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18th July 2021 13:43

Pre-Season Friendly
Retford United 1 - 9 Mansfield Town
Kane 41. Hawkins 19, Quinn 24, Johnson 30, 53, Knowles 65, Caine 72, 89, Sinclair pen 77, 80.
Attendance: 651

Date: 13 July 2021

Martin Shaw at Cannon Park

Mansfield Town beat Retford United 9-1 in the first pre-season friendly of the 2021/22 season last night.

It was a great evening for Stags fans, who were able to attend their first Stags game since 7th March 2020.

The Stags were without 7 players who were self-isolating but for the remaining players, including some younger players and one trialist, it was a good workout.

The Stags were without the following players:
George Shelvey (on loan from Nottm For), Marek Stech, James Perch, Farrend Rawson, Ryan Burke (new signing from Birmingham), George Maris, Jordan Bowery (all self-isolating).
Rhys Oates (at game but not included in squad), Jason Law (twisted ankle in training on Monday), Josh Scott (at game but injured).
Nathan Bishop (on loan from Man Utd, at pre-season with Man Utd).

The team that started the game was:
Owen Mason (academy goalkeeper);
Kellan Gordon, Rollin Menayese, Elliott Hewitt (new signing from Grimsby), Stephen McLaughlin;
Harry Charsley, Ollie Clarke, George Lapslie, Stephen Quinn (permanent signing from Burton);
Oli Hawkins (new signing from Ipswich), Danny Johnson (new signing from Leyton Orient).

The team after 60 minutes, all subs made after 60 minutes (except Ward for Quinn after 43 minutes, and Sinclair for Lapslie at HT):
Owen Mason (academy goalkeeper);
Corey O'Keeffe, James Clarke, George Cooper, Jayden Charles;
Tyrese Sinclair, Keaton Ward, Ethan Hill, George Scott (trialist, previously of Rotherham academy);
Nathan Caine, Jimmy Knowles.
Then Owen Mason was replaced by another young goalkeeper (unknown, possibly called Louie) after 75 minutes.
Update with info from Richard Cooper: the sub keeper was Louie Turner, our new 1st year Scholar.

The Retford United side was unknown to us and not announced anywhere.

The Stags formation saw Ollie Clarke playing behind the rest of the midfield, with Charsley on the right, Quinn on the left, and Lapslie in the middle, pushing forward.

Retford had a good chance for an early lead after 4 minutes when the Retford no.12 (named as Liam Frost on Retford twitter feed) fired wide of the right post from the edge of the area after a good break following a Stags corner.

After 12 minutes, Oli Hawkins did well on the right and put in a great cross into the middle but Danny Johnson just couldn’t get on the end of it.

Mansfield took the lead after 19 minutes as Hawkins bent a beautiful shot into the top right corner of the net from 25 yards. What a goal and what a way to introduce yourself to your fans!

Ollie Clarke played a great ball to Harry Charsley after 21 minutes, Charsley headed the ball down, and fired just wide of the top left corner from the right. A half-chance for Johnson two minutes later, but his shot was deflected.

The Stags made it 2-0 after 24 minutes. A Stephen McLaughlin corner was partially cleared but Stephen Quinn fired into the net via a deflection. Certainly Quinn’s goal though.

A chance for McLaughlin after 27 minutes as his cross-shot from the left was just wide of the right post, with Johnson just unable to get on the end of it.

It was 3-0 after half an hour. A great surging run forward from McLaughlin, he laid the ball forward to Johnson, who provided a clinical finish past the keeper from inside the box. Johnson’s first goal in a Stags shirt.

Good defending from Elliott Hewitt after 31 minutes as the Retford no.4 tried to break through again. Hewitt was lining up alongside Menayese. The pair played alongside each other in central defence for Grimsby last season, with Menayese on loan from Mansfield. Menayese is available for transfer from Mansfield, but got his chance to impress here, with other players unavailable.

Another chance for the Stags after 33 minutes. A high corner from Charsley was beyond the far post, Johnson controlled it, turned and fired wide of the right post.

Retford pulled a goal back to make it 1-3 after 41 minutes. A soft free kick was awarded 24 yards from the Stags goal. Brandon Kane curled a very fine free kick into the bottom right corner of the net.

After 43 minutes, Quinn was replaced by Keaton Ward. Quinn did not appear to have a bad injury and it was probably purely precautionary. Ward went into Clarke’s position as the deepest of the midfielders, with Clarke going into Quinn’s position on the left.

An enjoyable first half. The Stags had plenty of the ball as you would expect and created plenty of chance. Oli Hawkins caught the eye and looked a class act, able to trap the ball on his chest, and showing good control with skilful feet.

Half time 1-3

A second change for the Stags at half time as Tyrese Sinclair replaced George Lapslie. Lapslie did not appear to have an injury.

Sinclair was soon into the action, sending a free kick from 28 yards just over the bar after 48 minutes.

A chance for Hawkins to score after 52 minutes. McLaughlin played a one-two with Sinclair in a short corner from the right, and McLaughlin’s cross-shot found Hawkins at the far post but his miscued a shot wide.

It was 4-1 after 53 minutes. Great play from Sinclair, who found Danny Johnson, and Johnson provided another clinical finish, firing into the bottom right corner of the net from 12 yards.

A chance for Johnson to complete his hat-trick after 57 minutes as he fired across the keeper from the left but wide of the right post.

The Stags made 8 changes after an hour.
Corey O'Keeffe, James Clarke, George Cooper, Jayden Charles, Ethan Hill, George Scott (trialist), Nathan Caine, Jimmy Knowles came on.
Off went Kellan Gordon, Rollin Menayese, Elliott Hewitt, Stephen McLaughlin, Harry Charsley, Ollie Clarke, Oli Hawkins, Danny Johnson.

A couple of chances for Retford soon after the changes. On 61 minutes, Retford no.15 fired over the bar from 30 yards. Then on 64 minutes, Bennett (named on the Retford twitter feed), fired just wide of the left post.

The Stags made it 5-1 after 65 minutes. Jimmy Knowles fired past the keeper from close range after being found by Ethan Hill. Knowles was on loan at Notts County last season, but manager Nigel Clough had said that he will get pre-season to show what he can do.

After 69 minutes, one of those moments from Tyrese Sinclair that makes you realise what a special talent we have here, as he sent an incredible shot from fully 35 yards against the crossbar.

It was 6-1 after 72 minutes. Nathan Caine turned the ball into the net after good play from Knowles on the byline on the left, after Knowles had been found by Sinclair. Caine came on as late substitute in the EFL Trophy game at Scunthorpe in November last season, and he also caught my eye in the FA Youth cup 1st round game that I saw at Bugbrooke St Michaels that was played in front of spectators in December.

Sinclair tried his luck with a dipping shot from a free kick from a tight angle on the left after 73 minutes, just off target.

The Stags changed their keeper after 75 minutes. Academy goalkeeper Owen Mason was replaced by another young goalkeeper (unknown name, possibly called Louie).
Update with info from Richard Cooper: the sub keeper was Louie Turner, our new 1st year Scholar.

It was 7-1 after 77 minutes. Knowles was fouled just inside the area on the right. Sinclair stepped up and converted the penalty into the bottom left corner. Sinclair did miss a penalty last season but made no mistake here.

And Sinclair was on the scoresheet again after 80 minutes. He curled in a low shot from the edge of the area after good play from Caine and Ethan Hill, to make it 8-1. Young Ethan Hill is the grandson of Paul Matthews, who was a wonderful player for the Stags in the mid 1970s.

A shot from Knowles was deflected wide from the left after 82 minutes.

Great play from Ethan Hill after 85 minutes as he played a fine ball forward for Knowles, Knowles turned but couldn’t get his shot away. Another half-chance for Knowles a minute later, when he tried a shot from a tight angle on the left, out for a goal kick.

After 87 minutes, a volley from Corey O’Keeffe was saved by the keeper on the line after a great cross from the left. O’Keeffe is on the transfer list, and had not been in the squad for this game but got his chance with other players unavailable. It was his first game since the FA Cup tie at Cheltenham in January.

The Stags made it 9-1 after 89 minutes. It looked like Knowles must score after a lovely backheel from Sinclair but his shot was very well saved by the keeper, the ball looped up and was headed into the net. On commentary for iFollow Stags (full match video to be available on Wednesday), my view of the scorer was completely blocked but it was quickly confirmed by club analyst Matt to be Nathan Caine. Caine’s second goal of the match.

A good workout for the Stags and an enjoyable night for the returning Stags fans.

Thank you very much to Retford United and their volunteers for making it a great night.

The next game is at Matlock on Friday night. It will be great to be back at the picturesque Causeway Lane ground. Again we will not have live coverage on iFollow Stags but the full match replay with commentary will be available on iFollow Stags the following day. I would guess the Stags will have the same squad of players as last night.

Ref: unknown
The Retford United side was unknown to us and not announced anywhere.


Report: Retford United 1-9 Stags
mansfieldtown.net, 13 July 2021

Mansfield Town began their pre-season in encouraging fashion, with a 9-1 win away at Retford United this evening.

Goals from new strikers Ollie Hawkins and Danny Johnson - along with an effort from Stephen Quinn - gave Stags a 3-0 advantage inside the opening half-hour, before Retford pulled a goal back prior to the break.

The second period saw the young guns complete Mansfield’s goal glut, with Tyrese Sinclair and Nathan Caine scoring a brace, while Jimmy Knowles also got on the scoresheet.


A crowd of 651 saw the fixture; the first time Stags’ fans had witnessed a match live since a 2-1 win at Northampton in March 2020.

Stags’ squad was depleted prior to the friendly, following news that several first team players had to self-isolate.

It meant that under-18s’ goalkeeper Owen Mason started in goal, instead of Forest loanee George Shelvey, who is in isolation as well as third choice ‘keeper Marek Stech.

Stags started brightly and almost went ahead inside the opening ten minutes, but Stephen McLaughlin’s left-sided cross was headed off-target by midfielder Harry Charsley.

Kellan Gordon, the right-back, crossed from the goal line a minute later, though it was a routine claim for the Retford United goalkeeper at his near post.

Retford came close to breaking the deadlock after four minutes.

Following a Stags corner, the hosts launched a counter-surge which saw Liam Frost shoot wide from the edge of the box.

In the 12th minute, Gordon showed neat footwork to release Hawkins on the right. And after the giant frontman sent an inviting cross into the box from the right touchline, strike-partner Johnson was a stride away from converting.

Stags began to dominate possession and found the eventual breakthrough on 20 minutes through a tremendous strike from Hawkins.

McLaughlin acted provider with a short pass and after two right-footed touches, Hawkins swivelled to rifle the ball into the top corner from 25 yards to send the fans into rapturous applause.

Charsley again went close a minute later before Stephen Quinn made it 2-0 in the 24th minute.

McLaughlin’s inswinging corner was only partially cleared and as Stephen Quinn fired goalwards from the left of the box, a deflection helped its way into the net.

Johnson then scored on the half-hour mark, with the aid of McLaughlin.

After a surging run, the left-back slipped it to Johnson, who did the rest with a left-footed, first time finish.

Retford pulled a goal back with five minutes to play after the referee awarded the home side a free-kick from 25 yards. Up stepped Brandon Kane to bend it around the defensive wall and beyond Mason into the bottom right-hand corner.

A minute before the break, Keaton Ward replaced Stephen Quinn in midfield.

Nigel Clough made one change at the break, as George Lapslie made way for Tyrese Sinclair.

And it took the attacking midfielder only three minutes to get in on the shooting act, when he bent a 28-yard free kick narrowly over the bar.

Then Johnson scored his second and Stags’ fourth goal in the 53rd minute.

Sinclair dispossessed the hosts ten yards outside their box and after a wall-pass with Hawkins, the youngster found Johnson. The striker made no mistake with a cool-left footed finish into the bottom right-hand corner.

Stags made a flurry of changes on the hour-mark.

James Clarke, George Cooper, Jaden Charles, Jimmy Knowles, Nathan Caine, Ethan Hill, Corey O'Keeffe and trialist George Scott replaced Kellan Gordon, Elliott Hewitt, Stephen McLaughlin, Oli Hawkins, Danny Johnson, Ollie Clarke, Harry Charsley and Rollin Menayese.

And it was Knowles, on loan at Notts County last season, who made it 5-1 on 65.

Hill found Knowles inside the box with a precise pass and the Ashfield-born frontman lofted his finish over the ‘keeper to add to the goalscoring tally.

Knowles saw an effort blocked on 68, before Sinclair audaciously struck the woodwork from 25 yards with an unexpected thunderbolt.

Sinclair then slid it down the line for Knowles who caused problems with a dangerous low cross into the box. And despite the home goalie attempting to push clear, Caine was on hand to apply a close-range finish.

Stags almost found the net through Sinclair’s free-kick, which floated just over, before the same man converted a spot-kick on 77.

After Knowles was upended in the box, Sinclair smashed home his penality into the bottom left hand corner to give Stags a 7-1 lead.

Hill turned provider again on 80 minutes, with a short pass, for Sinclair to fire home from the edge of the box.

Knowles almost had another when he latched on to Hill’s defence-splitting past but was unable to finish.

Caine completed Stags’ goalscoring exploits in the 89th minute after reacting quickest to Knowles’ saved shot as Mansfield completed their first 90 minutes of pre-season with a comprehensive win.

STAGS XI: Mason, Gordon (J. Clarke 60'), Menayese (G. Scott 60'), Hewitt (Cooper 60'), McLaughlin (Charles 60'), O. Clarke (Hill 60'), Quinn (Ward 44'), Charsley (O'Keeffe 60'), Lapslie (Sinclair 45'), Hawkins (Knowles 60'), Johnson (Caine 60').



Tyrese Sinclair @ty_sinclair27
Felt good being back out there in front of the fans

nathan caine @nathancaine3
Felt good to be out there and get a couple of goals

George Cooper @georgecooper25
Good to get some minutes to start pre season