New loanee Will Swan made his first start for the Stags as they kicked off their pre-season campaign this afternoon, earning a 6-0 win away to Retford United.
The 21-year-old’s signing – from Nottingham Forest until the end of the season – was announced at 1pm today.
He becomes the Stags’ third signing of the summer, along with goalkeeper Scott Flinders and midfielder Hiram Boateng, all of whom completed 45 minutes today.
Mansfield returned from St. Andrews to more familiar territory, facing Retford in their first pre-season friendly for the second consecutive season.
And five goals in the first half, along with a Rhys Oates’ strike in the second, ensured a positive start to pre-season in sweltering heat at Cannon Park.
Stags’ first attempt to attack the Retford gal came in the fourth minute.
Stephen Quinn played through Jordan Bowery, whose first touch took him into the Retford box, before he unleashed a powerful effort high and wide.
Looking to build on a strong start, Stephen McLaughlin found space on the left in the seventh minute. His deep cross flew over the head of both James Gale and Lucas Akins, who were both queuing at the back post.
With ten minutes played, Mansfield took the lead through Lucas Akins when he arrived at the back post to head home an inviting cross from Bowery.
A head Injury to Retford’s Jacob Priestnall in the 15th minute allowed the teams to have a water break, a necessity in the scorching heat.
Retford carved out their first chance of the game in the 19th minute.
But after taking a free kick out wide a poor delivery saw Stephen McLaughlin to clear the ball to safety.
With 15 minutes played, Mansfield born Will Swan was set free down the left by an early-taken free kick. The Forest loanee drove into the box to beat Stuart Ludlam before running the ball behind for a goal kick.
In the 26th minute, Mansfield’s intensity became too much for the home side as Stephen Quinn found Hiram Boateng whose effort was blocked. But there was no mistake with the follow up when Jordan Bowery slotted the ball under Retford goalkeeper Tom Crosby.
The away side exploited gaps in the Retford defence as Swan got in behind again, this time down the right side. His low cross found the boot of Gale who came sliding in to make it 3-0 in half an hour.
Mansfield’s new central midfielder Boateng seemed to fit into the side perfectly and demonstrated his abilities in the 31st minute when he played the ball from his own half into the path of Quinn. The Irishman’s touch saw him enter the box; before he rolled the ball int bottom right corner to score Stags fourth goal.
Three minutes later, Bowery got his second of the game latching onto the end of a Boateng cross.
In the 39th minute, Bowery and Swan combined but the former was unable to grab his third after receiving the ball back off Swan, as he sliced the ball wide.
The last action of the half saw Curtis Davies forced off after an ill-timed challenge by Retford’s number nine.
The second half saw a fresh team for Mansfield as Nigel Clough utilised his squad by making nine changes.
In the 48th minute, Stags charged forward through Kellan Gordon, whose snapshot forced a save from the keeper.
Mansfield were awarded a free-kick a minute later, but George Maris saw his whipped effort fly wide of the left post.
Stags made it 6-0 in the 1st minute.
A terrific midfield ball from Ollie Clarke saw Rhys Oates bring the ball down superbly before side footing the ball past Crosby and into the open goal.
Stags continued to dominate possession as they searched for another goal.
A speculative effort from Oates in the 64th minute did little to trouble Crosby as it rattled the advertising board down to the right of the goal.
This pause in play signalled another water break for both teams and Mansfield used the time to replace James Gale with Jack Deakin up front.
Deakin’s first involvement saw him win a corner for his side. The resulting flag-kick found George Lapslie whose effort was blocked and then collected by Crosby.
Oates rifled another effort wide in the 75th minute as Clough’s men continued to press.
Kellan Gordon darted down the right-hand side in the 81st minute, where he slid the ball across the box, only to be eluded by another man in amber and blue. Jason Law, however, recycled it on the left flank by setting the ball to Clarke whose effort went wide.
Gordon’s time on the field came to an abrupt end two minutes later after being brought down. The right wing-back limped off the pitch as Mansfield shuffled the pack to deal with having to finish the game a man short.
With one minute left on the clock, Oates was played through one-on-one, but his shot was well blocked by the keeper as it hit his midriff.
STAGS XI: Flinders (Mason 46’), Cooper, O’Toole (Hawkins 46’), McLaughlin (Collins 46’) ©, Akins (Gordon 46’), Boateng (Lapslie 46’), Davies (Maris 46’), Quinn (Clarke 46’ ©), Bowery (Law 46’), Gale (Deakin 66’), Swan (Oates 46’).
RETFORD XI: Crosby, Ludlam ©, White, Booth, Fieldsend, Turner (L. Thompson), Mylnarski, Priestnall (K. Thompson), Baird (Morton), Frost, Smith
UNUSED SUBS: Holmes, Earnshaw
REFEREE: Lee Hible