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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Mansfield Town next up at Rodney Parade

20 October 2017

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Mansfield Town next up at Rodney Parade

20 October 2017

Mansfield Town are the next visitors to Rodney Parade this season when they travel to South Wales on Saturday. They are currently in the same position as they finished the last campaign, with the pre-season title favourites having made a relatively slow start to the season as they try to find a route to League 1.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League 2 encounter.


Last six league matches  

The Stags have picked up seven points from the last 18 available in League 2, after two wins, one draw and three defeats from the previous six league matches.

But they did win six games ago, with a 2-1 victory over Cambridge United on 23rd September. They were behind until the final 25 minutes, as goals from Jacob Mellis and Danny Rose saw them turn the game around.

However, in their next game, they failed to score for the first time away from home in all competitions, in a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town.

They made up for that defeat, meanwhile, when they took on Notts County in the Nottingham derby. A double from Danny Rose and an own-goal from Richard Duffy saw the Stags to a 3-1 win, as they became the first team to beat Notts County, who were previously unbeaten in League 2.

But again, they slipped to another goalless away defeat, this time 2-0 to Colchester, as the pre-season promotion favourites were going through somewhat of a blip on their travels.

And it wouldn’t have helped them to be suffering home defeats either, as Swindon stole the points with a 3-1 victory at the One Call Stadium, Danny Rose scoring in the 91st minute to grab them a consolation.

A first away goal in three attempts saw them to a 1-1 draw with Barnet in their last game, with the point putting them in 12th position ahead of their trip to Rodney Parade, their sixth visit to the stadium.   



Joel Byrom (foot) and Zander Diamond (groin) will both be absent for the Stags at Rodney Parade.

Winger Alfie Potter is making encouraging progress from his calf injury which has seen him miss the last three games, so may be ready to return in South Wales.

Mansfield manager Steve Evans made three changes to the side which suffered a 3-1 home defeat against Swindon Town last Saturday for their most recent game. Mal Benning, midfielder Paul Digby and striker Kane Hemmings all came back into the starting line-up, replacing Johnny Hunt, Jacob Mellis and Jimmy Spencer.

That saw the Stags use County’s familiar 3-5-2 formation in the 1-1 draw with Barnet on Tuesday, although Evans did admit post-match that his formation would change for the trip to Rodney Parade.


Mansfield team last-time out (3-5-2): Logan, Benning, Digby, Pearce (C), MacDonald, Atkinson, White, Mirfin (Bennett 51), Hemmings (Sterling-James 87), Butcher, Rose (Spencer 90)


One to watch – Danny Rose

Currently the Stags top scorer for

the season with seven goals, Danny Rose has had a scintillating start to the

current campaign and only sits one off the league’s best marksmen.

That has seen him score in six different games so far this campaign, with two goals coming on the road and five at the One Call Stadium.

He has scored the winner on two occasions, in back-to-back games against Lincoln City and Cambridge United, with further strikes against Crewe, Forest Green, Swindon and a double against Notts County.

This follows on from the ten goals he scored during his first season for the Stags, including a debut goal against County, when he joined the club on a free transfer from Bury.

He spent two loan spells with the Shakers before making the move permanent in August 2014, going on to score 19 goals for the club from 79 outings.

The 23-year old has also turned out for B

arnsley during his career, although only scored two goals for the side from 18 games over a five-season spell.


Manager – Steve Evans

Evans was appointed as Mansfield manager on 16th November 2016, taking over the role from Adam Murray.

Our encounter at Rodney Parade will be the 50th competitive game of Evans’ tenure, with a current record of 20 victories at a win percentage of 40.8%. He has suffered defeat on 16 occasions with the other 13 games being draws.

His first big break in management came with Crawley Town. He had, however, managed at Stamford and Boston United before getting the job at Crawley.

He took the club to the fifth round of the FA Cup in the 2010/11 season, eventually losing 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford, securing promotion from the Conference the following year.

The Red Devils secured promotion to League 1 in their first season, although Evans had left six games before the end of the season to take over at Rotherham United.

He secured a 2nd place finish and subsequent promotion in his first full season with the Millers, before securing another promotion the following year with a penalty-shootout victory over Leyton Orient in the play-off final.

Evans kept them in the Championship in his first season, but left at the end of the season. That saw him join Leeds United in October, but he only lasted until the end of the season, becoming the 6th manager in just under two years to be sacked by then owner Massimo Cellino.

Prior to management, Evans had a seven-year spell playing in the Scottish Leagues, making over 150 appearances in the process, St Johnstone being the most high-profile club of his career. 


Previous meetings

The two sides have met on 34 previous occasions with the Stags currently boasting the better head-to-head record.

They have won half of the previous meetings, with County triumphing on 11 occasions and a further six draws.

The Exiles first ever win over Mansfield Town came on 16th April 1938 with a 1-0 victory. For the Stags, meanwhile, it took another 21 years for them to register their first win over County with a 2-1 victory on 31st January 1959.

Since County’s reformation in 1989, the two sides have met on 15 occasions, including being in the same league each year since 2010.

That means the two clubs met six times in the Conference before promotion in May 2013, with County holding the better record for this set of results.

They won four of those meetings, including both games in the promotion season, with one win for Mansfield and a draw.

But it has almost been a role reversal in League 2, with County only managing one win from the eight previous encounters. That came with a late Scott Boden winner on 27th February 2016, with Mansfield winning six of the other seven with a final draw. 



Referee: Charles Breakspear

Assistant Referee 1: Grant Taylor

Assistant Referee 2: Dean Treleaven

Fourth Official: Mark Russell

Breakspear is currently embarking on his 5th season as a Football League referee.

He has so far officiated on 15 games in the 2017/18 season, the last of which came on Tuesday as Oxford United drew 1-1 with Charlton Athletic.

From the 15 games, Breakspear has brandished 56 yellow cards and a further four red cards.

That follows on from refereeing 40 games last season. That saw him produce 165 yellow cards and 10 red cards throughout the entirety of the campaign.


County connection

Breakspear has refereed County on 10 previous occasions - four times in the Conference, five times in League 2 and an FA Cup tie.

The Exiles have won two of those ten games, with a further four draws and four defeats.

And last season, County picked up just one point from the nine available in games officiated by Breakspear.

His first County game of that season came in the 2-1 defeat to Luton Town, Cameron McGeehan scoring a 97th minute penalty for the Hatters. Seven County players were booked on that day, while Johnny Mullins was dismissed for the home side.

A further three County players were booked in Breakspear’s second game that season as Portsmouth fought back to win 3-2 at Rodney Parade on Boxing Day.

Mark O’Brien was sent off against his former club in the 1-1 draw with Luton Town, with a further four County players receiving cautions.

In 2015/16, Breakspear only refereed County once, in the 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup third round. Joe Day was sent off in the final minute on that occasion.

The 2014/15 season also saw only one game presided over by Breakspear, as three County players were shown a yellow card in the 0-0 draw at Plymouth Argyle.

David Pipe was sent off alongside bookings for Tom Naylor and Lee Minshull in the 2-1 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge in the first County Football League game refereed by Breakspear.

Before that, he had refereed us on four occasions in the Conference, and County were unbeaten from those games in the promotion season of 2012/13.

He refereed the 2-0 home victory over Mansfield Town as-well as the 1-0 victory against Braintree Town.

Two draws bring up the list of games officiated by Breakspear, a 1-1 draw at Ebbsfleet and a 0-0 draw with Stockport.  


Other fixtures that day (All 3pm kick-offs)

Barnet vs Yeovil Town

Cambridge United vs Chesterfield

Carlisle vs Notts County

Cheltenham Town vs Lincoln City

Coventry City vs Colchester United

Crawley Town vs Luton Town

Crewe Alexandra vs Accrington Stanley

Exeter City vs Port Vale

Morecambe vs Grimsby Town

Stevenage vs Forest Green Rovers

Swindon Town vs Wycombe Wanderers


Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Don’t forget – if you reside outside of the UK, you can watch the game live by subscribing to County’s iFollow service. Commentary by Charlie Brown and Richard Shepherd can also be found at the Match Centre.

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