Mansfield Town picked up their first trophy of the season tonight as they coasted to a 4-0 win at Evo-Stik NPL neighbours Rainworth MW to secure the inaugural Green Energy Challenge Trophy at storm-swept Kirklington Road.
Thunder, lightning and heavy blobs of rain greeted fans on their arrival and there were worries the game could end up getting washed out.
However, the expected deluge never appeared and the game was able to kick off and, despite storms passing close by throughout the night, was able to finish.
Stags, short on forwards right now, named a line-up that included two trialist strikers, 19-year-old former Doncaster Rovers Jordan Ball and the much more experienced Calvin Andrew, formerly of Crystal Palace, Luton Town and Port Vale.
Mansfield-born Ball made just two appearances for Doncaster as well as a 10-game spell on loan at Belper.
He became an instant hero at Doncaster when he scored with his first touch against Chesterfield, and was shocked and upset to be released last month.
The pacey Andrew (26) left Vale Park in May.
Ball, although not the biggest of players, was neat and tidy, brought team mates into play well and ended the night with a goal.
Andrew, meanwhile, was played wide and was quick and strong with a powerful header, having a goal disallowed.
Also given a 25-minute run-out was former Bristol Rovers youngster Lemar Powell, though he had little chance to make a mark.
With manager Paul Cox and assistant boss Adam Murray away watching strikers elsewhere, coach Richard Cooper took charge and confirmed afterwards that Andrew and Ball would get further chances after impressing.
Young centre half Jason Gregory was also included as was former Notts County defender Julian Kelly, currently keeping fit with the Stags and who played in the win at Chester last week, both having a relatively easy night.
Young Aussie keeper Chris Smiht also got the last nine minutes for the visitors.
But, in the end, it was the talents of two-goal Ben Hutchinson, the midfield creativity of Chris Clements and the aggression of Godfrey Poku that really caught the eye in a one-sided game in which Stags could have had double figures and keeper Ian Deakin remained untested.
Ross Dyer (pictured above) will also have enjoyed his night after bagging his first goal since that serious knee injuey last August.
Andrew caused early problems and could have had a third minute penalty had he gone down when pulled back in the box.
Seconds later he beat his man with ease on the left and crossed right in front of goal where keeper Martin pulled off a great reaction save to keep out Dyer’s stabbed finish.
But Stags were ahead on five minutes, with Andrew again involved.
Clements’ deft flick sent Andrew through on goal, he was thwarted by Martin as he tried to round him, but the ball ran loose to Hutchinson, who tucked away a low finish.
Andrew thought had doubled the lead on 19 minutes after some great work from Hutchinson to make room for a right wing cross which was met with a powerful header by Andrew, giving Martin no chance, only to be denied by a raised offside flag.
Andrew was too high with a header from a left wing Hutchinson corner on 23 minutes as Mansfield continued to look dangerous.
Two minutes later the pressure paid off as the lead was doubled.
Hutchinson played in a low cross from wide on the right and Dyer stretched out a leg to toepoke a perfect finish inside the near post from 12 yards out.
Poku then warmed Martin’s hands from 30 yards on the half-hour as lightning began to flash in the sky beyond the ground once more.
Passes from Kelly and Dyer then set up Hutchinson for his second goal of the night as he flashed an unstoppable shot past Martin at his near post on 32 minutes.
Dyer set up Clements for a first time effort over the bar, then Ball saw his low shot go for a corner off the legs of Martin as a one-sided half reached its 37th minute.
Ball marked his night with a deserved goal on 37 minutes after keeper Martin’s clearance hit a team mate and ran loose to Ball who, with the help of a deflection, found the top corner.
Clements’ square pass set up Hutchinson on the edge of the box, his low shot half-stopped and almost creeping under the keeper before he grabbed it at the second time of asking.
So Stags had to make do with a 4-0 advantage at the end of a half they had enjoyed complete control of.
Hutchinson was inches wide on the restart from Dyer’s low square ball as Mansfield resumed their offensive.
Then Andrew was wide at the far post after Ball had let a right wing cross run past him.
Clements fired in a fine 20-yarder that Martin got his body in the way of and, again, took hold of at the second time of asking.
On the 61st minute Hanson rolled in a tame, low 20 yard shot straight to Deakin that represented the Wrens’ first goal attempt.
But there was little respite at the other end as the over-worked Martin beat away a low near-post blast from Hutchinson.
Buttle was very wide with a 20 yard effort on the turn in another rare home threat.
Martin again thwarted Mansfield when he turned an unlikely volley from the young centre half against his post.
The rhythm of the game was lost as the substitutions continued to flow throughout the half.
Powell was too high with a far post header for Stags near the end while the lightning quick youth player Damar-Thompson forced a near post save.
But on 88 minutes Rainworth almost clawed back as Hanson’s low ball in from the right was met with a sweet low shot from Theakstone that Sutton did well to block.
RAINWORTH MW: Martin, Hanson, Magee, Rickards (Shaw ht), Archer, Dudley, O’Callaghan (Claxton ht), French (Somes 69), Clarke (Theakstone 69), Holmes, Buttle. Subs not used: Brown, Walker, Saunders, West.
STAGS: Deakin (Smith 81), Pilkington, Kelly (Marsden 85), Poku (Thomas 83), Sutton, Gregory, Dyer (Hawkins 85), Clements, Ball (Damar-Thompson 77), Hutchinson (Flint 77), Andrew (Powell 65). Subs not used: Birch, Villums, Spencer, Jones.
REFEREE: Steve Meredith.