BIG MATCH PREVIEW – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mansfield Town will look to shake off the frustration of last weekend’s 0-0 home draw with Cambridge United at home to a Barnet side who were left even more frustrated when their long haul to Newport County saw the game abandoned with the Bees leading 1-0.
John Akinde had bagged the fastest goal in the EFL all season after only 23 seconds before the heavens opened and the pitch was declared unplayable at half-time. Barnet has also hit the home bar.
The Stags didn’t get anywhere near as close in a game of very few chances against bottom club Cambridge.
However, boss Adam Murray was satisfied to see his side emerge from a game in which they failed to click with a point and a clean sheet against a side he feels will end up in the top seven.
Click HERE to read a full analysis of last week’s Stags v Cambridge game
STAGS TEAM NEWS
The club have stayed tight-lipped over the results of striker Danny Rose’s visit to the specialist on Monday with a suspected fractured eye socket.
Adam Murray said before the hospital trip that it didn’t look good and, woth where the injury was, it was unlikely they would go down the route of him wearing a protective mask.
So it would seem highly unlikely to see Rose return to the side on Saturday though, if he had better news on Monday, you never know.
Murray also said this week that he felt playing two centre forwards wasn’t working.
So he may go down the route of a three with Green as a lone striker or play a No.10 behind him.
Murray could also try a three at the back, using Lee Collins or giving on-loan Forest defender Alex Iacovitti a debut to allow full backs Rhys Bennett and Lam Benning the chance to get forward more.
Injured midfielders Jack Thomas and Chris Clements are improving but still sidelined while loanee defender Kyle Howkins is out for a month with his hamstring injury.
Click HERE to read the latest on Howkins’ injury
POSSIBLE STAGS STARTING XI Shearer; Bennett, Pearce, Taft, Iacovitti, Benning; Collins; Mitch Rose, Chapman, Hemmings; Green.
BARNET TEAM NEWS
Bira Dembele and Justin Amaluzor look set to miss this weekend’s match through injury, Dembele with sore ribs and Amaluzor with a hip flexor injury.
Unlucky trio Gavin Hoyte, Michael Gash and James Pearson remain sidelined with cruciate ligament injuries.
POSSIBLE BARNET STARTING XI
Vickers, Vilhete, N’Gala, Nelson, Johnson, Nicolls, Togwell, Weston, Tomlinson, Akpa-Akpro, Akinde.
KEY BATTLE: KRYSTIAN PEARCE v JON AKINDE
Krystian Pearce was immaculate in the heart of Mansfield’s defence against Cambridge last weekend but will have his hands very full this weekend up against burly Barnet striker John Akinde.
Often mentioned as a target for the Stags when the rumour mill begins to turn, the 27-year-old former Bristol City, Crawley and Portsmouth forward scored 24 goals in 48 appearances for the north London side last season which has just netted him a brand new three year contract at The Hive.
The physical frontman, who stands 6ft 2ins, had drifted around a number of clubs before banging in 18 goals in 42 games for Alfreton Town in 2013/14.
From there he moved on to Barnet where his 31 goals helped them to win the Conference title two seasons back.
Click HERE to see a video compilation of Akinde’s goals last season
BARNET ONE TO WATCH: JAMAL CAMPBELL-RYCE
Barnet have a potential ace up their sleeve on the bench in dangerous forward Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
The 33-year-old former Charlton trainee, who was a free agent after leaving Sheffield United, joined in the summer.
He scored seven goals in 53 outings during two years with the Blades and finished last season on loan at Chesterfield.
Campbell-Ryce has also had spells at Rotherham, Southend, Barnsley, Bristol City and Notts County.
OPPOSITION MANAGER: MARTIN ALLEN
Enjoying his fourth spell with the Bees, Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Martin Allen returned in March 2014 to help them over the line to the Conference title and then led them in a highly respectable 15th position in their first season back in the Football League last season.
Allen is well known for his often unconventional management methodology.
As a midfielder, he played more than 100 games for Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United before finishing his playing career with Portsmouth and Southend United.
Five years later, he took his first managerial post at then non-league Barnet, moving on for spells at Brentford, Milton Keynes Dons, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town, Barnet and Notts County.
After a short third spell back at Barnet, in July 2012 he became manager of Gillingham and steered the team to the League Two title, earning Allen his first promotion as a manager and Gillingham’s first divisional title in 49 years. However, a poor start the following season saw him sacked by October.
BARNET SEASON SO FAR
Barnet have had an up and down start to the campaign, having drawn both away games but winning once, 2-0 against Accrington, drawing 1-1 with Blackpool, and losing 1-0 to Carlisle, at home.
The Stanley win is their only one so far, having been thumped 4-0 at home by Millwall in the EFL Cup and drawing 2-2 with MK Dons in their EFL Trophy group game. They sit 14th, five points adrift of the Stags in fifth.
LAST MEETING Saturday, 23rd April 2016: Mansfield Town 1, Barnet 1
Despite a first goal for the club by loanee Mani Dieseruvwe, Mansfield Town’s faint play-off hopes were finally ended in a 1-1 home draw with visiting Barnet on this day.
Stags made a decent start but were rocked when big John Akinde took advantage of hesitation by Scott Shearer to head Barnet into a sixth minute lead.
However, Stags finally levelled after half-an-hour through Mani Dieseruvwe and should have gone into half-time ahead after Matt Green and Adam Chapman headed great chances wide.
Mansfield came close to a winner after the break with keeper Jamie Stephens turning Mal Bennning and Adam Chapman free kicks and Matt Green twice close.
At the other end Shearer had to use his legs to deny sub Luke Gambin while Bondz N’gala somehow headed a corner wide from five yards.
But, with AFC Wimbledon winning and stretching their lead over Stags to eight points, the play-off bid was over with Stags having just two matches to go.
Click HERE to read the full match report
Don’t forget to read this Saturday’s match report at www.chad.co.uk after the game.
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