|Player Coach Andy Todd|
This time led by player coach Andy Todd whilst Paul Cox and Micky Moore watched from the Stands, Mansfield attempted to warm up the brave fans watching on in the bitter coldness with a resounding 4-0 victory.
Luke O’Neill – Rhys Day (C) – Martin Riley – Joe Kendrick
Louis Briscoe – Jon Worthington – Anthony Howell – Marcus Kelly
Anto Flood (Trialist) – Ben Hutchinson (Trialist)
BENCH: Andy Todd – Matt Bell – Scott Rogers – Adam Somes – Jobe Shaw – Joel Holland
As with the last time these sides met in friendly action around three weeks ago, the game took a while to get going; Mansfield registered their first effort on 11 minutes and then put on the pressure with four shots in as many minutes before the games opener. First it was Anthony Howell that let fly, however he couldn’t repeat his feat of scoring in the last friendly, striking the post after beating the keeper following good link up play with Briscoe and Hutchinson.
|Ben Hutchinson celebrates|
Efforts from Joe Kendrick and the evenings skipper Rhys Day followed, however it was a trialist Stags body that opened the scoring on 14 minutes. Marcus Kelly created it with some neat play down the left hand side, the Kettering loan man sent a ball down the left hand side for Hutchinson who dropped well into space before linking up with Kelly again for a 1-2, Hutchinson then cut inside and curled a beautiful strike into the top corner.
Eastwood 0-1 Stags
Ten minutes later Hutchinson then grabbed a second in similar fashion, this time punishing a defensive error. A long ball over the top looked like a lost cause as the home keeper raced off his line to clear, however Kilmarnock front man Hutchinson sensed an opportunity and raced to the ball beating the keeper too it. At an acute angle, Hutchinson side stepped the keeper before looking up and curling the ball brilliantly over a back tracking defenders head for his second of the evening.
Eastwood 0-2 Stags
The hosts then looked to respond two minutes after the restart, a deep cross from the right hand side caused the Stags problems, an Eastwood head was to the ball first connecting with a powerful header, fortunately for Andy Todd’s side the header was wide as keeper Shane Redmond was wrong footed.
With Ben Hutchinson shining on trial, Anto Flood was perhaps getting a little over shadowed up front. However the former Galloway United striker linked up well with Briscoe just after the half hour mark, Flood did well inside the box firing at goal but couldn’t beat the home shot stopper as the ball deflected into his arms.
Flood did get on the score sheet five minutes later as the Stags bagged two goals in as many minutes. Strong play from Marcus Kelly on the left wing earned Mansfield a corner, Joe Kendrick delivered a left footed out swinger with Flood getting the final touch as the ball bobbled in for a third.
Eastwood 0-3 Stags
Straight from the re-start the Stags won the ball back and continued to pressure, Marcus Kelly again made it with a strong cross field ball; Briscoe arrived to the right of the area and unleashed a thunderous shot. The Stags wingers shot was going well wide of the target but took a huge deflection into the roof of the net for the evening’s fourth goal
Eastwood 0-4 Stags
With five to go before the break, Hutchinson was unfortunate not to make it 5-0 and complete his well deserved hat-trick. Luke O’Neill won the ball back from an Eastwood throw in before feeding the Louis Moult-esc forward Anto Flood. Flood held the play up well before sending Hutchinson on his way through the middle, Hutchinson’s final shot deflected away for a corner after the former premier-league striker skipped past two defenders.
Half Time: Eastwood 0-4 Stags
No changes were made by Andy Todd at the break however Marcus Kelly and Joe Kendrick swapped position with the latter moving forward to the left hand side of midfield. Good movement down the right hand side on 56 minutes created another chance for a 5th, Luke O’Neill played the ball forward to Briscoe who did well to beat his marker and whip a ball into the area, Eastwood headed away but only as far as Howell; however his left footed volley was struck way over the bar.
On the hour mark, leading youth team marksman Adam Somes entered the fray along with team mate Joel Holland, replacing Anto Flood and Joe Kendrick respectively. Somes was immediately amongst the action firing a shot from the edge of the box through a crowd of bodies; however deflections had taken the sting out of the ball and the goal keeper easily collected.
Four minutes later tough tackling midfielder Scott Rogers replaced Ben Hutchinson with Anthony Howell moving upfront alongside Somes. Neither side enjoyed any clear cut chances with the game going one end to the other in typical reserve team friendly style. On 75 minutes former Stags midfielder Stevie Istead earned his new employers a free kick which was hit way over Redmond’s bar, shortly after youth team skipper Jobe Shaw replaced Luke O’Neill at right back.
Two minutes later it was heart in mouth time for Mansfield as Shane Redmond made an unusual error. A long ball over the top looked to be bouncing out for a goal kick, Redmond raced off his line to turn his back in an attempt to Sheppard the ball away, however the ball somehow stayed in and Redmond was taken off the ball by the nippy Eastwood substitute, however the danger was soon cleared by Rhys Day who smashed the ball into the box away into orbit.
Four minutes from time it was a combination of youth team players that could have sealed the elusive 5th goal, a neat ball from Briscoe was headed on by deadly striker Somes to the left of the area. Quick wing man Joel Holland was first to the ball at the back stick letting fly powerfully; his shot was saved by the keeper’s boot not that it mattered as the offside flag was already up.
Full Time: Eastwood 0-4 Stags