Mansfield Town eliminated from Carabao Cup at Championship Preston North End

Preston North End 4 Mansfield Town 0
Andy Cook went close for the Stags. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Andy Cook went close for the Stags. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Andy Cook went close for the Stags. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Goals: Barkhuizen 14, Maguire 22, Bauer 29, Harrop 65

Mansfield Town saw their Carabao Cup hopes emphatically ended at the first hurdle at Championship Preston North End.

But it could have been a different story if Andy Cook had scored and not seen his stinging 11th minute drive crash into a post.

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The Stags started brightly but Cook was unlucky not to give them the lead and their hosts capitalised to essentially put the contest out of reach in the first half.

Three goals in 15 thrilling minutes did the damage for the hosts as Graham Coughlan’s side were left shell-shocked.

Goals from Tom Barkhuizen, Sean Maguire and Patrick Bauer saw the Lilywhites boast a healthy cushion at the break.

And John Harrop netted after the break to make sure there were no slip-ups in their opening outing of the season.

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Slack defending from the League Two visitors also contributed to their downfall.

An early warning came in the eighth minute when striker Maguire forced a smart save from Czech keeper Marek Stech.

But to the Stags credit they countered well and Harry Charsley saw his goal-bound shot charged down by Alan Browne.

Then came Cook’s excellent opportunity, but he was unlucky to his shot cannon off the post and to safety.

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Irishman Charsley had a powerful shot blocked a minute later as the Stags sniffed upsetting the home side.

However, midfielder Brad Potts teed up Barkhuizen in the 14th minute and the winger rifled into the bottom left corner to give the Lancashire side the lead.

And it got even better eight minutes later when Republic of Ireland international hitman Maguire picked out the top left corner with a splendid strike.

The Stags were reeling and nearly conceded again when playmaker Potts header narrowly over from a teasing Barkhuizen delivery.

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But the hosts didn’t have long to wait for their third goal, two minutes in fact, when German centre-back Bauer netted from a Harrop corner.

Ryan Sweeney headed wide just after the half-hour mark from a Charsley cross, but alert shot-stopper Stech prevented a fourth goal with a good save from Harrop.

Maguire had a shot blocked early in the second half as he went in search of a second goal, before the busy Stech thwarted Tom Bayliss with an excellent save.

Harrop was not to be denied a place on the scoresheet when he hammered home in the 65th minute to well and truly put the result out of sight.

Malvind Benning tried his luck with an ambitious long-range effort late in the action, but the Stags were well beaten.