After the 1-1 draw at Grimsby Town on Boxing Day, the Stags are on the road again. This time around, it is to a ground known to the previewer. The tale is of Adams Park, home to Wycombe Wanderers, where the previewer saw much-travelled Jefferson Louis hit a 90th minute winner on February 9, 2008.
Five years later, the Stags gained their first victory back in League Two on August 17, 2013, when Ollie Palmer headed home the Stags’ first League Two goal for five years.
A Wycombe player who starred then is still around. The name: Matt Bloomfield, who since the 2003-04 season and the Chairboys debut in a 2-0 home defeat against Rushden & Diamonds on December 28, 2003, has played nearly 400 league games for the Chairboys as well as a couple of cup games. An incredible feat, to print the least. And on August 21, 2012, he was in the same Wycombe line-up as the Stags’ scorer at Grimsby on Boxing Day, Lee Angol, who came on as sub with six minutes left of a 0-1 home defeat against Gillingham. But by then, Bloomfield had been subbed.
Bloomfield also played for the Chairboys way back 2008.
Unlike many other sides, Wycombe have had the same man in the hot seat for a couple of seasons. Their current manager, Gareth Ainsworth, has bossed the Chairboys since late 2012 and has overseen a last-game League Two survival in 2014 by the help of the Stags and a near-miss on promotion the following season.
Last season saw Wycombe narrowly miss out on the playoffs and are thereabouts again this term. The proof: The Chairboys are fourth by the time of previewing, but only three points above the Stags, and have six straight home wins, the latest 2-0 against Newport.
But the final game of the calendar year 2017 will definitely be a stern test for both sides.
The sides also met in the FA Cup during the 2003-04 season.
After drawing 1-1 at Wycombe in front of the TV cameras, the Stags kayoed the Chairboys in the replay at home thanks to a 90th minute Liam Lawrence penalty. That game might have been billed: Liam Lawrence 3, Wycombe Wanderers 2, as Liam first had sent the Stags 1-0 up, then in the second half equalized to 2-2 thanks to another pen. This was an FA Cup 2nd round thriller, to say the least.
Before the 2000-01 season, when Wycombe reached the semi-finals narrowly losing 1-2 to Liverpool at Villa Park (after beating Harrow Borough, Millwall, Grimsby, Wolves, Wimbledon and Leicester) the Chairboys reached the 3rd round in 1993-94, 1994-95 and as a non-league side in 1974-75, then holding Division One Middlesbrough to a 0-0 draw at home before going out 0-1in the replay at Ayresome Park. And as early as 1932-33, Wycombe reached the FA Cup 1st round for the first time. Then they held Gillingham to a 1-1 away draw before going out 2-4 at home. And in 1959-60, Wycombe won their first FA Cup 1st round game by disposing of Wisbech 4-2 (the side that succumbed 10-1 at Brighton in the FA Cup in 1965-66, noted in the Brighton FA Cup preview one month before our trip to Wycombe in February 2008) before crashing out 1-5 at Watford in the 2nd round. In 1973-74, Wycombe accounted for their first league victim as a non-league side by beating Newport County 3-1 at home before going out against another well-known giant-killer, Peterborough 1-3 at home.
An interesting fact as well is that both Wycombe and Mansfield faced Leicester in the quarter-finals of both clubs’ longest-ever FA cup runs. While Wycombe won 2-1 at Filbert Street on March 10, 2001, the Stags lost 0-1 at home on March 8, 1969. Both clubs have also met West Ham at home. While the Mighty Stags stuffed the Hammers 3-0 on February 26, 1969, the Chairboys lost 0-2 at home in the 3rd round on January 7, 1995.
For the record, the longest FA Cup runs of both sides:
Stags in 1968-69: 1st round Tow Law 4-1 (home, scorers Ledger (2), Keeley, Sharkey); 2nd round Rotherham 2-2 (away, scorers Keeley, Sharkey), 2nd round replay Rotherham 1-0 (home, scorer: Ledger), 3rd round Sheffield United 2-1 (home, scorer Roberts D (2)), 4th round Southend 2-1 (home, scorers Sharkey, Roberts D), 5th round West Ham 3-0 (home, scorers Keeley, Roberts D, Sharkey), QF Leicester 0-1 (home).
Chairboys in 2000-01: 1st round Harrow Borough 3-0 (home, scorers Bates 2, Simpson), 2nd round Millwall 0-0 (away), 2nd round replay Millwall (2-1 home, scorers Rammell, McCarthy), 3rd round Grimsby 1-1 (home, scorer McCarthy), 3rd round replay Grimsby 3-1 (away, scorers McCarthy, Simpson, Rogers), 4th round Wolverhampton 2-1 (home, scorers Rammell, Parkin), 5th round Wimbledon 2-2 (home, scorers Simpson, Brown), 5th round replay Wimbledon 1-1, 8-7 on penalties (away, scorer Carroll in normal time), QF Leicester 2-1 (away, scorers McCarthy, Essendoh), SF Liverpool 1-2 (at Villa Park, scorer Ryan).
Both sides disposed of non-league opposition as well as Division 2 (old) and Division 1 (old) and current Championship as well as, in Wycombe’s case, current Premier League sides (Leicester) during the record-breaking cup runs in 1968-69 and 2000-01 as the stats above show.
Since the 2007-08 season, the Chairboys have had two one-season stints in League One, in 2009-10 and 2011-12 respectively. In the 2009-10 campaign, Wycombe faced sides like Leeds, Norwich and Southampton while both Sheffield clubs were among Wycombe's opponents two seasons later.
A good test is on the cards. Earlier this season, the sides played out a goal-less draw at One Call Stadium. Come on Mansfield!
Played for both sides: Lee Angol, Adam Birchall, Matthew Carmichael, Gerald Darvill, Richard Harris, Kieran Murtagh, Iffy Onoura, Barry Richardson, Scott Shearer, Gary Silk, Mark Stallard, Gustav Uhlenbeek, Danny Wallace, Craig Woodman.
Home: P 11, W 2, D 5, L 4, GF 12, GA 18
Away: P 10, W 3, D 3, L 4, GF 11, GA 12
Season Home Date Away Date
1993-94 3-0 1994-02-12 0-1 1994-01-25 Div 3
2002-03 0-0 2003-01-11 3-3 2002-08-17 Div 2
2004-05 1-4 2005-02-22 1-1 2004-10-23 League Two
2005-06 2-3 2005-09-24 2-2 2006-02-11 League Two
2006-07 3-2 2007-02-24 0-1 2006-09-01 League Two
2007-08 0-4 2008-01-08 2-1 2008-02-09 League Two
2013-14 2-2 2014-01-25 1-0 2013-08-17 League Two
2014-15 0-0 2015-01-24 1-2 2014-09-13 League Two
2015-16 0-2 2015-10-31 0-1 2016-03-25 League Two
2016-17 1-1 2016-10-15 1-0 2017-04-14 League Two
2017-18 0-0 2017-09-12 (at Mansfield) League Two
2003-04 1-1 2003-12-05 2nd round at Adams Park, Wycombe
2003-04 3-2 2003-12-16 2nd round replay at Field Mill
2016-17 1-2 2017-01-24 Checkatrade Trophy Quarter-finals at Mansfield