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PREVIEW: MANSFIELD TOWN

All you need to know ahead of Saturday's home game

13 September 2019

SCENE SETTER

Reds take on Mansfield Town in a meeting of the teams in 11th and 12th place in Sky Bet League 2 on Saturday, kick off 3pm. 

THE FORM GUIDE

Reds have only lost once in league and cup since the opening day of the season and came from behind to draw 1-1 at Macclesfield last Saturday. Mansfield have won on the road at Carlisle and last Saturday they defeated Scunthorpe United 2-0 when Danny Rose was on target for the sixth time this season. 

PAST MEETINGS

Crawley and Mansfield have met 14 times in league action – six times in non-league and eight times in the Football League.

The first meeting was back in 2008, when the Reds ran out 2-0 winners at home thanks to goals from Adam Quinn and Jamie Cook.

We then lost the next three encounters with the Stags before recording a fantastic 4-1 win at Field Mill in our Conference winning season. Dannie Bulman, Matt Tubbs and Craig McAllister (2), were all on target in that fixture. Tubbs was on target again in the return fixture, alongside Kyle McFadzean, in a 2-0 win.

We have beaten Mansfield just once in the Football League era. That came in December 2017 when Joe McNerney (pictured celebrating with Mark Randall) and Ibrahim Meite – in his first spell with Crawley - were on target in a 2-0 win.

Two of our last three matches at Mansfield have ended in defeat. A 4-0 loss in September 2015 saw Gwion Edwards sent off and a 3-1 defeat the following season meant our dismal record at the One Call Stadium continued.

On the final day of the 2017-18 season, Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s opener was cancelled out by Kane Hemmings in a 1-1 draw which meant the Reds sealed a fourteenth place finish in Harry Kewell’s first season in charge.

Our last trip to Mansfield was another defeat for the Reds. Having originally been scheduled for November 2018, the match was called off just an hour before kick off due to torrential rain in Nottinghamshire throughout the day meant the pitch at the One Call was deemed unplayable by the referee and ground staff.

When the tie took place in early January, the Reds were unlucky not to have got at least a point from the game as a number of spurned chances cost us the game as Tyler Walker scored in the 88th minute to continue the Reds dreadful away record. Two months later the sides drew 0-0 at The People's Pension Stadium.

TEAM NEWS

Joe McNerney is back in training after a back problem but it might be too soon for him to make a competitive comeback. The Stags had as many as ten players unavailable last month but their injury problems are clearing up. Craig Davies and Jordan Graham are both out but striker Andy Cook and goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik could be in contention after returning in the reserves last week. 

VIEW FROM THE OPPOSITION

John Dempster - Mansfield boss who played for Reds between 2011-12:

“It was a successful time under Steve Evans. We had back-to-back promotions from the Conference and then automatic promotion on the last day in League Two.

“They were happy times. We had an incredible team spirit with some brilliant characters – it was almost ‘Crazy Gang-like’ at times.

“I look back with fond memories but also realise the similarities to us. There have been loads of changes on and off the pitch since I was there, so there won’t be too many familiar faces. But I am not going there for a ‘mothers’ meeting’ and to shake peoples’ hands. We are going there to hopefully bring three points back to Mansfield.

“We don’t fear anyone in this league and we will be going there to try to get the maximum return. If we are at our very best I am sure we can do that.

“Their form at home is good, so it’s a massive challenge, but we’re going there hoping to upset that. I have had them watched several times and they are a very mobile team.

“The loan signings that they have injected into the squad have improved them no end so we’re going to have to be on our mettle to go there and bring the points home as the reports we’ve had have been very positive."

THE MATCH OFFICIALS

Scott Oldham will be in charge. His last Crawley game was our 4-2 defeat at Carlisle United in April. He was also in charge at Roots Hall last November when Reds drew 1-1 with Southend United in the FA Cup and the 2-1 defeat at Oldham in August 2018.

During the previous season Mr Oldham took charge of our 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham, the 3-2 win at Accrington Stanley and the 2-1 success in January 2018 against Notts County at Meadow Lane. He has shown 17 yellow cards in six games so far this season. 

On Saturday he will be assisted by Nick Cooper and Michael Webb with Steve Brown the fourth official. 

TICKETS

Tickets are on sale for all areas of the stadium. More information here

HOW THEY BET*

Crawley win: 7/5

Draw: 23/10

Mansfield Town win: 9/5

*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly. 

COVERAGE

The game will be available for UK subscribers of iFollow from 2.55pm with live commentary from BBC Sussex & Surrey Sport's Gary Smith and Steve Copping.

You must be a subscriber to listen (UK) to this service. You can subscribe here.

There will also be coverage across our social media channels throughout the game. @crawleytown on Twitter, Crawley Town FC on Facebook and officialcrawleytownfc on Instagram followed by post-match report and reaction.

COME ON YOU REDS!


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