MATCH REPORT: First defeat for Evans as Carlisle hit five to go top
New Mansfield boss Steve Evans tasted defeat for the first time since taking over at the club as the Stags went down 5-2 in a seven-goal thriller at Carlisle.
Hosts’ striker Charlie Wykes netted a hat-trick, whilst Jason Kennedy and ex-Stag Reggie Lambe bagged the others on a bitterly cold afternoon up north as Carlisle went top of the table.
After the match survived a lunchtime pitch inspection, Pat Hoban opened the scoring early on before a late consolation from substitute Danny Rose.
Evans made just a solitary change to the side that nabbed a late winner at Blackpool last time out.
Captain Lee Collins returned to the fold as Ashley Hemmings dropped out of the starting line-up.
The Stags stormed out of the blocks as they drew first blood on a bitterly cold afternoon at Brunton Park against the high-flying Cumbrians.
Hoban was the scorer as he nodded home Chris Clements’ corner for his third goal in four games in the sixth minutes.
But the hosts were not down for long as they drew level just seven minutes later.
The Stags were caught napping as a short corner found Nicky Adams, who put the ball on a plate for Jason Kennedy to head home the equaliser.
Oscar Gobern powered a half-volley wide before Mitch Rose headed tamely at Mark Gillespie.
Down the other end Michael Raynes missed a glorious opportunity to give the hosts the lead from close range after being expertly found by an Adams’ long ball.
The Stags got off to the worst possible start after the resumption as Carlisle took the lead.
Hat-trick hero Wyke latched onto Adams’ cross to send his header hooping over a stranded Scott Shearer in minute 49.
Wyke’s doubled his tally with his 11th goal of the season with his second header of the afternoon 28 minutes from time.
And he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot with 10 minutes left.
Rose reduced the damage from close range after a knock down from Matt Green before Lambe curled home after a counter.
CARLISLE: Gillespie, Grainger, Brisley, Raynes, Miller, Jones, Joyce, Kennedy (McKee 70), Adams (Asamoah 84), Wyke (Miller 82), Lamb. Subs: Crocombe, Atkinson, Gillesphey, Ellis.
STAGS: Shearer, Bennett, Pearce, Collins, Benning, McGuire, M. Rose (Baxendale 81), Clements, Gobern (Hemmings 57), Green, Hoban (D. Rose 69). Subs: Jensen, Hurst, Hamilton, Thomas.
REFEREE: Seb Stockbridge of Tyne & Wear.
ATTENDANCE: Attendance: 4,822 (183 away).