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Match Reports

Report: Stags 0-3 Preston North End

10 August 2021

Despite a spirited performance, the Stags exited this season's Carabao Cup in the first round at the hands of clinical finishers Preston North End.

Scott Sinclair opened the scoring for the Sky Bet Championship side, dinking the ball over Nathan Bishop seconds before half-time. 

Substitute Emil Riis Jakobsen took the opportunity to add a second with a fine finish to the top corner.

This was before Sinclair found time and space inside the Stags box to secure his brace ten minutes from time. 

Nigel Clough made four changes from the side that beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 in the season opener at One Call Stadium on Saturday. 

James Perch, Oli Hawkins and Danny Johnson dropped to the bench, while debutants Ryan Burke and Ryan Stirk made their first starts in amber and blue. George Lapslie started in midfield and Jordan Bowery returned to lead the line with Rhys Oates. 

Mansfield threatened the Preston goal after just 15 seconds, Stirk’s curled ball from the left dropped narrowly ahead of the arriving Lapslie at the far post. 

Two minutes later, Oates was causing Preston more problems from the left, dribbling past the stumbling Jordan Storey to direct a driven shot into the arms of Daniel Iversen. 

A sustained spell of pressure led to Preston’s first big chance of the game in the 13th minute. Sean Maguire’s first time through ball into Sinclair was quickly dealt with by Nathan Bishop, who raced off his line to make a close-range save and deny the forward.  

Minutes later Stirk found Oates on the edge of the box, who controlled the ball and drove it powerfully wide of the left post.  

Brad Potts tried his luck on the half hour mark as the midfielder fired a 30-yard effort into the Quarry Lane End.  

A free-kick inside Stags’ own half found its way to Oates inside the box, who shook off his defender to shoot narrowly wide of the right post. 

A minute before the break, a snapshot from Stirk on the edge of the box was fired through a body of players and clumsily dealt with by Iversen to keep the debutant out. 

Against Mansfield’s growing presence in the game, Preston opened the scoring with a swift counter-attack in the 46th minute. 

Maguire’s devastating forward pass from midfield was latched onto by Sinclair, who showed his experience to lift the ball over the on-rushing Bishop and into the top right corner. 

Mansfield began the second period brightly as Stephen McLaughlin sent an ambitious long-range effort over the crossbar. 

Ten minutes after the break, Burke’s left-sided cross found Oates, who glanced his header wide of the mark. 

Oates rounded his defender well after 63 minutes to whip a tempting ball into Bowery at the near post but the Preston defence was alert to edge the ball away. 

Two minutes later, Gordon’s cross found its way to the feet of Farrend Rawson inside the Preston box, but the defender's shot was blocked at close-range. 

Preston doubled their lead after 70 minutes following a poor goal kick from Nathan Bishop. 

Bishop’s kick set Sinclair through on goal, who was denied by a reaction save from the on-loan stopper. However, Riis Jakobsen fired the follow-up effort into the roof of the net. 

Four minutes later, Brad Potts struck the post as Preston looked to kill the game off completely. 

Danny Johnson was introduced for Stags in the 77th minute with the hopes of resurrecting tie. 

Ten minutes from time, Ben Whiteman found Sinclair inside the box who settled himself in space to beat Bishop and finish the contest.  

An 87th minute Tyrese Sinclair free kick was powerfully struck into the arms of Iversen to end a frustrating night for the Stags.  

STAGS XI: Bishop, Gordon, McLaughlin, Rawson, Burke, Maris (Law 73'), O. Clarke (Johnson 78'), Stirk, Lapslie, Bowery, Oates (Sinclair 64').

UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Hawkins, Perch, J. Clarke.

PRESTON NORTH END XI: Iversen, Van den Berg, Cunningham, Whiteman, Bauer, Johnson, Storey, Hughes, Maguire (Jakobsen 66'), Sinclair (Rodwell-Grant 82'), Potts (Thomas 83').

UNUSED SUBS: Ripley, Harrop, Rafferty, Earl.

REFEREE: Ross Joyce.

ASSISTANTS: Robert Atkin & Geoffrey Russell.

FOURTH OFFICIAL: Johnathon Bickerdike.

ATTENDANCE: 2,526 (456 away).

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