Cheltenham Town and Mansfield Town have faced each other several times in preview history, mainly at current League Two level and during this time played out a couple of dramatic games, reported in the Stagsnet match report section. To name a few at Cheltenham: a dramatic winner in added time early on in the 2001-02 season before previewing started, proving crucial, and a dramatic equalizer in added time in November 2018 as well as 20 minutes of added time in total in a game at One Call in March 2019. Add to that, a 4-0 victory at Mansfield seen and reported by the previewer in October 2013. More on previous EFL games, as well as the latest one, a goal-less draw at Cheltenham last October, are to be seen in the Stagsnet match report section.
But this will be the first time ever the sides clash in the FA Cup, and this draw ensured that there will be at least one side from League Two in the fourth round. To reach the third round, Cheltenham beat South Shields in the first round and disposed of League One Crewe Alexandra after added time, in the second, both at headquarters. Meanwhile, the Stags dumped out the 1973 FA Cup winners Sunderland at their place in the first round, and in very dramatic fashion, with virtually the last kick of added time, hitting the 2-1 winner at One Call against Dagenham & Redbridge, currently in Conference National. These results alone show that the FA Cup is a great leveler, to print the least.
Four sides outside the EFL have reached the third round. And the plum tie of all plum ties in recent history is the one between eighth-tier Marine at home against Tottenham Hotspur. Marine are the lowest-ranked side to reach the third round since Chasetown in 2007-08. The other non-EFL sides were also rewarded with home time. Chorley, who made it hard for the Stags in the first round last season and this season kayoed the 2013 winners Wigan Athletic and eternal giant-slayers Peterborough at their grounds, were awarded a home time against Derby County, while Conf National sides Boreham Wood and Stockport County were drawn at home against Millwall and West Ham, respectively.
Will West Ham relish the trip to Edgeley Park? During the Stags’ record-breaking 1968-69 campaign, the Hammers travelled to Field Mill in late February 1969 and were sent home to the capital thrashed to a 3-0 scoreline in the fifth round, securing a quarter-final tie at home to Leicester City. In previous rounds, the Stags hade kayoed Tow Law at home, Rotherham after a replay, Sheffield United at home and Southend United, also at home.
Cheltenham first reached the third round around 1934, when Blackpool were too strong for the Robins. During the last two decades and Cheltenham’s entire EFL history, the Robins have reached the third round a few time, playing against sides like Tottenham at White Hart Lane in 2012 and Everton at home the following season. But Cheltenham’s best FA Cup exploits came about in the 2001-02 season, when the Robins reached the fifth round, narrowly beaten by West Bromwich at their place. On the way to the fifth round, Cheltenham beat Kettering, a classic FA Cup outfit in the first round away before disposing of Hinckley in the second. In the third round, then third-tier Oldham Athletic were beaten at Whaddon Road to a 2-1 scoreline, but the most famous KO was the one of then in the second-tier high-flying Burnley in the fourth round to a 2-1 scoreline at home.
For details on previous league encounters and players having appeared for both sides (two ex-Stags, Matty Blair and Chris Clements might face the Stags on Sunday), see the latest league preview put on site last October.
This fixture will be televised in a couple of countries, including Sweden. Expect a full-blooded FA Cup tie on Sunday evening. Come on Mansfield!