Premier League new boys Hull City ended Mansfield Town’s unbeaten pre-season record with a single Jarrod Bowen goal on a boiling hot evening at One Call Stadium tonight.
He struck on 55 minutes after being put away by Shaun Maloney, but the visitors could have been out of sight had home keeper Brian Jensen not made three excellent saves while George Taft kicked another effort off the line.
The first half was an even affair with both sides creating chances in a game very easy on the eye with both side passing well.
But the visitors ended the half forcing Jensen into two good stops in as many minutes.
Once Bowen, who has really livened up the visitors since coming on as a 30th minute substitute, had put Hull ahead, Mansfield never really looked like pulling it back.
The Stags began the game with an unnamed trialist left back in the side and another, a target man, on the bench, who came on after the break.
The full back did very well throughout the game, cool in a variety of difficult moments and looking well worth another look, but the striker had little chance to impress against the Tigers defence.
But it was another great work-out for Adam Murray’s men.
Former Stags star Sam Clucas played a very deep central midfield role and, apart from the odd boo, was largely ignored by the home fans.
The game kicked-off in high temperatures after a day on which the mercury rose over 30 degrees for the hottest day of the year so far.
And Hull boss Steve Bruce began the evening with an on-pitch TV interview after informal talks about taking over the vacant England job.
Despite a handful of injuries, he still named a strong side.
Stags began the game 4-1-4-1 with the impressive Pat Hoban on his own up front and Adam Chapman in the midfield holding role.
Baxendale was on the right of the four, Hurst and Mitch Rose central and CJ Hamilton wide on the left.
Pearce dived in late on Diame on five minutes to offer Hull a central free kick just outside the box, Maloney’s effort deflected just over.
Stags then survived another moment as Robertson curled a loose ball across the face of goal from the left.
It took Stags 16 minutes to fashion a chance as CJ Hamilton squared the ball low from the left and Hoban turned to drill a tame effort that bobbled straight to Kusiak.
Soon after Mitch Rose had a long range effort deflect for a corner, while Pearce headed over from a second corner.
On 24 minutes Huddlestone had a low 20 yard shot deflect narrowly wide for the visitors as the Tigers again sharpened their claws.
Hoban showed more skill on 26 minutes as he flicked a header under pressure to set Hamilton on his way down the left and then took the return pass to drill inches wide.
The injury-hit visitors suffered another blow on the half-hour when skipper Dawson limped off with a knock, home fans sportingly applauding him off the field.
On 35 minutes Diame showed his talent as he sidestepped Rose and Bennett in one move before flashing a shot inches wide.
Jensen then had to grab a dangerous Maloney cross at his near post.
On 38 minutes Bowen lashed a low shot goalwards from 25 yards which Jensen failed to hold but had done enough to take the heat out the shot and was able to stop in going in at the second attempt.
A great run by Bowen won a free kick just outsider the box, but it was wasted by Snodgrass who blazed over to jeers from the home fans.
A loose pass from Davies then offered Hurst the chance to hoist a quick effort goalwards that dropped wide of the far post.
But Hull missed the chance of the game on 44 minutes as Snodgrass slipped Maloney through the centre for a one-on-one with Jensen that saw the keeper manage to push away his low finish.
Jensen then had to push away a rasping Snodgrass snapshot just before the break.
Stags made four changes at the break, Taft, Clements, Hemmings and Green on for Bennett, Chapman, Baxendale and Hamilton.
The big trialist striker took over from Hoban on 53 minutes and almost got a head onto the ball in front of goal which would have been his first touch.
However, on 55 minutes the visitors were ahead. Maloney slipped the ball through to send Bowen clear and he smashed an unstoppable finish past a helpless Jensen.
The usual procession of substitutions then had the usual effect of upsetting the rhythm of the game, though Hemmings wasn’t far away from outside the box on 73 minutes.
Two Stags youngsters plus Corbin Shires all got themselves some minutes on the pitch as the whole outfield was changed by the 71st minute apart from the trialist defender.
On 79 minutes Jensen again did well, tipping a rising Olley drive onto the bar and out for a corner.
Hull wasted more chances to seal the win as Odemwingie struck a great chance against the near post when clear on 84 minutes and Taft did superbly well to clear Luer’s follow-up off the line.
STAGS: Jensen, Bennett (Taft HT), Collins (Healey 59), Pearce (Shires 66), Chapman (Clements HT), Hoban (Trialist 53), Baxendale (Green HT), Hurst (McGuire 67), Mitch Rose (Bloor 71), CJ Hamilton (Hemmings HT), Trialist.
HULL: Kuciak (Jakupovic HT), Robertson, Davies, Huddlestone (Tymon HT), Snodgrass (Hernandez 75), Clucas, Maloney (Odemwingie 63), Diame (Olley 71), Dawson (Bowan 30), Luer, Elmohamdey.
REFEREE: Darren England.
ATTENDANCE: 1,585 (142 away).