MALTA PLAYERS ASSOCIATION XI 0-5 MANSFIELD TOWN
Malta Players Association XI 0 - 5 Mansfield Town
Rose 13, Digby 13, Atkinson 55, Angol 62 (pen), 75. Angol missed pen 89
Attendance: app 300, all from Mansfield, my estimate
Date: 6 July 2017
Martin Shaw at the Ta’Qali National Stadium Training ground, Malta
Mansfield Town won the first pre-season friendly of the 2017-18 season with a 5-0 win against a Malta Players Association XI at the training ground of the National Stadium in Malta in front of several hundred Stags fans. It was the Stags fans’ first opportunity to see the 12 new players (*) that Steve Evans has brought together, along with the 10 players who played last season, in two completely separate sides that played the two halves. The Stags dominated throughout and could have won by more than the 5-0 scoreline, against a group of players that never tested Mansfield at the back, but who provided a competitive opposition. The Stags looked comfortable in possession of the ball in both halves. In the first half, Danny Rose shone like a beacon with a fine performance, including a goal, a disallowed goal and an effort against the bar, while newcomer Paul Digby really caught the eye with an impressive box to box performance in midfield and also scored. In the second half, new striker Lee Angol scored twice, once from the penalty spot, but also saw another penalty saved and thus missed the chance of a hat-trick, while midfielder Will Atkinson also scored and looked good in central midfield. Hayden White impressed going forward and won a penalty with a mazy run in the best piece of play of the evening.
(*) for clarity, whilst Mansfield have so far made 13 new signings, Hayden White played half of last season on loan, so there were 12 new players who the fans hadn't seen playing for the Stags, and this was their first chance to see them. I’m including Will Atkinson in the list of 12 though of course he did play for the Stags nearly a decade ago on loan.
1st half team (4-4-2):
Rhys Bennett, Zander Diamond, George Taft, Johnny Hunt;
Paul Anderson, Jacob Mellis, Paul Digby, Alex MacDonald;
Danny Rose, Omari Sterling-James.
2nd half team (4-4-2):
Hayden White, Krystian Pearce, David Mirfin, Mal Benning;
Alfie Potter, Will Atkinson, Joel Byrom, CJ Hamilton;
Jimmy Spencer, Lee Angol.
Subs not used: Jack Thomas, Lewis Collins.
DETAILED REPORT IN THE MATCH CENTRE