STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
On Boxing Day, the Stags, having taken four points out of their last two League games, face an away trip to Northampton, a side who as usual are figuring in the playoffs contention and are likely to remain in that area of the table.
And the Cobblers were one of the clubs that crossed the league swords with the Stags in their inaugural league season. And already on October 24, 1931 did the Stags face the Cobblers in a div 3 (S) home league game, ending 2-0 to the Stags thanks to two Harry Johnson goals watched by 7,015 thus being the third-ever Stags league victory. This was to be a pointer to Northampton's visits to Field Mill as they have only managed three league wins there since then. The first was on November 9, 1968, the second one on December 30, 1989 - both times in the old third division – and the Cobblers were relegated both times! The most recent was in the final league game of last season with the Stags having already clinched the playoffs spot and the Cobblers needing a win to assure theirs. And between August 12, 1972 and August 27, 1988 (both cases were opening day league games), when an old div 3 game ended 1-1, Northampton suffered eleven consecutive defeats at the Mill to a score of 26-3. Needless to say that Field Mill has been a horror ground big style for the Cobblers! And the Stags have scored in all bar three of the so far 29 home league games at the Mill. Apart from the first-ever Northampton win in 1968, the two others were goal-less draws.
And at Northampton, the Stags have won nine out of twenty-nine league outings, winning four out of five unbeaten between March 25, 1975 (2-0, goals from Bristol City loanee Kevin Griffin and the late Gordon Hodgson) and April 2, 1983 (2-1, both goals from David Caldwell in front of only 1,988).
Here are some memorable Stags v Cobblers games:
* November 19, 1938. The Stags scored one-third of all their away League goals in the 1938-39 season by recording the first-ever away win in Cobblers Country – then at the County ground to the tune of 4-3 and three strikes from Somerfield and one from Dutton in front of 8,774
* April 29, 1961. The Stags needed to win to have the chance to avoid re-election against an already promoted Northampton side that went on to play their only season at the highest level in 1965-66 – then to be the first side to slide back to the basement after the Stags great FA Cup season in 1968-69. The Stags won 4-2 in front of 4872, Ken Wagstaff netting twice, Delapenha and Jones one apiece
* May 7, 1977. The Stags last home game and the last one overall for the Cobblers. The Stags had already secured promotion and the Cobblers needed to smash the Stags unbeaten home record to have any chance to stay up and needing Reading and Portsmouth to drop points in their remaining fixtures. None of the Cobblers' wishes came true as the Stags attended by 11,314 comfortably stuffed Northampton 3-0 due to goals from Bird, Moss and McEwan.
* April 24, 1990. Mansfield were seeking revenge for their only second home defeat against the Cobblers and gained a very vital win to secure their division 3 status and condemning the Cobblers to relegation due to goals from Trevor Christie and Mark Kearney in front of a paltry 2119 crowd.
* The 2-1 victory at County Ground on November 5, 1991 was the last in a sequence of seven consecutive away wins – the run started at Chesterfield of all venues on August 31. 2181 at County Ground on Guy Fawkes' day 1991 witnessed an Angus og and Greg Fee strike for the Stags, while Adcock netted for the Cobblers that night.
The teams faced each other in the final league game at Field Mill in each of the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. And immediately after the 2003-04 final league game, the teams faced each other again – in the playoff semi-finals. First, the Stags won 2-0 at Sixfields, when the Mendes goal halfway through the second half finally put the game beyond the Cobblers' reach and Northampton then had to score first in the return if they were to get back in the Cardiff reckoning. They did so and were even 3-0 up at one stags before Curtis pulled one back for the Stags. As the away-goals ruling did not count in the playoffs, the tie in front of a bumper 9243 crowd went into extra time – and then penalties! From the spot, the Stags converted all five while Pilkington saved Northampton's fourth, a well-taken Sabin one to pull the Stags through to the playoffs finals. It was one of my longest nights as a Stags fan! It was a historical play offs drama, to say the least. And this meant that the Stags have gone through in ALL games at knockout stages against the Cobblers!
Last season, the Stags stuffed the Cobblers 4-1 in front of 5173. The Stags scorers were Corden 2, Asamoah and Larkin while Sabin netted for the Cobblers in one of the Stags' best displays of that campaign. Lee Williamson, now at Rotherham and scored at Bradford City last Saturday, didn't play in that game and was transferred to the Cobblers only a few days after the clash at Field Mill. And Derek Asamoah, now at Lincoln, was harshly sent off against his previous club in the away game on New Years's Day, 2005. A 1-0 lead was overturned into a 2-1 defeat.
And in the 2003-04 league fixture at Sixfields, the Stags routed the Cobblers 3-0 in one of the best away displays that term. Three players no longer at the Stags, Iyseden Christie, Liam Lawrence (penalty) and Craig Disley contributed to the mauling, which also was the biggest-ever Stags victory at Northampton.
Another interesting fact is that both clubs have had a Dave Smith as manager, the Stags between 1974 and 1976, while the Cobblers had a Dave Smith in the hot seat between 1954 and 1959. And the current Cobblers manager, Colin Calderwood, started his league career at the Stags in 1982. Former Stag Mark Kearney has been youth team manager for Northampton as well. Peter Morris was acting and assistant Cobblers manager in the mid-nineties, and Clive Walker was the Cobblers manager for a while some ten years earlier.
Played for both sides: Charles Anthoney, Derek Asamoah, Kim Book, Alfred Brown, Peter Clark, Efon Elad, John Fairbrother, Greg Fee, Fred Ferrari, Kevin Hitchkock, Thomas Knox, Pat Kruse, David Logan, David Lyon, Paul Matthews, Jim McCaffrey, Edwin McLachlan, Junior Mendes, Dean Peer, Ian Phillips, Barry Richardson, Gary Saxby, Ben Sedgemore, Phil Stant, Dave Syrett, Glyn Thompson, Clive Walker, Keith Welch, Jason White (not the goalkeeper), Lee Williamson, Benjamin Wonnacott.
Home stats: P 29, W 21, D 5, L 3, GF 57, GA 21
Away stats: P 29, W 9, D 4, L 16, GF 27, GA 45
Season Home Date Away Date
1931-32 2-0 1931-10-24 0-3 1932-03-05 Div 3 (S)
1937-38 4-1 1937-08-28 0-3 1938-01-01 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 1-1 1939-03-25 4-3 1938-11-19 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 3-2 1947-04-05 0-3 1947-01-23 Div 3 (S)
1960-61 4-2 1961-04-29 0-1 1960-12-10 Div 4 (old)
1967-68 3-2 1967-09-25 1-1 1967-09-05 Div 3 (old)
1968-69 0-2 1968-11-09 0-0 1969-01-18 Div 3 (old)
1972-73 1-0 1972-08-12 0-1 1973-02-17 Div 4 (old)
1973-74 2-0 1973-09-01 0-2 1974-01-01 Div 4 (old)
1974-75 3-0 1974-10-28 2-0 1975-03-25 Div 4 (old)
1976-77 3-0 1977-05-07 1-0 1977-03-08 Div 3 (old)
1980-81 2-0 1980-10-27 1-0 1981-01-10 Div 4 (old)
1981-82 4-1 1981-09-21 1-1 1982-02-09 Div 4 (old)
1982-83 2-0 1982-12-28 2-1 1983-04-02 Div 4 (old)
1983-84 3-1 1984-05-12 1-2 1983-12-18 Div 4 (old)
1984-85 2-0 1984-12-22 0-1 1985-04-30 Div 4 (old)
1985-86 1-0 1986-01-11 0-1 1985-08-31 Div 4 (old)
1987-88 3-1 1987-10-20 0-2 1988-04-10 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 1-1 1988-08-27 1-2 1989-03-18 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 1-2 1989-12-30 2-1 1990-04-24 Div 3 (old)
1991-92 2-0 1992-03-10 2-1 1991-11-05 Div 4 (old)
1993-94 1-0 1993-12-11 1-5 1993-10-12 Div 3
1994-95 1-1 1994-09-17 1-0 1994-11-10 Div 3
1995-96 0-0 1996-02-03 3-3 1995-08-26 Div 3
1996-97 1-0 1997-03-22 0-3 1996-08-24 Div 3
1999-2000 0-0 1999-10-19 0-1 2000-04-29 Div 3
2002-03 2-1 2003-05-03 0-2 2002-09-28 Div 2
2003-04 1-2 2004-05-08 3-0 2003-11-29 Div 3
2004-05 4-1 2004-09-05 1-2 2005-01-01 League 2
2003-04 1-3 2004-05-20 2-0 2004-05-16 Div 3 playoff semifinals
(The Stags went through to the finals after winning 5-4 on penalties at Field Mill)
1948-49 2-1 (at Field Mill) 2nd round
1989-08-22 1-1 (at Field Mill) 1st round, 1st leg
1989-09-05 2-0 (at County Ground) 1st round, 2nd leg, Stags through 3-1 on aggregate
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Details from various sources (Stags centenary book, soccerbase, the history CD /update on players/ and various editions of Rothmans Football Yearbook)
Latest | December 2005