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Archived News from October 2006

7th October 2006 0:23

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12:00 - 06 October 2006
Having been on the books of Sheffield Wednesday as a trainee, Richard Barker has no doubt what is his favourite moment from a local derby.

Playing for Rotherham, he scored a last-minute winner for the Millers in a 2-1 success at Hillsborough in the 2001-2002 season.

The Stags' skipper knows just how much that strike - scored past a future Mansfield goalkeeper Kevin Pressman - meant to the Rotherham fans.

So he is well aware of the passion that derby matches create and the significance of their results.

Since joining the Stags, Barker has played in three Nottinghamshire derbies - scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory in the first of those at Meadow Lane in 2005.

Now he is hoping to help give the Mansfield supporters the three points that they want - and kick-start the Stags' season in the process.

"It will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere and I'm sure the supporters will have a good day out. But the result is the all-important thing," said Barker,

"When I scored against Wednesday, it was one of the highlights of my career and massive for the Rotherham fans against their big city rivals.

"I know this match means just as much to the fans around here and there is no love lost between the two sets of supporters. If you look through the two squads, we probably have more players who have played in this match before so that could work in our favour.

"But the form book tends to go out of the window and I think it is about who adopts to the conditions best on the day who will be the winner.

"Last year Notts came here and beat us to go top of the league but we ended up finishing above them. Hopefully we can get a different result this time and then do the same thing again."

Barker admitted that the 4-0 defeat at Walsall last Saturday hit the Stags hard and took a while to get over.

But he insists the Stags are now fully focused on tomorrow's game, likely to be played in front of Field Mill's biggest crowd of the season.

12:00 - 06 October 2006
Peter Shirtliff sees no reason why Mansfield should not maintain their decent home form with victory over Notts County.

The Stags manager has been happy with the way his side have performed on their own patch all season.

And he believes a similar Field Mill showing could be enough to earn Mansfield three points.

"I'm looking forward to the game because they were two good games last year with plenty of goals, played in good atmospheres," said Shirtliff.

"Hopefully we will get the same level of entertainment this season, but with the right results from our point of view.

"I think a big crowd adds to the occasion and makes it a better spectacle. The players enjoy the atmosphere and I'm sure the fans do too.

"Our home form has been very good, there's no doubt about that. We have won three of the six games but we know we should have beaten Stockport and Accrington as well.

"But the performance levels have been there and I'm looking to see the players continue with that."

Shirtliff has persuaded Leicester City to allow young left-back Alan Sheehan to stay for a second month on loan.

He is pleased with the Irishman's contribution.

He said: "Alan is a promising young player and he has done well since he came here. We're pleased to see him stick around for longer.

"I think he has enjoyed it here because he is playing in front of decent crowds instead of in reserve team football.

"He is also playing in competitive, rather than meaningless matches, where the standard is much higher and you are pushed that little bit more."

Striker Michael Boulding is set to miss the game with a knee injury and the club are awaiting the results of a scan to assess the full scale of the damage.

But left-sided player Gareth Jelleyman should be fit for selection after struggling earlier in the week with a slight tweak of his hamstring.

Midfielder Stephen Dawson will be back in contention after missing last week's defeat at Walsall through suspension.

12:00 - 06 October 2006
Kevin Pilkington is bracing himself for a barrage of abuse as he prepares to head back to former club Mansfield with Notts County.

But the Magpies keeper is confident they will win at Field Mill tomorrow.

Pilkington, who spent five years at Stags before moving to Meadow Lane in 2005, is convinced the experience in the Notts side will be the decisive factor in the League Two clash.

And in particular because they have players with the experience not just of local derbies, but of this fixture.

"They know the atmosphere, know what is going to happen," he said.

"And a lot of them have played in this derby.

"We have a lot more experience in the squad compared to last season and we have the likes of White and Dudfield who would have played in the Boston v Lincoln derby as well so that helps.

"Hopefully we can keep the same performance level, the same team spirit, the same commitment and then you cannot go far wrong.

"There is a lot of passion and I have been reading how some of their players have not been involved in it before and will be surprised at how big it is."

Pilkington got a mixed reception on his return last season, as an accidental collision left former team-mate Chris Beardsley with a broken leg.

Pilkington was absolved of any blame, but he still expects a rough ride.

He said: "It started quite well last time and then I had the tackle with Beardo.

"It was just one of those things and there was nothing intentional in it and he said the same.

"At first the reception was better than I thought it would be but then again I had been there five years and did okay for them.

"But I think tomorrow I might get it a bit worse than last time but, hey, I have got a thick skin."

12:00 - 06 October 2006
For Steve Thompson, tomorrow's trip to Mansfield could be viewed as just another game.

But that does not mean the Notts County manager has no appreciation of the importance the occasion holds for the fans.

On the contrary - it simply means he believes every game should be approached with the same passion and desire to win.

So far those characteristics have flowed through his squad, to put the Magpies just one point off second in League Two after a superb opening two months.

But Thompson knows Notts will now have to cope with the local derby atmosphere.

"I understand the importance to supporters but to me it is Mansfield Town," he said. "It is a League Two football match and another game I want to win.

"I want to win every game and I was delighted for the 440 fans who travelled to Torquay last week. The players will be giving 100% like the management and it will add to the terrific atmosphere.

"We have the added spice of Pilkington, Mendes and John Gannon being with us, and Tom Curtis. There is a bit of history.

"But it is up to us to prepare ourselves, get on the coach and look to win a football match.

"It will be a tough game and whatever form we have and they have will go out the window - because the passion will take over in the first ten or 15 minutes.

"The players should not need getting up for this game.

"There will be a big crowd and if you are a footballer of any age you want to play in front of big crowds."

Thompson is fully aware of Mansfield's 4-0 defeat at Walsall last Saturday, but he also knows they will be up for this match.

He is a good friend of Stags boss Peter Shirtliff and expects a tough game.

Thompson said: "I would not say they are struggling. I know Peter Shirtliff very, very well and he is a hard man, a dedicated man and will have them up for the game.

"I played at Charlton with Shirts and we have been good friends for a long, long time. He was a great player and terrific lad and I wish him well - after Saturday.

"Peter comes from the school of organisation and will have them organised well."

Despite Jason Lee being suspended, Thompson is confident he has the firepower in Junior Mendes, Lawrie Dudfield and Tcham N'Toya.

"I knew when I signed Jason he would get suspended," he said. "That is the nature of the beast. He is an integral part of the team but we have a good squad and everyone comes into the reckoning.

"It is nice for all the strikers to get off the mark and I have tried different permutations.

"At the moment Junior has scored, Jason has scored, Duds has scored and Tcham, so it is a big confidence booster for them."

But Thompson was disappointed to lose out on the manager of the month award to Hartlepool's Danny Wilson as he felt his players deserved the recognition.

He said: " I know Danny and he is all right, but we have been from one end of the country to the other last month and got results. I am more disappointed for the players."

12:00 - 06 October 2006
Tomorrow is a massive game for both sides - and not just because it is a local derby.

Mansfield fan Richard Eldridge, of Sutton-in- Ashfield, thinks honours will end even at 1-1

So often Mansfield's games with Notts are about bragging rights for the fans, but this time sides desperately need the points as well.

The league is really tight and we are only two points off the relegation zone so we need a victory to lift ourselves away from that.

And if we can win, then it could start us on a run that takes up back up towards the top.

Notts have started well and they need the points to keep their promotion push on track. They look a decent side and it is not going to be easy for the Stags.

The way we been playing, it is going to be difficult for us to win, but the good thing is that the form book goes out of the window on derby day.

We have been very poor away from home of late, so I'm very relieved that the game is at Field Mill.

It will be interesting to see how the likes of Junior Mendes, Kevin Pilkington and Tom Curtis get on against their old club and I'm sure they'll be keen to do well.

It would be great to see Chris Beardsley make an impact after what happened to him when the sides last met at Field Mill. I fancy him to come off the bench and equalise.

12:00 - 06 October 2006
I Can't wait for tomorrow and on current form, Notts fans have every reason to be optimistic. But it is a derby game and you never know.

Keri Usherwood, chairman of Notts County Supporters Trust, predicts a 2-1 Magpies win

But both Notts and Stags fans will agree these are cracking games and there is no reason for this match to be any different.

We will miss big Jason Lee because he has been superb for us so far this season but Lawrie Dudfield got a vital winner after coming off the bench last week at Torquay so he is ready.

His last-minute winner was very exciting and another one of those tomorrow at Field Mill would be just the tonic.

The key for Notts so far - and against Mansfield tomorrow - is the defence. We have been solid at the back, not given away silly goals and have only lost one game.

And that was against MK Dons with nine men, so we are ready to go there and will be full of confidence.

As for the result, I can see a 2-1 win on the horizon. To the Magpies of course. And I think Andy Parkinson is due a goal. It would be nice to see him and David Pipe on the score-sheet.

Let's hope by 4pm tomorrow that is the case.


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