Mansfield Town 0 Preston North End 3 match report: Scott Sinclair nets twice in Carabao Cup victory at Field Mill
Scott Sinclair struck twice and Emil Riis found the net as Preston North End knocked Mansfield Town out of the Carabao Cup at Field Mill.
Sinclair, returning to the side after being in isolation, broke the deadlock in stoppage-time at the end of the first half, latching on to a pass from Sean Maguire.
Substitute Riis doubled the advantage in the 71st minute, soon after being introduced off the bench. It was his second goal in successive games after finding the net against Hull.
Sinclair sealed victory nine minutes from time with a calm finish from Ben Whiteman's pass.
North End didn't have it all their own way, their League Two hosts lively in the first half and causing more than a few problems.
That said, there was little to really trouble PNE goalkeeper Daniel Iversen - the saves he made no more than routine.
In the main the visitors controlled the second half, the two goals they scored in that closing spell coming in front of 486 travelling Preston fans who gave their side a warm round of applause at the final whistle.
Frankie McAvoy had made seven changes to the side beaten on the opening day by Hull City.
Jordan Storey, Andrew Hughes, Greg Cunningham and Whiteman were the four to stay in.
Iversen, who had replaced the concussed Declan Rudd on Saturday, started in goal, while there was a first competitive game for Patrick Bauer since Achilles tendon surgery in December.
North End lined-up in a 3-5-2, Sepp vam den Berg playing at right wing-back and Cunningham on the left.
Sinclair and Maguire formed the forward line, supported by Brad Potts from the No.10 position.
It was Mansfield who made the brighter start in terms of chances, Rhys Oates tricking his way into the box early on but he put his low shot too close to Iversen who got down to it comfortable.
When Jordan Bowery chased a through ball into the PNE box, Bauer did well to slide across and take the striker's shot behind for a corner,
North End's first chance of real note came in the 17th minute, the build-up impressive as Whiteman's pass found Maguire who threaded the ball through the home defence to release Sinclair.
He took a touch before getting a shot away, Stages keeper Nathan Bishop spreading himself well to save.
A low first-time shot from Ryan Stirk on the edge of the box went through a crowd of players, Iversen dropping on to it to save after seeing it late.
The deadlock was broken in first-half stoppage time as PNE counter-attacked to good effect.
Maguire carried he ball through the middle and slipped a pass outside of him to play Sinclair into the right hand side of the box.
Sinclair showed a cool head to control and lift a right-foot finish over Bishop into the roof of the net.
The home side had the first chance of the second half, Ryan Burke's cross from the left met by Oates who glanced a header across goal and wide of the far post.
In the 63rd minute, Oates' low cross from the right-wing to the near post was cleared by Storey out of the six-yard box as Ollie Clarke closed in.
Maguire was replaced by Riis in a straight swap after 67 minutes, the Dane taking only four minutes to get on the scoresheet and extend PNE's lead.
It came via something of a gift from keeper Bishop, his wayward goalkick falling into the path of Sinclair who got clear of the home defence and got into the box.
Sinclair's shot was parried by Bishop, the ball looping into the air to the left of goal. Riis challenged for it in the air and when it dropped, he showed composure to step inside past a challenge and fire a shot into the net.
Potts saw a scissor-kick volley from Cunningham's cross come back off the post before North End's third goal arrived in the 81st minute.
The ball was worked well to Whiteman 20 yards out, the former Stags loanee playing a fine low ball into the box to find Sinclair who turned into space and picked his spot with a calm low finish.
Joe Rodwell-Grant was introduced soon after for two-goal Sinclair, with Jamie Thomas then replacing Potts.
Mansfield: Bishop, Gordon, Rawson, McLaughlin, Burke, Maris (Law 74), O Clarke (Johnson 78), Stirk, Lapslie, Bowery, Oates (Sinclair 64). Subs (not used): Shelvey, Hawkins, Perch, J Clarke.
PNE: Iversen, Storey, Bauer, Hughes, Van den Berg, Whiteman, Johnson, Potts (Thomas 83), Cunningham, Sinclair (Rodwell-Grant 81), Maguire (Riis 67). Subs (not used): Ripley, Rafferty, Earl, Harrop.
Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)
Attendance: 2,526 (486 PNE)