Noah Dougherty
Friday 18 October 2019

Forest Green Rovers and Mansfield Town will lock horns tomorrow, as the two sides meet for a 3pm kick off at The New Lawn.

The Stags, who hit Oldham Athletic for six on Saturday, come into the game 15th in League Two, while Forest Green remain in the top four.

What we said: 

Mark Cooper is interviewed at Exeter City

"It's been a good week of training and there was a lot of frustration. The phrase I use to the players before every game is that you are only as good as your last game," said Mark Cooper.

"Before the Exeter game we were really good, because Crawley was our last game. Before this game coming up, we are only as good as the Exeter game and we were really poor. Sometimes that happens and you have to give credit to the opposition."

"Obviously if you lose two men, it makes a lot of difference. Mansfield were good when it was 11v11 (against Oldham) and I think would have won that game anyway."

"Mansfield have had a couple of good results, they've had a sticky start to the season but the owners have shown good faith in the manager and I think by doing that, they will eventually go on to have a decent season."

What they said: 

John Dempster Mansfield Town manager

“I was his [Mark Cooper’s] captain at Kettering for three years so I know how he works and how professional he is,” said Mansfield boss John Dempster.

“We’ve remained in contact since, so he is someone I can call for advice and someone I respect a lot.

“But there will be no love lost on Saturday, that’s for sure. He won’t be doing me any favours and I know he won’t expect any from me.

“Forest Green keep the ball well and play out from the back. They value possession and when they lose the ball they look to get after people and win it back.

“We know that they’re one of the top three footballing sides in the league, if not the best. They’ll be right up there at the end of the season.”

Team news

Forest Green:

Forest Green are still without Matt Mills and Kevin Dawson, who will remain side-lined for a few weeks. Dayle Grubb’s thigh injury is likely to take longer to heal.

Liam Shephard is back in full training ahead of the weekend’s game, and Nathan McGinley is hoping to be fit for Tuesday’s game.

Mansfield:

Craig Davies is a long-term absentee for the Stags, the striker still out with an ankle injury.

Jacob Mellis and Danny Rose will both be in contention for Saturday’s game despite injuries.

Defender Ryan Sweeney won’t be available for the match having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

Full-back Hayden White is also suspended having been sent off against Grimsby Town.

About: Mansfield

Mansfield Town are today’s visitors to The New Lawn having made the trip from Nottinghamshire.

Last season ended in a cruel manner for The Stags as they missed out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season in a winner-takes-all clash with MK Dons at Stadium MK, which the hosts won with a second-minute David Wheeler goal.

That left Mansfield, like Forest Green, requiring the lottery that is the play-offs to advance to League One, but it wasn’t to be as they fell on penalties to Newport County in front of their home crowd at Field Mill.

Just two days later and then manager David Flitcroft had his contract terminated, leaving the role vacant for the promotion of former player John Dempster.

The 36-year-old stepped into his first managerial role in the summer having been appointed the club’s academy manager back in 2015.

It wasn’t his first time at the helm of The Stags, he had a brief caretaker role back in February last year following the resignation of Steven Evans, until Flitcroft was confirmed as manager on March 1.

Key Player: Nicky Maynard 

Nicky Maynard celebrates for Mansfield Town

Striker Nicky Maynard joined Mansfield Town in July 2019 after he left Bury having scored 22 goals last season.

The 32-year-old, who has played in the Premier League for West Ham United and Cardiff City, bagged a hattrick in his last outing to take his tally for the season to five goals in 10 appearances.

Last time we met: 

Forest Green Rovers slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat away at promotion chasing Mansfield Town.

Tyler Walker opened the scoring after 69 minutes and Rovers couldn't find away back into the game despite late chances.

George Williams had a great opportunity to open the scoring just three minutes later as he picked the ball up from Christian Doidge after some great interplay. Mansfield full-back Mal Benning got across to make the challenge though, denying the Rovers number 11 the opportunity to get a shot away.

Forest Green’s best chance of the opening hour fell the way of Williams after 59 minutes as he raced into the area and turned back on his marker before firing an effort goalwards, Matt Preston hurling his body in the way to make a great block.

With 69 minutes on the clock the deadlock was finally broken.

Despite FGR calls for offside as Hamilton was played into the box, play went on and his shot was saved by Ward with the ball going up in the air. Ward looked to be fouled as he jumped for the second ball with Walker and Mills couldn’t stop the striker’s header looping in.

Forest Green were a matter of inches away from finding a late equaliser as Mills fired a low ball across the area which Doidge got a toe to, sending it looping up and landing on the roof of the net.

In a late twist, Mansfield’s goalscorer Walker was given a straight red for an incident off the ball.

Head-to-head:

The Stags are leading the way in the head­-to-head, winning nine of the two meetings between the sides.

Only three of the 16 meetings have ended in a draw, one of them coming in the FA Cup, while Rovers have won four.

Coverage:

This game will be available to watch live if you live abroad by subscribing HERE or you can listen to the game with our audio service HERE both abroad or in the UK.

If watching on a mobile device, you will need to download the FGR TV app to be able to watch or listen to the match. A full list of frequently asked questions can be found HERE.

Please contact fgrtv@streamamg.com if you have any issues with your FGR Live account.

Full commentary of Saturday’s match will also be available on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on 1413AM.

Stay up to date also on Twitter and Instagram 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.