Alfreton Town 1-2 Mansfield Town | Pre-Season Friendly | Friday 23rd July 2021 | Impact Arena
As the season’s opener against Bristol Rovers edged ever closer, Nigel Clough continued to assess his squad – with a relatively youthful line-up coming from a goal down to beat Alfreton Town 2-1, thanks to goals from Nathan Caine and Tyrese Sinclair.
Clough gave a number of players who’d missed the first week of pre-season a run out, including Farrend Rawson, who skippered the side, Jordan Bowery and new left back Ryan Burke.
It was the Stags’ second game this week, after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Grimsby Town was played behind closed doors at the RH Academy on Tuesday, but the first real time that cooler match conditions allowed supporters to get a taste of what Clough and his back room staff are trying to build.
It’s at this stage in pre-season where I expect things to ramp up a level, results of course still aren’t too important, but it’s pleasing to see two well taken goals and a win which is good for morale.
I was impressed with both full backs, James Clarke at right back I’ve always been impressed with and whilst I know he’ll very much be second or third choice, every time I watch him play I see what a potential he has which I really hope we harness – whilst on the other side, Burke, who signed a few weeks ago, looked comfortable going forward and dealt well with what the hosts threw at him.
One man I don’t know too much about is the centre half Cooper, I’ve seen him a few times time and he’s looked composed and vocal – up against Matt Rhead tonight he could have had a really tough game, but did OK and looked assured enough alongside the more experienced Rawson – certainly one to watch.
Elsewhere I felt our transition play was good, we perhaps should have been a little more ruthless – but it was nice to see some fluidity and good passages of play coming from our young midfield, which included trialist George Scott, who did OK sitting alongside Keaton Ward and Jason Law, with Sinclair just infront.
Apart from Rawson and possibly Sinclair and Bowery, the side tonight for me consisted of those “outside of Clough’s main eleven” – but I think there’s plenty of people knocking on the door and making it a very competitive squad which is very pleasing.
Tomorrow at Hull City will be interesting, I’m not expecting too much – but now the weather has dropped, I want to see us press a little more, play with a bit more pace and see the partnerships and bonds begin to form, before we head into the final week of pre-season, with fixtures against Coventry City, Basford United and Nottingham Forest U23s – the latter, behind closed doors at the RH Academy.
STAGS: Stech, J. Clarke, Rawson (Deakin 75’), Cooper, Burke (Anderson 60’), Ward, G. Scott, Law (O’Keeffe 46’), Sinclair, Bowery (Caine 75’), Knowles UNUSED SUBS: Mason, O. Clarke, Gordon
If you enjoy the Mansfield Matters Podcast, our Blog page is very similar - just in article form as team members share their views on matches and events!
Fancy submitting an article, DM us on Facebook/Twitter to get our attention, or email email@example.com (please note, this inbox isn't monitored often so it may take a while to get back to you)
Please read the disclaimer on the home page.