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Archived News from January 2011

28th January 2011 8:56

Two sides having much in common clash at Field Mill on Saturday. The clubs' nicknames: The Stags and the Dragons. Things in common: Being relegated together twice, fighting then first-ever promotion to the FL second tier in 1976-77, and most recently, problems with ground ownership - and as a result of the latter, sets of fans from both sides will be protesting before the kick-off. As the protest thingy is mentioned elsewhere on Stagsnet, no more about that will be mentioned in this preview.

When the Stags drew 1-1 at Wrexham in late November, it was the Stags' first-ever point gained in BSP fixtures. That fixture should the Stags have won, as the Dragons played the entire second half with ten players as forward Andy Mangan got a straight red card on the stroke of half time. But that wasn't the first case of Mangan being red-carded against the Stags. In the last of the Stags six consecutive Field Mill fixtures with a clean sheet in early 2009, Mangan saw red when playing for Forest Green.

By the time of the Stags' visit to Wrexham last November, both sides had been very inconsistent and were sitting just below the playoff zone. With more consistency in winning could the sides be sitting inside the playoff company. Currently, Wrexham are, due to the fact that the Dragons haven't lost their last eleven BSP games, seven wins, four draws, just five goals conceded, their latest defeat was at home to AFC Wimbledon on October 9, 2010. While the Stags sit just below that playoff zone after playing their first-ever BSP goal-less away draw at Darlington last Tuesday and needing injury-time to win 1-0 against Histon at Field Mill last Saturday in front of just eight (!) away fans, the joint-lowest ever away support, shared with Grays from last season. Wrexham will definitely bring a three-figure following to the Mill. Anything else should be inappropriate considering the history of the clubs.

In league history, the sides have faced each other several times and also managed to by-pass each other on a few occasions as well. Below are some memorable fixtures.

The most memorable Stags v Dragons league fixture should be very easy to pick for any Stags fan, including the previewer. This was on the last day of the 1976-77 season. The Stags were already promoted, but were two points ahead of Brighton, who themselves played at Chesterfield on May 14, 1977. Wrexham had a few days earlier lost 2-4 at home to Crystal Palace in the final minutes and therefore needed a win to topple the Londoners. In an English newspaper, think it was the Guardian, there were quotes from – of all places – Chesterfield, like this: “We want Mansfield to win the title, the region needs success”. Brighton could only manage a 1-1 draw at Saltergate. And at Wrexham, as expected there was a full house. That May Saturday ended in heartbreak for Wrexham as Ernie Moss hit the only goal of the game and clinched the Stags' second championship in three seasons. That win was also the Stags' first at Wrexham since September 18, 1954, when Bradley, Gaskell and Adam hit the net in front of 9197. Bradley, then, was not "gone in 60 seconds-Shayne" in the Stags v Spireites league game on January 18, 2003, but Don Bradley, who scored one of his six Stags league goals then. At one time, Don Bradley held the record for most Stags' league appearances, a record later beaten by two players playing a big part in both 1970's championships, namely Sandy Pate and Rod Arnold, while Wrexham had to wait another year for their turn.

Then on May 14, 1977, the Stags gained definitely sweet revenge on Wrexham as the Dragons sent the Stags down to the basement five seasons earlier on May 1, 1972 due to a late Dragons goal by Mickey Evans, after nine seasons at third level. The Field Mill fixture in the 1976-77 season was won as well. On December 18, 1976, the Stags stung the Dragons 2-0 thanks to goals from John Miller and the late Gordon Hodgson in front of 5399. But that gate was the Stags' second lowest home one all 1976-77 season, must have been due to Christmas shopping or something like that. The Wrexham home game then was the first in a 14-game spell in which the Stags won twelve, drew once and lost just once, catapulting them from seventh position to top spot. During that spell, the Stags scored in eighteen consecutive League fixtures! Wrexham, then using only 16 players, three ever-presents, ten playing 40 games or more, were in the running, too. That campaign, the Stags used 19 players, two playing all 46 games (GK Arnold and the late Gordon Hodgson). But both sides were in that matter surpassed by another promotion-chasing outfit, Rotherham, who used only 15 players all season, one playing only once, but with SIX ever-presents! In that matter, the Millers were the FL League champions when talking about the least players used.

Another memorable game at Wrexham was played as far back as in the 1936-37 season. That campaign was the one of Ted Harston. When the Stags visited Racecourse Ground on April 17, 1937, the talk among the older Stags supporters must have been if Harston were to score his 50th league goal that term? Eventually he did, and netted another in the 3-2 victory. And in the home game a few weeks earlier, Harston fixed a hat-trick, including one from the spot, in the 3-0 win on March 30, 1937.

In 1975-76, the teams clashed six times, three times in the FA Cup before the Stags went through. A few months earlier, the Stags had disposed of Wrexham in the League Cup as well. Despite their FA Cup giant-killing credentials (ask i.e. Arsenal on January 4, 1992!), Wrexham had never before the FA Trophy game in December 2008 won any cup game against the Stags. In 2000-01, the Stags, then in Division Three, dumped the Dragons, then in Division Two, out of the League Cup, mainly due to a 3-0 victory in Wales on September 5, 2000, thanks to two goals from Wayne Corden and one from Chris Greenacre, avenging a 1-0 deficit in front of a paltry 1052 crowd at Notts County's ground! The home game was played there due to work at Field Mill then. In 1975-76, goals from Kevin Bird and Ray Clarke were enough to see off Wrexham on September 10, 1975 at their place. The Stags then went on to dump out TWO then Division 1 (before the PL) sides like Coventry and Wolverhampton, both at Field Mill in front of five-figure gates. In the FA Cup, the Stags went through at the third attempt. This was at a current PL ground where the Stags in fact gained maximum points twice in the early seventies! The FA Cup second replay was won 2-1 thanks to Mick Laverick and a Wrexham own-goal. The ground: Villa Park, where the Stags beat Aston Villa 1-0 in successive seasons, 1970-71 and 1971-72 respectively (scorers Partridge in 1970 and Jones in 1971, both games early on in the corresponding seasons).

The Stags' latest away win at Wrexham was achieved in a promotion campaign. This happened on February 1, 1986, when Cassells and Vinter netted in front of just 1360 at the Racecourse. This was also the first of three consecutive away three-pointers within a fortnight. The other two were 1-0 wins achieved at Exeter - and a very rare on at Leyton Orient (then called just Orient) and were all instrumental in the Stags gaining promotion, this in a spell of eight wins and one defeat in nine Division Four games.

Twice, the Stags have hit Wrexham for six at Field Mill. On February 4, 1956, the Dragons were routed 6-1 thanks to three goals from Darwin, two from Jepson and an own-goal. A little more than three years later, the Stags managed a six-goal haul. On October 24, 1959, in a season which saw the two sides being relegated together for the first time, the Stags thrashed Wrexham 6-2 courtesy of two goals from Fitzsimons, one apiece from Ringstead, Delapenha, Jones and Nugent.

Two seasons ago, two ex-Stags figured for Wrexham. One, Simon Brown, played last season for Tamworth. The other, Jefferson Louis, had his best-ever scoring spell (at Wrexham) for any side he's represented (memorable for netting the 90th minute winner for the Stags at Wycombe in February 2008 season in front of the previewer). But Louis knows the BSP inside out having played for several other current BSP sides during his nomadic career. The proof: Louis left Wrexham at the end of the 2008-09 campaign and is now at Hayes & Yeading after leaving Darlington, whom he represented against the Stags in October 2010, after having had spells at Crawley and Rushden & Diamonds last term. Current Stag Danny Mitchley played for Wrexham in the latest Field Mill clash with the Stags on Easter Saturday 2010.

Only five games between the sides have ever been goal-less, the latest at Wrexham just a litte more than three years ago. And the Stags have scored in all home league games against the Dragons bar five.

Wrexham have won their last four BSP fixtures, the latest 3-1 at Cambridge after a three-goal blitz inside the first 20 minutes last Saturday while the Stags now have managed two consecutive clean sheets, that for the third time this season. An interesting Saturday game is on the cards. Yet, traditionally, there should be a few goals. Come on Mansfield!

Played for both sides: Eric Betts, Roy Brown, Simon Brown, Michael Carter, Stephen Charles, John Clayton, Simon Ireland, Jefferson Louis, John McAliskey, Danny Mitchley, Kenneth Murray, Alf Somerfield, Mick Vinter, George Wynn.

Played for the Stags, later managed Wrexham: Bobby Roberts. Managed both sides: Jack Baynes.

Home games: P 34, W 19, D 8, L 7, GF 68, GA 34
Away games: P 35, W 6, D 10, L 19, GF 34, GA 70

Season Home Date Away Date

1932-33 0-0 1932-12-03 1-1 1933-04-15 Div 3 (N)
1933-34 1-1 1934-01-06 0-5 1933-09-02 Div 3 (N)
1934-35 4-0 1934-12-25 3-1 1934-12-26 Div 3 (N)
1935-36 3-2 1935-09-11 1-5 1935-09-04 Div 3 (N)
1936-37 3-0 1937-03-30 3-2 1937-04-17 Div 3 (N)
1947-48 1-0 1947-12-27 1-2 1947-12-26 Div 3 (N)
1948-49 1-2 1948-12-26 1-1 1949-05-04 Div 3 (N)
1949-50 1-0 1950-04-07 0-0 1950-04-10 Div 3 (N)
1950-51 1-1 1951-04-23 2-2 1950-08-19 Div 3 (N)
1951-52 3-0 1951-09-15 1-3 1952-01-19 Div 3 (N)
1952-53 0-2 1952-09-27 0-1 1953-02-14 Div 3 (N)
1953-54 4-0 1954-04-19 0-2 1954-04-16 Div 3 (N)
1954-55 2-1 1955-02-05 3-1 1954-09-18 Div 3 (N)
1955-56 6-1 1956-02-04 0-2 1955-09-24 Div 3 (N)
1956-57 3-1 1957-04-06 0-0 1956-11-24 Div 3 (N)
1957-58 2-1 1957-09-07 2-4 1958-01-11 Div 3 (N)
1958-59 3-1 1958-09-22 1-2 1958-10-01 Div 3 (old)
1959-60 6-2 1959-10-24 0-3 1960-03-12 Div 3 (old)
1960-61 0-3 1960-09-12 0-2 1960-09-07 Div 4 (old)
1961-62 1-2 1961-12-23 0-5 1961-08-26 Div 4 (old)
1963-64 3-1 1964-02-29 0-2 1964-03-20 Div 3 (old)
1970-71 1-1 1970-09-19 0-4 1971-04-24 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 1-1 1972-05-01 1-1 1972-03-13 Div 3 (old)
1975-76 0-0 1976-03-06 0-1 1975-11-01 Div 3 (old)
1976-77 2-0 1976-12-28 1-0 1977-05-14 Div 3 (old)
1983-84 3-4 1984-03-06 3-2 1983-11-05 Div 4 (old)
1984-85 1-0 1984-10-20 2-2 1985-03-09 Div 4 (old)
1985-86 1-1 1985-09-07 2-1 1986-02-01 Div 4 (old)
1991-92 3-0 1991-09-03 2-3 1992-01-01 Div 4 (old)
2005-06 2-2 2006-02-18 1-4 2005-12-06 League Two
2006-07 3-0 2006-10-21 0-0 2007-03-31 League Two
2007-08 2-1 2008-04-01 1-1 2008-03-01 League Two
2008-09 1-2 2008-10-18 0-2 2009-04-04 BSP
2009-10 0-1 2010-04-03 1-2 2010-02-02 BSP
2010-11 (at Wrexham) 1-1 2010-11-27 BSP

Previous cup games (Freight Rover Trophy aka LDV Vans Trophy aka JPT Trophy not included, details not checked):

FA Cup:

1975-76 1-1 1975-11-22 1st round at Field Mill
1975-76 1-1 1975-11-24 1st round replay at Wrexham
1975-76 2-1 1975-12-08 1st round 2nd replay at Villa Park, Birmingham

League Cup:

1975-76 2-1 1975-09-10 2nd round at Wrexham
2000-01 0-1 2000-08-22 1st round, 1st leg at Meadow Lane, Nottingham due to work at Field Mill
2000-01 3-0 2000-09-05 1st round, 2nd leg at Wrexham (the Stags through 3-1 on aggregate)

FA Trophy

2008-09 1-2 2008-12-13 1st round at Wrexham

Details from various sources, mainly the centenary book and a few editions of Rothmans Football Yearbook

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag


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