Lucas Akins netted a second pre-season hat-trick in a week as Mansfield Town beat Airdrieonians FC 8-0 in a practice match at St Andrews yesterday.
The match against the Scottish Championship outfit was split into three 30 minute periods.
Mansfield began the game in control - dominating possession and limiting Airdrie to very little territory in the final third.
Stags’ dominance was rewarded in the seventh minute by the game’s first goal. Midfielder Hiram Boateng plucked Louis Reed’s chipped pass out of the sky, in the area, before looping a cross for forward Lucas Akins to steer a header into the bottom left corner.
Moments later, Airdrie looked to hit back. Goalkeeper Christy Pym got down low to his left, expertly, to palm a well-struck effort behind from a Diamonds’ forward.
On 12 minutes, Akins had his second of the match. Calum Macdonald rampaged down the left wing before firing a venomous effort at goal. The shot ricocheted into the path of the frontman who displayed a typically clinical first-time slot into the net to extend Stags’ advantage.
With 20 minutes on the clock - and Mansfield in the ascendancy - Callum Johnson found James Gale with a searching delivery from the right. The forward climbed above his marker but couldn’t quite generate the required power to find the net.
Gale made no mistake four minutes later, however. After receiving a pass from his strike partner Akins the young striker drilled a left footed shot into the bottom corner from 17 yards.
The impressive Akins was involved again on 28 minutes. Macdonald’s curling corner from the right found the head of Stags’ number seven who powered an effort into the top corner for his hat-trick.
With the match split into three periods of 30 minutes, Stags made several changes two minutes after the game’s fourth goal.
Jordan Bowery, George Maris, Aaron Lewis, Rhys Oates and Anthony Hartigan replaced Davis Keillor-Dunn, Hiram Boateng, James Gale, Calum Macdonald and John-Joe O’Toole.
Midfielder George Maris’ threaded pass found forward Rhys Oates shortly after the two had entered proceedings. The striker rounded the Airdrie goalkeeper before sliding an effort across goal which midfielder Stephen Quinn tapped into an empty net for Mansfield’s fifth.
With two minutes to go until what would ordinarily be the halfway stage, Stags had a sixth. Summer signing Aaron Lewis latched onto the end of Quinn’s chipped cross from the left to drive into the box before striking low into the corner.
With no half-time interval, Mansfield made another change on minute 45. Anthony Hartigan who took John-Joe O’Toole’s place at centre-back after 30 minutes, was withdrawn in place of George Cooper.
Five minutes later, Hartigan was back on, this time replacing Quinn in midfield.
Airdrie came close to a goal back but an effort from a midfielder whistled past the post from 20 yards before the 60-minute stage.
Two thirds into the match signalled the referee’s whistle, indicating another break in play.
Mansfield’s side after the second interval saw returns to action for James Gale, Hiram Boateng, Davis Keillor-Dunn, Calum Macdonald and John-Joe O’Toole. Baily Cargill, Jordan Bowery, Lucas Akins, Louis Reed and Callum Johnson made way. Scott Flinders replaced Christy Pym in the Stags’ net.
Six minutes after the restart, Mansfield had a seventh. Rhys Oates beat the offside trap to pick up Aaron Lewis’ forward ball before squaring for Hiram Boateng to fire into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Airdrie threatened with 15 minutes left to play when a forward went clean through on goal but Flinders stood tall to deny him at his near post - punching a strike clear.
Jordan Bowery then replaced Rhys Oates seconds later.
Calum Macdonald was next on the scoresheet. The former Derby County man rifled a strike into the top of the Airdrie net following Gale’s driven delivery from right to left.
Stags should have made it nine on 84 minutes. Gale raced through before squaring for George Maris but the midfielder’s strike was tipped behind from close range by a top save from the Airdrie ‘keeper.
After 90 minutes, the game finished 8-0 to Mansfield.
Stags are yet to concede in pre-season so far as the squad continue preparations for the new season in St Andrews.
Supporters can watch the goals from Stags’ practice match in Scotland later today at: mansfieldtown.net/ifollow
Stags’ first period XI: Pym, Johnson, O’Toole, Cargill, Macdonald, Reed, Boateng, Quinn, Keillor-Dunn, Gale, Akins
Stags’ second period XI: Pym, Johnson, Hartigan, Cargill, Bowery, Reed, Maris, Quinn, Lewis, Oates, Akins
Stags’ third period XI: Flinders, Lewis, O’Toole, Cooper, Macdonald, Reed, Maris, Boateng, Keillor-Dunn, Gale, Oates