October 16, 2015
The Stags v. The Pirates
Stags have a clean bill of health heading in to Saturday’s fixture, with manager Adam Murray having a positive selection headache with the full playing squad at his disposal. Chris Clements made his return from a groin injury as a late substitute in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Newport so will no doubt be in contention again. However Murray may opt for a change in personnel to combat the system played by the Gas.
Mansfield-born Rovers manager Darrell Clarke also has his full complement available for selection as he heads back to his hometown looking for a way to mastermind another away victory. The trio of Ellis Harrison, Tom Lockyer and Jake Gosling have all seemingly returned from international duty unscathed.
The victory over Newport last weekend stretched the Stags’ winning run to three, with only one defeat in total from their last nine league fixtures. Mansfield currently sit in fourth place in the Sky Bet League Two table, but if results go their way they could climb as high as second by 5pm on Saturday.
Bristol Rovers are back in action having been handed a weekend off after their match with high-fliers Wycombe was postponed due to international call-ups. The Pirates currently sit in 13th spot with just five points separating them from the play-off places, with their away form significantly contributing to that fact. Rovers have only lost one of their six matches on the road, picking up 13 points from a possible 18 as a result.
This Saturday’s match marks the 50th meeting between the two sides; with their first fixture dating all the way back to 1931 when the pair played out a 1-1 draw in the old Division Three (South).
Rovers have the edge in the head-to-head record winning 20 matches to Mansfield’s 16, but the Stags did avoid defeat in the two fixtures in the 2013/2014 campaign, their most recent meetings to date.
A late own-goal at One Call Stadium secured the Bristol club a point after Lee Stevenson scored midway through the first half to hand Mansfield the opening goal. In the reverse fixture, a volley from Colin Daniel on the last day of the season condemned their opponents to relegation to the Conference after a 94-year stay in the Football League.
OVERALL RECORD: WON 16 DREW 13 LOST 20
This weekend’s referee is Mark Haywood and his assistants will be Richard Bartlett and Matthew Donohue. The fourth official for the fixtures is Mark Dwyer.
Mr Haywood has handed out 31 yellow cards and two red cards in the ten fixtures he’s taken charge of so far this campaign, with his last match being Oxford United’s 3-1 away victory over Accrington Stanley in League Two on 03 October.