Mansfield Town’s reserve team hammered Bradford City Reserves 7-0 at the One Call Stadium last night to jump from fourth to second in the league standings.
League Two Bradford fielded a number of young players whilst Andy Todd’s Stags fielded only two players under the age of 20, defenders Jake Green and Jobe Shaw.
The difference in class was clear from the off, Louis Briscoe came close to putting the hosts ahead inside three minutes with a 20 yard drive before Ben Hutchinson did break the deadlock with eight minutes played.
It all stemmed from an excellent Clements delivery after Hutchinson had won a corner holding up play to the left of the box.
The former Hednesford man’s delivery was headed back across the box by Nick Wright for Hutchinson, who leapt high to thunder a header beyond the stranded Morrison.
Bradford then gave Mansfield a brief scare. However the classy Hutchinson soon set the Stags second on 12 minutes, sending a defence-splitting pass into the path of Nick Wright who remained calm to slot underneath Stuart Morrison in the Bantams goal.
Mansfield waited 10 minutes before adding a third. Once again it stemmed from Hutchinson winning a corner which Clements took, Luke Jones was first to the ball but saw his thunderous header palmed away by Morrison. But the Bantams keeper was helpless with the second ball as Ben Hutchinson fired home on the volley from eight yards.
The former Celtic and Kilmarnock man was hungry for more and was denied a treble with 25 mins played. Wright fed the dangerous front man into some space, Hutchinson stepped inside the challenge of McHugh before drilling a shot towards the bottom corner which was well-saved by Morrison as he sprung across to tip the goalbound shot around the post for yet another corner.
Keeper Shane Redmond had little to do throughout the game, but was called into action seconds after Hutchinson was denied by Morrison. Bradford youngster Connor Erangey had a pot shot from the edge of the box, however, it was far too easy for the Irish gloves man.
Hutchinson was then cursing his luck as he headed home a deep Clements free-kick, only for the offside flag to be raised, denying the hit man a first-half treble.
Captain Chris Clements added another for the Stags with seven minutes of the first-half remaining. Louis Briscoe’s quick corner saw Clements curl a beautiful effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.
The roles were nearly reversed on the stroke of half-time as Clements fed Briscoe. However Bantams shot-stopper Morrison again pulled off an excellent save to keep the score line 4-0 in Mansfield’s favour at half time.
After the break further excellence from Morrison in the City goal kept it at 4-0 as he palmed away a Stevenson header from a Clements corner. Luke Jones then arrived in the same spot from the following corner to bullet home the fifth of the night.
Dominant Mansfield made it 6-0 on 75 minutes after excellent creative play from Hutchinson. Dropping into midfield to collect a low pass, he spun well before clipping beautifully over the top for Wright, who got his second of the game firing in from the left of the box with his left boot.
Wright and Hutchinson fought out the remainder of the match in search of a hat-trick, and five minutes from full-time the duo were involved in the final goal of the night.
Again it stemmed from Hutchinson who took a quick free-kick after being felled on the right-hand side, his low pass to Briscoe saw the creative wide man turn Bass inside out before cutting the ball back into the middle. Wright arrived on the penalty spot and controlled well before slotting home.
Man Of The Match: Ben Hutchinson. Referee: Robert Dadley.
Line Up: Shane Redmond, Jake Green, Luke Jones, Jobe Shaw, Andy Owens, Louis Briscoe, Chris Clements (C) (Nuha Jabbi 65), Solomon Taiwo (Scott Rogers 60), Nick Wright, Lee Stevenson (Joe Flint 65), Ben Hutchinson. Substitutes Not Used: Joel Holland, Ben Birch, Kurtis Turner.