Stags mauled by Tigers in pre-season opener

Worksop Town v Mansfield Town. Tigers player Leon Mettam scores G130710-4o
Worksop Town v Mansfield Town. Tigers player Leon Mettam scores G130710-4o

There were a lot of new faces on display as Worksop Town kicked off their pre-season with a 4-1 win over Conference champions Mansfield.

New boss Mark Shaw, his management team and a host of brand new players took to Sandy Lane for the first time since the new ‘era’ at the club began.

But goals from Leon Mettam and Tom Denton ensured there was a measure of familiarity about proceedings for the home fans.

The Worksop strikeforce had an early chance to link up, Jack Muldoon finding the head of Denton, but his flick found Leon Mettam offside.

At the other end Lindon Meikle looked lively, up against Tigers’ makeshift right-back Kern Miller.

Muldoon made sufficient of a nuisance of himself on six minutes, almost letting Conor Higginson in, the attacking midfielder’s toe poked shot grabbed by by Ian Deakin.

A long ball from Josh Hill then released Mettam and with just Deakin to beat he lifted it into the keeper’s hands.

Tigers were firmly on top, and a corner from the left was nodded goalwards by Denton and Deakin spilled it, his defenders having to clear.

Mansfield then fashioned their first real chance, Ben Hutchinson released through the middle and Ben Hallam was equal to the low shot.

On 21 minutes Tigers were deservedly ahead, thanks to a slick move and a fine goal.

Higginson flicked it to Muldoon, he fired it back to Phil Roe and the left-back drove to the byline before crossing for Mettam who sidefooted home.

Stags’ best goal threat in the first half was Meikle, and he got room on the left before sending a fizzing shot wide of the far post.

Hallam was called into action in the opening minutes of the second half, getting down to his left to beat out Jordan Robertson’s low effort.

Keiran Murtagh then fired a shot just over the bar from range, before a long ball saw the Mansfield defence caught in no man’s land, allowing Denton to run in on goal, take it past Deakin and fire into the net despite falling over.

There was a worrying sight for Tigers a minute later when Roe limped off after a challenge.

Stags got on the scoresheet on 74 minutes, reward for a spell of dominance, the ball into the middle finding Robertson who tapped home.

With a minute left on the clock John Dempster had a moment to forget, heading the ball over the advancing Deakin and into the empty net for an awful own goal and a 3-1 Worksop lead.

And there was just time for one more, Tom Mullen curling a beautiful shot into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box to make it 4-1.