Mark Plumb writes...
Mansfield Town continued their pre season preparations with Sheffield Wednesday being the visitors to One Call Stadium, which saw the Owls run out 3-2 winners.
It was a great chance for stags fans see the new players, who didn't travel to Malta and for the new signings making their home debuts. Even though it was only a friendly and the results mean nothing it was hard not to look forward to seeing the quality of players we have signed and testing themselves against some top players who have played premiership football.
For the first time in years I can never remember seeing a Mansfield team with so many good options in all positions. Their was a number of good displays from the likes of Mellis, Hamilton, Benning, Digby to name a few who looked sharp as they grown into the game.
The first half started with Wednesday having the lion share of possession and took the lead through Jordan Rhodes with a header that the defence should have dealt with but will no doubt learn from.
The stags equalised through George Taft from a resulting free kick that was scrambled in the area and he was first on hand to blast into the roof of the net.
The owls came knocking on the door by testing Conrad Logan between the sticks in the first half, who commanded his area well and impressed with his kicking up to Lee Angol.
The second half saw many changes to give everyone much needed minutes on their belts, apart from Macdonald who felt a strain so was not risked but was nothing serious and would expect him to feature against another good test in Middlesbrough on Wednesday night at Field Mill.
The second half saw the stags up the tempo and played some good football in spells of the game, which caused the Yorkshire side some problems down the wing. Against the run of play the Owls went back in front courtesy of Tom Lees who rose well to head the ball past Oljenik that was unstoppable.
As the second half progressed Sterling James caused problems going forward and looked a threat every time he was on the ball, along with Rose who gives it his all every time he plays. He was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself with some last ditched defending by the Owls.
Their was also a trilaist, who was introduced for the final 20 minutes of the game that should have converted his effort at goal with a great ball through only to see the Wednesday keeper pull of a great save. He is the former Plymouth Argyle man in Jordan Slew who many stag fans will have known scoring against us last season. Me personally think we have enough fire power for our promotion push.
The quality between the two sides shown with Lucas Joao converting to make it 3-2 to finish the game off. Overall I think it was good for the players to be tested against top players and is another giant step towards the opening game against Crewe come August 5th. Also a credit to both set of fans for turning out with a crowd over 4000 in attendance and expect it to be much of the same against Nottingham Forest next Saturday. Up The Stags!!
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