Captain Chris Spencer scored twice and claimed an assist as our youth team eased to a comfortable 3-0 win over FootballCV Reds at a windy Kirklington Road.
Having survived a couple of early scares, the Stags were 2-0 up by the quarter-hour mark courtesy of Dan Olisa putting through his own net and a close-range effort by their skipper.
After a dominant second half, Spencer completed a comfortable win with a speculative 30-yard drive late on.
The Stags got proceedings underway, but had to cope with extremely windy conditions and the direction that the gale was blowing favoured the visitors in the first 45 minutes.
Only a couple of minutes had elapsed when Dan Olisa almost put FootballCV Reds ahead, but the striker’s powerful drive towards the near-post was instinctively palmed over by Adam Bishop.
Mansfield were forced into more last-ditch defending just a couple of moments later as a corner from the right wasn’t dealt with effectively and Sean Caughlan saw a scruffy low shot cleared off the line by Conor Green.
The Stags soon found the groove and opened the scoring when Chris Spencer burst away down the right flank and delivered a teasing ball into the six-yard box, which Emmanuel Ojo accidentally knocked into his own net.
It wasn’t long before a second goal followed and Spencer turned from provider to scorer, when he stabbed the ball home at point-blank range after Anthony Dwyer’s cross was fumbled on the goal-line by the FootballCV Reds ‘keeper.
Isolated strong gusts of wind caused havoc for both teams – especially at set-pieces, but the Stags remained on the front foot and continued to press forward when they could.
The wind was spoiling proceedings and there were no further chances for either side before the break.
After the re-start, Mansfield continued to dictate the play and Tom Slone went close to his first goal of the campaign with a low right-foot shot that the visiting ‘keeper did well to tip around the post.
From the resulting corner, Green’s delivery caught a gust of wind and narrowly cleared the woodwork as the Stags went close to adding a third goal.
Liam Groves had an effort saved before the hour mark, whilst George Holloway also went extremely close as he headed just a few yards wide following Joe Fitzpatrick’s well-weighted cross.
The lively Dwyer tried his luck on three separate occasions, being denied a deserved goal by the ‘keeper twice, but a third goal eventually came through Spencer, who finished with aplomb from 30 yards in the dying minutes.
Overall, it was a deserved win for the Stags, which keeps them hot on the heels of table-toppers NC Central.