Continuing our review of this season’s opponents, we take at look at the third side to visit Brunton Park in the new campaign - Mansfield Town.
Nicknames: The Stags, The Yellows
Club Colours: Yellow & Blue
Who are they?
Founded under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans in 1897, the Stags changed their name to Mansfield Town in 1910. They entered the Midlands Counties League in 1921 having taken over the lease at lease at Field Mill after the First World War.
Mansfield were elected to the Southern section of the Third Division in 1931 and spent much of the 20th century bouncing between the third and fourth tiers. There were some memorable cup runs, however, including a 3-0 win over a West Ham side including World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst in 1969.
More yo-yoing followed into the 21st century, with the club’s 77-year stay in the Football League eventually coming to an end in 2007/08 as they were relegated to the Conference.
They spent five years out of the Football League, before earning promotion back to the fourth tier in 2013 after winning the Conference.
Did You Know?
+ After becoming Mansfield Town in 1910, the club originally played in red and white and later black and white before changing to their now recognised yellow.
+ The Stags became the first British team to go unbeaten in a 23-game season during the 1950/51 campaign, but finished second in the league.
+ The club has won only one cup in their history - the Football League Trophy in 1987. It came after a penalty shootout victory over Bristol City.
How did they get on last season?
An indifferent start to the 2016/17 campaign saw Adam Murray lose his job in November, with Steve Evans swiftly brought in to replace him. The Scot oversaw a drastic change in Mansfield’s fortunes, guiding them to a 12th place finish. The side were in play-off contention until the final weeks of the season, and will be looking to build on that into the new season.
Who’s in charge?
An experienced head in the Football League, Steve Evans took charge at Field Mill last year after leaving Championship side Leeds United. Evans started his managerial career at non-league Stamford before two spells at Boston United brought him into the limelight. This was followed by a five-year spell at Crawley Town, in which time he led them to an FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Manchester United while helping the Red Devils to clinch promotion to the Football League for the first time. Evans also enjoyed time in charge at Rotherham United before his short tenure at Elland Road.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Mansfield have been busy in the transfer market so far, bringing in 12 new players, having released 11 squad members at the end of the last campaign. Goalkeeper Conrad Logan and centre back Zander Diamond moved to Field Mill early on, while Jimmy Spencer, Paul Digby and Paul Anderson joined shortly after. Ex-Peterborough duo Hayden White and Lee Angol have also put pen to paper with Jacob Mellis, David Mirfin, Johnny Hunt, Will Atkinson and Bobby Olejnik rounding off the summer business so far.
They’ve Played For Both
Midfielder Adam Murray had three separate spells at Field Mill, including one as player-manager, while also spending time at Brunton Park. He made a total of 170 appearances while at Mansfield and became a popular figure at the club. His short spell in Cumbria saw Murray make 46 appearances while netting twice - including a memorable goal at the Millennium Stadium in the 2-1 Football League Trophy defeat to Swansea.
Memorable Meeting - Mansfield 1-1 Carlisle (22 April 2006)
An army of Blues fans descended on Field Mill hoping to see promotion clinched as the Cumbrians sat top of League Two. But it didn’t go to plan initially - Richie Barker handing the Stags the lead after 66 minutes. Just as it looked as if the champagne would have to go on ice for one more week, Karl Hawley prodded home an injury time equaliser sparking scenes of jubilation as United clinched promotion to the third tier.
To watch highlights of last season's 5-2 home victory, back in November, click the play button below:
When Did We Last Meet?
The two sides last met on 18 March 2017 as second half strikes from Matt Green and Shaquille Coulthirst saw Mansfield take the three points courtesy of a 2-0 win.
When Do We Meet Next?
The Stags visit Brunton Park on 2 September while the return trip is on New Year’s Day.