From progressing to the third round in the FA Cup for the first time in five years (and the first-ever FA Cup game at Cardiff) to the EFL Trophy and an away fixture at Blackpool. This is the cup tale for the Stags at the moment.
The Stags, who won the Trophy 30 years ago, made sure of EFL Trophy knock-out stage progress by beating Everton U 23 a month ago. While Blackpool made sure of EFL Trophy progress by beating Middlesbrough U 21 to a convincing 4-1 scoreline. But only a few days later, the Tangeringes were giant-killed by National League outfit Boreham Wood at their place.
This will be the third EFL Trophy fixture between the Stags and the Tangerines as well as there previously have been three FA Cup clashes, the latest in the 1969-70 season. Then, it was the Stags’ third FA Cup visit to Bloomfield Road within 20 years for the Stags. And it proved to be third time lucky, as two goals from Dai Jones were enough to kayoe Blackpool, who in the previous round had slain Arsenal in a replay, to a 2-0 scoreline on January 24, 1970. The first meeting between the sides was during the Stags’ then longest-ever FA Cup run way back in 1950-51, when Blackpool, FA Cup winners in 1953 during the Stanley Matthews final, won 2-0 at home in the fifth round. The sides did also clash in the League Cup in the early 1990's
Before last season’s League Two clash at Blackpool, the previewer wrote:
“Who could six years ago have thought that the Stags were to play Blackpool in a League fixture ? Then, the Tangerines were on their highest high for four decades, playing in the PL and on the verge of taking six points off Liverpool (beating them at home to a 2-1 scoreline on January 12, 2011, after winning at Anfield to the same scoreline a few months earlier) while the Stags were on a low current National League tedium, losing at home to Altrincham by the only goal of the game during an inconsistent, to print the least, third BSP season out of five there”.
Since then, Blackpool have slid down the Leagues down to League Two for the first time in 15 seasons, while the Stags returned to the FL in 2013. And now, it will be the first Stags trip to Blackpool for almost fourteen years.
Then, it was in the current League One. That game saw a future Blackpool PL player play his second game for the Stags. The name: Alex John-Baptiste.”
And before the Stags had faced Blackpool in a league game, the first one being during the Stags’ so far solitary season in the old second division, the teams had faced each other in the FA Cup on three occasions, all at Blackpool. After losing in 1951 and 1960, the Mighty Stags kayoed Blackpool on January 24, 1970 2-0 in a game now featured in the vintage Stags section. The first-ever league game between the two sides was played at Field Mill on December 10, 1977, where Blackpool ran out 3-1 winners in front of 6975 spectators (Stags goal Sharkey pen, Blackpool goals Hatton, Walsh, Ainscow). At that stage, Blackpool were in the promotion race and at that time could no-one imagine that they were going to be relegated together with the Stags a few months later. In fact, the first-ever Stags league win at Blackpool at the end of the 1977-78 season, a 2-1 at Bloomfield Road on April 22, 1978 (Stags goals Miller, Syrett pen, Blackpool goal Hatton, attendance 5376), eventually led Blackpool on the relegation trail. After that season, the teams faced each other many times in the old third and fourth divisions with fairly frequent draws, especially at Field Mill, where nine games have been drawn. And only once, before Keith Curle’s first league game in charge as Stags boss, had the Stags beaten Blackpool at Field Mill, and this happened on the opening day of the 1982-83 season to a 2-1 scoreline. Not only have the teams been relegated together, they have also been promoted together, and this occurred in the 1991-92 season, decided on the final day. The Stags beat Rochdale and Blackpool lost at Lincoln. These results helped the Stags gain automatic promotion, while Blackpool had to beat Scunthorpe on penalties in the play-off finals to clinch promotion.
And the previous campaign in which Blackpool were in the basement tier, some fifteen years ago, they also faced the Stags. That 2000-01 season saw the Tangerines crash 7-0 at later relegated (for the first time) Barnet, a month after Blackpool’s latest victory at Mansfield. At the end of that season, Blackpool were promoted to the third tier via a playoff final win against Leyton Orient, the side the Tangerines beat at their place to a 2-1 scoreline a few days before their latest trip to Mansfield, which in the second game for Steve Evans as Stags boss saw the Stags clinch an injury-time winner.
But the 2000-01 playoff win wasn’t their first one (see above), yet Blackpool became the first side to win playoff finals to three different divisions. In 2007, Blackpool returned to the second tier for the first time since being relegated together with the Stags (and Hull) in 1977-78 by beating Yeovil to a 2-0 scoreline. And three seasons later, Blackpool sealed a surprise promotion to the PL by winning against Cardiff to a 3-2 scoreline and return to the top flight for the first time since 1970, the same year in which the Stags kayoed Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round to a 2-0 scoreline at Bloomfield Road.
One of several players having appeared for both sides is Alex John-Baptiste. He played 21 out of his 170 games for Blackpool during their PL season and scored once in their 4-0 rout of Wigan at their place in Blackpool’s inaugural PL fixture on August 14, 2010, almost 40 years ago to the day of Blackpool’s previous opening day Division One fixture, a 3-0 reverse at Huddersfield. In fact, Baptiste also played in Blackpool’s 2-1home win over Liverpool on January 12, 2011 and in both fixtures against the Spurs. About 350 of Baptiste’s over 400 league fixtures over the years have been for the Stags and the Tangerines, and he has played in all four divisions including the PL. During his Stags spells, he also played in the current National League for Tamworth and Burton during the 2003-04 season.
Last season, the Stags won both League Two fixture against Blackpool. At home, a 90th minute injury time strike was enough to see off the Tangerines in the second game for Steve Evans in charge. And at Blackpool, a Matt Green strike was enough.
This season, Colin Daniel has played all League One games bar one, in which he was suspended for accumulating yellow cards, for Blackpool. Will he play tomorrow? While Hayden White played 29 games for the Tangerines two seasons ago.
Played for both sides: Craig Allardyce, Andrew Barrowman, Jeff Chandler, Colin Daniel, Rhys Day, John Doolan, John Grayson, Chris Greenacre, Alex John-Baptiste, David Linighan, Neil Mackenzie, Arthur Mann, Billy McEwan (Blackpool was his first UK league club, played four games prior to joining Brighton and Chesterfield, before joining the Stags during the 1976-77 season), George Mee, Jacob Mellis, Neil Moore, Carl Muggleton, Gordon Owen, Keigan Parker, Jazz Rattray, John Reed, Phil Stant (for Blackpool on loan), Ian Stringfellow (for Blackpool on loan), Hayden White.
Managed both sides: Billy Ayre.
Home stats: P 16, W 3, D 9, L 4, GF 18, GA 19
Away stats: P 16, W 4, D 5, L 7, GF 19, GA 26
Season Home Date Away Date
1977-78 1-3 1977-12-10 2-1 1978-04-22 Div 2 (old)
1978-79 1-1 1979-03-03 0-2 1978-10-21 Div 3 (old)
1979-80 1-1 1979-12-01 1-1 1980-04-19 Div 3 (old)
1981-82 2-2 1981-10-03 3-2 1982-02-13 Div 4 (old)
1982-83 2-1 1982-08-28 1-2 1983-01-15 Div 4 (old)
1983-84 1-1 1984-03-31 0-2 1983-09-27 Div 4 (old)
1984-85 1-1 1985-04-27 0-1 1984-12-01 Div 4 (old)
1986-87 1-1 1986-12-06 2-1 1987-03-07 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 0-0 1987-10-31 0-2 1988-03-19 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 0-1 1989-01-28 1-1 1988-09-17 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 0-3 1989-09-23 1-3 1990-02-03 Div 3 (old)
1991-92 1-1 1991-09-07 1-2 1992-04-04 Div 4 (old)
1992-93 2-2 1993-02-13 1-1 1992-09-05 Div 2
2000-01 0-1 2000-10-17 2-2 2001-03-17 Div 3
2002-03 4-0 2002-12-14 3-3 2003-04-21 Div 2
2016-17 1-0 2016-11-22 1-0 2017-01-02 League Two
1950-51 0-2 1951-02-10 (at Blackpool, 5th Round)
1959-60 0-3 1960-01-09 (at Blackpool, 3rd Round)
1969-70 2-0 1970-01-24 (at Blackpool, 4th Round)
1991-92 0-3 1991-08-20 1st round, 1st leg at Field Mill
1991-92 2-4 1991-08-27 1st round, 2nd leg at Bloomfield Road
1999-00 0-1 2000-11-01 at Field Mill
2001-02 0-4 2001-10-30 at Field Mill
A good test is on the cards. Come on Mansfield!
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.