South Yorkshire side go top of group with comfortable win.Our youthful second-string were taught a lesson by a clinical Rotherham United, who ran out 8-0 winners in the Final Third Development League Cup group stage clash at Kirklington Road.
The Millers, who move to top spot courtesy of their emphatic victory, fielded a vastly experienced line-up with a combined total of more than 1,100 first team appearances in comparison to the Stags, whose only player to have appeared at senior level was skipper Jack Thomas.
After some tight early exchanges, Rotherham blitzed Mansfield, scoring four goals in a blistering 11-minute spell before the midway point in the first half, to all but seal a comfortable three points.
Jordan Bowery opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he drifted inside from the right flank and unleashed a powerful 20-yard strike into the top corner, which gave Frazer Hampson no chance whatsoever.
Things got better for Rotherham in their next attack just three minutes later, as Ryan Hall’s corner towards the near-post was glanced home by Conor Newton at the first time of asking.
On a wet and thoroughly miserable night in North Nottinghamshire, the floodgates were already threatening to open by the time Matt Derbyshire made it 3-0 on the quarter-hour mark, with Hall claiming another set-piece assist.
Nicky Walker then added his name to the score-sheet on 19 minutes – curling home an effort from 25 yards following some excellent work by Richard Wood, who brought the ball forward.
Mansfield then enjoyed a bit of possession, but the ruthless Millers always looked dangerous on the attack – especially at set-pieces.
On the half-hour mark, Hall registered a hat-trick of assists when his superb corner into the six-yard wasn’t cleared and although Jonson Clarke-Harris and Wood were lurking, it was Bowery who knocked the ball home to make it 5-0.
Wood almost scored a spectacular goal, albeit at the wrong end, on 34 minutes – inadvertently unleashing a 30-yard shot towards his own goal, which had Rotherham ‘keeper Tony Thompson scrambling back frantically.
Before the interval, Anthony Dwyer saw a low free-kick deflect off a defensive wall towards Dan Fletcher, whose effort was blocked, before Thomas forced a save from a back-peddling Thompson in a separate Stags attack.
However, Rotherham were always in control of proceedings and only two or three great saves by Hampson prevented the experienced visitors from establishing more than a five-goal cushion at half-time.
Hampson, 16, showed superb reflexes to turn away a teasing effort by Hall, whilst also producing another good save to foil Clarke-Harris.
After the re-start, the Stags were always on the back-foot, but they managed to keep the Millers at bay until the final 20-25 minutes, when the floodgates again threatened to open.
Derbyshire, who boasts Champions League experience from a spell at Olympiakos in Greece, broke away down the left flank and provided an inviting cross for Newton to connect with in order to make it 6-0.
Newton then drew another fine save by Hampson, but six nevertheless became seven on 72 minutes – this time as Mitchell Rose broke into the area and finished, following some good work out wide by Hall.
The scoring was completed with around a quarter-of-an-hour left to play, as Deryshire squared the ball back to Nicky Walker, who had all the time and space in the world to pick his spot and make it 8-0.
Team: Hampson, Walker, Tabreham (Hutchinson), Fitzpatrick, Holmes, Spencer, Dwyer, J.Thomas, Fletcher (L.Thomas), Harrison (Roome), Green.