It was honours even at Field Mill in our third pre-season friendly tonight.
For the first of two friendlies in four days Garry Monk named a strong starting line-up with four of a six-man subs’ bench having played for our Under-23s at Shildon last night, Lewis Wing scoring twice in a 3-0 win.
The Stags cut out much of the early running, pushing Boro back into numbers behind the ball and limiting forward movement.
Dimi Konstantopoulos had already made two saves by the time Patrick Bamford cracked a volley on target, forcing Bobby Olejnik into action.
The opening goal came on 13 minutes when left-back Mal Benning delivered a cross deep into the penalty area and Jonny Howson sliced into his own net – 13 certainly unlucky for him.
Steve Evan’s side, lively, made it two just five minutes later when Paul Anderson threaded a pass between Alex Baptiste and Dael Fry, centre-backs, and Lee Angol tucked home a low shot.
In between the goals Boro had almost drawn level when Fry powered in a header from a Gaston Ramirez corner and Anderson cleared off the line.
A minute after Town’s second goal Boro pulled one back as young Finn Mikael Soisalo, coming in off the right, cracked a low shot past Olejnik from a tight angle deep inside the penalty area.
With 28 minutes played Boro were level as Dael Fry rose to meet a Ramirez free-kick delivered from the left and powered home a header from close range.
Olejnik was quickly back in action, making two smart stops as Soisalo again cut in from the right, this time firing over low crosses.
Enes Mahmutovic, on for George Friend, was the only change for the start of the second half, the Luxembourg international slotting in at centre-half with Baptiste moving to left-back.
Baptiste received warm applause from the Mansfield fans when he was replaced midway through the second half, the home faithful clearly remembering his service early in his career when he made over 170 appearances for the club.
Harry Chapman, who played the first half at Shildon last night, was his replacement, with another on duty at Dean Street, George Miller, sent on for Ramirez with just over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Adam Forshaw dropped to a higher than orthodox left-back when needed for cover.
The closest either side went to scoring was when Omari Sterling-James fired just over from the left-hand edge of the penalty area and a low shot on the turn from Bamford in the dying embers of the game.
These games are predominantly for fitness and experimentation and that will continue at Spotland on Saturday for the fourth pre-season friendly with Rochdale the opposition when those not involved in this game likely to figure.
Scorers Howson og 13, Angol 18, Soisalo 19, Fry 28
Mansfield Olejnik; Benning, Digby (Thomas 85), Diamond (Capt.), Angol, Anderson, Atkinson, Taft, White, Sterling-James (Slew 71), Byrom (Collins 87). Subs Logan (gk); Bennett, Pearce, Mellis, Spencer, Potter, Hunt, Hamilton, Rose.
Boro Konstantopoulos; Christie (Chapman 64), Baptiste, Fry, Friend (Mahmutovic 46), Soisalo, Forshaw, Howson, Leadbitter (Capt.), Ramirez (Miller 74), Bamford. Subs James (gk); Hegarty, Wing.
Referee Ross Joyce
Attendance 1,931 (419 Boro)