Mansfield Town thrashed by Cambridge United after Matt Preston red card leads to collapse

Mansfield's Krystian Pearce heads wide.
Mansfield's Krystian Pearce heads wide.

Cambridge United hit four late goals in the last 16 minutes to sink 10 man Mansfield Town 4-0.

The home side had dominated the first half with CJ Hamilton twice going close to giving Stags the lead.

But the game turned dramatically four minutes after the restart when Matt Preston was dismissed for a reckless tackle on Luke Hannant.

Cambridge dominated from that point and secured the points with goals from Jack Roles, Sam Smith, George Maris and Reggie Lambe..

Mansfield wasted first half chances to get ahead with Ryan Sweeney, Krystian Pearce and CJ Hamilton all going close.

Preston was red-carded for the second time this season after a wild lunge on Hannant, which forced the United man off.

But United got their reward when Roles tapped home after Richards’ header hit the bar.

Smith finished well from a counter-attack with four minutes to go, before Maris added another after a Richards shot had been saved.

Lambe scored from the spot five minutes into stoppage time after Harrison Dunk was fouled.

Ryan Sweeney headed over from a second minute corner as Mansfield started on the front foot.

Cambridge conceded a number of quick free-kicks as they attempted to disrupt the Stags rhythm.

And they took it too far on 10 minutes when Kyke Knoyle went into the book after hacking down Mal Benning.

Krystian Pearce nearly opened the scoring from the resulting free-kick when he sent a bullet header just wide.

CJ Hamilton missed a great chance to open the scoring when he dragged a shot wide on 15 minutes after getting through on goal.

Marc Richards just failed to connect with a testing Luke Hannant free-kick on 28 minutes during a rare attack by the visitors.

Hamilton blazed over following a mazy run against two back-tracking defenders on 33 minutes, before Benning scuffed an effort wide seconds later.

Stags discipline issues reared its ugly head four minutes after the restart when Matt Preston was red-carded for a wild lunging tackle on Hannant.

It was the second time this season that Preston has received his marching orders and lead to the United player going off injured.

The visitors grew in confidence and began to enjoy their best spell of possession as Mansfield set up with a 4-4-1 formation with Danny Rose the lone frontman.

Richards flashed an effort just wide on 68 minutes after Reggie Lambe broke free down the right flank.

But the visitors hit the front when Jack Roles slotted home to get on the end of a rebound after Richards’ header hit the crossbar with 16 minutes left.

Andy Cook should have levelled for Stags with five minutes to go after great set-up play by Danny Rose.

But the former Walsall man wanted too much time and fluffed his lines

And it was game over when Smith slotted home after a good counter attack with four minutes to go.

Maris scored on full-time after a Marc Richards shot had been saved.

It got even worse when Reggie Lambe scored a penalty deep in stoppage time after sending Logan the wrong way.

Mansfield Town: Logan, Preston, Pearce, Sweeney, Gordon (Khan), Bishop, Shaughnessy, Benning (Cook 81), Sterling-James (McDonald 75), Rose, Hamilton.

Subs: MacDonald, Mellis, Khan, Afolayan, Smith, Stone.

Cambridge United: Mitov, Darling, Taylor, Taft, Knoyle, Lambe, Lewis (Roles 70), Maris, Hannant (Dunk 52), Richards, Smith (Dallaws 89).

Subs: Dunk, Ibehre, Burton, Knibbs, Ward.

Ref: Darren Handley

Attendance: 3,567

Chad MOM: CJ Hamilton.