STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
The Stags, without a goal and a point from two consecutive away league fixtures, now face Premiership top side Portsmouth tomorrow in the League Cup at Field Mill. And Pompey have yet to concede a league goal after five outings, but that will count for nothing tomorrow night. But Harry Redknapp, the current Portsmouth manager, will surely have mixed feelings about travelling to Field Mill. And will he leave Field Mill as a loser for the third time, and for a third side? He did so as a West Ham player in Round Five of the FA Cup on February 26, 1969 and as Southampton manager in the League Cup on September 20, 2005, when a reserve-filled Saints outfit succumbed to a Giles Coke strike in the second half. And the latter game was Peter Shirtliff's first as caretaker manager following Carlton Palmer's resignation a few days earlier.
And Mansfield have only played Portsmouth once in all competitions, but that was in a season which the previewer remembers very clearly, as though it were yesterday. And it was in the Stags' second championship season, 1976-77, very late on. On May 2, 1977, Portsmouth then fighting further relegation after being relegated from the second tier the previous season, travelled to fortress Field Mill to face the promotion and championship chasing Stags, unbeaten there since Boxing Day 1975. As expected then, Portsmouth could not prevent the Stags from winning 2-0 in front of 10774 who saw Kevin Randall and Colin Foster score. And the door to the second tier was almost open for the Stags that Monday night. On the following night, promotion was definitely secured without playing as promotion rivals Rotherham lost 1-2 at home to Reading, then a side Portsmouth fought with against relegation. In the end, the Stags were crowned champions, and Portsmouth just about stayed up. As a consequence, the Stags have also travelled to Fratton Park only once. This happened on January 11, 1977, when Moss and Miller scored for the Stags in a 2-2 draw watched by 10720. Since then, the Stags and Pompey by-passed each other as Portsmouth were relegated to the bottom tier the following season when the Stags went down to the third. Two seasons later, in 1979-80, the Stags were relegated and Portsmouth promoted.
For the record, the line-ups courtesy of Rothman's Football Yearbook 1977-78 for the 1976-77 league games were as follows:
At Fratton Park, January 11, 1977:
Portsmouth line-up: Figgins, Piper, Viney, Denyer, Ellis, Foster (Stephen), Green, Kamara (sub Pullar), Kemp, Pollock, Mellows. Portsmouth scorers: Kemp 2.
Stags line-up: Arnold, Bird, Foster B., Matthews (sub Cooke), Saxby M, Foster C, Morris, Moss, Randall, Hodgson, Miller. Stags scorers: Moss, Miller.
At Field Mill, May 2, 1977:
Stags line-up: Arnold, Bird, Foster B, McEwan (sub Matthews), MacKenzie, Foster C, Morris, Moss, Randall, Hodgson, McDonald. Stags scorers: Foster C, Randall.
Portsmouth line-up: Lloyd, Ellis, Piper, Denyer, Foster (Stephen), Cahill, Pollock (sub Pullar), Kamara, Gilchrist, Kemp, Mellows.
Played for both sides: Mark Blake, Sammy Chapman, George Clifford, George Cook, Harold Crawshaw, Tom Curtis, Reg Davies, Lindy Delapenha, Joseph Depledge, George Dexter, Ernest Gadsden, Joe Laidlaw, John Lathan, Jim McCaffrey, Harold Methven, Harry Middleton, Harry Moore, Jason Rees, Abe Smith.
Home P 1, W 1, D 0, L 0, GF 2, GA 0
Away P 1, W 0, D 1, L 0, GF 2, GA 2
1976-77 2-0 1977-05-02 2-2 1977-01-11 Div 3 (old)
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
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