Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans said several players had shone in the midweek reserves game and put themselves in the frame for a recall against Swindon Town on Saturday.
Striker Lee Angol netted a brace in the 2-0 win against Grimsby Town Reserves and Evans said: “The senior players were terrific – you look at Rhys Bennett, Mal Benning, Jacob Mellis, Jimmy Spencer, CJ Hamilton, Lee Angol and Paul Digby. They were all excellent.
“You’d be silly to think Angol hasn’t given himself a chance.
“I think he’s top goalscorer now in that league. He is too good for it at that level.
“I was really pleased with Mal Benning. I think he looked more like the player we saw last season at times, probably for the first time this season. The kid is trying so hard in training and behind the scenes.
“He is probably a protagonist as is Jacob Mellis. If you can give him the ball you have a chance of creating a goal.”
Evans said the young players who made up the rest of the team will have also benefited from the game, though remain well short of a call-up for now.
“It’s a massive learning curve for them just to be around the first team and just to be in the dressing room and see how the senior players conduct themselves,” said Evans.
“We have a good youth policy but the benchmark has gone up.
“Some have a lot of ability and by playing in these reserve games with members of the first team and getting coached by Mike (Whitlow), Coops (Richard Cooper) and Paul Raynor, they should get better.”