Goals by Raynes and Fisher (pen) earn Stags well-deserved win.
Our second-string recorded a valuable three points in the Final Third Development League (East Division) with a comfortable 2-0 win over Burton Albion at Kirklington Road.
The Stags dominated from start to finish on a gloriously warm afternoon and earned their win courtesy of a Michael Raynes header in the first half and a penalty by Alex Fisher, five minutes from time.
Frontman Liam Hearn also played 80 minutes as he continues his comeback from injury, whilst several young players impressed including Louis Danquah and Conor Green on the left-side.
On a sunny afternoon, the opening exchanges were quite lively and full of energy as both sides sought to gain an early advantage, though opportunities were few and far between.
The Stags shaded possession and took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark when playmaker Joe Fitzpatrick swung a corner towards the far-post where Michael Raynes ghosted in unmarked and headed powerfully into the net.
Hearn could have added a second goal shortly afterwards when Alex Fisher showed some neat control inside the six-yard box to fend off three players and lay the ball off, but his shot was blocked on the line by a defender.
The ball ricocheted back towards Louis Danquah, who firstly saw a right-foot attempt blocked, before a more cleanly struck left-foot shot didn’t find the net – and Burton somehow managed to get rid of the danger.
In the second half, it was one-way traffic as the Stags dominated proceedings in an effort to double their advantage.
Hearn and Fisher both went close with opportunities within 10 minutes of the re-start, whilst lively trialist Joe Cheeseman latched onto a corner by Fitzpatrick and swung an effort through a packed six-yard box, but nobody could turn the ball home.
The Stags’ front two duo had another effort apiece – Hearn drawing a good save with a powerful strike from the angle of the penalty area, whilst Fisher headed over after Burton didn’t deal with another corner by Fitzpatrick.
Despite having an earlier appeal for a penalty turned down, Mansfield were finally awarded one in the closing stages when Cheeseman was brought down after a clever run into the box.
Fisher took responsibility from 12 yards and his powerful strike was too much for the Burton ‘keeper, who dived the right way but couldn’t get his hand to the ball to prevent it from hitting the net.