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Noah Dougherty
Tuesday 29 January 2019

We head straight back into action this evening as Forest Green Rovers go in search of their third win in a row, hosting Mansfield Town at The New Lawn for the second time this season after the first meeting was abandoned at half-time due to a water-logged pitch.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the game: 

What we said:

Carl Winchester vs Mansfield

“It looks like both teams are going to be up there towards the end of the season so it’s a massive game for us and we know that if we win it then it closes the gap,” said Forest Green Rovers midfielder Carl Winchester.

“We’ve got a lot of good players in the team, so we need to be on it every day in training because you know that if you are not on it in training then there is someone ready to take your place. It’s really healthy for the squad and we have good competition for places and it’s put us in good stead this season.

“If we get the win against Mansfield then we will close the gap on them and we will go joint third with Bury so the lads know how important it is. Right now, t’s probably the biggest game of the season.

“Mansfield are a good side and they are up there for a reason but on that day I feel we were the better team but the conditions played there part and the game had to get postponed but we can take positives from that game.”

Injury news: 

Forest Green Rovers: 

Forest Green Rovers will once again be without Dayle Grubb, but the rest of the squad remains injury free.

Mansfield: 

The Stags will be without defender Hayden White, who suffered a broken leg in the recent victory over Colchester.

The duo of Alex MacDonald and David Mirfin will miss out as they continue their recoveries from knee injuries.

Goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik has also been ruled out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament rupture.

Striker Craig Davies will also be absent due to an ankle injury.

About: Mansfield

Mansfield Town have enjoyed a strong first half of the season in League 2, sitting 2nd in the table with just three defeats on the board.This impressive record has been built upon by a solid defence, which has conceded only 22 goals in 28 league matches – the best in the division having kept 13 clean sheets.

Under manager David Flitcroft, the team is playing some of the most attractive football in the league and also boasts one of the most potent attackers in the shape of Tyler Walker, who has 15 league goals to his name already this season.

The team spirit in the club is strong too, which is shown in their ability to score late goals, with 30% coming in the last fifteen minutes of matches. As the team progresses on the field under David Flitcroft, the club is advancing off the pitch also. The Stags opened their new £2 million training ground before Christmas, which is only a couple of miles away from One Call Stadium.In another sign of the club’s ongoing development, attendances have this season increased at their home ground as the Mansfield public have responded encouragingly to a new, attractive brand of football.

This is the first meeting between the sides, following the half time postponement of the match in November, which ended with the scores tied 0-0. The teams will now meet twice in less than a month, as Rovers travel to the One Call Stadium on Saturday 23 February.

Key player: Tyler Walker

Tyler Walker Mansfield Town forward

Having already scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, it’s no secret that former-England Under-20 forward Tyler Walker poses a significant threat going forward.

Walker signed on loan from Nottingham Forest in June 2018 and hit the ground running for The Stags, netting on the opening day of the season before notching a hat-trick in an EFL Cup trouncing of Accrington Stanley a little over a week later.

Head-to-head:

Of the 14 times the Forest Green and Mansfield have met across all competitions, Rovers have emerged victorious on four occasions, with two of the encounters ending with the spoils shared.

Last season, both matches ended 2-0 to the home side and Rovers will likely be looking for a repeat result this evening.

Last time we met: 

The last time the two sides met came last month as a game at a water-logged New Lawn was abandoned at half time.

Torrential conditions throughout the first half in Gloucestershire left referee James Linington with little choice but to call the match off at The New Lawn.

Linington had earlier called both captains together to discuss safety concerns but play continued until the break.

The last time the two sides completed 90 minutes also came at The New Lawn, as Mansfield were left searching for their first win under David Flitcroft as their play-off hopes took a dive with a 2-0 defeat at Forest Green.

Goals after the break for Reuben Reid and Dayle Grubb boosted Forest Green's survival hopes as the Stags finished with 10 men following a second booking for captain Krystian Pearce.

The Stags were dealt a blow from the kick-off, top scorer Danny Rose taking a knock to the ankle inside 20 seconds after a coming together with Rovers' Isaiah Osbourne.

Grubb then clipped the top of the bar for Rovers in a turgid first half.

The stalemate was broken after 55 minutes when Pearce scuffed a clearance for Reid to fizz in his 13th goal of the season.

Grubb wrapped it up for Rovers after 77 minutes, arrowing in from just inside the box for his 21st goal of the campaign and his fourth for Rovers since arriving in January.

Pearce saw red seven minutes from time for Mansfield, who dropped two places to seventh while Rovers moved nine points clear of the bottom two.

Coverage: 

Full commentary of the match will be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire as well as through the club’s digital audio offering– FGR LIVE. 

Stay up to date on Twitter by following @FGRFC_Official, which will have all of the team news before kick-off and updates throughout the game. 

There will also be key updates and team news on Facebook. Round-up the clash by checking out the club website where there will be a full report looking back on the encounter. 

Tickets are still available on the day of the game so there is still time to make the trip and support the team.