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Archived News from November 2002

12th November 2002 18:22

MANSFIELD Town head south into the unknown full of confidence for their FA Cup adventure on Saturday.

A potential confidence-booster or a potential banana skin fot them, there is no doubt Stags' game against the students of Team Bath is the most intriguing tie of the round. With a noon kick-off for the Sky TV cameras, the eyes of the world will be on Stuart Watkiss' men as they try to give the University of Bath students a footballing lesson. "We are looking forward to the game and will not go down there with any fear in any way, shape or form, though there is no way we are taking this game lightly," said Watkiss. "We are not used to the stype of media coverage we will be getting from this one. But it is certain to get the lads up and raring to go. "Yes, it is a potential banana skin. But it is also a great opportunity for us to progress to round two. and I would rather be going there than Cardiff away or Bristol City away. "This is a great chance for us to prove to the country that we are lot better than our League position suggests. It's up to us to show we can play good football. "We have got to have enough about us to go there with a game plan and stick to it."
Temporary seating for an all-ticket crowd of 5,700 is being erected at the Claverton Down campus this week and Stags have over 400 of their 930 allocation left on sale to the general public, priced £10 adults and £6 concessions. Team Bath are the first student team to go this far in the FA Cup since Oxford University won the trophy in 1874 and last weekend lost 3-2 in extra-time at home to Lymington and New Milton in the FA Vase in front of just 56 spectators! Regular keeper Ryan Northmore, who played against Stags for Torquay in a 2-2 draw at Plainmoor two seasons ago - suffered a groin strain but is expected to be passed fit. If he should miss out, former Stags youngster Chris Gibson - now a University of Bath student - is on eager stand-by! Italian striker Guiseppe Sobora is the home side's shining hope to steal a goal for the students.
Stags, almost inevitably, have their own selection headaches. Tony Vaughan, so impressive on loan from Forest, suffered a knee ligament injury last weekend and has returned to the City Ground where he could be out for up to two months. That will probably mean an immediate return for skipper Neil Moore - back from a one-game ban. Crewe Alexandra have said they will not allow on-loan striker Colin Little to become cup-tied. So Colin Larkin is likely to be pressed back into action, providing he proves he has shaken off his hamstring problems in time. By the same token, Stags striker Andy White, on loan at Crewe, will not play for the Railwaymen. "It wouldn't be Mansfield if we didn't have fresh injury worries," smiled Watkiss. "Tony did ever so well for us and I would like to thank Forest for letting him come here. We will keep an eye on the situation but it's no secret that his wages at Forest are well out of our scale. "He would be a great asset to Mansfield Town if we could sign him. "Dion Scott has now picked up a groin strain in training and Bobby Hassell and Allen Tankard were not ready to start training again on Monday as we had hoped. "Colin Larkin should have been on the bench at Notts County but we pulled him out of training when he complained of a tight hamstring and we will have to see how he goes."

Stuart Watkiss was a guest at the Midlands Football Writers Awards in Birmingham at the weekend where he and the other four Midlands managers who achieved promotion last season were given commemorative awards.

Matthew Gadsby joined Mansfield Town on a free transfer from Walsall last Friday with fellow centre half Stuart Reddington going to Conference club Burton Albion on a permanent basis after a successful loan spell. The 23-year-old defender trained with Stags pre-season and played in the friendlies but was recalled by the Saddlers at the 11th hour which infuriated Mansfield. Since then he had only been used once as a substitute by Colin Lee all season and this week Watkiss decided to go back in for a player he has always kept an eye on since he was a youngster. Gadsby had been at Walsall since he was a trainee and Watkiss said: "I am very pleased to get Matthew here. "First and foremost he is a central defender, but he can also play at full back or in midfield. "He is a very versatile player and I thought he had a good first game for us at Notts on Saturday."

Source: The Chad


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