Six wins in seven games has the Valiants back in the top three as we travel to Mansfield Town who are having a tough season down at the bottom of Sky Bet League Two.
In the Dugout:
Nigel Clough had his first managerial role at Burton Albion in 1998 as a 32-year-old player-manager in the Southern Football League Premier Division. He spent 11 years at Burton before moving to Derby and later Sheffield United. Clough would return to Burton in 2015 spending a further five years at the club but resigned as manager in 2020 before moving to Mansfield later in the year.
Clough on how we have changed from the end of last season “I think they’ve had a brilliant start under Darrell Clarke. When we played them at the end of last season, it’s funny we were absolutely superb last day of the season, won 3-0 at Port Vale. Since then, he’s changed the whole lot around, I think there’s only one or two probably from that team that will be around”.
Man with the Armband:
Mansfield skipper Ollie Clarke joined the club in July 2020 and was appointed captain for the upcoming season. He started at Bristol Rovers in 2009 and remained there for 11 years making 235 appearances. He went on loan early in his Rovers career to Gloucester City, Mangotsfield United and Clevedon Town.
This season Clarke has netted once, which was in a 2-1 win over Newport County in August. The midfielder has picked up three yellow cards and one red. The sending off came in a 3-1 defeat to Harrogate Town in September where he was sent off in the 73rd minute, just a minute before teammate Stephen Quinn was also given a straight red.
Irish left-back Stephen McLaughlin also signed at the beginning of the 2020/21. His youth career was spent at Clonmany Shamrocks in 2006 before making professional appearances for Finn Harps, Derry City and Nottingham Forest where he had loan spells at Bristol City, Notts County and Southend United. He signed permanently in Essex in 2015 where he spent five years before moving to the Stags.
He has managed two assists this season from the left flank but he and his defence have managed just two clean sheets this season. McLaughlin has played every minute of league and Carabao Cup action this season showing his performances have warranted him keeping his place.
Summer signing from Leyton Orient Danny Johnson is Mansfield’s top scorer with three goals. He scored on his professional debut against Bristol Rovers in a 2-1 win. In September he scored in back-to-back games away to Walsall in a 3-1 loss and at home to Rochdale in a 1-1 draw but has not scored in his last five games.
Last time out and recent form:
In their last five games Mansfield have drawn two and lost three. Those two draws coming against Leyton Orient, who had an extra man as Stags striker Tyrese Sinclair was sent off, and Oldham Athletic. They suffered defeats to Barrow, Sheffield Wednesday in the Papa John’s Trophy and Northampton Town.
Aaron McGowan got the opener for Northampton on 23 minutes. The lead was doubled after 74 minutes through Fraser Horsfall as Northampton sealed a comfortable 2-0 win.
Field Mill or One Call Stadium has a capacity of 9,186 and is the oldest ground in the EFL as it has hosted football since 1861.The name ‘Field Mill’ comes from the name of a water-powered textile-mill that was located across the road to where the ground is. The mill was demolished in 1925. Greyhound racing took place at the ground from 1928 to 1931.
How to get There:
Mansfield Town F.C.
One Call Stadium
From the North:
Take the M1 exiting at junction 29, then join the A617 towards Mansfield. After around six miles turn right into Rosemary Street, then proceed to Quarry Lane, where you should turn right to arrive at One Call Stadium.
From the South:
Take the M1 exiting at junction 28, then take the A38 towards Mansfield. After around six miles turn right into Belvedere Street (at crossroads), then after a quarter of a mile, turn right into Quarry Lane for One Call Stadium.
From the East:
Take the A617 towards Rainworth and at the crossroads, turn left. After approximately three miles, turn right into Nottingham Road and then take a left turn into Quarry Lane, where you will see One Call Stadium on your right-hand side.
From the West:
From junction 28 of the M1, take the A38 towards Mansfield. After around six miles, turn right into Belvedere Street (at crossroads), then after a quarter of a mile, take a right turn into Quarry Lane.
There is no parking available at the ground on a matchday.
One Call Stadium is visible from Mansfield Rail Station. Visiting supporters should leave the station via the footbridge, adjacent to Platform 2. Walk past Burger King, through the retail park, and you will arrive at the North Stand (away end). It should take no longer than five minutes on foot.
Mansfield bus station is adjacent to the rail station. Visiting supporters should leave the station via the footbridge, adjacent to Platform 2. Walk past Burger King, through the retail park, and you will arrive at the North Stand (away end). It should take no longer than five minutes on foot.