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Match Previews

🔎 The Opposition: Mansfield Town

Summary of the Stags

21 October 2021

Thirteen-unbeaten Exeter City are back at St James Park this weekend with the visit of Mansfield Town.

Here’s an outlook of the Stags from Sherwood Forest…

  • 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 sleeves, blue shorts and yellow socks.
  • Away Kit: SURRIDGE SPORTS Navy Blue shirt, navy blue shorts, and socks.
  • Form: LLDLD (21st in League Two

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.

It’s been a tough start for the Stags this season and are lounging in 21st after being tipped for the upper end of the table. The Notts side are winless in 13 games.   

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.

Mansfield Clough.jpg

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.   

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.

Mansfield Std.jpg

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.  

Ones 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.

Mansfield 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.

Clarke signed for Mansfield at the beginning of last season and after three goals last campaign has already opened his account this time around- but with Mansfield struggling for momentum needs to be on top of his game on Saturday if he’s going to turn the Stags’ fortune around.

Head to Head

Exeter City and Mansfield Town met on Easter Monday last season for their 70th encounter and played out a 0-0 draw, going with the general form. 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 wins: 26

Draws: 19

Mansfield wins: 23

Recent encounters

Exeter City 0 Mansfield Town 0 | Sky Bet League Two | St James Park | April 5, 2021

Both sides played out a stalemate at SJP on Easter Monday.  

Mansfield Town 1 Exeter City 2 | League Two | One Call Stadium | September 26, 2020

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

Exeter City 1 Mansfield Town 0 | League Two | St James Park | August 31, 2019

Ryan Bowman smashed home the winner as City maintained their early season form.

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.


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