Attackers Davis Keillor-Dunn, Rhys Oates and Jordan Bowery all netted this evening as Stags defeated European Conference League hopefuls Hearts in a behind-closed-doors contest in Edinburgh.
Mansfield’s match in the Scottish capital was swiftly arranged following the cancellation of the club’s scheduled friendly at home to Barnsley.
Forward Liam Boyce had put the SPFL side ahead but Stags fought back to make it successive victories north of the border; having put eight past Airdrie a week ago.
The game’s first opportunity fell Stags’ way in the opening minute. Forward Rhys Oates connected with a cross from the left by Stephen Quinn but steered his header wide.
Partnering Lucas Akins upfront, Oates was involved again four minutes later. The former Hartlepool frontman was found by his strike partner before firing a left footed effort at Zander Clark in The Jam Tarts’ net.
With action aplenty, the hosts hit back with two opportunities of their own. Stephen Kingsley and former Burton Albion man Liam Boyce both had attempts whistle past the upright.
Growing in confidence following a flurry of attacks, Hearts broke forward again. This time, captain Jamie Shankland saw his strike from range stopped abruptly by a courageous Aaron Lewis block.
Liam Boyce was next to go close for Hearts - firing over following a fine delivery from Alex Cochrane.
Five minutes later, the Northern Ireland international made no mistake. The frontman rounded Christy Pym in the Stags’ net before tapping into an open net for the lead.
Stags found momentum shortly after going a goal behind. The lively Oates and centre-back Alfie Kilgour both had opportunities to pull Mansfield level before the interval but the hosts hung on.
The break signalled a change in goal for Mansfield as Scott Flinders took the place of Christy Pym for the second-half.
Alan Forrest saw his left footed strike fly past Flinders’ goal frame seven minutes into the second 45 with Stags searching for an equaliser.
On 57 minutes, left-back Calum Macdonald pinched the ball high up the pitch before finding midfielder Stephen Quinn. The inventive Irishman slotted a pass to attacker Davis Keillor-Dunn who sat goalkeeper Michael McGovern down before dinking the shot-stopper to find the net.
Quinn looked to turn provider again soon after. The experienced midfielder’s cross from the left was headed over by Lucas Akins.
The former Republic of Ireland international was withdrawn from the action on 75 minutes - being replaced by Hiram Boateng in the engine room.
Mansfield continued to push and took the lead with a little over ten minutes to play. Keillor-Dunn’s header was saved and then cleared into the path of Oates who struck underneath McGovern with a left footed volley to find the net.
Two changes followed. Jordan Bowery and Anthony Hartigan were brought onto the Tynecastle turf in place of Stags’ goal scorers Oates and Keillor-Dunn.
With Mansfield dominating proceedings the impressive full-back Macdonald was tripped in Hearts’ penalty area. Jordan Bowery stepped up to take the spot-kick and fired Stags into a 3-1 advantage with his first involvement.
Youngsters McKeal Abdullah and George Cooper replaced Lucas Akins and Macdonald in the final notable action of the outing.
Stags ran out 3-1 victors at Tynecastle in an entertaining encounter in Edinburgh.
Stags’ starting XI: Pym (Flinders 46’), Johnson, Kilgour, Cargill, Macdonald (Cooper 86’), Lewis, Reed, Quinn (Boateng 75'), Keillor-Dunn (Hartigan 82'), Akins (Abdullah 86'), Oates (Bowery 82')
Photo taken by davidmollisonphotography.com