For the first time in more than a half-century, the Stags travel to Coventry for a league fixture. Last time out, it was on September 21, 1963 for a Third Division clash at Highfield Road. There, the Stags claimed their first away points following their promotion thanks to a convincing 3-0 scoreline when Coates, Wagstaff and Tyrer silenced the almost 23.000 Highfield crowd. And the home fixture in February 1964 watched by nearly 17000, was also won.
Coventry then went on to win the Third division championship on better goal-average than Crystal Palace.
And 50 years ago, Coventry played at the highest level for the very first time, just eight years after leaving the basement division, and Coventry’s first home game at third level was a 2-0 victory against the Stags in August 1959.
The sides last met in the League Cup at Mansfield during the 1975-76 season. There, the Stags kayoed the Sky Blues to a 2-0 scoreline, while at the same time struggling in the third division. Just over 10000 saw goals from Clarke and Eccles finish the Sky Blues off.
The sides also met during the Stags’ inaugural FL season way back in 1931-32 with Coventry winning convincingly at home and the sides sharing six goals apiece at Field Mill late on that season.
So far this season, Coventry have conceded just twice at Ricoh Arena, a new one for the Stags, this term. But both goals against have resulted in home defeats against Newport and Forest Green, respectively. Most recently, Coventry recorded a very good away win at Luton to a 3-0 scoreline while the Stags’ three latest League Two games have ended in 1-1 draws.
Coventry lasted 34 seasons at the highest level, best position 6th in 1969-70, and won the FA Cup in 1987 with Brian Kilcline, later a Stag, in the side. Since dropping out of the PL in 2001, Coventry have endured problems both on and off the field. Loads of managers, also a few points deductions, and even playing some home fixtures at Northampton a couple of seasons ago.
Incidentally, Coventry became the second club to climb from the then Fourth division to the highest level, while Northampton became the first one.
Iyseden Christie managed just one PL game for Coventry before his two spells at the Stags.
Some other players have appeared for both sides. One of the scorers against West Ham in the FA Cup, Dudley Roberts, started his FL career at Coventry before being transferred to the Stags. Even Carlton Palmer starred for the Sky Blues in their last two PL campaigns, while the first FL club for former Stags goalie Scott Shearer was Coventry. And Ashley Cain, who came on as sub during the Stags’ FA Trophy final against Darlington in 2011, had a couple of seasons earlier played seven Championship fixtures as sub for Coventry as well as starting in one League Cup fixture against Hartlepool in the 2009-10 season. One current Coventry player, Peter Vincenti, played three games for the Stags in 2010.
Played for both sides: Blair Adams, Jack Bellas, Eric Betts, Ashley Cain, Iyseden Christie, Horace Clarke, Digger Daley, Bernard Foster, Billy Frith, Darius Henderson, Steve Kilcar, Brian Kilcline, John Mitten, Carlton Palmer, Nicky Platnauer, Dudley Roberts, Scott Shearer, Ray Straw, Peter Vincenti.
Played for Stags, later managed Coventry: Richard Bayliss, Adrian Boothroyd, Billy Frith, George Raynor.
Home: W 1, D 1, L 1, GF 8, GA 9
Away: W 1, D 0, L 2, GF 4, GA 7
Home games Away games
1931-32 3-3 1932-04-23 1-5 1931-12-12 Division 3 (S)
1959-60 2-4 1960-04-04 0-2 1959-08-22 Division 3
1963-64 3-2 1964-02-08 3-0 1963-09-21 Division 3
1964-65 2-3 1964-10-14 3rd round at Highfield Road
1975-76 2-0 1975-10-08 3rd round at Field Mill
Expect a tough and even game on Saturday. Come on Mansfield!