All square at Clipstone in Stags’ first friendly of the day

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Mansfield Town’s first pre-season friendly of the day finished in a 2-2 draw at NCEL Premier Division neighbours Clipstone.

The Stags played a strong side, though half a dozen of them probably won’t start the season, and were forced to come from behind after conceding an early goal against the run of play.

Mitch Rose and Adi Yussuf then netted to make it 2-1 before substitutions left a very youthful Stags side to concede a late goal as the impressive Cobras grabbed the draw.

After a morning’s heavy rain, the pitch played surprisingly well and, with the rain finally stopping just before the noon kick-off, the match ended in bright sunshine.

With an unnamed trialist at right back, Stags had Adam Chapman pulling the strings in front of the back four with Jamie McGuire also hugely influential at centre half.

But star man of the first half was Irish striker Pat Hoban, who was neat and tidy in his work, held the ball up well and almost scored.

Stags were swarming all over the home goal from the kick-off and Rob Paling cleared off the line from Pat Hoban after just two minutes.

A minute later a long Hoban cross from the left hit the far angle and Yussuf saw his follow-up saved.

Baxendale then scuffed a chance wide before Stags were rocked by a Clipstone goal with their first real attack on seven minutes as Martin Brissett judged a superb chip to perfection to give Shearer no chance.

Baxendale fired another low chance wide of the far post, but the home side were finally spending some time in the visitors’ half and Reece Littlejohn sent a low shot at Shearer while Nathan Forbes swerved a powerful effort wide.

However, Stags were level on 34 minutes as Rose let fly with a fine low shot from almost 35 yards that beat keeper Steve Hernandez.

Stags should have gone in ahead as Clipstone’s goal led a charmed life.

Yussuf scuffed a good chance wide from close in, then Hoban had a fine first time finish from a Yussuf cross ruled out for offside on 40 minutes.

In the final minute CJ Hamilton’s low shot from the left was saved, and Yussuf saw his first follow-up blocked and his second sail wide.

Rose headed powerfully over from a corner for the final chance as the sides went in locked at 1-1.

Youth teamer Cameron Healey replaced the trialist at right back for the second half.

Within two minutes Hoban pulled back a neat pass into Baxendale’s path, but the midfielder pulled his finish wide.

On 57 minutes Yussuf finally got his sights right and powerfully shielded the ball before turning and burying a good finish inside the near post from 10 yards.

Soon after Hoban set up Hamilton, but he passed a finish into the left sidenetting.

Baxendale was too high after being set up by Yussuf on the hour.

A minute later new first team coach Hawley had a run out up front, replacing Hoban.

Hamilton thundered another effort over the top from right of goal in Mansfield’s next chance.

Shires did well to get his body in the way of a Nodder blast as the ball ran loose on 66 minutes in a rare Cobras chance.

Two minutes later Chapman, Rose, Baxendale, Hamilton and Yussuf were replaced by youth teamers.

Hawley had his first sight of goal but saw his first effort blocked and follow-up curled into the keeper’s hands.

On 71 minutes Danquah, McGuire, Shires and Shearer were all replaced by youth teamers too.

That was the spur for the home side to push forward and level on 82 minutes as Littlejohn got into the box on the right and blasted a low shot underneath the keeper from a tight angle.

STARTING TEAMS

CLIPSTONE: Hernandez, Paling, Salt, Austin, Fox, Nodder, Littlejohn, Forbes, McDonnel, Brissett, Littlejohn.

STAGS: Shearer, Trialist, McGuire, Shires, Danquah, Chapman, Rose, Baxendale, CJ Hamilton, Hoban, Yussuf.

REFEREE: James Shipley.

ATTENDANCE: 364.