STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
After beating table-toppers Walsall at Field Mill last Saturday, the Stags now hope to build upon that performance when playing Chester away on the forthcoming Saturday.
And the Stags have yet to play Chester this season as the home game just before Christmas was postponed due to a frozen Field Mill pitch. Just like the Stags, Chester have been very inconsistent this term. The proof: Chester have lost their three latest home games without even scoring, yet during the same time won three away games on the trot and most recently played a goal-less draw at Bristol Rovers.
Yet one link between the sides is the current Stags manager, Billy Dearden. And the league fixtures between the sides last season, were prestigeous-laden ones. Why that?
The reason was quite obvious. By the time of Chester's visit to Field Mill a year ago, they were managed by Keith Curle, only the previous season discarded under controversial circumstances by the Stags. When Curle took over Chester later that season, after the 0-0 game on March 25, 2005, he took with him several ex-Stags. Five of them (McNiven, Artell, Dimech, Asamoah and Curtis) started the game on January 24, 2006, while Wayne Corden, now at Leyton Orient, was on the bench without coming on. McNiven and Asamoah scored for Chester in the 2-1 victory at Field Mill after Reet had put the Stags in front. A wrongful red card on Richard Barker was instrumental in turning the game in Chester's favour. That victory was to be the last for Keith Curle as Chester manager, as he was axed after a 2-0 home defeat against Leyton Orient a month later, this during a dreadful run with just the win at Field Mill and eleven defeats in twelve games, and as a result of that, Chester slid from the play-off zone to rock bottom. And of the above mentioned ex-Stags, only Artell is still at Chester but suspended on Saturday due to too many yellow cards. Corden is already mentioned, Asamoah is now at Shrewsbury, Curtis at Notts County but currently loaned out by the Magpies to Conf North side Nuneaton, last season managing a third round FA Cup replay against Premiership Middlesbrough.
The away game at Chester last season on September 2, 2005, was lost 1-3 after a much below-par display. Already then, there were talks about “To be or not to be” regarding Carlton Palmer's managerial position.
But Chester, one of two comeback teams in the league two seasons ago, are the one side that have faced the Stags on most occasions in league fixtures. It's easy to understand why as the club who did unearth Ian Rush in the late seventies faced the Stags in all their division 3 (N) seasons.
The two teams have also experienced an unique treble – being promoted together twice and relegated together once! Here are the facts: In 1974-75 the Stags were runaway champs of the old Fourth division. Chester had during that season done the same thing as the Stags did twenty years later – dumping Leeds out of the League Cup! But in Chester's case, Leeds crashed 3-0 at Sealand Road. All that season Chester figured in the promotion contention due to a very good home record with only nine goals conceded. Chester's last game that season was a 1-0 win at Crewe, but they had to wait until a Lincoln away game at Southport a couple of days later to know their fate. Without playing, Chester were promoted for the first time ever, thus on better goal-average (goal-difference was introduced two seasons later) as Lincoln lost 3-2 at Haig Avenue.
Eleven seasons later, in 1985-86, the Stags and Chester were promoted together again. This time around, Chester finished in second position and the Stags one rang below.
The relegation together took place in 1992-93 when Chester finished rock bottom with over 100 goals put against them – a feat last experienced by Stockport in 2001-02. The Stags finished two positons above Chester in 1992-93.
In 44 seasons before the current campaign, Mansfield and Chester have crossed their league swords and the teams' first-ever league fixture was also the Stags' first-ever in the old division 3 (N). That game was played at Field Mill on August 27, 1932 and ended with a Stags win due to a solitary Hoyland strike in front of 8009. This was to prove a pointer to Chester's visits to Stagsland, as up to the late eighties, Chester had won only once at Field Mill, but done so on six occasions from March 14, 1987. And Chester's highest league victory at Field Mill was achieved as recently as on October 23, 1993 when three goals from Wheeler and one from the all-time record Chester league marksman, Rimmer, contributed to a 4-0 three-pointer in front of 2545. On the other hand, the Stags' highest home win was achieved as early as on March 26, 1937, when two goals apiece from Harston and Anderson and one from Atkinson contributed to a 5-0 rout in front of 6920. But only three days later (must have been around the Easter holidays), the Stags themselves were routed 5-1 at Chester (scorer, of course, Harston) attended by 9620.
At Chester, the stats have been more evenly balanced, even though the Stags' visit in the Chester relegation year from the FL was one to forget, crashing 5-0 on March 25, 2000 – the start of the worst-ever Stags goal famine – and that happened just a week after the famous 3-2-victory at Rotherham. Apart from that, the Stags have scored in every away game bar nearly a dozen at Chester no matter what ground they have played on - in the early nineties they played a couple of seasons at Macclesfield before their entry into the League – the game in 1990-91 didn't even attract 1000 spectators, a paltry 957 crowd. Compare that to 7706 on March 15, 1975 and 7775 on September 8, 1962!
A curious fact is that the current Stags' manager, Billy Dearden, now in his second spell, played for Chester in the 1976-77 season and actually SCORED the Chester goal in the 1-1 draw at Field Mill on March 26, 1977 in front of 6976.
And in the Stags' first promotion season, the 2-0 at Chester – goals Morris pen and Chapman R – was the last of the six-match winning streak from the start of that 1962-63-season – and the 4-0 stuffing on May 18, 1963 – one of the latest days ever for the Stags to have a final home game – was the Stags last home fixture then. A crowd of 7415 saw Wagstaff, Chapman R, Morris (pen) and Coates contribute to the stuffing.
.... and Ian Rush appeared for Chester in both games against the Stags in 1979-80 before moving on to a great future at Liverpool.
The sides have also clashed in the FA Cup twice with the Stags going through on both occasions. The second one was in the 1971-72 season. After drawing 1-1 at Chester, the Stags, then having yet to SCORE at home in the league, netted FOUR times in the first round replay on November 22, 1971, the scorers being Bingham (played for Chester later that season on loan!), Fairbrother, Thompson and Bobby Roberts from the spot, Chester scorers Loyden, Kennedy and Draper. And in the game at Chester, Bingham also scored for the Stags, but he was never to score a Stags league goal, but managed a league strike for Chester against Reading on March 18, 1972, while on loan. Bingham finally ended up at Stockport, being released by the Hatters after the 1972-73 season. And while talking of the FA Cup, Chester were re-instated at Bury's expense due to the latter fielding an ineligible player on loan from Hartlepool. Chester lost the replay at home to Bury 3-1, but due to the player affair Chester were allowed back and forced Championship side Ipswich to play twice before the Suffolk outfit thanks to a very late goal just managed to scrape through to the fourth round. In fact. it was the first time since the 1977-78 season, an original winner was thrown out. Thence, Kettering beat Tilbury away in the first round, but the match was declared void by the FA due to Kettering fielding an ineligible player. Tilbury then managed to win the replay and eventually reach the third round, losing away to Stoke. An interesting fact from those games was that the Kettering goalie, Scott Endersby, a few years later played for the same Swedish side as one Stags former assistant manager, John Gannon, and a former player, Dean Hankey, namely IFK Mora.
In the league Cup, the sides clashed during the 1962-63 promotion season. This time around, Chester won a second round replay by the only goal of the game on October 10, 1962, a very rare occasion of the Stags not scoring that campaign.
Played for both sides: John Allen, Dave Artell, Derek Asamoah, John Bingham, Tony Brien, Roy Chapman, James Cooper, Wayne Corden, John E Cottam, Tom Curle, Tom Curtis, Luke Dimech, Alec Gray, John Gregson, Ian Helliwell, Stuart Hicks, Barry Jepson, David Kerr, Steve Kilcar, Allan Livingstone, Scott McNiven, Fred Morris, Kevin Noteman, Joe O'Neill, Andy Porter, John Sainty, Gary Tallon, Chris Tate, Steve Whitehall, Ernie Whittam, Laurence Wilson and Chris Withe.
In addition, one current and one former Stags manager, Jock Basford and Billy Dearden have also played for Chester.
Managed both sides: Keith Curle.
Home stats: P 44, W 28, D 9, L 7, GF 82, GA 39
Away stats: P 44, W 15, D 13, L 16, GF 65, GA 69
Season Home Date Away Date
1932-33 1-0 1932-08-27 2-5 1932-12-31 Div 3 (N)
1933-34 2-1 1933-10-28 1-1 1934-03-10 Div 3 (N)
1934-35 1-1 1934-11-17 2-3 1935-03-30 Div 3 (N)
1935-36 0-0 1935-10-26 0-4 1936-03-14 Div 3 (N)
1936-37 5-0 1937-03-26 1-5 1937-03-29 Div 3 (N)
1947-48 2-1 1948-03-29 2-1 1948-03-26 Div 3 (N)
1948-49 1-0 1948-10-02 1-1 1949-02-26 Div 3 (N)
1949-50 0-2 1950-02-11 3-6 1950-04-29 Div 3 (N)
1950-51 2-1 1951-04-21 1-0 1950-12-02 Div 3 (N)
1951-52 3-1 1951-10-20 5-1 1952-03-08 Div 3 (N)
1952-53 2-2 1952-11-15 2-2 1953-04-04 Div 3 (N)
1953-54 2-1 1954-01-09 2-0 1954-03-24 Div 3 (N)
1954-55 2-1 1954-10-16 0-1 1955-03-05 Div 3 (N)
1955-56 3-0 1956-03-25 3-4 1955-10-15 Div 3 (N)
1956-57 1-1 1957-01-05 2-6 1957-01-26 Div 3 (N)
1957-58 3-1 1958-02-22 2-1 1957-11-23 Div 3 (N)
1960-61 3-1 1961-03-04 3-3 1960-10-15 Div 4 (old)
1961-62 3-0 1962-03-30 1-0 1961-11-11 Div 4 (old)
1962-63 4-0 1963-05-18 2-0 1962-09-08 Div 4 (old)
1972-73 4-1 1972-10-21 2-2 1973-03-17 Div 4 (old)
1973-74 3-0 1973-09-17 1-1 1973-10-03 Div 4 (old)
1974-75 0-0 1974-09-27 0-0 1975-03-15 Div 4 (old)
1975-76 1-1 1975-08-30 1-1 1976-01-10 Div 3 (old)
1976-77 1-1 1977-03-26 0-1 1976-10-16 Div 3 (old)
1978-79 2-0 1979-05-05 1-1 1979-03-31 Div 3 (old)
1979-80 2-1 1980-03-29 0-1 1979-11-17 Div 3 (old)
1982-83 2-1 1983-02-26 3-1 1982-10-16 Div 4 (old)
1983-84 3-1 1984-04-24 4-0 1983-12-27 Div 4 (old)
1984-85 2-0 1984-11-07 3-0 1985-03-30 Div 4 (old)
1985-86 0-0 1986-03-04 0-1 1985-10-02 Div 4 (old)
1986-87 2-3 1987-03-14 1-1 1986-10-18 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 1-2 1988-03-26 2-0 1987-10-24 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 2-0 1989-02-28 0-0 1988-10-26 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 1-0 1990-01-20 2-0 1989-08-19 Div 3 (old)
1990-91 1-0 1990-12-15 0-1 1991-03-09 Div 3 (old)
1992-93 2-0 1993-01-09 2-1 1992-09-15 Div 2
1993-94 0-4 1993-10-23 1-1 1994-02-05 Div 3
1995-96 3-4 1995-11-18 1-2 1996-05-04 Div 3
1996-97 0-2 1997-02-04 0-1 1997-02-22 Div 3
1997-98 4-1 1997-09-20 1-0 1998-02-07 Div 3
1998-99 3-0 1999-01-30 1-1 1998-12-28 Div 3
1999-2000 2-1 1999-12-26 0-5 2000-03-25 Div 3
2004-05 0-0 2005-03-25 3-0 2004-08-14 League Two
2005-06 1-2 2006-01-24 1-3 2005-09-02 League Two
1959-60 2-0 1959-12-12 (second round at Field Mill)
1971-72 1-1 1971-11-20 (first round at Sealand Road)
1971-72 4-3 1971-11-22 (first round replay at Field Mill)
1962-63 2-2 1962-09-26 (second round at Sealand Road)
1962-63 0-1 1962-10-10 (second round replay at Field Mill)
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Some player details courtesy of Paul Taylor
Details on goal-scorers and attendances courtesy of the centenary book, its update and various editions of Rothmans Football yearbook (especially on Billy Dearden and Ian Rush, also on 1971-72 FA Cup games)
Latest | January 2007