BIG MATCH PREVIEW: Crawley Town v Mansfield Town - Saturday, 30th January 2016

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BIG MATCH PREVIEW – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Mansfield Town will make the long haul down to Crawley on Friday night to prepare to try to chalk up their eighth away win in a season of fine form on the road.

The Red Devils are struggling and have lost three of their last four to sit 16th.

The sides have met seven times down the years and never drawn with Mansfield winning four of the games and Crawley three.

Mansfield’s players will be tired after the long haul to Morecambe and back on one day on Tuesday, though lifted by the 2-1 win.

Crawley is not far short of the South Coast, but travelling down the night before will help get that travel out of their legs.

Back in September, Mansfield roared to their biggest win of the season, 4-0 at home to Crawley.

STAGS TEAM NEWS

The Stags have an empty treatment room for once with left back Mal Benning coming through an inter-squad practice match to launch himself back into the squad.

Adam Murray will be highly tempted to restore Benning to left back, but Lee Collins played there well on Tuesday and he also has Fulham loanee Sean Kavanagh.

Otherwise it’s unlikely there will be many changes after the superb win at Morecambe.

CRAWLEY TEAM NEWS

Current absentees from the team are: Luke Rooney (ill), Lanre Oyebanje (knee - has been out all season so far), Joe McNerney (knee), and Luke Rooney (ill).

Of these, Rooney should be back for Saturday and Lanre Oyebanjo could be on the bench for the first time this campaign.

They currently only have one goalkeeper at the club, youngster Callum Preston, 19, after the experienced Darryl Flahavan (ex Bournemouth and Portsmouth) was let go last week following a three-month contract which had expired.

Midfielder Jimmy Smith is out for two months with a fractured foot.

Town have just signed Crewe midfielder Chris Atkinson on a one-month loan deal.

POSSIBLE CRAWLEY STARTING XI

(4-1-4-1)

GK: Callum Preston

RB: Lewis Young

CB: Sonny Bradley

CB: Jon Ashton or Josh Yorwerth

LB: George Smith

Def M: Simon Walton

RM: Gwion Edwards

CM: Ross Jenkins or Luke Rooney

LM: Chris Atkinson

S: Matt Harrold

S: Roarie Deacon or Lee Barnard

KEY BATTLE: JAMIE McGUIRE v GWION EDWARDS

If Jamie McGuire keeps his place as defensive midfielder at Crawley he will need to halt Gwion Edwards, who is the club’s top scorer this season with six goals.

This is Edwards’ second full season at Crawley having joined from Premier League Swansea, where he was a product of their youth system. He is a dangerous midfield threat, though was sent off in the sides’ first meeting at One Call Stadium in September.

Click HERE to see a compilation of Edwards’ best goals

CRAWLEY ONE TO WATCH: GEORGE SMITH

Another player to watch is 19-year-old left back George Smith who is on loan from League One club Barnsley and has made a big impact in his short spell since joining on loan earlier this month.

Smith signed for home town club Barnsley as an U12 and has come through their graduate system.

OPPOSITION MANAGER: MARK YATES

Manager Mark Yates was appointed in the summer replacing John Gregory and Dean Saunders, who had shared the position for half a season each after Gregory stepped down at Christmas 2014 needing urgent heart surgery.

Despite an improvement in form after signing some useful loan and short-term contract players, Reds were relegated from League One.

Yates has a proven track record at this level, having spent almost five years in charge of Cheltenham Town. during that time he twice led them to the league 2 Play-off final, losing on both occasions before being shown the door at Whaddon Road in November 2014.

He then had an 18-month exile from management before joining Crawley Town.

He is seen as a safe pair of hands in charge and has put together a balance of youth and experience.

Click HERE to see Yates talk about the 4-0 defeat at Mansfield in September.

CRAWLEY SEASON SO FAR

Crawley lie in 16th place in the table and have been having a mixed season and have established themselves as a good team at home but poor away.

They have won seven of their last nine home games which is a good foundation but on their travels last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Yeovil was their fifth successive away defeat.

In September they sold last season’s top scorer Izale McLeod to League Two rivals Notts County for a six-figure sum.

Scoring goals is currently their main problem. Although they have four strikers in their squad, they are without a main scorer after loanee Rhys Murphy returned to Oldham having scored nine goals during his three-month stay at Crawley.

They are currently rebuilding after parting company with four players over the New Year period, three of whom had completed loans.

LAST MEETING

Saturday 12 September 2015: Mansfield Town 4, Crawley Town 0

Mansfield Town managed their first home win of the season at the fourth attempt in style as they thumped 10-men Crawley Town 4-0.

The Stags dominated throughout but had to wait until the 44th minute before Nathan Thomas grabbed his first Stags goal on his recall.

Any hope newly-relegated Crawley had of getting back into the game were gone when Mitch Rose made it 2-0 with his first goal for the club two minuets after the break and then Gwion Edwards was sent off three minutes later for his challenge on Nicky Hunt.

From then on it was just a question of how many Stags would get as two more goals arrived in as many minutes with Craig Westcarr setting up Matt Green on 71 minutes before Green returned the compliment seconds later.

Mansfield made just one change with Thomas replacing Reggie Lambe in a 4-4-2 formation, Westcarr helping Green up front.

Stags enjoyed a first home win of the season against a club with a smaller squad then themselves and only able to name five substitutes.

Click HERE to read a full match report

Click HERE to see video highlights of the game

BROADFIELD STADIUM

It’s motorway all the way to Crawley. The ground is just off the M23 to Brighton, and you pass a free parking areas on the dual carriageway as you come in.

Stags fans have until 4pm on Friday to pre-purchase tickets, though you can pay at the gate.

Ticket prices are as follows:

East Stand (Seating): Adults: £20 | Seniors (65+): £16 | Young Adults (18-21): £16 | Under 18s: £10 | Under 16s: £8 | Under 11s: £6

KR-L Stand (Standing): Adults: £16 | Seniors (65+): £12 | Young Adults (18-21): £12 | Under 18s: £10 | Under 16s: £8 | Under 11s: £6

Family tickets:

Two adults + two under 16s: £44 (seating), £38 (standing)

One adult + one under 16: £23 (seating), £20 (standing)

Disabled supporters will be required to purchase a full price ticket in whichever category is applicable. A carer’s ticket is free of charge.

Supporters requiring wheelchair access should contact Crawley Town on 01293 410000.

Click HERE to see a video on matchday at Crawley Town

https://www.youtube.com/user/1896CrawleyTownFC

For coverage of the game and all things Mansfield Town 24/7, log onto www.chad.co.uk and click the Mansfield Town Live Scribble feed under the main Chad masthead.