After the unacceptable display at Cheltenham on Tuesday night, the Stags are geared up for the red-hot Nottinghamshire home derby against Notts County, who themselves beat Exeter away to a convincing 3-0 scoreline down in Devon.
By the time of the latest FL Nottinghamshire derby, albeit at Meadow Lane, Notts County had slipped into the dreaded zone after losing a club-record straight ten games, which led to the sacking of John Sheridan, who recently left League One Oldham for the third time.
Sheridan’s successor in the Magpies’ hot seat, Kevin Nolan, eventually saw County survive by a margin of ten points. Nine away games were won last term, more than two of the playoff sides, and this season, County haven’t lost since being thrashed 3-0 at Coventry on the opening day of this season.
Meanwhile, the Stags have yet to lose at home in League Two fixtures this term.
And since County’s latest double victories against the Stags way back in the 1997-98 campaign, the Magpies have called upon 25 different managers including the newly appointed Kevin Nolan. Two of the 25 Notts County bosses since 1997 also have managerial experience at the Stags. The names: Billy Dearden and Keith Curle.
And two seasons ago, the Stags faced Notts County for the first time in seven seasons in a Nottinghamshire FL derby. If you are a County fan, you have best to forget both fixtures, and if you are a Stags fans, you will remember both derbies for a very long time. At Meadow Lane, the Stags registered their first victory last season to a 2-0 scoreline. And at One Call Stadium aka Field Mill, County suffered their biggest-ever defeat against Mansfield to a heavy 5-0 scoreline in a game in which the Stags ran riot during the second half, surpassing the 4-0 inflicted on County early on in the 1963-64 season (for more details, see below).
Out of the last fourteen Nottinghamshire FL derbies, County have won just once, while six have been drawn. And the Stags have netted ten times during the last three home derbies against the Magpies.
One person who definitely knows much about both sides, is Billy Dearden. After leaving the Stags in January 2002, Dearden took up the County hot seat and did wonders by keeping them up at current League One level under very difficult circumstances for two seasons (was County manager in 2002-03) before he was axed just two years later, a 2003-04 season ending in relegation to the basement. Billy was in his second spell as Stags manager when we beat County at home 2-0 in October 2007 thanks to two Michael Boulding strikes during our longest unbeaten run that term (two wins and two draws).
The teams first met in 1937-38, when the Stags were moved to the southern section of the old third division due to the relegation of Barnsley and Stockport from the old 2nd division with the effect of both those sides being placed in the old Div 3 (N).
The Stags lost both games against County in the 1937-38 season. The crowds then: 13632 at Meadow Lane and 11190 at Field Mill. The following season, the last before the outbreak of World War II, saw the first Stags win against County, a 2-0 on November 12, 1938 in front of 9852, who saw Turner and Dutton dispose of the Magpies. That season also saw the first Stags away point at Meadow Lane, a 1-1 draw on March 18, 1939, Harkin hitting the net in front of 11629.
After World War II, the teams have been playing in the same league on a little more than dozen occasions up to the current season. The first post-war derby was played at Field Mill on November 23, 1946, when a solitary Copestake strike was enough to send the Magpies a few miles down the road empty-handed in front of 10899. But the away game at Meadow Lane on March 29, 1947, turned out to be the Stags' worst-ever disaster in Nottinghamshire derbies as the Stags were felled to a 5-1 scoreline with Betts netting the consolation watched by 12157.
The sides also clashed in the Stags’ solitary season in the old 2nd division in 1977-78, when the Magpies won both fixtures. Attendances then: 12827 at Field Mill, 10587 at Meadow Lane. The derby attendances in 1971-72 were even better: 16905 at Meadow Lane, 16758 at Field Mill. The second biggest Stags win in league games was a 4-0 thumping on September 16, 1963 with three goals from Roy Chapman and one from Scanlon in front of the Stags’ second highest home gate that season, 16560, a gate which was marginally bettered on February 8, 1964, when the eventual Champions and later First Division and Premiership side Coventry were sent home beaten 3-2 in front of 16755. And in the inaugural season of the old third division, the Stags did their first double over the Magpies, as the Stags won the home fixture 3-0 (gate 13376) and the away one 4-3 (attendance 16510), thus being the Stags-County game producing most league goals. The second one was achieved in 2004-05, starting with the stuffing of the Magpies to a convincing 3-1 scoreline that should have been even higher, i.e. due to hitting the woodwork and missing a penalty, on October 16, 2004.
... and the teams have never played a goal-less league game at Field Mill, compared to four at Meadow Lane, three of those during the last ten years.
Notts County have played every other side playing in the FL and PL during the last half century except for Maidstone during their short spell in the basement about 25 years ago as well as having played every side which failed re-election over that same space of time (Gateshead, Bradford PA, Barrow, Workington, Southport) and also sides like Scarborough, Kidderminster and the old Accrington club to name but a few. And since FL Nottinghamshire derby in 2007-08, the Stags have had six different managers. Compare that to fifteen (!) different bosses at Meadow Lane, among them current Carlisle boss Keith Curle, Stags boss by the time of the Stags’ 3-2 home victory in February 2003, and his last Stags victory was the 3-1 demolition in October 2004.
As expected, several players have played for the Stags as well as for the Magpies. One of the first is believed to be Edwin Clare, playing even in the Mansfield Wesleyans days. Even the Stags’ first International, John McClelland, did play a few games for County in their latest season in the top flight, 1991-92 (and this before the introduction of the Premier League). Two of last season’s Stags recruits, Krystian Pearce and Craig Westcarr, had previous FL experience at Meadow Lane. But only Pearce is still at the Stags. One of the very latest is Yoann Arquin, who last year scored five times for Syrianska FC from Södertälje at Swedish Superettan level, equivalent to UK Championship. Arquin played 53 League One games, scoring on ten occasions, for the Magpies between August 2012 and January 2014.
The sides have never faced each other in the FA Cup, but in the League Cup on a few occasions, the first in 1966-67, the latest in 2001-02. Each side has gone through to the next round twice. Come on Mansfield!
Played for both sides: Blair Adams, Yoann Arquin, Ian Baraclough, Brian Bates, Charlie Bisby, Paul Bolland, Michael Brough, Roy Brown, Colin Calderwood, Gary Chapman, Steven Cherry, Trevor Christie, Edwin Clare (even in Mansfield Wesleyans days!!!), David Coates, William Coole, Wayne Corden, John B Cottam (1920’s), Reg Cropper, Tom Curtis, William Death, Bill Dickson, Dick Edwards, Wayne Fairclough, Len Featherby, Kieron Freeman, Paul Gibson, Matt Hamshaw, Terry Hawkridge, Jimmy Heathcote, Simeon Hodson, Colin Hoyle, David Hunt, Nicky Hunt, Glynn Hurst, John Jepson, Jimmy Jones, Harry Keeling, Brian Kilcline, Ben Le Grice, Jason Lee, Richard Lee, Tony Lormor, Neil Mackenzie, John McClelland, Arthur Mann, Dan Martin, Gary Martindale, Paul Mayo, George Mee, Junior Mendes, Bobby Mimms, Liam Mitchell, Brian Moore, Harry Moore, Adam Murray, Vadaine Oliver, Krystian Pearce, Kevin Pilkington, Don O’Riordan, Nicky Platnauer, Llewellyn Price, Kevin Randall, Ricky Ravenhill, Charlie Reed, Mike Rose, Fred Shaw, Alan Sheehan, Lance Sheldon, Paul Sherlock, Gary Silk, Stephen Slawson, Matt Somner, James Spencer, Mark Stallard, Chris Staniforth, Phil Stant, Arthur Staples, Murray Steele, George Stimpson, John Streets, John Thompson, Adrian Thorpe, Mick Vinter, Darren Ward, Alfred West, Craig Westcarr, Andy White, Hayden White, Chris Withe.
Managed both sides: Billy Dearden, Keith Curle. Mick Jones, Harry Parkes, Harry Weightman (only manager who’s been in charge of all three Nottinghamshire League clubs!). Assistant manager for both sides: John Gannon.
Home games: P 19, W 9, D 4, L 6, GF 37, GA 24
Away games: P 19, W 3, D 8, L 8, GF 17, GA 27
Season Home Date Away Date
1937-38 1-2 1938-04-09 0-2 1937-10-07 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 2-0 1938-11-12 1-1 1939-03-18 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 1-0 1946-11-23 1-5 1947-03-29 Div 3 (S)
1958-59 3-0 1959-02-14 4-3 1958-09-27 Div 3 (old)
1963-64 4-0 1963-09-16 0-1 1963-10-03 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 1-1 1972-02-26 0-2 1971-11-06 Div 3 (old)
1977-78 1-3 1977-10-29 0-1 1978-03-21 Div 2 (old)
1986-87 1-2 1987-04-21 0-0 1986-12-26 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 1-1 1987-10-11 1-1 1988-03-12 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 1-1 1988-10-01 1-2 1989-02-04 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 1-3 1989-11-04 2-4 1990-05-05 Div 3 (old)
1997-98 0-2 1998-01-31 0-1 1997-09-13 Div 3
2002-03 3-2 2003-02-08 2-2 2002-11-09 Div 2
2004-05 3-1 2004-10-16 1-0 2005-02-05 League Two
2005-06 2-3 2005-08-29 2-2 2006-03-04 League Two
2006-07 2-2 2006-10-07 0-0 2007-03-10 League Two
2007-08 2-0 2007-10-20 0-0 2008-03-29 League Two
2015-16 5-0 2016-04-16 2-0 2015-08-14 League Two
2016-17 3-1 2016-10-08 0-0 2017-01-14 League Two
1966-67 1-1 1966-08-24 (1st round at Meadow Lane)
1966-67 3-0 1966-08-29 (1st round replay at Field Mill)
1969-70 3-1 1969-08-13 (1st round at Field Mill)
1988-89 0-5 1988-08-30 (1st round, 1st leg at Meadow Lane)
1988-89 1-0 1988-09-06 (1st round, 2nd leg at Field Mill, Notts Co through 5-1 on aggregate)
2001-02 3-4 2001-08-21 (1st round at Field Mill)
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.