STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags follow up their most recent, somewhat lucky, three-pointer against Northampton, the eighth successive league game without defeat, with an away fixture against Bristol Rovers, a side that has been fairly inconsistent this season so far. And fact is, that the Gasheads have won more away games than those at home – six at headquarters compared to eight on the travels, only bettered by Leyton Orient, Grimsby and Carlisle, but Bristol Rovers have lost two of their three latest home fixtures, and their three last league games.
After the 4-0 rout at Chester on the same day of Carlton Palmer's resignation as Stags boss, Ian Atkins, now at Torquay was sacked as Bristol Rovers manager. He has since then been replaced by Paul Trollope – and the experienced Lennie Lawrence, who previously worked wonders with Charlton and steered them into the top flight after the 1985-86 season, is now director of Football at the Memorial Stadium.
And when the teams met at Field Mill on the opening day last season, history was written due to the fact that the Stags now have been facing both Bristol sides at home as well as away on League opening days.
And Bristol Rovers won 2-0 thanks to two goals from Agogo in front of 5709 in a game that saw two Stags goals controversially disallowed by an otherwise good FL debutant ref. And hopes were high that Bristol Rovers were to achieve something out of that campaign. But far too many draws put paid to that and one of those was the latest away clash between the sides on March 19, 2005. The Stags led 4-2 about ten minutes from time and did get a second controversial penalty awarded against them by a certain Grant Hegley, a ref that got the lowest Stagsnet rating last term. Just read the Stagsnet report of the 4-4 game!
And around Christmas, the Stags went 2-0 up before Bristol Rovers equalized just before half-time due to another controversial spot-kick. But the Stags took the lead in the second half before being robbed in injury time.
And more often than not have Bristol Rovers left Field Mill emptyhanded – i.e. six consecutive games there without scoring a single goal in the mid-sixties – out of total thirteen - when the teams were stalwarts in the old third. But twice in that period of time were the Stags hit for six when Bristol Rovers played their home games at Eastville – a 0-6 rout in 1965-66 and a 2-6 (Stags goals Partridge and Goodfellow) in the 1968-69 FA Cup QF season. That period also saw a high-scoring draw to the tune of 4-4 on October 15, 1966 when Rowland scored twice for the Stags, Mitchinson and Brace one apiece at Eastville in front of 7599. It was the ONLY Stags away point at Bristol Rovers between 1963-64 and 1971-72. In the 1966-67 season, both sides finished just a couple of points short of the second automatic promotion place. QPR had then run away with the first one already by Christmas 1966. Needless to say that Bristol Rovers failed to score at Field Mill that season as a very good crowd of 12815 (in fact the Stags' best home gate that term) saw Morris and Mitchinson send the Pirates home without anything on March 4, 1967.
But at Bristol Rovers, the Stags haven't lost a league game since October 3, 1987. Five games since then have yielded TWO Stags wins, their very first there, and three draws.
And does any current Bristol Rovers supporter remember that about half of the Pirates' strikes at Field Mill were achieved just before World War II? Here are the facts:
In all the four seasons the Stags did play in the old Southern section, Bristol Rovers were the opponents and six of the Bristol team's goals at Field Mill in league fixtures were scored during that period. This was done on January 30, 1932, when 7118 watched the Stags go down 3-0 and on Christmas Eve, 1938, when Gardiner scored the consolation goal in a 1-3-defeat watched by 3343 – the second of six consecutive league defeats then. And the first-ever Stags win against the Gasheads was also achieved in the thirties, when a solitary Read scoring in front of 3222 on January 15, 1938, clinched the game in favour of the Stags. And the first Stags point at Bristol Rovers was achieved in the first-ever league game between the sides. This was an away one on September 19, 1931. A penalty, converted by England, was the Stags' first-ever in league history and that was enough to secure a 1-1 draw, the Stags' second away point, in front of 10770.
Even in the first post-war season when the Stags finished bottom, were Bristol Rovers soundly beaten early on in the 1946-47 season. On September 21, 1946, two goals from the later Yeovil FA Cup hero Bryant and a strike by Calverley in front of a good crowd of 9183 put the Stags on the winning trail.
The teams also met in the Stags' solitary season in the old 2nd division and a home game on April 24, 1978, was won 3-0 – in fact the last Mansfield win that season thanks to two goals from John Aston and one from Johnny Miller. Another memorable rout was the 5-0 on January 31, 1987 – the Keith Cassells show that figured on the Swedish pools coupons – of course I predicted a banker Stags win and was proved right. Only once have the teams met in the FA Cup – and that was in the 3rd round in the 1957-58 season. The Stags were drawn away and were routed 5-0 on January 4, 1958. At that time, Bristol Rovers were a solid top-half team in the old second division finishing 10th while the Stags qualified for the then old third ending up as 6th in the final season of the old div 3 (N).
Among those who have played for both sides are ex-Stags manager Keith Curle (who in fact did play for both Bristol teams) and the current Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd as well as currently Craig Disley.
Played for both sides: Adam Barrett, Stewart Barrowclough, Andy Beasley, Adrian Boothroyd, Keith Curle, Jimmy Daws, Craig Disley, Stephen Foster, Roger Frude, Chris Hackett, Scott Jones, Phil Kite, Trevor Morgan, Ernest Parker, Noel Parkinson, Nicky Platnauer, Mark Smalley, Tom Stanton, Jackie Storer, Reg Trotman, Ryan Williams, Jimmy Wilson.
Home games: P 22, W 13, D 5, L 4, GF 38, GA 16
Away games: P 21, W 2, D 7, L 12, GF 23, GA 49
1931-32 0-3 1932-01-30 1-1 1931-09-19 Div 3 (S)
1937-38 1-0 1938-01-15 0-0 1937-09-04 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 1-3 1938-12-24 0-3 1938-08-27 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 3-1 1946-09-21 0-1 1947-01-25 Div 3 (S)
1963-64 2-0 1964-04-11 2-3 1963-11-30 Div 3 (old)
1964-65 3-0 1964-12-12 1-4 1964-08-22 Div 3 (old)
1965-66 2-0 1965-09-04 0-6 1966-02-19 Div 3 (old)
1966-67 2-0 1967-03-04 4-4 1966-10-15 Div 3 (old)
1967-68 3-0 1968-03-11 0-2 1967-09-09 Div 3 (old)
1968-69 0-0 1968-10-26 2-6 1969-03-25 Div 3 (old)
1969-70 1-1 1969-09-20 1-4 1970-01-10 Div 3 (old)
1970-71 4-1 1971-01-16 0-2 1970-10-20 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 0-0 1971-10-09 1-2 1972-03-11 Div 3 (old)
1977-78 3-0 1978-04-24 1-3 1977-10-04 Div 2 (old)
1986-87 5-0 1987-01-31 0-0 1986-09-13 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 1-0 1988-02-27 1-2 1987-10-03 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 2-1 1988-10-08 0-0 1989-02-18 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 0-1 1989-08-26 1-1 1990-01-13 Div 3 (old)
2001-02 2-0 2002-04-06 1-0 2001-11-20 Div 3
2003-04 0-0 2004-04-12 3-1 2003-09-30 Div 3
2004-05 0-2 2004-08-07 4-4 2005-03-19 League Two
2005-06 3-3 2005-12-28 (at Field Mill) League Two
1957-58 0-5 1958-01-04 3rd round at Eastville
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Vastly updated player section courtesy of the history CD
Latest | March 2006