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Archived News from April 2015

24th April 2015 13:31

Despite the 3-1 defeat at Cambridge last Saturday after a poor display, the Stags stay in League Two due to three teams below them all losing their respective games. Now, the Stags entertain recent PL and FA Cup winning outfit Portsmouth in the final home game this season.

The Stags’ latest home fixture against Tranmere was crucially won by the only goal of the game, and it also was the first time ever the Stags had won a home game which Darren Drysdale had officiated. For Tranmere, the defeat was crucial inasmuch as last season’s League One side among with Hartlepool and Cheltenham face the danger of dropping out of the FL, for Tranmere and Hartlepool, it would be for the first time ever since joining the FL ten years before the Stags did so, yet in Cheltenham’s case, they were promoted to the FL way back in 1999.

This will be the third time ever the Stags face Portsmouth in a League fixture at Mansfield. The first one, on May 2, 1977, all but secured the Stags’ so far only promotion to the FL second tier. It was secured the following night when Rotherham lost at home 2-1 to Reading who eventually were relegated, one point below Portsmouth with the then two-point ruling for a victory. Had three points been in force then, the roles had been reversed.

The next FL game between the Stags and Portsmouth at Mansfield took place early on last season, and it was an entertaining 2-2 draw on August 24, 2013. More on that game in the Match Centre.

Then, the Stags had been promoted back to the FL after an absence of five years, while Portsmouth, FA Cup winners in 2008, finalists in 2010 and still in the PL that year, had plummeted from the PL to League Two within the space of just three years.

All the Stags’ previous FL visits to Portsmouth, the latest on October 11, 2014, have ended in draws.

And only just seven years ago, Portsmouth played PL football and won the FA Cup by beating Cardiff, then played in Europe.

Since then, Portsmouth have endured lots of problems but on and off the field. Relegated from the PL in 2010, being the first PL side to have points deducted for being in administration, reached the FA Cup final losing 2-0 to Chelsea, then expelled from playing in Europe due to the above facts. Three seasons ago, Portsmouth once again got points deducted, which proved very costly. Without that, Portsmouth had stayed up in the Championship at Barnsley's expense. The problems worsened in League One. Players came and went. The effect: a FL record number of consecutive defeats and games without a victory contributed to Portsmouth's relegation to the basement division, a division Portsmouth had not been in for 33 seasons when called Division Four.

And who would five years ago have thought that Portsmouth were due to face the Stags in an FL fixture instead of playing at grounds like Old Trafford, White Hart Lane or in Europe?

By the time of the Stags' first-ever visit to Fratton Park way back in 1977, Pompey also had had problems.

Then, Portsmouth had been relegated from the FL second tier after fourteen consecutive seasons at that level. They also had, just like now, severe problems both on and off the field. In the end, Portsmouth only just avoided further relegation, one point above Reading, but had gone down if the three-point ruling had been in use in 1977.

So far this season, Portsmouth’s campaign has been very disappointing. Manager Andy Awford stepped down just recently as a result of that after only just a year in charge of Pompey following the departure of Richie Barker, ex-Stag as a player, in March 2014. And Pompey have won just one of their last seven FL games.

The sides also clashed in the League cup during the 2006-07 season. Then, the previewer wrote:

"Will Harry Redknapp, the current Portsmouth manager, leave Field Mill as a loser for a third side?"

He did so as a West Ham player in Round Five of the FA Cup on February 26, 1969 and as Southampton manager in the League Cup on September 20, 2005, when a reserve-filled Saints outfit succumbed to a Giles Coke strike in the second half.

Redknapp did not, as his then Portsmouth side scraped through to a 2-1 victory on September 19, 2006, in front of over 6000. More on that game in the match centre. But four of the then Stags players are still around in the FL for other sides: Mullins, Baptiste, Buxton and Dawson, while Richie Barker last season was Portsmouth manager, being appointed there after the sacking of Guy Whittingham, Pompey's highest FL scorer of all time during one season as he hit the net on 42 occasions in Division One during the 1992-93 season in which Pompey were very close to be promoted to the PL. They had to wait another decade…….

Of the players having appeared for both sides, Tom Curtis played 13 games in two seasons for Portsmouth before coming to the Stags after having had loan spells at Tranmere and Chester in between. Liam Lawrence played some 50 games for Pompey a few seasons ago, while John Lathan's second Stags spell around 1979-80 was preceded by a spell on the South Coast with 58 league games. Paul Hall, who played a few games for the Stags in the FA Trophy final season a few years ago, played for Portsmouth in the early 1990's after coming from another South coast club, Torquay. Lee Williamson, who played 146 FL games for the Stags, played 22 League One fixtures, three as sub, for Pompey two seasons ago.

Played for both sides: Mark Blake, Sammy Chapman, George Clifford, George Cook, Harold Crawshaw, Tom Curtis, Reg Davies, Lindy Delapenha, Joseph Depledge, George Dexter, Ernest Gadsden, Paul Hall, Joe Laidlaw, John Lathan, Liam Lawrence, Jim McCaffrey, Harold Methven, Harry Middleton, Harry Moore, Jason Rees, Abe Smith, Lee Williamson.

Home P 2, W 1, D 1, L 0, GF 4, GA 2
Away P 3, W 0, D 3, L 0, GF 4, GA 4

1976-77 2-0 1977-05-02 2-2 1977-01-18 Div 3
2013-14 2-2 2013-08-24 1-1 2014-01-18 League Two
2014-15 (at Portsmouth) 1-1 2014-10-11 League Two

League Cup

2006-07 1-2 2006-09-19 2nd round at Field Mill aka One Call Stadium

Time for a good finish in the Stags’ final home game this term. Come on Mansfield!


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