The Stags made an impressive start to the Premier League Cup group stage with a 3-0 win at home to Sunderland U23.
Mansfield were clinical in the first-half, scoring three times in 35 minutes without reply from their visitors.
Nathan Caine, Jason Law and Tyrese Sinclair all finished well to give Richard Cooper’s side a sizeable advantage at the break.
On a warm evening at One Call Stadium, it was the Stags who would boast the stronger start.
From an early corner, James Clarke flicked Sinclair’s delivery towards goal, forcing Jack McIntyre into an impressive reflex save.
The visitors went close from a corner of their own soon after, with Tyrese Dyce heading against the crossbar from eight yards.
Midfielder Ryan Stirk crossed accurately towards Jordan Bowery in the area, but the forward could not generate the power required to beat McIntyre.
The Stags, who had looked dangerous from corners in the opening 20 minutes, etched their name on the scoresheet with a flag kick from the right-hand side.
Sinclair’s floated delivery was flicked on towards Caine, who headed in the opener from close range.
Moments after the goal, Ryan Burke was shown the first yellow card of the game following a heavy challenge on Ellis Taylor.
Mansfield found a second goal inside 25 minutes through Law. After a corner was half-cleared, the midfielder guided a left-footed volley into the bottom corner.
Sunderland looked to reduce the deficit through Will Harris, who struck wide from the left-hand side of the box.
The Stags had their third not long after through Sinclair. Caine turned provider this time around, finding the attacking midfielder with a neat pass from the right. Sinclair expertly rounded McIntyre before rolling the ball home into an empty net.
Harry Charsley looked to add a fourth for Mansfield on the stroke of half-time, but fired narrowly wide with a first-time strike from the edge of the box.
Sunderland made a double change at the break with a view to igniting a comeback, as Sam Wilding and Cameron Jessup made way for Stephen Wearne and Tom Scott.
But it was the Stags who would continue creating the game’s greater opportunities, with Sinclair going close once more. Law’s cross-field pass was well controlled by Charsley, who slipped the ball through to Mansfield’s No.17. Sinclair beat his man with a dummy before shooting just over from inside the box.
George Shelvey was called into action as Taylor went through on goal, but the on-loan Nottingham Forest shot-stopper produced a fine save with an outstretched boot.
Mansfield then made their first change as Taylor Anderson replaced Clarke, two minutes before James Gale recorded his first outing in Stags’ colours, coming on for Caine.
Sunderland had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Garreth Rhodes when Harrison Sohna struck into the midriff of Keaton Ward.
The visitors continued their pursuit for a consolation as Harris struck marginally wide after a neat turn inside the area.
Sinclair looked to carry the ball upfield following a Sunderland corner, but was tripped by Ethan Kachosa, a challenge worthy of a booking from Mr. Rhodes.
Benjamin Kimpioka had a late opportunity to reduce the deficit but blasted over the bar after beating his man.
It was a professional second-half display by the Stags who protected their three-goal advantage to make a winning start to their Premier League Cup campaign.
Next up in the competition is a trip to Wigan Athletic U23 on Thursday 28 October.
STAGS XI: Shelvey (GK), J. Clarke (C) (Anderson 69’), Cooper (Deakin 89'), Ward, Burke, Stirk, Charsley, Law, Sinclair, Bowery, Caine (Gale 71’).
UNUSED SUBS: Mason (GK), Hill.
SUNDERLAND XI: McIntyre (GK), Richardson, Dyce (Newall 67’), Wilding (C) (Wearne 46’), Younger, Jessup (Scott 46’), Kachosa, Sohna, Harris, Kimpioka, Taylor.
UNUSED SUBS: Carney (GK), Almond.
REFEREE: Garreth Rhodes.
ASSISTANTS: Daniel Guest & Danny Jarvis.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Matthew Jackson.