BIG MATCH PREVIEW – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mansfield Town will be hoping supporters flock to the One Call Stadium on Saturday to see the start of the Steve Evans revolution.
The Stags moved swiftly to replace Adam Murray on Monday and shocked fans when they went for experience and brought in a man whom some thought unlikely to drop to League Two level again after his spell in charge at Leeds United last season.
Evans, and assistant Paul Raynor, arrive with a wealth of promotions under their belt at clubs like Boston United, Crawley Town and Rotherham United.
Stags have only won twice at home all season, and Evans only met his squad for the first time on Thursday.
But there is a real buzz around the town that this could be the man to deliver long overdue success to the club.
One thing is for sure, there will never be a dull moment with the colourful Evans with his run-ins with the officials and the law plus banter with fans.
Immediately he has asked for the dug-outs to be moved round from the far side to in front of the Ian Greaves Stand and watching him will be as popular as watching the game.
It is ironic that his first game is at home to a Crawley side he did so well with.
Click HERE to read an interview with new boss Steve Evans
Click HERE to read about chairman John Radford’s delight in landing Evans
STAGS TEAM NEWS
Central defence is where the Stags’ problems lie with Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti suspended and Lee Collins, George Taft and Corbin Shires injured, leaving just Krystian Pearce as the only fit centre half.
Collins has an outside chance of shaking off a knee injury, if not new boss Steve Evans will be forced into putting square pegs into round holes, hardly the best way to start his tenure.
POSSIBLE STAGS STARTING XI
Shearer, Bennett, Pearce, Collins, Benning, McGuire, Hemmings, Clements, Hurst, Green, Hoban.
CRAWLEY TEAM NEWS
Their best defender Mark Connolly had to be taken to hospital after Saturday’s game with Cambridge United but is expected to be back for Saturday.
But his defensive partner in that game Alex Davey, a loanee from Chelsea has not impressed and it’s likely Addison Garnett will come in to the defence. Jordan Roberts and Matt Harrold are still recovering from injuries and will play a part but unlikely to start.
Andre Blackman will return to the side after suspension.
POSSIBLE CRAWLEY STARTING XI
Glenn Morris, Lewis Young, Andre Blackman, Mark Connolly, Addison Garnett, Jimmy Smith, Kaby Djalo, Billy Clifford, Enzio Boldewijn, Bobson Bawling, James Collins.
KEY BATTLE: KRYSTIAN PEARCE v JAMES COLLINS
James Collins works extremely hard up top on his own and has scored eight goals so far and there will be more to come.
He has formed a great understanding with playmaker Billy Clifford and will keep Stags’ injury-hit defence stretched.
CRAWLEY ONE TO WATCH: MARK CONNOLLY
The experienced central defender is in his second spell at the club and is an absolute rock in defence.
Always a danger at corners and pops up with the odd goal, he scored the winner against Blackpool recently.
OPPOSITION MANAGER: DERMOT DRUMMY
Drummy has been a breath of fresh air at Crawley with regards to the fans and the media.
This is his first senior job although he’s been in the game a long time.
His links with Arsenal and Chelsea, where he was youth coach, have paid dividends in regards to contacts. The majority of the team have played at Chelsea or Arsenal at some level.
He is great with the press, is always honest and open and the fans have really warmed to him and there is a great atmosphere at the club, which it has lacked in recent seasons.
STAGS LOANEE ADI YUSSUF WATCH
Yussuf has done well, but mainly as a substitute in league games.
He had an impact when Crawley beat Morecambe 3-2 away, scoring one and setting up two after coming on.
He has started in the EFL Cup but is unlikely to make a league start any time soon and unable to play on Saturday under the terms of his loan.
CRAWLEY SEASON SO FAR
Crawley were widely tipped as relegation favourites before the season kicked off but have had a bright start and at one point were joint top thanks to some great attacking football.
But things have slipped and they haven’t won in the league in five games, with the last game a very poor display in the 3-1 loss to Cambridge.
The expectations are to rebuild and consolidate after a poor finish to last season under Mark Yates and hopefully challenge for the play-offs.
LAST MEETING AT THE ONE CALL STADIUM
Saturday, 12th September 2015: Mansfield Town 4, Crawley Town 0
Mansfield Town produced a totally dominant performance to batter Crawley Town 4-0 at the One Call Stadium.
It was probably the one most-sided game the Stags have played since returning to the Football League.
It was the first time Mansfield have scored four at home since the 4-0 win over Gateshead in April 2013 which was Mansfield’s 12th win on the trot in the promotion season.
Mansfield dominated the first half after Matt Green’s tackle inside the first five seconds of the game set the tempo for Mansfield’s performance.
Despite dominating, it took the Stags until 44 minutes to take the lead - and what a goal it was as Nathan Thomas nicked the ball off a defender 25 yards from goal, drove into the area skipping past another defender, and slammed a shot into the roof of the net from the left.
Just two minutes after the break, the Stags had the two goal cushion they deserved.
Mal Benning’s corner from the left reached Mitch Rose two yards outside the area, to the right of centre, and Rose slammed a low shot into the left corner of the net via a couple of slight deflections.
Just three minutes later, Crawley were down to 10 men as Gwion Edwards stamped down on Nicky Hunt’s leg and was rightly given a straight red. Mansfield continued to dominate and made it 3-0 on 71 minutes.
Chris Clements sprayed a wonderful ball from the centre circle out to Craig Westcarr on the left. Westcarr crossed beautifully from the byline to find Matt Green unmarked into the middle who volleyed home from three yards.
It was a relief for Green to have his first goal at Field Mill of the season and Crawley looked utterly bemused.
Within a minute, Green lifted a fine ball forward to find Westcarr unmarked in the area, and Westcarr side-footed the ball past a static keeper into the right of the net from 11 yards. (StagsNet).
Stags v Crawley match report and reaction at www.chad.co.uk after the game.
Keep in touch with the match and all things Mansfield Town 24/7 via our new Chad Stags Facebook page – click HERE and give it a like.