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Stags score seven as floodlight failure ends Clipstone friendly early

28 November 2017

Floodlight failure curtailed this evening's fundraising friendly between Mansfield Town and Clipstone, with the Stags winning 7-0 when the game was brought to a premature end at half-time.

Stags were ruthless in front of goal as they put on a dominant first half display at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium.

Midfielder Callum Butcher scored a hat-trick, winger Paul Anderson found the net twice while Krystian Pearce and Alfie Potter both got on the score-sheet on a bitterly cold winter's evening in Mansfield.

Manager Steve Evans sent a strong side to the match, with just three players – goalkeeper Sam Wilson, defender Henri Wilder and Cameron Healey – included in the 18 who weren't part of the first team squad. All three youngsters were unused substitutes for the Stags.

The Stags had the first chance of the game inside two minutes when midfielder Jack Thomas headed down for frontman Jimmy Spencer but his weak effort was straight at Clipstone 'keeper Gary Doncaster.

The hosts, who are without a single point in the league so far this season, had their best chance in the fifth minute. Striker Ryan Hawley squared the ball to winger Gareth Curtis inside the area and he set himself before firing a golden opportunity into the side-netting.

Full-backs Mal Benning and Paul Digby were encouraged to get up the field by assistant manager Paul Raynor, who was taking the team, and they both had efforts from range which they were unable to keep down as Clipstone were forced to withstand heavy pressure.

But when Stags earned a corner following a Digby deflected shot in the 12th minute, the deadlock was broken and the floodgates opened.

Centre-half Krystian Pearce met Alfie Potter's in-swinging cross at the near post to head the visitors in front.

That lead was doubled just two minutes later when former Millwall midfielder Calum Butcher was allowed too much space to control Benning's cross, smashing home from eight yards out.

It was 3-0 after 17 minutes. Stags were awarded a penalty when Benning was tripped after playing an excellent one-two with Spencer and when he went tumbling in the box, referee David Coote had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Winger and captain Paul Anderson took the spot kick and made no mistake, sending the 'keeper the wrong way as he slotted in the bottom right corner.

Potter had two chances in quick succession to make the scoreline even more emphatic in the minutes that followed. The first saw a 22-yard free-kick rattle the right post, before minutes later, he volleyed wide of the left-hand post.

Calum Butcher scored his second of the night in the 24th minute. Once again, the midfielder found himself with room in the final third, hitting a clinical half-volley past Doncaster from the edge of the area.

Mansfield were 5-0 up inside half-an-hour when Anderson scored the goal of the night.

The former Nottingham Forest man received a cross on his chest before producing an audacious bicycle-kick from 14 yards out, finding the bottom right corner with pinpoint precision.

Stags were showing no mercy in front of goal and looked keen to put on a show for the large crowd who had come out in support of the fundraising game.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Stags scored their sixth of the night. The impressive Alfie Potter received the ball just outside the box before curling a great effort into the top corner.

The Cobras went on a rare attack with a couple of minutes of the half remaining but when the ball broke on the edge of the Stags' box, the visitors broke at pace.

Butcher carried the ball into the opposition half and almost had their seventh goal, but after receiving the ball from Butcher, Spencer saw his powerful strike rattle the crossbar.

But Mansfield soon had their seventh with the last kick of the half. Digby beat his man and crossed to Butcher who made no mistake in finding the top right corner and getting his hat-trick.

It was sadly the last action of the match as the floodlights failed during the interval, meaning the game could not be restarted.

Although it was disappointing that the game couldn't reach its natural conclusion, the night was a great success with a huge crowd coming out in support of the Cobras' fundraising efforts.

You can still donate to Clipstone's crowdfunding page by clicking here.

CLIPSTONE XI: Doncaster, Thomas, Radford, Taylor, Millns, Webster, Curtis, Homer, Curzon, Gregory

SUBS NOT USED: Burbanks, Hubbard, Vickers, Limb, Morgan, Bullock, Stephenson

STAGS' XI: Olejnik, Benning, Pearce, Digby, Mirfin, Atkinson, Potter, Anderson, Spencer, Butcher, Thomas

SUBS NOT USED: Wilson, Angol, Sterling-James, Hamilton, Healey, Wilder

REFEREE: David Coote

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