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Archived News from January 2015

16th January 2015 14:15

The Stags’ first home game in the calendar year of 2015 will give them the chance to register their first double since returning to the FL last season inasmuch as they beat Saturday’s opponents, Exeter City, at their St James’ Park to a 2-1 scoreline earlier this season.

If the Stags register a double, it will be their first in the FL for eight years. In 2006-07, the Stags registered their latest FL double by beating Hereford away to a 3-1 scoreline on January 13, 2007, as a follow-up to the 4-1 home victory against the sadly now defunct Bulls at Field Mill on September 9, 2006.

Last season, as well as the 2007-08 one, no Stags double was registered.

When the Stags beat Exeter away earlier this season, the Grecians had endured a very poor start, and did not win any of their first seven League Two fixtures. Since then, Exeter under the reign of the longest-serving League Two boss Tisdale, improved vastly and on limited resources hovered around the playoff position. But the Devon St James’ Park outfit have faltered recently and also sold their England U 21 man Ashley Grimes to Swansea.

Exeter, one of now two Devon FL clubs, were a founder member of the FL third tier way back in 1920, then were ever-present in the old division 3 (S) during its existence up to 1957-58, and were therefore one of the sides that faced the Stags in their first-ever FL season in 1931, and the Grecians' first-ever visit to Mansfield on December 5, 1931 ended in a Stags 3-1 victory, thanks to two goals from Johnson and one from Featherby. This was to be the first out of so far ten Stags home victories against Exeter, the latest being a 3-2 on March 21, 1998. In that fixture, Ford scored twice and Peters once.

Most of the games between the Stags and Exeter have been close ones. The proof: Only once has there been a more than a two-goal margin between the sides at Mansfield. This happened in an August 26, 1972 Field Mill fixture which the Stags won 3-0 thanks to two strikes from Sam Ellis, one from the spot, and one from McCaffrey. Six of the Stags wins have been odd-goal ones, compared to all but one (a 2-0 on September 15, 1990) for Exeter. Add to that ten drawn games.

The sides met before previewing started and each won their away game 1-0. Just before Christmas 2001, Exeter won 1-0 at Mansfield, and a month later, an early Liam Lawrence header sealed the Stags win at St James' Park where the Stags now have won on their last three visits to the Exeter one out of two FL grounds with that name (the other one, of course, is at Newcastle where the Stags played in the FA Cup nine years ago).

Exeter's best FL position is second in the old division 3 (S) in 1932-33, four points behind Brentford. In the current League One, Exeter finished eighth just a few seasons ago in a three-season-spell which saw sides like Southampton, Norwich and Leeds travelling to another St James' Park than being used to (these clubs normally travel to the one at Newcastle). Exeter also finished eighth in the old Division Three in 1979-80. The Grecians are now in their third League Two season following relegation in 2012 and endured problems off the field during the close-season.

When playing together in the Southern section of the third level, the Stags travelled to Exeter four times and lost all games without even scoring. The Stags had to wait until September 3, 1960, to score their first goals and gain their first-ever points at Exeter. A brace from Wragg was enough to seal a 2-0 victory. Some of our now eight away victories at Exeter's St James' Park have been achieved in promotion seasons, one in January 2002 thanks to an early Liam Lawrence header. In our first-ever promotion season, the Stags' first away game was at Exeter. On August 22, 1962, Ken Wagstaff scored all the Stags goals in the Stags' so far highest away win at Exeter, a convincing 3-0 scoreline.

But the 1-0 win at Exeter in January 2002 was not our first 1-0 win there in a promotion season. On September 7, 1974 (almost exactly to the day 40 years ago to the latest win at Exeter), Terry Eccles scored the only goal at Exeter, and on February 8, 1986, Kevin Kent did the same. That one was in a spell of nine Stags games of which eight were won. And when the Stags almost gained promotion from the third level in 1964-65, our first away three-pointer came at Exeter. On September 5, 1964, the Stags won at Exeter to a 3-2 scoreline thanks to two goals from James Cooper (anyone remember him?) and one from Brian Hall. This was also the Stags' first away victory that season.

Out of the last sixteen games between the sides at Mansfield, nine have been drawn.

The first Stags' victory last year came about when we played Exeter away. A strike just before half-time by Lee Stevenson was enough to secure the three points on the trip to Devon.

In the FA Cup, Exeter have played a few current PL sides over the years. Their best run came in 1931, when Sunderland needed a replay to progress from the quarter-finals. Exactly 50 years later, Exeter reached the QF again. On the way, Exeter travelled to the St James' Park at Newcastle and managed a 1-1 draw. Exeter then won the replay convincingly 4-0 at their St James Park seeing headlines like Newcastle crashing out at St James' Park, but not their own……. In the sixth round, Tottenham won 2-0 at home.

As recently during Exeter's five-year BSP spell in 2005, the Grecians made FA Cup headlines by travelling to Old Trafford in the third round and holding Manchester United to a goal-less draw! A completely different M.U. line-up then won the replay 2-0 at Exeter.

In the past, there has also been managerial connections between the Stags and Exeter. The name: Jock Basford. He bossed in Devon during most of the 1965-66 Division Three relegation season, and then almost the whole of the 1966-67 Division Four season before being youth boss at Charlton. From The Valley, Basford travelled north and became Stags boss in July 1970, was so until November 1971 when he was axed following a string of poor results, notably loads of home games without even scoring. And Exeter's current boss, Paul Tisdale, is the longest-serving one in League Two as he has been in charge since the start of the 2006-07 BSP campaign.

Quite a few players have appeared for both sides. The Exeter goalie in the 2001-02 FL games against the Stags, Arjan van Heusden, played for the Stags in 2002-03. That same season, George Pilkington, who last term played two Stags FL games and also in the 8-1 FA Cup mauling of St Albans away, also loaned out to Forest Green (a side the Stags and Exeter met in all their five BSP seasons apiece) before moving on to Macclesfield, played his first league games for Exeter……… while Craig Woodman, eight Stags games in the 2004-05 season, has played regularly this season.

Played for both sides: Shayne Bradley, Jamie Campbell, Jon Challinor, Gary Chapman, Horace Clifford, Alan Crawford, Jonathan Fortune, George Foster, Ray Harford, Alex Jeannin, Martin Ling, John Mitten, Trevor Morgan, Stuart Naylor, Gordon Owen, Fred Parnell, Jacob Parsons, Ginger Phoenix, George Pilkington, Jason Rees, Neil Richardson, Andy Roscoe, Darren Rowbotham, John Rowlands, George Stimpson, Stuart Storer, Arjan van Heusden, Craig Woodman.

Managed both sides: Jock Basford.

Home stats: P 27, W 10, D 10, L 7, GF 39, GA 32
Away stats: P 28, W 9, D 7, L 12, GF 27, GA 36

Season Home Date Away Date

1931-32 3-1 1931-12-05 0-3 1932-04-16 Div 3 (S)
1937-38 2-3 1938-02-26 0-4 1937-10-16 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 4-2 1939-05-06 0-2 1938-09-07 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 1-0 1946-12-21 0-1 1947-04-26 Div 3 (S)
1960-61 2-3 1961-01-14 2-0 1960-09-03 Div 4 (old)
1961-62 3-1 1961-08-19 1-2 1961-12-16 Div 4 (old)
1962-63 1-0 1962-08-27 3-0 1962-08-22 Div 4 (old)
1964-65 2-1 1965-01-02 3-2 1964-09-05 Div 3 (old)
1965-66 0-0 1965-09-25 2-2 1966-03-19 Div 3 (old)
1972-73 3-0 1972-08-26 2-4 1973-01-06 Div 4 (old)
1973-74 3-3 1974-03-18 1-1 1974-03-09 Div 4 (old)
1974-75 3-2 1975-03-21 1-0 1974-09-07 Div 4 (old)
1978-79 1-1 1979-03-26 0-0 1978-08-19 Div 3 (old)
1979-80 0-1 1979-12-29 1-2 1979-08-25 Div 3 (old)
1984-85 2-2 1985-04-03 0-0 1984-10-03 Div 4 (old)
1985-86 2-1 1985-10-19 1-0 1986-02-08 Div 4 (old)
1990-91 0-2 1990-09-15 0-2 1991-01-26 Div 3 (old)
1992-93 0-0 1993-04-24 0-2 1992-10-17 Div 2
1994-95 1-1 1994-09-24 3-2 1995-03-04 Div 3
1995-96 1-1 1996-01-06 2-2 1996-02-13 Div 3
1996-97 0-1 1996-08-17 0-0 1997-03-29 Div 3
1997-98 3-2 1998-03-21 0-1 1997-11-18 Div 3
1998-99 0-1 1999-04-27 1-2 1998-10-03 Div 3
1999-2000 1-1 2000-02-04 0-1 1999-08-30 Div 3
2000-01 1-1 2001-02-02 0-0 2000-09-02 Div 3
2001-02 0-1 2001-12-21 1-0 2002-01-22 Div 3
2013-14 0-0 2013-08-10 1-0 2014-01-04 League Two
2014-15 (at Exeter) 2-1 2014-09-06 League Two

League Cup

1961-62 5-2 1961-09-11 First round at Field Mill aka One Call Stadium

Will the Stags gain their first 2015 win against Exeter? Remains to be seen. Come on Mansfield!

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag


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