After exiting the League Cup at Preston to a hefty 4-0 scoreline last weekend, the Stags will be at home in another cup competition in midweek. And it will be the EFL Trophy with Manchester City U21 on Tuesday night. But the Stags have never faced the Manchester City first team in the EFL, the closest to doing that was in the mid-sixties when the Stags finished third in the old third division in 1964-65. One place higher, or three up, three down which was introduced at the start of the 1973-74 campaign had meant the Stags playing at Maine Road, Manchester City’s old ground in 1965-66, a campaign with saw Manchester City as Second Division Champions with only one defeat in their last 22 games, oddly enough at Bury around Easter 1966. Two seasons later, Manchester City became League Champions for the second time in their history, the first being in 1936-37. And incredibly enough, City were relegated the following season despite scoring most goals and having a positive goal-average. For many years, Man City see-sawed between the first and second tier, and in 1957-58, they became the only club with treble figures at both ends as they scored 104 and conceded 100, yet finished fifth in the old firstdivision.
After being relegated from the PL in 1996, Manchester City slipped to their lowest ebb ever by being relegated from the current Championship two years later. In the third tier, opponents raised their game inasmuch as City lost at places like York and Lincoln, also lost both fixtures against Wycombe Wanderers. In that 1998-99 season, the Stags travelled to Manchester City for the so far final time, and on December 8, 1998, returned as 2-1 winners with Lee Peacock netting both Stags goals in the EFL Trophy. That 1998-99 season eventually saw Manchester City earn promotion in the hardest possible way. Only very late goals in the playoff final against Gillingham saw the blue side of Manchester gain promotion at the first attempt.
This was also the second time, the Stags had won at Maine Road. In the first-ever fixture between the sides, the Stags won a high-scoring one to a 5-3 scoreline on September 22, 1964, in the second round of the League Cup with the following Stags scorers: Chapman 2, Wagstaff, MacReady and Tyrer.
A little more than a decade later, the Stags also matched Manchester City. The then newly-promoted to third tier Stags had, despite then lowly Third Division position, disposed of two top-tier sides at headquarters. Coventry and Wolves had already been felled by the Stags when they travelled to Maine Road on December 3, 1975 in the quarter-finals. Despite a good performance in front of over 30,000, the Stags lost to a 2-4 scoreline with Bird and Clarke as Stags scorers. Manchester City then went on to win the League cup against Newcastle in the final.
After being promoted to the PL in 2002 following a one-season PL stint in 2000-01, City have never looked back, winning trophies right, left and centre in domestic competitions. But following the League Championship in 1968, Manchester City went on to win the FA Cup 1969, 1-0 against Leicester, the side which dumped the Stags out in their 1968-69 giant-killing campaign), and in 1970, the Cup-Winners Cup.
Over the years, Manchester City have had several famous players, too many to mention.
Quite a few players have appeared for both sides. Here are those who have been traced: Trevor Christie, Barry Conlon, Keith Curle, Jonathan D’Laryea (for City in the League Cup), Verdi Godwin, Chris Greenacre, Ged Keegan, David Kerr, Arthur Mann, Bobby Mimms, Lee Peacock, Imre Varadi, Tony Vaughan, Nicky Weaver.
If someone finds more players having played for both sides than those found above, just let me know.
Expect an interesting game on Tuesday night. Come on Mansfield!
Stockholm, July 4, 2008, 15.00 GMT. Good news came, K.H. gone. March 1, 2012. Ground purchased.