League (East Division) as they went down 2-0 to Hull City at Kirklington Road.
After a closely-fought first 70 minutes with very few chances, Dixon pounced to put the visitors 1-0 up, before Margetts’ strike 13 minutes later sealed the Tigers’ victory.
The Stags began on the front foot and Conor Green whipped a couple of teasing set-piece deliveries into the area inside the first few minutes, but the visitors defended well under pressure.
Mansfield settled well in extremely windy conditions, but it was Hull who carved out the game’s first real opening when Karim Rossi pounced on a sloppy inside pass by Jack Koczalski and shared a one-two with strike-partner Jonathon Margetts, before his powerful drive was superbly tipped over by reserve team debutant Sam Wilson.
Green then registered the Stags’ first attempt on target on 22 minutes when he his long left-foot set-piece from out on the right flank caught the wind and had to be plucked on his goal-line by Rory Watson.
Another promising move came to a premature end just a few moments later when Reggie Lambe embarked on a weaving run, carrying the ball some 40 yards, but he ran into traffic which allowed the visitors to clear the danger.
The Tigers responded by forcing a couple of corners just shy of the hour mark, but Wilson showed strong hands in plucking the ball out of the air from Matthew Dawson’s delivery.
Chances remained at a premium as the game continued to be a largely tactical battle with extremely little in the way of notable incidents or goalmouth action.
After a goalless first half, the Stags made a change at half-time as Anthony Dwyer replaced Lambe.
Despite playing against the wind after the re-start, the hosts remained brighter and more creative and mustered up a half-chance following a spell of pressure as Dwyer fired a low shot wide from 10 yards.
The Stags mustered up another chance midway through the second half when Green’s hooked clearance downfield put Ollie Palmer in the clear, but the frontman was forced wide and saw a deflected effort saved by the ‘keeper.
Hull created their first opportunity of the second half on 70 minutes. Rossi showed clever movement to creep into space on the edge of the area, but dragged a low shot harmlessly wide.
Nevertheless, just two minutes later, the visitors took the lead when Dixon slotted home from the edge of the area, following a well-worked move which started on the right flank.
Margetts went close to doubling the Tigers’ lead with around a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, but his powerful strike from the edge of the area was straight at Wilson.
However, with his next effort, Margettes put the result beyond doubt as he latched on to Will Annan’s pass and beat Wilson with a powerful strike from 15 yards, to put Hull 2-0 up.
Team: Wilson, Shires, Spencer, Koczalski, Marsden (Harrison), Fitzpatrick, Green, Bell (Holloway), Lambe (Dwyer), Palmer, Fletcher.