Mansfield Town v Stevenage [Match Preview]

By Pete H

You don’t want to go too long without a win” – but it’s now three straight defeats and Revs will be hoping it’s not becoming a habit. How much you think the MK Dons match midweek matters is up to you. The Trophy (is it still called that) ain’t the biggest fish we’ll be frying this season. But it all counts in the grand scheme of things. And now we’re heading up to Mansfield Town for a match that could tell us more about the direction we’re going.

The Details: Mansfield Town v Stevenage

Where’s the game?

This match is taking place at Field Mill – to give its non-corporate name. One Call Stadium is the official nomenclature, in case their sponsors get jumpy that little old us can’t be bothered to type that out in full. Anyway, the address (not that you need it) is: Quarry Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Europe, The World, Milky Way, Space…

…NG18 5DA

Can I watch Mansfield Town v Stevenage

Of course. Until the government relent and #LetFansIn, you can use iFollow. You Follow, we Follow, everyone Follows… for a tenner or as part of your season ticket.

How are Boro’ shaping up…?

It’s hard to be *that* worried at this point in time, however. It was only about this time last year that we bagged our first win; 1-0 at Wycombe in the Trophy. But it’s no good pointing at last term and saying “yeah, but we’re better”. Losing is something we hate. Last week indoors against Salford, we were made to look distinctly second best during the second half. And little was done to stem the tide. We’re all still learning, that’s not in doubt. But the Ammies gave us a strong lesson that we need to take much from.

… and how are they looking?

It’s a slow start to the season for the Stags. Four league games in and they’re still chasing a first win. Two draws from their first two outings has since turned into two straight defeats – and we know about that sort of shift in fortune too. The cups aren’t being much kinder to them. So, on the face of it, we have an opponent who don’t know what it’s like to win at the moment. But that always ends up being the most dangerous situation for us.

Just don’t give ’em an inch, we say.

Our story with Mansfield Town so far

Our home game with the Stags last season is one of those we’ll never see the outcome of; lost to Covid-19 and the utter chaos it brought on the 2019-20 campaign. It means we’ll go back more than a year to find our last meeting; a rare clean sheet for Dino Maamria’s side, with a goalless draw earning us a point. But draws are rare when we go up against this lot. From 15 past meetings, there have been just two occasions when we couldn’t be separated.

So, it means one of us tends to come out on top. The 2018-9 season saw us trade wins at each other’s gaff; us winning 2-1 at theirs, after going down 3-1 at ours. Our recent record favours the Stags, though. Since their return to the Football League, we’ve won just three of our 11 meetings. It means they now have seven victories overall to our six; half of which go back to our Conference days. But three of our wins have also been at Field Mill.

It’s not exactly a place we need to fear going.

Last Meeting: Mansfield Town 0-0 Stevenage, 24 August 2019

Who’s the referee in charge?

Seb Stockbridge.

If this is to end up in a fourth straight defeat for Boro’, it’ll have to go against our record on Mr Stockbridge’s watch so far. In the three previous games when he’s been in charge, our return is two draws and one win. And would you Adam and Eve it? One of those draws was the 1-1 between us and the Stags in April 2018.

For the man himself, this is game number six so far this season. He’s handed out 18 yellows up to this point; his last two outings seeing five cards apiece. No reds yet, however.

Last Meeting: Stevenage 1-0 Macclesfield Town, 08 September 2018

I have £1 to bet – what are my options?

Our three recent defeats are doing little to convince the bookies that we’re worth putting a punt on. Everyone you’ll turn to, like this betting site in Kenya, thinks our hosts are primed for a first win of the campaign. You’ll be lucky to get ’em at a price that ain’t odds-on, from what we can tell. As ever, it means a Boro’ win could turn a tidy sum if you choose to back it. Elsewhere, losing to Salford made it the first time this season we didn’t score. We’ll stick our necks on the line and say we’ll get back into that particular habit; Inih Effiong our pick. Our ability to keep a clean sheet isn’t yet proven, though. So it’s Both Teams To Score for us too.

Are you asking us to pick a score? It’s a Desmond for us, Clive – 2-2.