A productive Saturday lunchtime excursion to Peterborough saw the Stags’ youth team triumph 6-3 over Peterborough United.
John Dempster and Mark Peters oversaw the team, who mainly featured players who were a part of last season's championship winning side.
Eight of 'the old guard', who had players appearing elsewhere for the under 21s and first team respectively, were joined by three other outfield players; Ashanti Pryce, Henri Wilder and Aiden Walker, who all fitted in seamlessly alongside the 'established' side and impressed everyone present and Jack Dickens, who played in goal for the last 24 minutes.
Posh took the lead after just two minutes when Kasey Douglas took everyone else on the pitch by surprise, when he thumped an unstoppable thunderbolt of a shot from over 35 yards out which nestled in the top corner.
But despite the less than ideal start, Mansfield began to get into their rhythm and took the game to their hosts.
Striker Ashanti Pryce went close to forcing an equaliser almost immediately, but Peterborough cleared their lines.
The powerhouse forward then went close again, when midfielder Ali Smith picked him out with a lovely pass, but his shot deflected wide for a corner.
Left-back Henri Wilder delivered a dipping cross to the near post from the resulting kick and striker Nyle Blake arrived right on time to force the ball over the line.
Midfielders Surafel Behailu and Cain Smith were gelling well in the middle of the park and linking up with the impressive Walker, while making it difficult for the home side to get any real momentum going.
Centre-halves Keiran Harrison and Morgan Ratcliffe carried on where they left off last season in the role of an ever-efficient central defensive pairing and both full backs, Teddy Bloor and Wilder were patrolling their defensive duties well, while getting forward frequently in support of their forwards.
Harrison was instrumental in the Stags’ second goal when he won the ball in the middle of the park and sprayed a quick pass wide to Bloor, whose deep cross was knocked down by Blake into the path of Ali Smith, who buried his shot into the back of the net from twelve yards out.
From a rare Peterborough attack, ‘keeper Sam Wilson was left exposed but ran from his line and made a great double save, dealing with two well-hit shots, to preserve the Stags’ lead.
Bloor almost bagged a tremendous goal for himself just before half-time, but his low free-kick skimmed just past the post.
Half-time: Posh 1-2 Stags
Mansfield increased their lead straight after the break when Wilder whipped a good cross into the box and Bloor met it with a diving header to give the scoreline a more accurate indication of how the game had been going so far.
Pryce then broke into the Peterborough area and left his marker stranded by back-heeling the ball to Wilder, who found Bloor with a first time cross, but the full back rifled his shot over the bar.
Midfielder Behailu won the ball and charged forward, but his attempt to lob the keeper was inches away from increasing the visitors lead.
Creative midfielder Ali Smith worked himself some space in the box but his shot from twelve yards was turned away by the ‘keeper.
Peterborough pushed forward in an attempt to salvage the game, but amidst a couple of goalmouth scrambles in quick succession, Wilson dealt with the danger.
Another Stags’ goal was inevitable and when Cain Smith latched onto a clearance from the Peterborough defence, there was only one place that the ball was destined as the Mansfield skipper hammered it into the roof of the net.
Both Blake and Behailu went on to test the Peterborough ‘keeper, before Posh were gifted a goal back when Ratcliffe misplaced an attempted clearance into his own goal and past Jack Dickens, who had only just come on as a substitute in place of Sam Wilson.
Blake and Pryce continued to enjoy a great supply of the ball from all areas of the team, but created the last two goals themselves.
Pryce netted from inside the area after the two front men had exchanged passes and Blake claimed one for himself, within a minute, straight from the restart with a well-placed finish.
Credit to Peterborough, who were still trying to attack in spite of coming up against a very determined Stags’ rearguard and with just three minutes remaining, Leyton Maddison’s shot came back off Dickens and he found the net from the rebound with a clever finish.
Full-time: Posh 3-6 Stags
Stags' XI: Sam Wilson (Jack Dickens 64), Teddy Bloor, Henri Wilder, Aiden Walker, Morgan Ratcliffe, Keiran Harrison, Cain Smith, Ali Smith, Surafel Behailu, Ashanti Pryce, Nyle Blake