Next Match


Newport County v Mansfield Town

Sky Bet Football League Two
Saturday 21st October 2017


The Town

When standing in the bustling market place, a busy bar or shopping in one of the town’s many retail outlets, it's hard to believe that a 15 minute drive in any direction puts you firmly in rural surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But that is what Mansfield offers - the best of both worlds. From a thriving nightlife and enviable shopping, to tranquil forests and idyllic rural surroundings, this bustling historic market town has it all. Ambitious regeneration projects in recent years have transformed Mansfield in terms of retail, leisure, housing and industry. It is a desirable place to work and live and has a wide range of attractions for visitors. Mansfield claims to be the leading town outside the city of Nottingham, and there's no doubt it has something for everyone. The bustling 700-year-old open market is the hub of the town. The market operates six days a week and is complemented by shopping centres, retail parks and department stores along with boutiques and specialist stores. There are family attractions within the district ranging from the ultimate in swimming fun at Water Meadows to local heritage at the Museum and Art Gallery. Mansfield is a lively town with plenty of activities that will fill a day visit or warrant an even longer stay. Mansfield’s booming leisure sector combines great shopping, loads of sport, fantastic places to eat and drink, a touch of theatre and the arts and the great escape only a stones throw away in nearby Sherwood Forest. And Mansfield is packed with historic buildings, churches and the 'Centre Tree', said to be the historical centre of Sherwood. Unique visitor attractions such as White Lion Yard are tucked away off the busy streets of Mansfield – the site is home to caves and buildings, most of which have been used since the early 18th century, and one building even dates back to Tudor Times.



By Road

Leave the M4 at Junction 26 and take the A4051 towards Newport. After going under a flyover (which is the A4042) you will reach a large roundabout where you take the 2nd exit keeping in the filter lane towards the City Centre/Railway Station (do not go up the adjoining slip road onto the A4042). At the next roundabout take the 1st exit going across the river onto the B4591 towards Maindee. At the traffic lights bear right onto Chepstow Road and then take the first right into Corporation Road. Take the next right into Grafton Road and the entrance and ticket office are down on the left. There is no parking available at the ground for supporters and there is a 'residents only' parking scheme in operation in the street around the stadium. So it is either a case of finding street parking further away or use one of the city centre car parks, such as Kingsway Shopping Centre, which costs £2 for five hours. There is also a small open pay and display car park on Chepstow Road which costs £1.85 for five hours.

By Train
Newport railway station is situated around a quarter of a mile away from the stadium and is a relatively short walk. The station is served by trains from London Paddington & Bristol Temple Meads. As you come out of the main station entrance turn left along the main (Queensway) road. Follow this road until you reach a large roundabout. Take the pedestrian underpass down underneath the roundabout and at the centre turn left towards Clarence Place/River Usk. After you have come back up to street level you should see a bridge in front of you going across the river. Cross the bridge and then take the first right hand turn into Rodney Parade and the stadium is down this road on the left.


Club History

Mansfield Town was founded in 1897 under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans. Like many football clubs, their name derives from a local church, in this case the Wesleyan church on Preston Road. The present name was adopted by the club in the summer of 1910. This move angered local rivals Rainworth Tigers, but the name change went ahead nonetheless. By this time Mansfield had moved to their present home, Field Mill. After several attempts, Mansfield finally won election to the Football League in time for the 1931–32 season. It was announced on the 6th March 2009 that the West Stand would be renamed as the Ian Greaves Stand, after the manager that took Mansfield Town to Wembley in 1987. Mansfield narrowly missed promotion to the Second Division in 1964–65 season. The club's arguably most famous moment came in 1969, when they beat West Ham United 3–0 in the FA Cup. West Ham were standing sixth in the First Division and in their side were England's World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst along with youngsters Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking. The game was postponed five times before it finally went ahead on Wednesday 26 February 1969 in front of 21,117 at Field Mill. Mansfield became only the fourth team in club history to knock out clubs from five different leagues in the same competition. They progressed to the quarter final stage where they eventually lost to Leicester City. The most successful period in Mansfield's League history came during the 1970s, under manager Dave Smith. They claimed the Division Four title in 1974–75, with new signing Ray Clarke scoring 30 goals, and were then promoted to the second tier for the only time in their history in 1976–77. However, they were relegated at the end of the 1977–78 season. Mansfield won the Freight Rover Trophy in 1987. It was their only game at Wembley Stadium to date and was played in front of 58,000 fans. After a 1–1 with Bristol City, they won the cup 5–4 in the deciding penalty shootout. Keith Cassells was Man of the Match. In the 1987–88 season Mansfield were narrowly defeated 2–1 at home in the FA Cup to eventual winners Wimbledon. The club went into decline in the 1990s, being relegated back to the bottom division in 1990–91. In 1994–95, Mansfield made the playoffs, only to lose against arch-rivals Chesterfield despite taking the lead twice, and after having two men sent off, to miss out on a place in the final. Mansfield finished 3rd in the league in the 2001–02 season, and gained promotion to Division Two. However, they finished 23rd the following season, and were relegated back to Division Three after only one season. In 2003–04, Mansfield reached the playoff final, but lost on penalties to Huddersfield Town at the Millennium Stadium. Several key players, including leading scorer Liam Lawrence, left the club before the 2004–05 season. In November 2004, manager Keith Curle was suspended and later sacked over allegations of bullying a youth-team player. Carlton Palmer was appointed in his place, but many supporters were upset and angry at this appointment, and started negative chants about the manager during games. On a brighter note, striker Richard Barker signed for the club midway through the season, and quickly became a fan favourite with his gritty, determined, and never-say-die attitude. After a topsy-turvy season, the Stags finished in a low mid-table position. After a poor start to the 2005–06 season, Carlton Palmer resigned in mid-September, giving in to intense pressure from the supporters. With the club propping up the whole of the football league, Palmer's assistant Peter Shirtliff was appointed manager, after impressing during his spell as caretaker manager. Shirtliff managed to guide the club to a mid-table finish after an eight-match unbeaten spell in February and March 2006. The highlight of the club's season was an FA Cup third round tie against Newcastle United at St. James' Park, a game they eventually lost 1–0. Peter Shirtliff parted company with the club on 19 December 2006 after a poor run of form. Paul Holland briefly took over as caretaker manager, before former manager Bill Dearden was re-hired by the club nine days later. Mansfield had a poor 2007–08 season, sitting second bottom and in the relegation zone midway through the season, five points adrift of safety. Despite this, they had a FA Cup run, beating League One side Brighton & Hove Albion with a 2–1 victory at the Withdean Stadium. This set up a home-tie against Premiership side Middlesbrough in the fourth round, which they lost 2–0. Mansfield's poor form in league continued, however. Manager Billy Dearden was sacked, and replaced by Paul Holland. Their 77 year stay in the Football League was ended on 29 April 2008 when Chester City drew with Stockport County. After Holland was deposed, Billy McEwan took over, although his tenure only lasted five months and he was sacked in December 2008. On 29 December 2008 former-Sheffield United defender David Holdsworth was appointed as the clubs new manager. Holdsworth had previously lead Northern Premier League Premier Division club Ilkeston Town to 6th in the league, ten points off first placed Hednesford Town with two games in hand. David Holdsworth made a fantastic impact in his start at the Stag's winning the majority of his games, instantly guiding the club away from their relegation worries. He shored up the Mansfield defence and with the new signings of Alan Marriott, Scott Garner and Paul Mayo the team smashed the club record of consecutive home clean sheets with six in a row, against Crawley Town, Rushden & Diamonds, York City, Kettering Town, Lewes and they finally smashed the record with a 3-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers. Despite this fantastic home form Mansfield couldn't pick up enough points to muster enough a challenge for the play-offs but the club's supporters were much more optimistic for the 2009/10 season after Holdsworth's fantastic start as manager but patience soon ran out with a slump in form at the end of the year and he was replaced by Duncan Russell who lead Mansfield to an FA Trophy final appearance in 2010–11, although the Stags lost 1–0 to Darlington. For the 2011/12 season Mansfield have appointed former Eastwood Town manager Paul Cox as their new boss on a one-year contract. The 39-year-old succeeds Duncan Russell, whose short-term deal was not renewed at the end of the season. His replacement, Paul Cox, lead Mansfield to their highest Conference finish in his first season. A good run of form after Christmas saw the Stags finish in third in the league, although they lost 2-1 on aggregate to York City after extra time in the promotion play-off semi-final. Season 2012-13 started slowly but Mansfield gradually climbed to the top of the league in the New Year and despite being pushed by Kidderminster Harriers they clinched the league title on the final day of the season. Mansfield consolidated well in the first season back in the football league finishing 11th despite a poor start to the campaign. 2014/15 was more of a struggle with manager Paul Cox leaving by mutual consent in November 2014 and he was replaced by player manager Adam Murray who steered them to safety of 21st position. Season 2015/16 Mansfield had ambitions to push for a play off place but had to settle for a mid table position. Season 2016/17 saw Mansfield make a disappointing start and former Leeds United boss Steve Evans was appointed to replace Adam Murray, who stepped down in November 2016. Evans has been out of work since he was sacked as Leeds boss at the end of previous season after leading the club to a 13th-placed finish in the Championship.


Previous Meetings

The sides met in the league at Spytty Park in September and a narrow encounter saw County edge a 1-0 home win. Mansfield gained revenge in the FA trophy with a 4-2 home win in January 2011. The league match saw the sides produce an entertaining 3-3 draw at Field Mill in a bizarre game County were three up at one stage until defender Chris Todd was sent off. County suffered a humiliating 5-0 away defeat away at September in 2011. County made up for somewhat in February 2012 with a dogged but very important 1-0 home win. The opening day of 2012/13 saw County gain a 4-2 away win at Field Mill and followed this up with a comfortable 2-0 home win in February 2013. The sides slogged out 0-0 draw at Rodney Parade in September 2013 on their return to the football league. County went down to an unfortunate 2-1 defeat at Field Mill in March 2014 conceding a very late goal. County suffered a 1-0 defeat at Mansfield in August 2014 and the same fate at Rodney Parade in March 2015. County suffered a 3-0 defeat at Mansfield in October 2015, John Sheridan first game in charge but gained revenge with an important scrappy 1-0 home win February 2016. Mansfield stole a 3-2 win at Rodney Parade in August 2016 on the first day of the new season and suffered a 1-0 away defeat at Mansfield in February 2017 in the dying embers of the Graeme Westley regime


The Verdict