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Report: Malta Players Association XI 0-5 Stags

7 July 2017

Mansfield Town began their pre-season campaign with a comprehensive 5-0 victory against Malta Players Association XI.

The friendly, played at the training facility at the Maltese International Stadium, was watched by hundreds of travelling Stags' fans.

Mansfield enjoyed overwhelming possession throughout the contest and played at a high tempo.
Boss Steve Evans fielded two separate line-ups for each half, both operating in a 4-4-2 formation.

Striker Danny Rose and midfielder Paul Digby found the net in the first half and a Lee Angol double, along with Will Atkinson's strike, completed the 5-0 win.

Angol, the former Peteborough striker, was denied a hat-trick in the dying embers, as the home goalkeeper made a sensational one handed save from the frontman's penalty.

Stags' hot-shot Danny Rose was in the thick of the action in the early stages, rattling the woodwork after just four minutes. The ex-Bury player then should have scored after missing the target following good work by Omari Sterling-James.

But he made no mistake on 14 minutes.

Anticipating a direct ball which bounced outside the home box, Rose beat his man to rifle a shot goalwards, which the 'keeper could only get a weak hand to.

Rose audaciously chipped over the bar before Digby added his name to the scoresheet on 23 minutes.

Winger Paul Anderson crossed from the right and after the goalkeeper fumbled, Stering-James teed-up Digby to lash it home from 10 yards.

Stags continued to press and Rose was in the right place at the right time again on 36, but his stooping head went wide from Johnny Hunt's excellent left-flank delivery.

Sterling-James hit a powerful shot over the top before half-time, which saw a new Stags XI fielded.

Mansfield extended their lead ten minutes into the second period when Angol showed great trickery on the left to send a deflected cross onto the bar. And Atkinson was on hand after making a lung-bursting run from midfield to apply the finish from close range.

Shortly after the hour, Atkinson and CJ Hamilton combined well through the middle to set up Angol, who tried to round the 'keeper before being brought down.

And from the spot-kick, Angol converted coolly with a low strike into the bottom left hand corner.

Angol netted again on 76. The home side's defenders failed to clear a teasing cross by Hamilton and Angol was on hand to place the ball into the net from short range.

In the second half, which continued to be one-way traffic, David Mirfin headed wide from a cross, while Krystian Pearce was narrowly close to converting from identical positions following two Joel Byrom corners.

With eight minutes remaining, Jimmy Spencer could have scored from an Alfie Potter assist, but directed his close-range shot away from goal.

Then on 88, Hayden White showed magnificent skill to beat three defenders, before being mauled down in the box.

And Angol stepped up from 12 yards but was prevented from collecting the match ball after the home custodian made a magnificent stop to the top right corner.

Stags were applauded off at full-time after a highly encouraging 90 minutes which saw a number of chances created at one end, whist remaining resolute at the other.

FIRST HALF: Logan, Bennett, Hunt, Taft, Diamond, Anderson, Digby, Mellis, MacDonald, Rose, Sterling-James

SECOND HALF: Olejnik, White, Benning, Pearce, Mirfin, Potter, Byrom, Atkinson, Hamilton, Spencer, Angol


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