After having the Stevenage away game postponed due to adverse weather conditions last weekend (which also meant that no preview was made prior to that fixture) and a change of manager, the Stags now take on Lincoln City at headquarters on Tuesday night. And this will be the first game for David Flitcroft as Stags boss.
Lincoln, too, had their game called off last weekend, and it was their first away fixture at Coventry since the 1961-62 Third Division campaign. But tomorrow’s clash against Lincoln has already been postponed twice, but that was due to cup commitments. First, the Stags appeared in the FA Cup third round and managed a replay against Championship high-fliers Cardiff City. Then, Lincoln progressed in the FA Checkatrade Trophy and kayoed Chelsea U 23, meaning that the Imps will travel to Wembley shortly.
Now, the Stags face last seasons National League champions. By winning the National League Championship last term, Lincoln became the second side to be promoted back to the FL twice (the first was Barnet two years ago) following a relegation from the FL. Thirty years ago, Lincoln became the first side to be relegated from the FL, but bounced back straight away only to be relegated again in 2011. And both Lincoln relegations were confirmed on the final day of the 1986-87 and 2010-11 campaigns, respectively. This time around, it took Lincoln six years and a couple of mid-table placings before returning to League Two.
The Stags have already faced the Imps twice this season. First, at group stage in the Checkatrade Trophy last August. And a few weeks later, the Stags made the short trip across the Lincolnshire border to Sincil Bank for the first FL meeting between the sides in a decade.
In between, it was dramatic times and happy ones for the Stags fans who travelled across the border. In 2012-13, the sides first clashed in the FA Cup second round. In injury-time, Matt Rhead scored to earn a 3-3 draw and a home replay which in the end turned out to be for earning the right to play Liverpool at home. The Stags progressed at home, and set up a memorable clash against the Reds in January 2013.
Almost two months later, the Stags travelled to Lincoln again. But that was for a BSP away game early on during the Stags’ 12-match winning streak. But the Stags had to work very hard for winning at Lincoln. It was to be a smash-and-grab raid with Matt Green in the main role by scoring an injury-time winner, the only goal of the game. But that was not for the first time, the Stags had scored very late at Lincoln.
In the League Two fixture between the sides at Sincil Bank on January 29, 2008, Michael Boulding netted in the third minute of injury-time to gain the Stags a 2-1 victory. Lincoln goalie then: Alan Marriott, who was Stags goalie in the BSP fixture on February 26, 2013, mentioned above.
Marriott was also the Lincoln goalie when the Imps last won a home League fixture against the Stags. On January 29, 2005, the Imps won 2-0 at Sincil Bank in a fixture where the ref then, Eddie Ilderton, managed a woeful display.
Six years later, Marriott was to return to Sincil Bank for the first time since leaving Lincoln, but as Stags goalie in a 1-1 draw on October 18, 2011.
Fact is also, that one of Alan Marriott's first FL appearances was against the Stags. After checking details, the previewer did find that Marriott's first-ever game between the Stags and the Imps was as a Lincoln goalie in the Stags' 3-0 defeat at Sincil Bank on March 7, 2000 in the old Division Three and Marriott's sixth League game and third Lincoln clean sheet. That game was also the third Stags game for Liam Lawrence. Other players appearing in that fixture was Paul Mayo for Lincoln (later a Stag) while a Newport goalie a few seasons ago, Glyn Thompson kept Stags goal then.
Fact is that Alan Marriott played several games for Lincoln against the Stags in his over 350-match career at the Imps, a career which included five consecutive League Two (and Division Three) play-off campaigns.
Another player, Adam Smith, played one of his three Lincoln games in his first spell there (all as sub) against the Stags in January 2008 (details checked).
The 2006-07 League Two games between the Stags and the Imps had penalties written all over them, converted ones as well as missed ones.
The game at Field Mill on August 26, 2006, saw four spot-kicks awarded, two for each side, all penalty decisions right, according to the Stagsnet report. But in that game, defensive mistakes were the clue to the Stags' then first league defeat and the Jamie Forrester show. He scored all four Lincoln goals, including their two penalties in the Stags 4-2 defeat then. Mansfield themselves were awarded two penalties, too. But Richard Barker missed the first Stags spot-kick on the stroke of half-time but converted the second one just before the final whistle.
And the geographical distance between Lincoln and Mansfield is not far, yet the Stags faced the Imps in only 28 FL seasons before. This was mainly due to Lincoln playing most part of the fifties in the old 2nd division and their slide coincided then with the Stags first-ever promotion in 1962-63. Therefore, between 1952-53 and 1971-72 they only played each other once in the league! And when the Stags were promoted again in 1985-86, Lincoln were relegated to the old fourth, then became the first side to be relegated from the league and to bounce straight back!
Yet a number of Stags v Imps derbies in the past league history have been crowd-pullers, the stats dating back to 1934-35 when the Imps won both derbies early on.
And in three of the Imps’ promotion seasons, 1951-52 to the second tier with their club record scoring haul of 121 goals, 1980-81 with only 25 goals conceded and the latest in 1997-98, they did fail to beat the Stags at home as well as away.
Here are my picks of the cream concerning Stags v Imps fixtures:
* In 1951-52, the Stags did the double over Lincoln by winning 2-1 away on October 27, 1951 thanks to goals from Coole and Steele in front of 16364 fans, an attendance figure that was to be even bettered in the return fixture at Field Mill on March 15, 1952, when 19043 witnesses saw Reeve secure the Stags winner.
* In March 1963, Tommy Cummings had just been appointed Stags player-manager. On March 27, 1963, the Stags won the first of three consecutive away victories by mauling the Imps 6-2 thanks to an own-goal and one goal apiece from Morris, Hollett, Roy Chapman, Wagstaff and Coates. And one of the Lincoln scorers, Albert Scanlon (Linnecor was the other Imp to score without stopping the rout), was later to play for the Stags. Two Stags players in that fixture, ever-present goalie Colin Treharne as well as Roy Chapman, goal-poacher along with Ken Wagstaff, were later to represent Lincoln, Treharne ending his league career for the Imps in 1966-67. Even the one Imp with most league appearances up to 2001-02, Tony Emery with 402 league outings – finished his league career in Stagsland, his last league game being a 0-1 reverse at Stockport on December 31, 1960.
* On Easter Saturday, April 18, 1981, the Stags had faded out of the promotion picture while Lincoln were already promoted. But that didn’t stop the Stags from winning 2-0 due to goals from Caldwell and Thomson.
* A 6-2 has also been secured at home. This happened on March 11, 1995, when Iffy Onoura scored a hat-trick within only a few minutes
* The teams also met in the Stags latest FL promotion season with the double achieved. At home, Corden scored a late winner to seal the 2-1 victory, and at Sincil Bank, the Stags stuffed the Imps 4-1 in a game that might be billed as the Lee Williamson show as he netted twice, Corden and Pemberton once in a derby that was like a home game with 1729 Stags fans out of 4072. Oddly, the 2001-02 Lincoln away game was the last Stags game before the start of the Stagsnet statistical previews.
Only on two occasions, league games in Mansfield between the Stags and the Imps have finished goal-less.
On three occasions, all in December 2nd round ties at Field Mill spanning over 50 years, the clubs have faced each other in the FA Cup with the Stags going through on two occasions and Lincoln on one.
In the League Cup, the sides have been drawn against each other on four occasions. Only once did the Stags go through, but that was in the 1972-73 season. The 3-2 win at Field Mill on August 16, 1972, saw Sandy Pate on the Stags' score-sheet for the first time ever! But Pate had to wait until Easter Monday, 1976, for his first Stags league goal, and this happened in a Division Three 3-0 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday on April 19, 1976.
Earlier this season, a second half Danny Rose strike minutes after coming on was enough to separate the sides, and that was also Lincoln’s first home defeat for a year. But the Imps have consolidated on their second FL return and may well finish in the top half, although they have faltered lately and crashed heavily in their latest home fixture, a 4-1 mauling imposed by Crewe Alexandra. Meanwhile, the Stags have won five out of their eight latest fixtures, the latest at home to Coventry was drawn.
As one might expect, loads of players have appeared in Stags amber as well as for the Red Imps. The writer of these lines has found over 70 players having appeared for both sides, about twenty being checked with the help of the history CD, and others (not only Marriott) during the last decade. And some of them have also figured in the Lincoln hot-seat as well. To name but two: Luke Medley and much-travelled (often mentioned in previews) Jefferson Louis, then in his thirteenth club having played in the BSP. A record?
Lowestoft and Wealdstone are other recent stations for Jefferson Louis.
So far this season, five former Stags have featured for Lincoln. Here they are: Matt Green, Matt Rhead, Nathan Arnold, Ollie Palmer and Luke Waterfall, while Lee Angol played eleven games for Lincoln last term, scoring five times, while the first-ever game for Sam Clucas was a JP Trophy game for Lincoln against the old Darlington club way back in 2009. Matt Green is so far Lincoln’s top scorer with ten League Two goals. A game between Matt Green and Danny Rose tomorrow night? Remains to be seen.
Played for both sides: Keith Alexander, Nicholas Andersen, Geoffrey Anderson, Lee Angol, Nathan Arnold, Derek Asamoah, Arthur Atkinson, Danny Bacon, Ian Baraclough, Lee Beevers, William Bell (for Stags pre-league), Ian Bowling, Shayne Bradley, John Bryan (for Stags pre-league), Walter Buckley, Roy Chapman, Sam Clucas, Paul Connor, John Cottam (for both sides on loan in 1972!), Syd Dickinson, Rob Duffy, Sam Ellis, Tony Emery (the one with Lincoln’s most league appearances up to 2001-02, then beaten by Grant Brown), Scott Eustace, Jackie Fisher, Arthur Fitzsimons, Bernard Foster (for Stags pre-league), Luke Foster, Alfred Freeman (for Stags pre-league), Ben Futcher, Bert Garner, Scott Garner, Martin Garratt, Arthur Green (for Stags pre-league), Matt Green, John Gregson, Martin Gritton, Jamie Hand, Ray Harford, Terry Hawkridge, Liam Hearn, James Heathcote (for Stags pre-league), Amos Hill (one Stags league game, 0-0 at Halifax on February 13, 1937), Simeon Hodson, George Hogg, Maxwell Holmes, Alfred Horne, John Hunt (for Stags pre-league), Walter Hunt, Ben Hutchinson, Guy Ipoua, Arthur Jepson, Colin Larkin, Robert Littledyke, Adrian Littlejohn,Tony Lormor, Jefferson Louis, Alan Marriott, Paul Mayo, Luke Medley, Junior Mendes, Gary Mills, Adie Moses, Ernie Moss, Stuart Naylor, Vadaine Oliver, Richard Pacquette, Ollie Palmer, George Pass, William Paterson, Chris Perkins, Kyle Perry, Nicky Platnauer, Bill Poynton, Charley Reed, Matt Rhead, Barry Richardson, John Riley (one pre-league FA-Cup game preliminary round, one goal against Mapperley on September 13, 1913!), Nialle Rodney, Kevin Sandwith, John Saunders, Mick Saxby, Albert Scanlon, John Schofield, Ben Sedgemore, Adam Smith, Wally Smith, Mark Stallard, Phil Stant, Tyrone Thompson, Colin Treharne, Daniel Tremelling, Luke Waterfall, Craig Westcarr, Adi Yussuf.
Played for Stags, later managers for Lincoln: Keith Alexander, Roy Chapman, Sam Ellis, Jon Schofield, Phil Stant.
Managed both sides: Dave Holdsworth.
Home stats: P 30, W 13, D 9, L 8, GF 56, GA 45
Away stats: P 31, W 12, D 8, L 11, GF 38, GA 42
Season Home Date Away Date
1934-35 3-4 1934-08-29 0-4 1934-09-03 Div 3 (N)
1935-36 2-2 1936-07-03 2-1 1935-11-02 Div 3 (N)
1936-37 2-2 1936-10-31 0-2 1937-03-06 Div 3 (N)
1947-48 0-2 1948-03-27 0-0 1947-11-08 Div 3 (N)
1949-50 2-1 1949-09-10 0-1 1950-01-14 Div 3 (N)
1950-51 1-1 1950-09-02 0-3 1950-12-30 Div 3 (N)
1951-52 1-0 1952-03-15 2-1 1951-10-27 Div 3 (N)
1962-63 2-0 1962-10-13 6-2 1963-03-27 Div 4 (old)
1972-73 0-2 1973-03-31 1-1 1972-11-25 Div 4 (old)
1973-74 4-3 1973-12-26 1-1 1974-03-03 Div 4 (old)
1974-75 3-1 1975-04-14 0-0 1975-02-25 Div 4 (old)
1976-77 3-1 1976-11-06 2-3 1977-02-15 Div 3 (old)
1978-79 2-0 1979-05-11 1-0 1978-11-04 Div 3 (old)
1980-81 2-0 1981-04-18 1-1 1980-12-27 Div 3 (old)
1991-92 0-0 1992-03-24 0-2 1992-03-07 Div 4 (old)
1993-94 1-0 1993-09-11 2-1 1994-03-05 Div 3
1994-95 6-2 1995-03-11 2-3 1994-09-10 Div 3
1995-96 1-2 1995-11-01 1-2 1996-04-13 Div 3
1996-97 2-2 1997-02-15 0-0 1996-11-23 Div 3
1997-98 2-2 1997-12-28 2-0 1997-09-02 Div 3
1999-2000 5-2 1999-11-06 0-3 2000-03-07 Div 3
2000-01 2-3 2001-03-03 2-0 2000-09-30 Div 3
2001-02 2-1 2001-09-08 4-1 2002-02-12 Div 3
2003-04 1-2 2003-12-13 1-4 2004-03-13 Div 3
2004-05 2-2 2004-10-02 0-2 2005-01-29 League Two
2005-06 0-0 2006-01-02 1-1 2006-04-08 League Two
2006-07 2-4 2006-08-26 2-1 2007-03-03 League Two
2007-08 1-3 2007-08-18 2-1 2008-01-29 League Two
2011-12 2-1 2012-03-03 1-1 2011-10-18 BSP
2012-13 0-0 2012-10-09 1-0 2013-02-26 BSP
2017-18 (at Lincoln) 1-0 2017-09-16 League Two
1937-38 2-1 1937-12-15 2nd round at Field Mill
1975-76 1-2 1975-12-13 2nd round at Field Mill
1987-88 4-3 1987-12-05 2nd round at Field Mill
2012-13 3-3 2012-12-01 2nd round at Sincil Bank
2012-13 2-1 2013-12-12 2nd round replay at One Call Stadium aka Field Mill
1967-68 2-3 1967-08-23 Round 1 at Field Mill
1968-69 1-2 1968-08-14 Round 1 at Sincil Bank
1972-73 3-2 1972-08-16 Round 1 at Field Mill (one Stags scorer then: Sandy Pate!)
1977-78 0-1 1977-08-13 Round 1, first leg at Field Mill
1977-78 0-0 1977-08-17 Round 1, second leg at Sincil Bank
(Lincoln through 1-0 on aggregate)
2017-18 1-3 2017-08-29 Group stags at One Call Stadium aka Field Mill
Expect a very interesting game in front of a full house. Come on Mansfield!