Unbeaten in League Two fixtures so far in 2017, but bowed out of the EFL Trophy a few days ago. The tale is of the Stags, who this weekend face Leyton Orient at home.
Last August, the Stags travelled from one horror ground to another one. Or from Home Park in Plymouth to Brisbane Road aka Matchroom Stadium, the ground of the Stags’ next opponent, Leyton Orient.
But the visit to Brisbane Road aka Matchroom Stadium was very successful inasmuch as the Stags put their Leyton Orient away hoodoo to bed thanks to an 89th minute Matt Green winning strike to a 2-1 scoreline, ending a run of six straight defeats in London.
But for Leyton Orient, the Stags home defeat proved a pointer as it was to mark the beginning of a record run the Londoners don’t want as it was the first of eight straight home defeats stretching to November 22, 2016, with a 0-1 defeat against Exeter, whose current run without defeat started at Leyton Orient.
As a result of Leyton Orient’s dismal home run, the Londoners sit just two points above the dreaded drop zone out of League Two. A sharp contrast to exactly on this date three years ago. Then, the O’s were sitting in the League One promotion zone after beating Coventry 2-0 at home. Since then, Leyton Orient have slid rapidly and dramatically, having endured loads of managerial changes since Russell Slade departed in September 2014.
Just a decade ago, during the 2005-06 season, both sides did excellently in the FA Cup third round. While the Stags narrowly lost to an Alan Shearer (who else?) goal at Newcastle, Leyton Orient did even better against Premier League opposition. The “O’s” (see below on FA Cup) kayoed Fulham at their headquarters to a 2-1 scoreline, 2-0 up at half-time, Fulham wasting a penalty in the second half. And in the following round, Leyton Orient were only seconds away from gaining a home replay against Charlton.
The Londoners are best known as FA-Cup giant killers, i.e. reaching the semi-finals way back in 1977-78, the Stags’ only season in the old 2nd division, where Orient, as their name was then, were one of our opponents. In the final home game that season on April 29, 1978 in front of 6,336, Sandy Pate scored his last league goal for the Stags in a 1-1 draw which was essential for the Londoners in their eventual successful fight against the drop. But in London, Orient as usual won the home fixture. Then to a 4-2-scoreline at Brisbane Road on December 3, 1977.
The “O’s”, who played a single season in the old first division in 1962-63, the Stags’ first promotion one, have done a couple of name swappings during their 110 years of League soccer, being elected to the old 2nd division in 1905 as Clapton Orient. Just after World War II, they changed their name to Leyton Orient. During the 1966-67 season, they swapped their name to simply “Orient”. And in 1987, they changed their name back to Leyton Orient. As a result of this, the Stags have faced Leyton Orient under all their three names and the Londoners also faced the Stags in their first-ever league season in 1931-32. And the first home game was won 4-3 on January 16, 1932 in front of 6,719 who saw Weightman, Bowater, Johnson (2) as Stags scorers, and in fact the “O’s” faced the Stags in all their div 3 (S) seasons.
At home, the Stags have twice beaten the Londoners with a three-goal margin. The first was a 4-1 on December 27, 1969, inflicting the eventual div 3 Champs their biggest defeat that season, Stags goals Roberts D 2, Stenson and an own goal watched by 7828. The second was a 3-0 on March 23, 1993 due to McCloughlin hitting the target twice and Withe netting once attended by 2776, thus gaining revenge for the Stags’ biggest-ever defeat against the Londoners, a 1-5 hammering away on November 28, 1992. Another four-goal-margin rout inflicted was the Stags’ first-ever FL defeat, a 4-0 on September 5, 1931, but revenge was gained a couple of months later (see above). The home game on May 31, 1947, lost 1-3 with Chessell scoring for the Stags seen by 4412, must be the latest date ever for a league home game in Stags League history. And the 0-2 on March 15, 1969, was the Stags first home league game after the famous FA Cup exploits reaching the quarter-finals in the 1968-69 season.
Brisbane Road, or Leyton Stadium as the ground of the “O”s also is called, now Matchroom Stadium, has never been a happy hunting ground for the Stags over the years as only three of the previous league outings in London before last August had been won.
Here they were:
* On September 25, 1937, two goals from Crawshaw, then upping his tally to eight out of 25, helped the Stags to seal a 2-1 victory over Clapton Orient in front of 8590 spectators
*The 1985-86 season was Orient’s first-ever in the basement. On February 15, 1986, the Stags picked up a very crucial 1-0 win with Hitchcock saving a penalty near the end and Kent moments later hitting the only goal which secured the third consecutive away win during a spell that saw the Stags win eight games out of nine. The Orient side then included former Stags loanee Ian Juryeff, the much-travelled striker who 1983 scored 15 times in 19 games for then Swedish 4th division side IFK Munkfors, only about 40 miles north of the previewer’s home town. For more details on current and former Stags players having played in Sweden, see the bottom of the Cheltenham home preview.
* The up-to-date last away win at Leyton Orient was a 3-1 on March 4, 2000 (goals by Darrell Clarke, Chris Greenacre and an own-goal) watched by 4281. So all Mansfield’s away wins at Brisbane Road have been achieved under all of Leyton Orient’s different names! (Clapton Orient in 1937, Orient in 1986, Leyton Orient in 2000 and on August 27, 2016).
The teams also met in the 2001-02 season, when the home fixture attended by 5,168 was won 3-2 thanks to goals from Disley, Williamson and Greenacre but the away one was lost 2-0. The Leyton Orient side in March 2002 included Iyseden Christie, of several players having appeared for both sides. One player having appeared for both sides was not mentioned on the history CD a decade ago. The name: Darren Rowbotham. He played four games for the Stags on loan from Birmingham during the 1992-93 season. He played six games for Leyton Orient, two of those as sub, on loan from Exeter City, during November-December 1999. Other players having appeared for both sides include the scorer of our winner at Chesterfield three years ago, Calvin Andrew, and the scorer of our first FL goal back in the FL, Ollie Palmer (at Wycombe). Last season, Nicky Hunt appeared for both sides.
Exactly on this date 50 years ago, the Stags reached the fourth round of the FA Cup by beating Middlesbrough, then in their first of two one-season stints at current League One level, at home to a 2-0 scoreline.
While the Stags beat Cambridge away last weekend, Leyton Orient got their home fixture against Morecambe postponed. Currently, Leyton Orient have three defeats on the bounce and having had nine goals put past them during this current losing sequence.
Played for both sides: Calvin Andrew, Adam Barrett, Eric Bryant, Reginald Bungay, Iyseden Christie, Paul Connor, Wayne Corden, Stephen Dawson, Eddie Edmonds, Greg Fee, Ernie Gillatt, Warren Hackett, Darius Henderson, Stuart Hicks, Nicky Hunt, Dai Jones (left full back), Ian Juryeff, Martin Ling, Allan Livingstone, Michael Marks, James McGeorge, Luke O’Neill, Ollie Palmer, Mark Peters, Samuel Robinson, Ted Roseboom, Darren Rowbotham, Mark Smalley, Soloman Taiwo, Chris Tate.
Home stats: P 24, W 8, D 10, L 6, GF 31, GA 26
Away stats: P 25, W 4, D 4, L 17, GF 22, GA 48
Season Home Date Away Date
1931-32 4-3 1932-01-16 0-4 1931-09-05 Div 3 (S) as Clapton Orient
1937-38 3-1 1938-02-05 2-1 1937-09-25 Div 3 (S) as Clapton Orient
1938-39 1-0 1939-04-08 0-0 1938-12-03 Div 3 (S) as Clapton Orient
1946-47 1-3 1947-05-31 1-3 1946-10-12 Div 3 (S) as Clapton Orient
1966-67 1-1 1967-04-22 2-4 1967-05-12 Div 3 (old) as Leyton Orient
1967-68 0-0 1968-04-16 0-0 1968-04-15 Div 3 (old) as Orient
1968-69 0-2 1969-03-15 0-1 1968-08-24 Div 3 (old) as Orient
1969-70 4-1 1969-12-27 0-1 1969-08-30 Div 3 (old) as Orient
1977-78 1-1 1978-04-29 2-4 1977-12-03 Div 2 (old) as Orient
1985-86 1-1 1985-09-18 1-0 1986-02-15 Div 4 (old) as Orient
1989-90 1-0 1990-02-24 1-3 1989-11-25 Div 3 (old) as Leyton Orient
1990-91 3-3 1991-04-16 1-2 1990-09-08 Div 3 (old) as Leyton Orient
1992-93 3-0 1993-03-23 1-5 1992-11-28 Div 2 as Leyton Orient
1995-96 0-0 1995-08-19 0-1 1996-01-13 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
1996-97 0-2 1996-09-14 1-2 1997-01-04 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
1997-98 0-0 1997-11-29 2-2 1998-04-04 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
1998-99 1-2 1999-02-13 1-1 1998-09-08 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
1999-2000 1-1 1999-09-11 3-1 2000-03-04 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
2000-01 2-0 2001-04-21 1-2 2000-11-04 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
2001-02 3-2 2001-10-05 0-2 2002-03-19 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
2003-04 1-1 2003-08-16 1-3 2004-01-17 Div 3 as Leyton Orient
2004-05 0-1 2004-11-27 1-2 2005-05-07 League 2 as Leyton Orient
2005-06 0-1 2006-04-15 1-3 2005-10-01 League 2 as Leyton Orient
2015-16 1-1 2015-12-12 0-1 2016-04-30 League 2 as Leyton Orient
2016-17 (at Leyton Orient) 2-1 2016-08-27 League 2 as Leyton Orient
No cup games have so far ever been played between the sides in any cup competition.