Mansfield Town head for Derby County’s plush iPro Stadium tonight, looking to beat the Rams’ U23s and reach the knockout stages of the much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy (7.45).
Having lost their opening group game 2-0 at home to Doncaster, the Stags pulled off a surprise 1-0 away win at Port Vale.
That left them third in Group E on goal difference with leaders Doncaster on five points and at home tonight to second-placed Port Vale, on three points.
Stags are also on three points but a goal worse off than Vale while the Rams are bottom with a single point.
The top two sides will go through, and despite his previous criticism of the competition, Stags boss Adam Murray insisted: “We want to build on Saturday’s performance, get a positive result and qualify for the next round.
“We are going there to win. We are not going there as a game we don’t want. We want the game and we want to win it.
“Saturday (a 2-1 home FA Cup defeat by Plymouth) was important to get us back playing, controlling a game and dictating to the top of the league.”
Stags will be without defender George Taft (hamstring) but add 17-year-old centre half Keiran Harrison to the squad.
If two or more clubs are equal on points on completion of the group matches it will go to first goal difference, then the higher number of goals scored in the group matches, then the number of wins after normal time (ie not the result of any drawn match followed by penalties), and then the record against each other in the group match, taking into account in order of precedence, points gained, goal difference, higher number of goals scored.
If the clubs still have an equal ranking then progress will be decided by the drawing of lots.
Travelling Stags fans can now only purchase tickets directly from the Rams.
All supporters, season ticket holders and non-season ticket holders, can ‘pay on the day’ at the iPro Stadium at a cost of adults £5 and U18 £2
Any tickets bought on the night of the match should be purchased from the Derby County away ticket office in the south east corner, along with any away collections/duplicate requests.
Derby County conduct ID checks at all turnstiles on concession tickets. In the event that a supporter with a concession ticket is asked for ID and fails to prove their identity, they will be asked to upgrade their ticket before being allowed entry into the stadium.
Stags season ticket holders have had the opportunity to purchase tickets at a discounted rate over the last two weeks, however this window has now passed.
Those in possession of a discounted ticket must take their season ticket cards should to Derby County on the night of the game in the event of identification being required.
Keep in touch with the action on our Chad Stags Facebook page and read the match report and reaction at www.chad.co.uk after the game.