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🔎 The Opposition: Mansfield Town (H)

All you need to know ahead of Easter Monday's match

4 April 2021

Exeter City will be looking for their first win of the 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two season as they travel to Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium on Saturday, September 26 in a 3pm kick-off.

Here’s all that you will need to know about Saturday's opponents…

  • Founded: 1897
  • Nicknames: The Stags
  • Honours: Fourth Division (1974/75), Third Division (1976/77), EFL Trophy (1986/87)
  • Home Kit: SURRIDGE SPORTS Yellow shirt with blue chevroned shirt, blue shorts and yellow socks.
  • Away Kit: SURRIDGE SPORTS two-tone blue stripes, navy blue shorts, and socks.
  • Form:

The origin of Mansfield Town can be traced back to 1897, where the club was formed by Frederick Abraham and Thomas Cripwell and called Mansfield Wesleyans.

That team entered the Mansfield & District Amateur League in 1902, before changing its name to Mansfield Wesley and joining the Notts & District League in 1906. The club finally became Mansfield Town in 1910 and moved from the Notts & Derbyshire League to the Central Alliance the following year.

Town fluctuated between the Fourth, Third and Second Divisions for more than 70 years before losing their Football League status in 2008. Between those years there was some success as they won the Fourth Division title in 1974/75 and the Third Division title in 1976–77, as well as the Football League Trophy in 1986/87 under Ian Greaves.

This season the Stags are lounging in 19th after being tipped for the upper end of the table. They’re comfortably above the drop-zone but with the play-offs still mathematically possible, don’t, by any means, expect this to be a dead rubber from Town’s point of view.

The Manager

Nigel Clough

The surname Clough is synonymous with football in Nottinghamshire and Mansfield Town are Blessed to have Brian’s son at the helm. Nigel’s not living off his father’s triumphs though and has made his own name a force to be reckoned with, throughout his career.

Under his Dad, Nigel made over 400 appearences for Forest from 1984-93, scoring 131 goals making him the club’s second highest goal-scorer.

Subsequent spells at Liverpool, Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday followed the 14-time capped forward. It was at Burton he went into player-management in 1998. He guided the Brewers from the Southern League to League two in less a decade.

That earned a move to another of his fathers Ex’s, Derby County where he spent another four years. The Ram turned Blade in 2013 at Sheffield United, before return to Burton.

In November, the 55-year-old switched to Mansfield Town, but has yet to embark on a push up the League Two table.   

The Stadium 

  • Name: One Call Stadium
  • Capacity: 9,186
  • Year opened: ‘Before 1861’.
  • Record Attendance: 24,467 (v Nottingham Forest, 10th January 1953)
  • Address: Field Mill, Quarry Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 5DA

With some reports dating back to as early as 1850, Field Mill is the oldest ground in the Football League. The site was originally used for employees of a local cotton-doubling business Greenhalgh & Son’s. One of the employee’s Harwood Greenhalgh played in the first ever international match between England and Scotland in 1872.

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He went onto own Field Mill before Mansfield Town were formed and took over residence in 1916. The first stand was erected in 1922 along the West Side of the ground. Now the Ian Greaves Stand replaces the original building, named after Mansfield’s 1986 promotion winning manager.

The ground has now been renamed the One Call Stadium due to sponsorship.  

One to Watch 

Ollie Clarke

With players in the side possessing Premier League experience, it may be slightly surprising that Ollie Clarke is captain of Mansfield Town; at first glance anyway. But the midfielder is certainly worth the armband, having made a name for himself at Bristol Rovers.

A product of the Rovers youth academy, Clarke played in over 200 games for the Gas and proved his strong mindset by overcoming an ACL injury in training ahead of his first full season in professional football.

Ollie Clarke.jpg

Two Player of the Season trophies also show his dedication. Clarke achieved back-to-back promotions with Rovers, from the Conference to League One, earning himself successive contracts in a career with the club spanning 11 years.

His leadership qualities were on full show last year as he was made Bristol Rovers’ club captain – a trait that was quickly realised by the Mansfield hierarchy. Clarke originally followed Graham Coughlan to Mansfield but will be hoping the campaign ends slightly better than it began for his former boss. 

Sam Moakes has picked out two other Stags hoping to cause the Exeter defence to say, Oh Deer. Check them out here!

Head to Head

Monday will prove to be the 70th encounter between Exeter City and Mansfield Town. Games are often tight affairs with just a single goal separating the two sides on no less than 28 occasions.

The Grecians have won three of the last four meetings with The Stags, though Mansfield come into Monday’s fixture trying to replicate 2019’s demolition job at the Park.  

  • Exeter City wins: 26
  • Draws: 18
  • Mansfield Town wins: 23

Previous Encounter

Mansfield Town 1-2 Exeter City | 26 September 2020 | League Two 

Josh Key’s first league goal proved the difference as the Grecians picked up their first win of the season.

Exeter City 1-0 Mansfield Town | 31/08/2019 | League Two

The solitary goal of this game came for the Grecians inside five minutes at St James Park back in August 2019.

Dean Moxey’s quick thinking from a throw-in found Ryan Bowman who instinctively finished first-time high into the back of Conrad Logan’s net.

And Finally…

Harry Johnson (1899-1981) holds the Mansfield’s goalscoring record with 114 strikes, and yet this isn’t the only club he holds the golden boot for! Prior to joining the Stags, he netted 201 times for Sheffield United to which today remains top of the Blades’ honours list.

How to Watch 

Whilst we would love you to be there, showing your passionate support for the Grecians, you can get the next best thing by purchasing a match pass at the cost of just £10 in the UK. The stream includes the live club commentary, score overlay and replays.

To purchase a match pass please click here.

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