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Match Previews

Spotlight on the Opposition | Mansfield Town

15 March 2022

Can we make it three home wins in a row this evening when we face Nigel Clough’s Mansfield?

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 gives his thoughts on the game “They’ve had a great result on Saturday. A very, very sad situation at the moment with Darrell Clarke unfortunately. That will be at the forefront of our minds when we go there. But a great win, they’ll be full of confidence but we should still be as well because of the run we’ve had”.

Nigel Clough is loving life at Mansfield Town | Mansfield and Ashfield Chad

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 made 29 appearances in all competitions scoring four times and assisting twice. He’s picked up five yellows and one red card this season. The midfielder’s last goal was the clincher in a 2-0 home win over Leyton Orient in late January.

Mansfield Town skipper Ollie Clarke prepares for two long hauls south after  two-goal display today | Mansfield and Ashfield Chad

Star Man:

21-year-old Matty Longstaff has been at Newcastle United his entire career. He made his professional debut in August 2019 against Leicester City in the EFL Cup. On his Premier League debut, he scored in a 1-0 home win against Manchester United which was voted as Premier League goal of the month.

At the start of this season, he went out on loan to Aberdeen but from August through to December he only featured five times. The midfielder was recalled and a month later signed on loan at the Stags. So far he has made five appearances, scoring in each of his last three games.

Newcastle United - Loan watch: Longstaff scores for third match in a row

Top Scorer:

Summer signing from Hartlepool United Rhys Oates is the Stags’ top scorer with nine goals in all competitions. His last goal came away at Bradford City where he opened the scoring in a 2-0 win.

Rhys Oates returns to net the winner as Mansfield Town overcome Crawley |  Mansfield and Ashfield Chad

Last time out and recent form:

Mansfield have won two, drawn two and lost once in their last five games. The two wins came against Exeter City and Bradford. They picked up draws away from home at Newport County and Bristol Rovers. But last Friday night they traveled to Tranmere looking to make it 15 unbeaten in the league.

It was the hosts who opened the scoring through former Valiant Peter Clarke on five minutes. Longstaff equalised in stoppage time at the end of the first half. Substitute Elliot Nevitt restored the lead for Tranmere after 76 minutes but a late, late equaliser from Ollie Hawkins in stoppage time looked to be enough for the Stags to take home a point. But in the 95th minute, Nevitt clinched the winner to end Mansfield’s remarkable unbeaten run.

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