STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags will kick off the new league season with an away game at the side which challenged them very strongly in the first Championship season 1974-75, Shrewsbury Town. But it will not be the first time the Stags have played the Shrews on an opening day. They did so at Field Mill in the season after the 1974-75 Championship, on August 16, 1975. Thence, it was the first time since September 1968, Sandy Pate did not figure in a Stags shirt, and secondly, Shrewsbury won 2-1 at Field Mill but the Stags gained revenge at Gay Meadow to the same scoreline on April 2, 1976, thus being the fifth Stags' consecutive away win out of seven during the 19-game unbeaten run.in.
Last season, the Shrews were routed 4-0 at Field Mill on October 7 thanks to an early goal from Coke and a six-minute second-half three-goal blitz from Rundle, Barker and Uhlenbeek in front of 3334. This away game was originally due to be played on November 19, 2005, but had to be postponed due to tragic circumstances. When last season's away game eventually was played on January 17, 2006, the sides fought out a goal-less draw. This means that Shrewsbury haven't beaten the Stags in the League since the Shrews' return from a one-year Conference stint two seasons ago.
And the teams played each other very frequently in the sixties and the seventies – as the Shrews were somewhat of an inventory of the old third division. The proof: Between 1959-60 – under Arthur Rowley as player-manager, while at the Shrews he completed his unbeatable post-war scoring record of 434 league goals – and 1978-79, they were out of that division only ONCE. But that season was the 1974-75 one, in which the Stags and Shrewsbury were almost neck-to-neck in the division 4 promotion battle throughout that campaign. But at the end, the Stags were clear-cut worthy champions with the Shrews in an equally clear-cut runners-up position. The pointers were the two clashes between the sides either side of the New Year. On December 7, 1974, the first Field Mill five-figure attendance for about three years, 10070, saw the Stags win 3-1 thanks to two goals from Lathan and one from Eccles, Shrewsbury scoring by Bates, and go four points clear of Shrewsbury at the top – and just a month later, on January 11, 1975, the Stags won at Gay Meadow by the only goal of the game by McCaffrey in front of another good crowd, 8913, and definitely pull clear at the top. And that 1-0 at Gay Meadow was the Stags' first-ever win there, clinched in their 12th attempt. The first attempt was in Shrewsbury's inaugural league season, when the teams faced each other home and away in the space of a few days at the very end of 1950-51 – the Stags' best early post-war one. The 1-0 in 1975 was the first of seven consecutive Stags away games at Shrewsbury unbeaten during a space of 25 years. Among them was the Stags' biggest-ever away victory at Gay Meadow – a 3-0 on October 6, 1990, scorers Kent, Christie and Fairclough in front of 2587. And that was only the second time the Stags had managed three goals at Shrewsbury, the first one was already on October 3, 1959, when two goals from Hollett and one from Ripley weren't enough. 8822 watched Arthur Rowley's Shrews hit the Stags for six then. And only twice have league fixtures between the sides at Gay Meadow been goalless, the second one was the Stags' only one in the 1976-77 Championship campaign.
Good crowds attended both games in 1950-51. On April 28, 1951, the biggest-ever Gay Meadow crowd for a Shrewsbury v Stags league game, 10132, saw Lewis score from the spot to clinch the Stags point. Two days later, the sides clinched again, but at Field Mill, where 7590 saw Fox strike twice, Coole and Reeve once in a 4-0-victory – and that score-line was not to be repeated until September 24, 1999, when 2808 saw Peacock score twice, Sisson and Lormor once. Typically enough, much-travelled Lormor was on loan to Shrewsbury by the time of the teams' league clash at Gay Meadow on February 23, 2002 and scored once in the Stags' 3-0-defeat after a poor display in which Allen Tankard's injury after just 30 minutes turned out to be decisive. The fixture at Field Mill in 2001-02 was played on September 14, 2001. A good turn-out of 4759 saw Greenacre clinch the winner with a spectacular over-head kick in injury-time – and not for the first and last time that campaign, the Stags claimed maximum points in the dying stages of the fixtures. Last season, the Stags ended an eight-game winless League games stint by being victorious at Gay Meadow to the tune of 2-0, first goal by Asamoah, the second one shot by Adam Murray. And none of those scorers were around at the end of last season, mainly due to one person no longer at the Stags.
When Shrewsbury left the old third division as champions in 1978-79 for a ten-season stint in division 2 – sometimes successful with limited resources – they were unable to beat the Stags. Both sides drew very often in 1978-79 – 19 times apiece – and it was no wonder why both fixtures were drawn. Although both teams fielded strong defences that campaign, they shared four goals at Gay Meadow as well as at Field Mill. When the teams clashed at Shrewsbury on October 7, 1978, the Shrews headed the table while the Stags were in 17th position. 4338 watched Maguire score twice for Shrewsbury, while goals from Ernie Moss and Kevin Bird dead-locked the sides at 2-2 – and the Stags were the first side to score more than ONCE against the Salop side that season – and also the last as a 2-2 score-line also was the end-product of the Field Mill fixture on May 7, 1979. A good crowd of 6413 saw Russell Allen score once, Bob Curtis from the spot for the Stags while Biggins and Maguire netted for Shrewsbury, who ten days later were crowned as division 3 Champions – and above the more-fancied sides of Watford and Swansea.
The teams have NEVER played a goal-less league fixture at Field Mill compared to three at Shrewsbury and an interesting fact is that FOUR of Shrewsbury's wins at Field Mill were consecutive ones between March 21, 1966 and May 9, 1969 – the final league fixture in the Stags' FA Cup giant-killing season – and the fixtures in 1966-67 and 1967-68 were also March ones! But Shrewsbury haven't won a league game at Field Mill since the opening day of the 1975-76 season, on August 16, 1975 and have lost eight out of twelve league games at the Mill since then. For details on the 2001-02 Field Mill clash, see above.
The sides have also faced each other in the FA Cup on three occasions with the Stags going through on one – the season after the giant-killing one – and Shrewsbury on two – one of those was a first round tie at Field Mill on November 25, 1978, a season that saw Shrewsbury reach the quarter-finals for the first time, exactly ten seasons after the Stags' memorable FA Cup campaign.
More players than one might expect have turned out for both sides. Tony Lormor is already mentioned. Others include Dave Artell, John Dungworth, Alan Humphreys and the late Arthur Mann. One ex-Stag, one who fired Hereford back into the league, has recently signed for the Shrews. His name: Guy Ipoua.
Elsewhere, there will be emotional league returns for Hereford (at Stockport) and especially for Accrington Stanley, who kick off their first league game since March 2, 1962, on Saturday. Thence, it was a 4-0-rout at Crewe, but this time around, Accrington will visit Chester.
Played for both sides: Dave Artell, Alexander Brown, O'Neill Donaldson, John Dungworth, John Grayson, Bryn Gunn, Jim Hankin, Alan Humphreys, Glynn Hurst, David Linighan, Tony Lormor, Arthur Mann, Harry Middleton, John Moore, Dean Peer, Darren Rowbotham, Arthur Sharp, Steve Slawson, Mark Smith, Jack Stamps, Wayne Thomas, Glyn Thompson, Lee Williams.
Home stats: P 25, W 15, D 5, L 5, GF 41, GA 21
Away stats: P 25, W 6, D 8, L 11, GF 28, GA 40
Season Home Date Away Date
1950-51 4-0 1951-04-30 1-1 1951-04-28 Div 3 (N)
1959-60 1-0 1960-02-20 3-6 1959-10-03 Div 3 (old)
1963-64 3-1 1963-10-07 0-2 1963-10-16 Div 3 (old)
1964-65 1-0 1965-04-03 1-1 1964-11-03 Div 3 (old)
1965-66 0-3 1966-03-21 1-2 1966-04-22 Div 3 (old)
1966-67 0-1 1967-03-25 0-1 1966-10-29 Div 3 (old)
1967-68 0-1 1968-03-23 1-2 1967-10-28 Div 3 (old)
1968-69 1-2 1969-05-09 1-1 1968-11-30 Div 3 (old)
1969-70 2-0 1970-01-17 0-0 1969-09-27 Div 3 (old)
1970-71 1-1 1971-04-03 2-5 1970-08-28 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 2-2 1972-03-20 2-4 1972-04-19 Div 3 (old)
1974-75 3-1 1974-12-07 1-0 1975-01-11 Div 4 (old)
1975-76 1-2 1975-08-16 2-1 1976-04-02 Div 3 (old)
1976-77 1-0 1977-04-12 0-0 1976-11-02 Div 3 (old)
1978-79 2-2 1979-05-07 2-2 1978-10-07 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 2-1 1990-03-17 1-0 1989-10-07 Div 3 (old)
1990-91 2-1 1991-03-23 3-0 1990-10-06 Div 3 (old)
1993-94 1-0 1993-08-14 2-2 1993-12-17 Div 3
1997-98 1-1 1998-03-07 2-3 1997-11-01 Div 3
1998-99 1-0 1998-12-11 0-1 1999-05-01 Div 3
1999-2000 4-0 1999-09-24 2-1 1999-10-23 Div 3
2000-01 1-0 2000-10-14 1-2 2001-03-06 Div 3
2001-02 2-1 2001-09-14 0-3 2002-02-23 Div 3
2004-05 1-1 2005-03-05 2-0 2004-12-18 League Two
2005-06 4-0 2005-10-07 0-0 2006-01-17 League Two
1969-70 2-1 1969-12-06 FA Cup 2nd round at Gay Meadow
1978-79 0-2 1978-11-25 FA Cup 1st round at Field Mill
1992-93 1-3 1992-11-14 FA Cup 1st round at Gay Meadow
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)