Bosses happy as Stags put Wrens to the sword

Mansfield vs Rainworth - Rainworth manager Julian Watts - Pic By James Williamson
Mansfield vs Rainworth - Rainworth manager Julian Watts - Pic By James Williamson

Both managers were happy with their new-look team’s opening pre-season game as Mansfield Town put NCEL neighbours Rainworth MW to the sword in a four-goal second half to win the Green Energy Trophy with a 5-1 scoreline at Kirklington Road on Saturday.

Anthony Dwyer hit the only Stags goal in the first half, but former Mansfield Town youth player Lewis Chambers quickly levelled from the spot.

However, an Adi Yussuf brace and goals for Craig Westcarr and Nicky Hunt in a one-sided second half saw Mansfield finally turn the screw.

“It was exactly what we wanted,” said Mansfield manager Adam Murray.

To read a match report by Martin Shaw click HERE

“It’s been a tough week for the boys – they have worked from seven in the morning to nine at night and we wanted them to go in physically and mentally tired. We wanted to stretch them and it worked as a good training session for us.

“We got a lot of things out of it so it was pleasing all round. With a new group the early games are all about getting used to playing with each other and painting certain pictures.

“This week we have mostly been working on us without the ball and our discipline and shape. We haven’t really touched on us with the ball so it was pleasing to see some of the pictures we had spoken about coming out.

“It’s obviously still very early doors yet so it’s nice to see some of the players and the ability we’ve got on show.”

New Rainworth boss Julian Watts was equally pleased by his charges, even though the result was so decisive.

“I was pleased, despite the scoreline,” he said. “ I said to the players afterwards that the only thing that disappointed me was that the score did not reflect their efforts.

“We were told that, as we were playing for a cup, we couldn’t have roll-on, roll-off substitutes which would have helped us. Then, lo and behold, second half Mansfield put out their first team.

“But I was very pleased with everyone’s efforts. We set up to contain them and hit them on the break, which was all we could expect to do. For a good 20 minutes we struggled to put passes together and probably showed them a bit too much respect.

“Having started with a new formation, we changed the shape a couple of times during the game and they took to it straight away which was pleasing.

“You have to get what you can out of pre-season games, but Mansfield are a few leagues higher up and it’s difficult playing against them. Sometimes it’s when you play the teams closer to you that you get more of a feel for where you are.

“It doesn’t sound good when you’ve lost 5-1, but I will only take positives from it. Mansfield really turned it on in the second half and showed the gap between the sides you would expect with players who train every day up against part-timers.”