After bowing out of the EFL Trophy at home to Bury last Tuesday night, the Stags can now fully concentrate on their League Two playoff and promotion push. And this weekend, a huge home Nottinghamshire League Two derby against Notts County, one of the very biggest League Two disappointments so far this term.
The proof: last season playoff losing semifinalists against Coventry City, this term flirting with dropping out of the FL for the first time ever. TWO managerial sackings this season. In late August, Kevin Nolan was shown the door. Interim management by Mark Crossley and Steve Chettle for a week before the appointment of Harry Kewell. He himself lasted just two months in the Meadow Lane hot seat and was sacked following the FA Cup first round exit by being on the wrong end of a 4-0 rout at Barnsley. Current Magpies boss is former AFC Wimbledon stalwart Neil Ardley. How long will he remain at Meadow Lane ? And Ardley is the latest one of almost 30 Meadow Lane bosses in preview history, a history which also has seen Billy Dearden and Keith Curle bossing both sides as well as the Stags have averaged almost three goals per game at headquarters in preview history starting with a 3-2 home victory on February 8, 2003 with Keith Curle as Stags boss and Billy Dearden in the County dugout.
Ardley needs to sort out the Magpies’ defensive problems as they have conceded three goals or more in almost half of their League games so far, among them in seven consecutive ones following a goal-less home draw against Colchester on the opening day. 23 goals conceded on the road is more than any other side so far.
And since County’s latest double FL victories against the Stags way back in the 1997-98 campaign, the Magpies have called upon loads of different managers including Billy Dearden and Keith Curle.
Three seasons ago, the Stags faced Notts County for the first time in seven seasons in a Nottinghamshire FL derby. If you are a County fan, you have best to forget both fixtures, and if you are a Stags fans, you will remember both derbies for a very long time. At Meadow Lane, the Stags registered their first victory that season to a 2-0 scoreline. And at One Call Stadium aka Field Mill, County suffered their biggest-ever defeat against Mansfield to a heavy 5-0 scoreline in a game in which the Stags ran riot during the second half, surpassing the 4-0 inflicted on County early on in the 1963-64 season (for more details, see below).
Out of the last sixteen Nottinghamshire FL derbies, County have won just once, while seven have been drawn. And the Stags have netted thirteen times in the last four home derbies against the Magpies, and last season, County’s opener at Meadow Lane was the first league goal the Stags had conced there since March 4, 2006 in front of the previewer who then wrote the Stagsnet Match report on a 2-2 draw. For more details, see the Match Centre for that campaign. But the County home goal last March was cancelled out by a 97th minute Kane Hemmings penalty.
One person who definitely knows much about both sides, is Billy Dearden. After leaving the Stags in January 2002, Dearden took up the County hot seat and did wonders by keeping them up at current League One level under very difficult circumstances for two seasons (was County manager in 2002-03) before he was axed just two years later, a 2003-04 season ending in relegation to the basement. Billy was in his second spell as Stags manager when we beat County at home 2-0 in October 2007 thanks to two Michael Boulding strikes during our longest unbeaten run that term (two wins and two draws).
The teams first met in 1937-38, when the Stags were moved to the southern section of the old third division due to the relegation of Barnsley and Stockport from the old 2nd division with the effect of both those sides being placed in the old Div 3 (N).
The Stags lost both games against County in the 1937-38 season. The crowds then: 13632 at Meadow Lane and 11190 at Field Mill. The following season, the last before the outbreak of World War II, saw the first Stags win against County, a 2-0 on November 12, 1938 in front of 9852, who saw Turner and Dutton dispose of the Magpies. That season also saw the first Stags away point at Meadow Lane, a 1-1 draw on March 18, 1939, Harkin hitting the net in front of 11629.
After World War II, the teams have been playing in the same league on a little more than dozen occasions up to the current season. The first post-war derby was played at Field Mill on November 23, 1946, when a solitary Copestake strike was enough to send the Magpies a few miles down the road empty-handed in front of 10899. But the away game at Meadow Lane on March 29, 1947, turned out to be the Stags' worst-ever disaster in Nottinghamshire derbies as the Stags were felled to a 5-1 scoreline with Betts netting the consolation watched by 12157.
The sides also clashed in the Stags’ solitary season in the old 2nd division in 1977-78, when the Magpies won both fixtures. Attendances then: 12827 at Field Mill, 10587 at Meadow Lane. The derby attendances in 1971-72 were even better: 16905 at Meadow Lane, 16758 at Field Mill. The second biggest Stags win in league games was a 4-0 thumping on September 16, 1963 with three goals from Roy Chapman and one from Scanlon in front of the Stags’ second highest home gate that season, 16560, a gate which was marginally bettered on February 8, 1964, when the eventual Champions and later First Division and Premiership side Coventry were sent home beaten 3-2 in front of 16755. And in the inaugural season of the old third division, the Stags did their first double over the Magpies, as the Stags won the home fixture 3-0 (gate 13376) and the away one 4-3 (attendance 16510), thus being the Stags-County game producing most league goals. The second one was achieved in 2004-05, starting with the stuffing of the Magpies to a convincing 3-1 scoreline that should have been even higher, i.e. due to hitting the woodwork and missing a penalty, on October 16, 2004.
... and the teams have never played a goal-less league game at Field Mill, compared to four at Meadow Lane, three of those during the last ten years.
Notts County have played every other side playing in the FL and PL during the last half century except for Maidstone during their short spell in the basement about 25 years ago as well as having played every side which failed re-election over that same space of time (Gateshead, Bradford PA, Barrow, Workington, Southport) and also sides like Scarborough, Kidderminster and the old Accrington club to name but a few. And since the FL Nottinghamshire derby in 2007-08, the Stags have had seven different managers.
As expected, several players have played for the Stags as well as for the Magpies. One of the first is believed to be Edwin Clare, playing even in the Mansfield Wesleyans days. Even the Stags’ first International, John McClelland, did play a few games for County in their latest season in the top flight, 1991-92 (and this before the introduction of the Premier League). Two recent season’s Stags recruits, Krystian Pearce and Craig Westcarr, had previous FL experience at Meadow Lane. But only Pearce is still at the Stags. One more recent is Yoann Arquin, who during the 2016 calendar year campaign scored five times for Syrianska FC from Södertälje at Swedish Superettan level, equivalent to UK Championship. Arquin played 53 League One games, scoring on ten occasions, for the Magpies between August 2012 and January 2014. Most recent is Neal Bishop for the Stags, while Kane Hemmings now plays for the Magpies.
The sides have never faced each other in the FA Cup, but in the League Cup on a few occasions, the first in 1966-67, the latest in 2001-02. Each side has gone through to the next round twice.
Played for both sides: Blair Adams, Yoann Arquin, Ian Baraclough, Brian Bates, Charlie Bisby, Neal Bishop, Paul Bolland, Michael Brough, Roy Brown, Colin Calderwood, Gary Chapman, Steven Cherry, Trevor Christie, Edwin Clare (even in Mansfield Wesleyans days!!!), David Coates, William Coole, Wayne Corden, John B Cottam (1920’s), Reg Cropper, Tom Curtis, William Death, Bill Dickson, Dick Edwards, Wayne Fairclough, Len Featherby, Kieron Freeman, Paul Gibson, Matt Hamshaw, Terry Hawkridge, Jimmy Heathcote, Kane Hemmings, Simeon Hodson, Colin Hoyle, David Hunt, Nicky Hunt, Glynn Hurst, John Jepson, Jimmy Jones, Harry Keeling, Brian Kilcline, Ben Le Grice, Jason Lee, Richard Lee, Tony Lormor, Neil Mackenzie, John McClelland, Arthur Mann, Dan Martin, Gary Martindale, Paul Mayo, George Mee, Junior Mendes, Bobby Mimms, Liam Mitchell, Brian Moore, Harry Moore, Adam Murray, Vadaine Oliver, Krystian Pearce, Kevin Pilkington, Don O’Riordan, Nicky Platnauer, Llewellyn Price, Kevin Randall, Ricky Ravenhill, Charlie Reed, Mike Rose, Fred Shaw, Alan Sheehan, Lance Sheldon, Paul Sherlock, Gary Silk, Stephen Slawson, Matt Somner, James Spencer, Mark Stallard, Chris Staniforth, Phil Stant, Arthur Staples, Murray Steele, George Stimpson, John Streets, Nathan Thomas, John Thompson, Adrian Thorpe, Mick Vinter, Darren Ward, Alfred West, Craig Westcarr, Andy White, Hayden White, Chris Withe.
Managed both sides: Billy Dearden, Keith Curle. Mick Jones, Harry Parkes, Harry Weightman (only manager who’s been in charge of all three Nottinghamshire League clubs!). Assistant manager for both sides: John Gannon.
Home games: P 20, W 10, D 4, L 6, GF 40, GA 25
Away games: P 20, W 3, D 9, L 8, GF 18, GA 28
Season Home Date Away Date
1937-38 1-2 1938-04-09 0-2 1937-10-07 Div 3 (S)
1938-39 2-0 1938-11-12 1-1 1939-03-18 Div 3 (S)
1946-47 1-0 1946-11-23 1-5 1947-03-29 Div 3 (S)
1958-59 3-0 1959-02-14 4-3 1958-09-27 Div 3 (old)
1963-64 4-0 1963-09-16 0-1 1963-10-03 Div 3 (old)
1971-72 1-1 1972-02-26 0-2 1971-11-06 Div 3 (old)
1977-78 1-3 1977-10-29 0-1 1978-03-21 Div 2 (old)
1986-87 1-2 1987-04-21 0-0 1986-12-26 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 1-1 1987-10-11 1-1 1988-03-12 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 1-1 1988-10-01 1-2 1989-02-04 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 1-3 1989-11-04 2-4 1990-05-05 Div 3 (old)
1997-98 0-2 1998-01-31 0-1 1997-09-13 Div 3
2002-03 3-2 2003-02-08 2-2 2002-11-09 Div 2
2004-05 3-1 2004-10-16 1-0 2005-02-05 League Two
2005-06 2-3 2005-08-29 2-2 2006-03-04 League Two
2006-07 2-2 2006-10-07 0-0 2007-03-10 League Two
2007-08 2-0 2007-10-20 0-0 2008-03-29 League Two
2015-16 5-0 2016-04-16 2-0 2015-08-14 League Two
2016-17 3-1 2016-10-08 0-0 2017-01-14 League Two
2017-18 3-1 2017-09-30 1-1 2018-03-17 League Two
1966-67 1-1 1966-08-24 (1st round at Meadow Lane)
1966-67 3-0 1966-08-29 (1st round replay at Field Mill)
1969-70 3-1 1969-08-13 (1st round at Field Mill)
1988-89 0-5 1988-08-30 (1st round, 1st leg at Meadow Lane)
1988-89 1-0 1988-09-06 (1st round, 2nd leg at Field Mill, Notts Co through 5-1 on aggregate)
2001-02 3-4 2001-08-21 (1st round at Field Mill)
JP Trophy / Checkatrade Trophy:
2014-15 0-2 2014-09-02 at Meadow Lane
2015-16 1-3 2015-09-01 at Meadow Lane
2017-18 2-1 2017-10-24 at Meadow Lane
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.