A youthful Stags' side were defeated 3-1 by Stamford AFC in a hard-fought pre-season friendly this evening.
A superb Jack Jeys' free-kick gave the home side the lead early on before striker Tyler Blake levelled the game with an excellent finish. However, two further goals from John King and Danny Draper saw a young Stags – mostly made up of last season's under 18s – beaten in Lincolnshire.
Manager Steve Evans was in attendance, observing from the sidelines with assistant Paul Raynor, as the young Stags' side contained only goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik and midfielders Jack Thomas and Lewis Collins from the first team squad. Trialist Jordan Slew also completed the whole game as he looked to impress the watching Stags' gaffer.
The young Stags made the brighter start of the two teams as Blake's fine run down the left resulted in him squaring the ball to Slew who was left unmarked in the box, but the trialist saw his low shot saved by the legs of Daniels' keeper Dan Haystead,
Two minutes later, midfielder Lewis Collins, who was becoming the architect of Stags' good forward play, saw his long range effort saved by Haystead after he had done well to turn his man just outside the box.
Slew was also heavily involved in the opening stages as he played in strike partner Blake who had the ball taken from him at the last second by Stamford defender Sam Preston.
Stags continued to push for the opening goal and Slew went close again as he latched onto a long ball before seeing his controlled half-volley palmed into the air by Haystead, who was able to gather the ball at the second attempt.
Despite being second best for much of the opening exchanges, the hosts took the lead on ten minutes as Jeys curled in a fine free-kick from 25-yards off the post, leaving Olejnik with little chance.
Jeys went close to doubling the lead midway through the half as he saw his delicate chip sail over the crossbar after being put in on goal.
But three minutes later, Stags were level as Blake shrugged off his marker to fire Collins' long ball into the far corner on the half volley.
Having pulled level, Stags were grateful to Olejnik for keeping the game all square as he superbly tipped Danny Draper's free-kick wide of the post on the half-hour mark.
However, Olejnik could do nothing about the hosts' next effort on goal as winger King cut in from the right and fired an excellent left-footed effort over the 'keeper to put the Daniels ahead once more.
Stags responded immediately to going behind as captain-for-the-night Jack Thomas shot wide on the half-volley after collecting the ball on the edge of the box. Then centre-back Brad Peace-MacDonald was inches away from converting winger Adriel George's left-wing free-kick.
With the half coming to a close, the excellent Olejnik was on hand once again as he brilliantly tipped away Stamford substitute Delroy Gordon's stinging shot from the edge of the box.
The hosts made six changes at the break whilst Stags came out with the same 11 as they looked for a way back into the game.
One of the Daniels' subs Elliot Putman nearly increased the hosts' lead as he dragged the ball wide of the far post following a quick free-kick from Draper.
Stags responded well and winger Zayn Hakeem picked out Slew down the right with the trialist denied once again by Haystead's legs.
This was Hakeem's last action of the game as he was replaced by Nyle Blake whilst Collins was taken off with Cam Healey on in his place.
Having gone close earlier, Slew was the provider soon after as good play down the right-hand side saw his low cross controlled well by Tyler Blake, who saw his resulting shot go straight at the Daniels' 'keeper.
Up the other end, Olejnik dived in bravely at Stamford's Jordan Smith's feet after the forward looked to capitalise on Sam Hollis' clever knock down inside the box.
Smith then got the better of Stags' 'keeper moments later as he beat the former Exeter City stopper to the ball, before taking the ball around him and firing into the side netting from a tight angle.
The hosts were enjoying plenty of the ball and could have added to their lead on 75 minutes as Gordon glanced Draper's in-swinging free kick wide before the former went close as he toe poked Putman's low cross wide of the post.
They did eventually get the third goal as Smith's run down the left saw him square to Draper who curled into the far corner.
Olejnik then made a fine double save to prevent a fourth goal as he palmed Smith's cross shot away before getting up to save Gordon's effort.
Stags' 'keeper was being kept busy as the game entered the final ten minutes as he tipped Draper's free kick over the bar.
This was the last of the action as the young Stags' side controlled the final few minutes, without creating a real chance.
Tonight's game was a worthwhile run-out for the young Stags, who impressed in large spells against a senior outfit.
STAMFORD: Haystead, George, Challinor (Putman 46'), Briers (Armstrong 46'), Preston (Duffy 46'), Hill (Marshall 46'), Jeys (Gordon 29'), Draper, McMenemy (Morgan 46;), Hollis, King (Smith 46').
SUBS NOT USED: Sandy
STAGS: Olejnik, Baldwin, Wilder, Thomas, McDonald, Harrison, Adrial George (Law 65'), Collins (Healey 58'), T. Blake (Smith 71'), Slew, Hakeem (N. Blake 54')
SUBS NOT USED: Wilson, Law, Smith, Bloor
REFEREE: Mr J Smith