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Archived News from April 2004

11th April 2004 13:45

While away games at Bristol Rovers before this decade were one of the worst places for the Stags to get anything from, the Gasheads - or the Pirates – never relished the trip to Stagsland – winning only once after World War II.

But in the last three visits to Gasheads – or Pirates Country – Mansfield have gained seven points – and all the away trips to Bristol Rovers this century have given the Stags maximum points. The hoodoo was finally broken in the 2001-02 promotion season on November 20, 2001 thanks to a second-half Liam Lawrence strike (other reports say it was an own goal). And the home tie on April 6, 2002 – just fourteen days short of myself watching the promotion-clincher against Carlisle – made the Stags get back on the promotion trail by winning 2-0 – strikes from Adam Murray and Andy White after the interval did the essential job – after a poor spell with just one point from five games. The away win was midway through a spell of thirteen points out of fifteeen in November-December 2001 and the second back-to-back 1-0 away win in a row – the first was at Carlisle.

The teams also met in the Stags solitary season in the old 2nd division and a home game on April 24, 1978, was won 3-0 – in fact the last Mansfield win that season thanks to two goals from John Aston and one from Johnny Miller. Another memorable rout was the 5-0 on January 31, 1987 – the Keith Cassells show that figured on the Swedish pools coupons – of course I predicted a banker Stags win and was proved right. And every time Bristol Rovers have visited Field Mill in April, they have lost without scoring! They also did that exactly 40 years ago to the day of writing this preview, when Wagstaff and Chapman (S), latter to be suspended by the Stags only a fortnight later, hit the net in a 2-0 win watched by 8317. Therefore, the goal by Chapman (S), was his last-ever as a Stags player. In fact, he scored twice that season – and the first was in the 4-0 stuffing of Bristol City on Easter Monday, March 30, 1964 in front of 8736. Chapman (S) must have liked the Bristol teams late on in the 1963-64 season!

Before the Lawrence clincher the Stags had only managed a couple of draws no matter what ground Bristol Rovers have played on. Most memorable are a 4-4 in 1966-67 in the old third with both teams finishing in the top half (Stags scorers Rowland 2, Mitchinson and Brace) and a 1-1 (Stags scorer Leishman, anyone remember him?) on January 13, 1990 – gaining the Stags a valuable point then successfully fighting relegation.

On the other hand, Bristol Rovers have more often than not left Field Mill emptyhanded – i.e. six consecutive games there without scoring a single goal in the mid-sixties – out of total twelve - when the teams were stalwarts in the old third. But twice in that period of time were the Stags hit for six when Bristol Rovers played their home games at Eastville – a 0-6 rout in 1965-66 and a 2-6 (Stags goals Partridge and Goodfellow) in the 1968-69 FA Cup QF season.

Only once have the teams met in the FA Cup – and that was in the 3rd round in the 1957-58 season. The Stags were drawn away and were routed 5-0 on January 4, 1958. At that time, Bristol Rovers were a solid top-half team in the old second division finishing 10th while the Stags qualified for the then old third ending up as 6th in the final season of the old div 3 (N). In all the four seasons the Stags did play in the old Southern section, Bristol Rovers were the opponents and more than half of the Bristol team's goal at Field Mill in league fixtures were scored during that period and before the outbreak of World War II. And the first-ever Stags win against the Gasheads was also achieved in the thirties, when a solitary Read scoring in front of 3222 clinched the game in favour of the Stags. Even in the first post-war season with the Stags finishing bottom, Bristol Rovers were soundly beaten early on in the 1946-47 season. On September 21, 1946, two goals from the later Yeovil FA Cup hero Bryant and a strike by Calverley in front of a good crowd of 9183 put the Stags on the winning trail.

Earlier this season, the Stags routed the Pirates in the first half, when two early goals by Mendes and Disley started the hammering. Disley then added a second just before half-time in the 3-1 victory.

There have been some players who've figured for both sides. Among them are Adam Barrett, who played for the Stags in 2001-02. He played in the Pirates' 1-2 home defeat against Doncaster (with Stephen Foster in the line-up) on Easter Saturday. Another one is Ryan Williams, who hasn't played for a couple of weeks.
And the current Stags manager Keith Curle started his league career at Bristol Rovers way back in the 1981-82 season.

Played for both sides: Adam Barrett, Andy Beasley, Keith Curle, Stephen Foster, Phil Kite, Trevor Morgan, Nicky Platnauer, Noel Parkinson, Tom Stanton, Ryan Williams

Home games: P 19, W 13, D 3, L 3, GF 35, GA 11
Away games: P 20, W 2, D 6, L 12, GF 19, GA 45

1931-32 0-3 1932-01-30 1-1 1931-09-19 Div 3 (S)
1937-38 1-0 1938-01-15 0-0 1937-09-04 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 1-3 1938-12-24 0-3 1937-08-27 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 3-1 1946-09-21 0-1 1947-01-25 Div 3 (S)
1963-64 2-0 1964-04-11 2-3 1963-11-30 Div 3 (old)
1964-65 3-0 1964-12-12 1-4 1964-08-22 Div 3 (old)
1965-66 2-0 1965-09-04 0-6 1966-12-19 Div 3 (old)
1966-67 2-0 1967-03-04 4-4 1966-10-15 Div 3 (old)
1967-68 3-0 1968-03-11 0-2 1967-09-09 Div 3 (old)
1968-69 0-0 1968-10-26 2-6 1969-03-25 Div 3 (old)
1969-70 1-1 1969-09-20 1-4 1970-01-10 Div 3 (old)
1970-71 4-1 1971-01-16 0-2 1970-10-20 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 0-0 1971-10-09 1-2 1972-03-11 Div 3 (old)
1977-78 3-0 1978-04-24 1-3 1977-10-04 Div 2 (old)
1986-87 5-0 1987-01-31 0-0 1986-09-13 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 1-0 1988-02-27 1-2 1987-10-03 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 2-1 1988-10-08 0-0 1989-02-18 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 0-1 1989-08-26 1-1 1990-01-13 Div 3 (old)
2001-02 2-0 2002-04-06 1-0 2001-11-20 Div 3
2003-04 (at Bristol Rovers) 3-1 2003-09-30 Div 3

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)

Some details on scorers are courtesy of the Centenary book


Latest | April 2004