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Archived News from May 2003

6th May 2003 23:17

Statistics Snippets of 2002/2003 Season

By Martin Shaw, with thanks to Paul Taylor

The Stags 12 home league defeats was the worst in their league history, eclipsing 10 in 1960/61 and 1990/91. 26 defeats overall is also a club record.

Stags suffered four consecutive home league defeats (against Chesterfield, Crewe, QPR and Cheltenham) to equal the worse sequence in the club's history. Defeat at home to Derby in the Worthington Cup during the same run made it the worst sequence ever. Later in the season, Stags lost a further three home games on the trot.

The away win at Luton in September broke a sequence of 11 away league games without a win, stretching back to a win at Lincoln City in February.

Stags won just 3 away games. Two of these were in the first 4 away games under new manager Keith Curle.

The following sequence of league defeats: 0-5 against Crewe, 0-4 against QPR and 1-6 against Oldham, represented the worst sequence of league thrashings in the club's history (defined in terms of goal difference, in 3 successive games). It beat the previous worst sequence of 0-7, 2-5, 1-4 in 1933 (when all 3 were away).

The 97 league goals conceded was the worst since 1959/60 when 112 goals were conceded during another relegation season.

Stags kept just 5 clean sheets. This was the fewest since 1981/82 when the club also kept 5 clean sheets, in finishing 20th in Division 4. Three of the 5 clean sheets came in the first 6 games under new manager Curle.

Stags scored 66 league goals. This was only six fewer than the previous season when promotion was achieved. It was also only two fewer than champions Wigan. Of the teams who finished outside the play-offs, only Luton scored more goals.

Stags scored 4 or more goals in 6 league games, which was once more than in each of the previous two seasons.

Stags were awarded 11 penalties during the season. Incredibly they missed the first 5 and scored the next 6. Corden missed 2 (though he scored one from a rebound) and scored 4, Christie missed 2, Lawrence missed 1 and scored 2.

Iyseden Christie's hat-trick in a 10-minute spell against Colchester was the quickest by a Stags player since his own in 4 minutes against Stockport in the League Cup in a 4-2 win in August 1997.

Stags conceded an incredible 14 goals after 87 minutes or later, and scored only 2 in the same period. If games were cut at 87 minutes, Stags would have gained 13 points and lost 3 points (i.e. a net gain of 10 points).

Leading scorers were Iyseden Christie (18 league, 1 cup), Wayne Corden (13 league), Liam Lawrence (10 league, 2 cup), Colin Larkin (7 league), Andy White (6 league).

Christie's 18 league goals earned 10 points. Amazingly White's 6 goals also earned 10 points. Corden's 13 goals also earned 10 points, Lawrence's 10 goals earned 7 points, and Larkin's 7 goals earned 3 points.

Stags failed to score in 17 out of 46 league games, compared to 11 the previous season and 12 the season before that.

For much of the season, manager Keith Curle claimed that 50 points would be enough to avoid relegation. In the end this was exactly right. Stags ended the season with 44 points and an extra 6 points would have seen them above Chesterfield on goal difference. Most supporters believed that the home defeats against Peterborough and Port Vale on successive Saturdays towards the end of the season were definitive. Had these games been won, Stags would have survived.

Up to the point where manager Stuart Watkiss was sacked, the first 20 games yielded 15 points. Under new manager Keith Curle, the final 26 games yielded 29 points. Assuming the same points per game ratio under Keith Curle over an entire 46 games, Stags would have achieved 51 points: just enough to avoid relegation. Stags did win the first 3 games under Curle, but from the next 20 games, they only achieved 16 points: just one more than in the opening 20 games under Watkiss.

Stags average home league attendance was 4,887. This was a fall of 32 (<1%) from 4,919 in the promotion season.

The highest home attendance was 8,134 against Notts County and the lowest (in the league) was against Colchester: 3,414.

The average away following at Field Mill was 834.

The average Stags following at away games was 773, amongst an average attendance at away games of 6,967 (these figures exclude the abandoned game at Tranmere, and include 100 people let in free at Cheltenham).

Liam Lawrence swept the board of Player of the Season awards. He received over 50% of the votes in each of the Stags Supporters Association and CHAD polls. Alex John-Baptiste won the Jack Retter Award for most promising youth team player.

Stags used an amazing 40 players in league and cup games during the season. This was easily the most since joining the football league in 1931, and compares with just 27 used in each of the previous two seasons.

Stags handed league debuts to 9 players (Beardsley, Buxton, Hankey, Holyoak, Hurst, John-Baptiste, Jones, Mitchell and Jason White), compared to 2 the previous season and 3 the season before that.

No player played in every league game. The only players to play in more than 40 league games were Wayne Corden, Liam Lawrence, and Craig Disley. In the previous three seasons, Stags had always had at least one “ever-present” player.

Stags had no home games postponed due to bad weather during the season. This was a testament to groundsman Rob Sprigg.



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