All you need to know ahead of Stags visit
Luton Town v Mansfield Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 19th September 2015, kick-off 3pm
Official live online commentary on Hatters Player
• Hatters looking for first home league win
• Town 22nd in League 2 (W1 D2 L4)
• Mansfield seventh (W3 D3 L1)
• Town without suspended Scott Cuthbert
• Hamstring injury rules out Luke Guttridge
• Jack Marriott back from ban; Elliot Justham fit for return
• Head-to-head: Luton 8 wins, Mansfield 11 wins, 11 draws
TICKETS. Fancy coming tp the game? Well, tickets for the match against the Stags are now on sale at the ticket office at category B prices, details of which can be found here.
WHO? Mansfield Town, aka the Stags, are our seventh visitors to Kenilworth Road this season on Saturday. Tipped to struggle this term after an indifferent season last year, they have started this campaign well and sit in seventh place in the table. Formed in 1897 (as Mansfield Wesleyans), they finished 21st last season. They play their home games at Field Mill and at the helm is former Town player Adam Murray who, at 33, is one of the youngest managers in the Football League.
HOW ARE THEY DOING? The Stags have begun the campaign in good form and currently occupy the final Play-Off positon in League 2 having lost just once in their first seven matches. They began the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Carlisle before losing 4-1 at Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup. They then won impressively at local rivals Notts County but then lost at Accrington. A 1-1 draw at home to Oxford was then followed by a 2-1 win at York. After losing to Notts in the JPT the Stags then drew with Wimbledon before comprehensively beating Crawley 4-0 last weekend.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? The Town do not hold the most impressive of records against the Stags, winning just eight of the 30 meetings since the first came in 1932. The Town won 3-0 the last time the two sides met at Kenilworth Road last season, while the Stags last won on Bedfordshire soil back in 2013. Precisely 100 goals have been scored across the 30 games, so it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that’s an average of 3.33333333 goals per game! Luckily Saturday’s game is being played at Kenilworth Road and not Field Mill as the Town have never won in 13 League fixtures at Mansfield (although promotion was clinched with a goalless draw there in 1970!)
DID YOU KNOW? There have been many a high-scoring encounter between the two clubs over the years, including a 7-2 victory for the Hatters in the League Cup in 1989. In seven matches between 1989 and 2009 an average of 6.28 goals were scored in each game.
OLD BOYS NETWORK. The Stags are managed by former Town midfielder Adam Murray, who played just seven times for the Hatters in a short spell at the beginning of the 2010/11 season in the Conference. Other players to have played for both clubs include John Aston, Jon Shaw, Kevin and George Pilkington and Godfrey Poku.
One player to have served both the Town and the Stags with distinction was Mike Saxby. Big, commanding centre-half Mike made his League debut as an 18-year-old for Mansfield, and soon became a cult hero at Field Mill. Looking for a replacement for Chris Turner, then-Town boss David Pleat paid a massive £200,000 to bring Mike to Kenilworth Road in 1979 where he soon formed a solid defensive partnership with Paul Price and later Mal Donaghy. With the Hatters walking away with the championship of Division Two (now Championship) in 1981/82, Mike hurt his knee when turning in the area during a home clash with Crystal Palace, and injury which effectively ended his career with the Town. Mike will be in the press box on Saturday, commentating on our visitors.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Town will be without Scott Cuthbert following his red card at Notts County last weekend. Jack Marriott, however, returns from a two-match ban following his dismissal against Leyton Orient in the JPT. Goalkeeper Elliot Justham is back in contention after missing last weekend’s game through injury, but Luke Guttridge is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Dan Potts, Nathan Doyle and Paul Benson are all doubts.
MANSFIELD TEAM NEWS. A number of the Stags’ players have been struck down by a virus this week and two or three are likely to miss the trip after failing to recover from the illness. Goalkeeper Scott Shearer and winger Matty Blair are both in contention for the game after returning to full training following their respective injuries.
LIVE AND ONLINE. As ever, we’ll be reporting live from Kenilworth Road. Build-up starts at noon, so get on our early blog on the Wall for all the latest updates.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for photos, videos and all the behind-the-scenes action. Hatters Player subscribers will be able to listen to live commentary from just before 3pm with Simon Pitts in the press box.
Post-match, remember to check out the official website, YouTube channel and Player for reports, interviews and photographs and don’t forget to tune in from midday on Sunday for all the highlights in glorious HD!