After the late-late home victory against Crawley a few days ago, the Stags now face a stern test of their promotion and playoff credentials when travelling to Colchester United this weekend.
But the Stags have lost their last five games at Colchester on two different grounds, three of those at Layer Road, a famous FA Cup giant-killing venue of the past which sides like Leeds in 1971 and Huddersfield a few years before Colchester’s first entry into the FL can confirm. Also note that Colchester spent two seasons outside the FL in the early 1990’s following relegation in 1990.
Now, Colchester sit inside the playoff zone but have won just once in their last five League Two fixtures, but that was a comprehensive 3-0 away victory against Port Vale. And in their latest home fixture, Colchester came back from being 3-1 down to gain a 3-3 draw against League Two’s bottom side Notts County.
Earlier this season, the sides played out a 1-1 draw with Colchester equalizing deep into added time, which now means that of the FL fixtures between the sides at Mansfield of all time spanning over six decades have ended in draws.
And the first time the sides met in League fixtures, it was as inaugural members of the old third division way back in 1958-59, a season in which Colchester finished 5th and the Stags 20th. Yet the Stags managed the double over Colchester.
The biggest Stags win so far is a home 4-0 (scorers Humble, Wagstaff, Roy Chapman, Morris pen) on January 15, 1962, in the old fourth division. And none of Colchester’s six wins at Field Mill has been with a margin of more than two goals. And the highest Colchester win at their old Layer Road home is 3-0, doing so twice, on September 21, 1959 and March 18, 1967, both times in the old third. The following season, over Christmas, did the Stags their latest double over Colchester by 2-1 wins in the space of four days (at home on December 26, 1967 due to goals from Jones and Ledger, four days later a brace from Jones secured the Stags’ first away win), in a run of five consecutive wins lifting the team from a long-occupied bottom position. At the end of that 1967-68 season, Colchester were relegated to the old fourth for the third time in seven seasons after a very poor second half, and the Stags just about stayed up due to the demotion of Peterborough. And the last-ever Stags win at Layer Road was a 3-1 on November 25, 1995 (Stags scorers Boothroyd from the spot, Hadley and the Leeds killer Ireland, Colchester scorer Adcock), equalling the result of the first-ever league meeting at Colchester.
The Stags’ latest victory against Colchester was on November 1, 2002, when the Iyseden Christie show sunk the “U’s” inasmuch as Izzy netted all four goals in the Stags’ 4-2 win. This fixture also was the last Stags one for Scott Sellars, subbed for Mackenzie after only six minutes. At at Colchester, the Stags were, not for the first and not for the last time, very unlucky that 2002-03 season. The proof: Adam Eaton hit the post in the 87th minute, a minute later Scott McGleish (often scoring against the Stags, i.e. doing so for Wycombe in front of the previewer on February 9, 2008), netted the only goal of the game to help Colchester leapfrog the Stags in the relegation zone.
In no league fixture, Colchester have scored more than three goals against the Stags, but hit four in an FA Cup first round replay at Layer Road in the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 1-0 victory at then relegated Doncaster on the final day of the 1997-98 season and winning the playoff final against Torquay, Colchester spent 16 seasons at third level, and even two campaigns at Championship level a decade ago, beating sides like Leeds, Derby, Southampton, Sunderland and West Bromwich at home. In the 2006-07 season, Colchester finished tenth, their best-ever, above sides like Ipswich, Burnley, Norwich, Leicester and Crystal Palace.
One player who has played for both sides is Mark Sale. He starred for Colchester at Doncaster on the final day of the 1997-98 season as well as playing in the playoff final against Torquay a few weeks later.
Almost three years ago, Colchester were just one goal away from becoming the first FL side since 2001-02 (then Stockport on 102 against at second level) to have a ton of league goals put against them. They ended up on 99 put against them (with Jake Kean keeping goal in three games), but had 104 goals against them in their first of now overall sex relegation campaigns from the third level, that being in 1960-61. And on three occasions (1961-62, 1965-66 and 1976-77), have Colchester bounced straight back, the final of those being in the Stags’ 1976-77 Third Division Championship campaign.
For the record, the clubs’ longest FA Cup runs by the time of the FA Cup games between the sides:
Stags in 1968-69: 1st round Tow Law 4-1 (home, scorers Ledger (2), Keeley, Sharkey); 2nd round Rotherham 2-2 (away, scorers Keeley, Sharkey), 2nd round replay Rotherham 1-0 (home, scorer: Ledger), 3rd round Sheffield United 2-1 (home, scorer Roberts D (2)), 4th round Southend 2-1 (home, scorers Sharkey, Roberts D), 5th round West Ham 3-0 (home, scorers Keeley, Roberts D, Sharkey), QF Leicester 0-1 (home).
Colchester in 1970-71: 1st round Ringmer 3-0 (home, scorer Crawford 3), 2nd round Cambridge U 3-0 home (scorers Jones, Garvey, Gilchrist), 3rd round Barnet 1-0 (away, scorer Mahon), 4th round Rochdale (3-3 away, scorers Crawford 2, Lewis), 4th round replay Rochdale 5-0 (home, scorers Lewis, Simmons, Parry og, Crawford, Mahon), 5th round Leeds 3-2 (home on February 13, 1971, scorer Crawford 2, Simmons, attendance 16000), QF Everton 0-5 (away). Colchester also reached the Quarterfinals during the 2005-06 season.
Both sides look likely to figure strongly around the promotion and playoff zone for the remainder of this campaign.
Played for both sides: Lee Beevers, Barry Conlon, Brian Hall, Ray Harford, Ian Hathaway, Stuart Hicks, William Jeffries, Jake Kean, Dennis Longhorn, Ian McDonald, Jeffrey Monakana, Trevor Morgan, Noel Parkinson, Ian Phillips, Bobby Roberts (also managed Colchester), Mark Sale, Pat Sharkey.
Played for Stags, later managed Colchester: Adrian Boothroyd.
Home stats: P 26, W 7, D 13, L 6, GF 33, GA 28
Away stats: P 25, W 6, D 5, L 14, GF 18, GA 32
Season Home Date Away Date
1958-59 3-2 1959-02-02 3-1 1959-04-04 Div 3 (old)
1959-60 1-3 1959-09-28 0-3 1959-09-21 Div 3 (old)
1961-62 4-0 1962-01-15 0-2 1962-03-23 Div 4 (old)
1963-64 1-1 1963-10-26 1-1 1964-03-07 Div 3 (old)
1964-65 0-1 1964-09-07 1-0 1964-09-14 Div 3 (old)
1966-67 2-0 1966-10-22 0-3 1967-03-18 Div 3 (old)
1967-68 2-1 1967-12-26 2-1 1967-12-30 Div 3 (old)
1972-73 1-1 1973-03-24 1-1 1972-10-28 Div 4 (old)
1973-74 2-2 1973-11-10 0-1 1974-03-22 Div 4 (old)
1975-76 0-0 1976-04-24 2-0 1975-08-23 Div 3 (old)
1978-79 1-1 1978-10-28 0-1 1979-03-09 Div 3 (old)
1979-80 0-1 1979-10-01 1-2 1979-09-18 Div 3 (old)
1981-82 1-3 1981-11-02 1-0 1982-03-16 Div 4 (old)
1982-83 1-1 1983-03-19 0-2 1982-11-05 Div 4 (old)
1983-84 0-0 1983-11-12 0-1 1984-03-10 Div 4 (old)
1984-85 0-1 1984-09-19 1-2 1985-02-26 Div 4 (old)
1985-86 2-1 1985-12-10 0-0 1986-03-14 Div 4 (old)
1993-94 1-1 1994-04-02 0-0 1993-12-27 Div 3
1994-95 2-0 1994-08-20 1-1 1994-12-10 Div 3
1995-96 1-2 1996-04-27 3-1 1995-11-25 Div 3
1996-97 1-1 1996-12-14 1-2 1997-03-14 Div 3
1997-98 1-1 1997-10-04 0-2 1998-02-13 Div 3
2002-03 4-2 2002-11-01 0-1 2003-02-14 Div 2
2016-17 0-0 2016-12-10 0-2 2017-03-14 League Two
2017-18 1-1 2018-03-10 0-2 2017-10-07 League Two
2018-19 1-1 2018-08-18 (at Mansfield) League Two
2004-05 1-1 2004-11-13 FA Cup 1st round at Field Mill
2004-05 1-4 2004-11-22 FA Cup 1st round replay at Layer Road, Colchester
Expect a very good test this weekend. Come on Mansfield!
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.