Craig Priest and Emily Sykes write...
The Football continues to come thick and fast as tomorrow the Stags return to the One Call Stadium following their midweek win at Woking to face Stockport County. The Hatters and The Stags last locked horns in mid January in a game which in truth kick-started Mansfield’s excellent run of form, as since the meeting at Edgeley Park Stags have been beaten just once at Newport making that ten wins from eleven games.
With Stags just a game away from their biggest week of the season so far Paul Cox’s men must ensure they are firing on all cylinders as similar to midweek there are once again some key games involving our rivals this weekend. The one to be aware of the most is Grimsby versus Kidderminster as the outcome of this game could be critical for Stags going into their next three games. It’s a difficult one to call the outcome of really as in truth, you want them to draw, but that said a win for Grimsby wouldn’t do us any harm either – it’s a tough dilemma do you want somebody below to beat someone above so you can climb or do you want the one above to beat the one below so you have some breathing space.
The harsh reality of these league is that only one team can get automatic promotion, talk of it being us is not enough and as such it would do you know harm to keep an eye on those below – it’s for this reason why Luton versus Hereford is a crunch game, the winner of that one in our opinion will be the one to compete for a play-off spot and effectively take others out of the race.
There’s little else to be said aside from the usual, the match at Edgeley Park saw the end of the road for Jim Gannon, results under new boss Darije Kalezic have slowly started to turn a corner and the Manchester based club, made semi famous by the ITV Show Great Night Out, will look to edge themselves further away from the drop zone. Let’s hope Stags keep their focus and grab their seventh straight victory.
LAST TIME WE MET
As mentioned above the sides last met in January at Edgeley Park. Stags started relatively poorly but were given an early boost when Stockport’s Danny Hattersley missed a seventh minute penalty. Stags then grabbed a thumping lead through a Junior Daniel free kick on 38 minutes, before Lee Stevenson one of four changes doubled Stags lead three minutes later. Matt Green then extended the lead on the stroke of half time from the penalty spot, Hatters sub Alex Meaney netted a late goal nine minutes from full time.
These two sides have a long history having first met in 1934; tomorrow’s encounter will be the 85th meeting between the pair. With 20 draws played out during the years Stags currently edge the wins with 33 to 31; however the scoring remains on an even keel with 136 each. On Mansfield soil Stockport tend to struggle as they’ve only picked up 5 wins suffering 23 defeats and playing out ten draws, whilst in terms of goals Stags have 74 to Stockport’s 39.
Interestingly meetings outside the Football League in the Blue Square Bet Premier have all ended in Stags victories.
Presumably Paul Cox will name an unchanged said tomorrow, defender John Dempster looks set to miss out along with Anthony Howell, Jake Speight and Ross Dyer – Louis Briscoe is thought to have missed training today but looks set to be ok for tomorrow’s match.
If you can’t get to The One Call Stadium tomorrow then be sure to join Craig on 106.9FM and via our MM-LIVE page from 2pm for regular updates throughout the afternoon.
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