For the right to play the current PL leaders Manchester City at home in the FA Cup fourth round, the Stags face Championship high-fliers Cardiff City in a home third round replay on Tuesday night.
A replay which was more than deserved after a very strong Stags performance against an almost full-strength Cardiff side down in Wales recently, which also was the Stags’ first-ever FA Cup fixture against the Welsh Bluebirds.
This will also be Cardiff’s first visit to Mansfield since October 2002, when the Bluebirds were lucky to win by the only goal of the game. One Stags player then, Liam Lawrence, was a decade later to play a dozen Championship fixtures for Cardiff City after having played in the PL for Sunderland and Stoke.
But Lawrence isn’t the only player to have appeared for both the Stags and Cardiff in FL history. Another one is the scorer against Liverpool five years ago, Matt Green, now at Lincoln. His first FL club was Cardiff, and on February 23, 2007, he came on as a late sub in a home fixture against Preston. But before that, he made one appearance for Newport County in a first round fixture of the FA Cup at home to Swansea.
In the FL, the sides first met during the Stags inaugural FL season in 1931-32. Then, the Stags had been elected to the old div 3 (S), replacing Newport County, and Cardiff had been relegated from the second tier along with Reading, just a few years after winning the FA Cup as the only Welsh side doing so, by beating Arsenal by the only goal of the game. Cardiff won both league fixtures against the Stags that campaign.
And when the Stags played their so far solitary season at second level, Cardiff were one of the opponents. At Ninian Park, the Stags gained their first-ever second level away point by drawing 1-1 on September 17, 1977 with Ernie Moss as Stags scorer. The home fixture on February 11, 1978, a 2-2 draw with Ian Wood and the late Gordon Hodgson as scorers for the Stags, proved to be the final game for Peter Morris as Mansfield Town boss.
The teams have also met in the league Cup on two occasions. The first games were in the 1961-62 when Cardiff went through after a replay, and in 1990-91, when the Bluebirds won over two legs. The 1961 home game was the first under new floodlights and a new stand at Field Mill.
Cardiff last reached the FA Cup final a decade ago, beaten by Portsmouth. In the third round, Cardiff faced the lowest-ranked side ever to reach the third round, namely Chasetown. At their place, Cardiff eventually went through to a 3-1 scoreline in front of a full house, while the Stags last reached the third round five years ago, eventually going out at home to Liverpool in front of millions of TV viewers all over the world. A few months later, the Stags sealed their League Two return by beating Wrexham at home in the final game.
The following players have appeared for both sides: George Blackburn, Michael Boulding, Lee Bullock, Matt Green, Chris Greenacre, Phil Kite, Liam Lawrence, John McClelland, Carl Muggleton, Nick Platnauer, Phil Stant, Soloman Taiwo, Tony Vaughan.
Some interesting names there.
Played for the Stags, later managed Cardiff: Billy Ayre, Frank Burrows.
Home games: P 15, W 5, D 4, L 6, GF 24, GA 23
Away games: P 15, W 1, D 3, L 11, GF 9, GA 32
1931-32 1-2 1932-02-27 0-2 1931-10-17 Div 3 (S)
1937-38 3-0 1937-12-25 1-4 1937-12-27 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 2-2 1938-08-31 0-0 1939-04-29 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 1-3 1946-11-09 0-5 1947-03-15 Div 3 (S)
1975-76 1-4 1975-09-13 0-1 1976-01-20 Div 3 (old)
1977-78 2-2 1978-02-11 1-1 1977-09-17 Div 2 (old)
1988-89 2-2 1988-10-22 0-0 1989-03-04 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 1-0 1989-09-09 0-1 1990-03-27 Div 3 (old)
1991-92 3-0 1991-10-19 2-3 1992-01-31 Div 4 (old)
1995-96 1-1 1995-12-16 0-3 1995-09-30 Div 3
1996-97 1-3 1997-03-08 2-1 1996-12-21 Div 3
1997-98 1-2 1997-08-23 1-4 1998-02-17 Div 3
1998-99 3-0 1999-05-08 2-4 1998-12-19 Div 3
2000-01 2-1 2001-04-24 0-2 2000-10-21 Div 3
2002-03 0-1 2002-10-29 0-1 2003-03-21 Div 2
2017-18 0-0 2018-01-06 3rd round at Cardiff Stadium
1961-62 1-1 1961-10-05 at Field Mill
1961-62 1-2 1961-10-23 replay at Ninian Park
1990-91 1-1 1990-08-28 1st leg at Field Mill
1990-91 0-3 1990-09-04 2nd leg at Ninian Park
Should definitely be a good game on Tuesday night between two strong sides fielded by the managers. Come on Mansfield!
For the record, the Stags have been paired against Welsh sides before in the FA Cup. Here are the previous games before the game at Cardiff:
1950-51: January 6, 1951, beating Swansea Town (as they were called then), at home to a 2-0 scoreline in the third round, scorer Steele twice, on the way to reaching the fifth round, then the Stags’ longest FA Cup run, surpassed in the 1968-69 campaign.
1964-65: December 5, 1964, going out in the second round away to Newport County to a 3-0 scoreline at Newport’s old Somerton Park headquarters.
1966-67: November 26, 1966, beating Bangor City at home to a 4-1 scoreline in the first round after two goals from Curry, one apiece from Brace and Mitchinson. The Stags went on to reach the fourth round.
1970-71: The Stags beat Wrexham at home in the first round after goals from Stenson and Dudley Roberts to a 2-0 scoreline on November 21, 1970.
1974-75: On the way to the fifth round and a 0-1 home defeat against Carlisle, the Stags kayoed Wrexham at home to a 3-1 scoreline on November 23, 1974 after two goals from Terry Eccles and one from McCaffrey.
1975-76: The Stags then needed three games to dispose of Wrexham, the third game at Villa Park on December 8, 1975, won 2-1 after two 1-1 stalemates.
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.