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Match Previews

🔎 The Opposition: Mansfield Town

A look at the Stags

3 March 2022

City are back on the road with the trip to fellow promotion pushers Mansfield Town on Friday night.

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: DWDDW (7th 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.

After a dour start the season, the Stags have been in imperious form of late unbeaten in the last thirteen league 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.

Mansfield Clough.jpg

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.

Last season, the 55-year-old switched to Mansfield Town and has led the team to a resurgence in the middle part of the season.

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.

Mansfield Std.jpg

One of the employee’s Harwood Greenhalgh played in the first ever international match between England and Scotland in 1872.

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.

Mansfield Clarke.jpg

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.

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 netted this time around. Backed up by top scorer Rhys Oates (9) and Danny Johnson (7), Mansfield have many routes to goal which could cause City some problems on Friday.  

Head to Head

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: 27

Draws: 19

Mansfield wins: 23

Recent encounters

Exeter City 2 Mansfield Town 1 | Sky Bet League Two | St James Park | October 21, 2021

City came from behind through headers from Tim Dieng and Matt Jay as the Grecians saw off the early struggling Town.

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.

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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