Will The Stags have a managerial bounce?
Mansfield are 22nd in League 2 without a win so far this season, having drawn 7 and lost 4 of their games. But the appointment of a new manager in the last week may well improve their fortunes. With 14 England caps, and over 600 appearances at the top level (with 131 goals), Nigel Clough has some pedigree. He has also managed Derby County, Sheffield United and Burton Albion before his arrival at Mansfield. The visit to The New Lawn will be Clough’s first league game in charge.
Things have been better for Mansfield in the FA Cup – a 1-0 away win against Sunderland in the 1st round has handed them a home tie against Dagenham & Redbridge in the 2nd.
Rovers fans will remember a familiar figure at Mansfield – Farrend Rawson. Nottingham-born Farrend joined Mansfield in July 2020 though he has yet to make an appearance for the 1st team.
Keep an eye out for Mansfield defender, James Perch, who signed for his home-town club in August 2020. Now 35 years old, Perch has over 80 Premier League appearances for Newcastle behind him. He has 1 goal and 1 assist to his name already.
Mansfield play at Field Mill, which lays claim to being the oldest professional football ground in the world (used for football since 1861). Mansfield didn’t start playing at Field Mill until just after the First World War when their rivals, Mansfield Mechanics, were evicted from the venue for not paying their rent.
Mansfield started life as the Mansfield Wesleyans. But when the local league they played in (the Mansfield District Amateur League) dropped the word ‘Amateur’ from their title, the Wesleyan church turned their back on the club and forbade them from using the word ‘Wesleyans’. As an act of defiance the club called themselves Mansfield Wesley in the early 1900’s. This isn’t the only brush the club had with religion at the time – in 1909 their chairman Fred Abraham and secretary James Marples resigned, later to be banned by the FA for serious irregularities. They had committed the (then) heinous crime of signing a player on the Sabbath (the day of rest).
The club, like many, has had its ups and downs. Some yo-yo’ing between the 3rd and 4th tiers of English football, a spell in the Conference (National League) between 2008 and 2013, and controversies with their owners. The club, now owned by John and Carolyn Radford, seem to be sailing in calmer waters these days.
Mansfield is a former market town in Nottinghamshire, just east of the M1. In more recent years, brewing, soft drinks and coal have dominated the town but there is little sign of any of these industries in the town now (other than the fact many Mansfield streets have suffered from mining subsidence). Rebecca Adlington, Richard Bacon, and Lib Dem leader Ed Davey all come from Mansfield.