12:00am, Fri 3rd Oct 2008
MANSFIELD TOWN v WOKING
3pm on Saturday 4 October 2008
(N.B. Away fans cannot buy tickets on the day for this game.)
Our first-ever game against the Stags sees us travel there at a time when they sit in third place in the table, with five wins and a draw in their first six home games. But confidence is high in the Cards? camp and it wouldn?t be a great surprise to see us get a point at least, although we need to score more goals if we?re not to rely unduly on our defensive attributes.
Now that Phil Gilchrist has got us winning at home, we need to start picking up some points away from Kingfield too, although Field Mill is clearly not an easy place to add to the solitary point we?ve gained on our travels so far, at Oxford United. A solid defence - no goals conceded in the games against Salisbury and Histon ? ought to provide us with a sound platform for away games but, at both York and Ebbsfleet, we came unstuck in spite of looking very secure for most of those games. It is to be hoped that Colin Miles, who limped off in the game last Saturday, recovers in time: he?s not the fastest defender around but his positioning is generally superb. Assuming everyone is fit, Phil seems likely to start with the same side that kicked off in the last two games.
The news from Phil Gilchrist on Wednesday was that, although quite a few players picked up knocks from the Histon game, he was expecting everyone to be fit apart from Paolo Vernazza and Abdou El Kholti, neither of whom is expected to be available for the home game against Weymouth on Tuesday evening.
Billy McEwan, the former York manager, has done a great job so far in quickly assembling a team following his arrival at the beginning of June, when he found only six players on the club?s books. Players brought in during the summer included Adie Moses (Lincoln), Michael Blackwood (Kidderminster via Oxford), Mark Stallard (Lincoln), Jason Lee (Notts Co), Gary Silk (Notts Co), Matt Somner (Notts Co), Alan O?Hare (Chesterfield) and Gavin Hurren (Kidderminster). The most recent arrival is full back James Kay from Sheffield Wednesday. Jason Lee was, of course, famous at one time for his ?pineapple? haircut but he looks a bit different now!
The Stags are definitely ?home boys?, winning their first five games at Field Mill (against Histon, Kidderminster, Northwich, Grays and Eastbourne) before drawing against Cambridge United.
Overshadowing their good start are allegations of impropriety over player registrations, with a hearing due on Monday into suggestions that ineligible players were fielded in their first two games. There is a separate dispute about the registration of former Grays striker, Aaron O?Connor.
Mansfield Town FC
Field Mill Ground
Notts NG18 5 DA
Tel: 0870 7563160
Leaves 10.00am. Members ?19. Non-Members ?24. Phone the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book your place.
Exit M1 at J28; take A38 towards Mansfield; after about six miles turn right, at crossroads, into Belvedere Street; then, a quarter of a mile on, turn right into Quarry Street.
You could get the 10.55 from St Pancras, arriving at Nottingham at 12.34 and then catch the 12.56 to Mansfield, getting in at 13.27. Trains back leave at 17.13 and 17.46. The station is only five minutes? walk from the ground: leave the station and cross over the road towards the retail park and the floodlights of the ground.
The two teams have never met before.
Come on, you Cards!
N.B. Don?t forget that the Cards are at home to John Hollins?s Weymouth side on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.