After claiming a dramatic point at Bradford in midweek, Town face another side looking to close the gap on the leagues top sides this weekend, as they journey to fourth-place Mansfield Town.
Victory for Scott Lindsey’s charges on Saturday would see them leapfrog The Stags and move further into the play-off spots.
As part of our look ahead to the game, we’ve done some digging on Nigel Clough’s side to give you an insight into our next opponents.
The lowdown on Mansfield…
The club was founded in 1897 as Mansfield Wesleyans and entered the Mansfield & District Amateur League in 1902, before changing their name to Mansfield Wesley and joining the Notts & District League in 1906.
They finally took their current name in 1910 and moved from the Notts & Derbyshire League to the Central Alliance the following year.
They were crowned champions in 1919/20 and joined the Midland League in 1921, which they’d go on to win on three separate occasions in 1923/24, 1924/25 and 1928/29.
In 1931, they were admitted into the Football League.
They suffered relegation from the Third Division in 1960, but won promotion out of the fourth tier in 1962/63, remaining here for nine seasons until a further demotion in 1972.
The 1974/75 season brought with it promotion to the Third and Second Division for the first time in 1976/77, only to go on a suffer the heartbreak of two relegations in three campaigns.
Ian Greaves guided The Stags out of the Fourth Division in 1985/86, where they went on to win the Football League Trophy in 1986/87.
Mansfield were however demoted in 1991 and promoted again the following year, only to keep up their yo-yo form with another relegation the following season.
They won promotion once again in 2001/02, but were relegated in 2003, losing their Football League status with a further demotion in 2008.
They spent five seasons in the Conference until gaining promotion back into the Football League after winning the title in 2012/13 following investment from new club owner John Radford.
Field Mill, or The One Call Stadium, is the oldest ground in the Football League.
It’s been hosting football since 1861, although some reports date back as far as 1850.
When full, the ground can hold 10,000 spectators when fully open, but due to safety restrictions, currently holds 9,186.
Field Mill is now fully owned by John and Carolyn Radford after a series of payment instalments from 2012 were concluded in early 2019.
Did you know? The stadium once hosted a pop concert under the previous owner, Keith Haslam, but the sale included a clause preventing use for non-sports events until 2032.
The last five previous meetings…
Our last five encounters have all come in League Two, with just the one defeat for Town, coming in the most recent clash.
The Stags edged a five goal thriller at Field Mill back in January last season, with Harry McKirdy and Ellis Iandolo scoring that day.
Earlier that campaign, a single Tyreece Simpson goal was enough for Town to beat Nigel Clough’s side at The County Ground back in August last year.
Town recorded an identical win the season before in November 2019, winning one-nil at SN1 thanks to Eoin Doyle’s goal on 23-minutes.
In 2018, both league meetings in October and December finished in goalless draws.
Mansfield this term…
Just a four-goal difference separates Town and Mansfield with the pair both locked on 27-points.
Clough’s side currently sit fourth in the standings with Swindon two places below them, although Saturday’s hosts do have a game in hand.
Swindon held their nerve to claim a well-deserved point away at Bradford City in midweek, while Mansfield are on a run of two games without a victory, drawing at home to Newport on Tuesday night and losing to Crawley last weekend.
Mansfield don’t tend to draw many, and have done well considering they recorded just one win in their opening four matches in all competitions when the new season began.
Nigel Clough is well-known in the game as both a player and manager at the highest level of football and in the lower echelons of the Football League pyramid.
Now in his fifth appointment having had two spells in charge of Burton Albion and holding the reins at the likes of Derby County and Sheffield United, Clough embarked on his Mansfield adventure back in November 2020.
The 56-year-old is best known in the managerial circle for guiding Burton Albion to a second place finish in League One back in the 2015/16 – the club’s first ever promotion to the Championship.
Players to watch…
Plenty of experience and some in-form performers is no doubt playing it’s part in Mansfield’s successful season thus far.
Striker George Lapslie has fired five league goals for Nigel Clough’s side this term, with fellow forward Will Swan, on loan from Nottingham Forest, chasing his tally with four to his name at present.
Former MK Dons, Crewe and Leyton Orient forward Jordan Bowery is in the ranks, and is just one goal shy of the twenty mark for the club since joining.
The versatile Ollie Hawkins brings with him League One experience having had spells at both Portsmouth and Ipswich Town.
James Perch has played at a higher level, and now at the age of 37, is one of their older heads.
Talented defender Ryan Harbottle, also on loan from Premier League side Forest, has made a big impact at the club since joining in July for the season, finding the net three times.