After an injury time winner at home to Colchester United on Saturday, Simon Weaver's side get set for a pair of away fixtures this week, heading to Crewe next weekend but first face the difficult prospect of a tomorrow night's fixture at Mansfield Town.
Jack Muldoon’s strike was enough to secure a 1-0 victory as well as seeing Simon Weaver’s side move into the playoff positions but the Stags will provide a stern test of Town’s unbeaten run
After just missing out on the playoffs a season ago Mansfield were installed as one of the favourites for promotion and have not disappointed so far, kicking off the season with a long unbeaten run that put them firmly in the frame of the automatic positions.
And they come into tomorrow’s clash in second spot on 57 points, with a four point cushion back to the playoff positions, having defeated bottom side Forest Green 4-0 in their last outing.
Mansfield’s 4-1 win at The Envirovent Stadium earlier in the season was their first over Simon Weaver’s side in seven outings.
At the One Call Stadium Town are protecting a 100% record in their three meetings so far. In 2020/21 Calvin Miller’s strike was enough to secure a 1-0 victory with the following season Town cancelling out Rhys Oates’s early strike to triumph 3-1 with strikes from Luke Armstrong, Jack Muldoon and George Thomson.
A season ago Town took a 2-0 lead thanks to a Chad Kilgour own goal and an effort from Matty Daly and although George Swan reduced the arrears it wasn’t enough to prevent Town running out 2-1 winners.
The man in charge
Nigel Clough is the man in charge at Field Mill. After a stellar playing career for Nottingham Forest and latterly Liverpool, Manchester City and Burton Albion, as well as earning 14 England caps.
After hanging up his boots he went into management taking Burton Albion through the divisions over the course of a decade before following his father’s path by taking the Derby County job where he is in the hot seat for four years. A brief spell at Sheffield United then followed before a return to Burton Albion.
Clough took over at Mansfield midway through the 2020/21 season.
Ones to watch
Davis Keillor-Dunn is having an influential season from midfield, netting fifteen times and adding five assists so far. Midfield partner George Maris has eight goals and five assists.
Forward Lucas Akins has seven goals in support whilst veteran Stephen Quinn has seven assists from midfield.
During the summer the club added Aden Flint from Stoke City, with the defender playing a big part in their strong defensive performance and after a loan spell during 2022/23 ‘keeper Christie Pym made a permanent move to the club this summer and has been an ever present so far.
The club added forward Tom Nicholls from Gillingham in the January window to provide further options in attack.
The Stags have spent all but one season of their long tenure in the Football League in the bottom two divisions, and apart from the 2003/04 season have spent the majority of time residing in the fourth tier since the turn of the century.
They also spent five seasons in the National League following relegation in 2008 before returning in 2013 where they have remained since. They have reached the League Two play-off final since their return, losing to Newport County on penalties in the 2018/19 season and to Port Vale in 2021/22.
Simon Weaver continues to be without long term absentees Mark Oxley, Lewis Thomas and Rod McDonald.