Mansfield Town will cross Football League swords with relegated Oldham Athletic for the first time in 16 years tomorrow night when the Latics visit the One Call Stadium (7.45pm).
Stags, full of confidence after Saturday’s 4-0 home win over Northampton, last played Oldham in League Two back in 2002/03 when the Latics completed a double, winning 1-0 at Mansfield and coasting to a 6-1 home victory.
Apart from a 2-0 home Checkatrade success, Mansfield’s last League win over Oldham came at Boundary Park in April 1978 and their last win over them at home was in February 1972.
Since then Oldham have twice knocked Stags out of the FA Cup after replays and also beaten them in the League Cup once.
A win, a defeat and two draws in their last four games currently has Oldham in sixth place, two points ahead of Mansfield, but having played a game more.
“We are expecting a tough game, said Stags assistant boss Ben Futcher.
“They came down from League One last season so we know it will be tough.
“But we will worry about ourselves and keep focusing on what we are doing, try to improve on it and hopefully carry on the performance from Saturday.”
After Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Swindon, Oldham boss Frankie Bunn said: “I’m happy with the result because this is a tough place to come, obviously we’re greedy and we always want more, and we can always get better.
“However, they’re positives to take, it’s a clean sheet away from home and a point which you never know, it could become useful as the season goes on.”
“I think the character was tremendous again today, they’ve dug in at times, we’ve defended our box really well and on the back of conceding three last goals it was a spirited defensive performance.
“We’re in on Sunday, we’ll do some work while the group recovers, and we’ll start preparing again for the game.
“The games come thick and fast over the next 10 days or so playing Saturday, Tuesday, but it’s great to be a footballer with those games coming up, it’s what you look forward to.”
Football League newcomer Thomas Bramall will be the man in charge, having been a referee in the National League for the past two seasons.
He has officiated nine Football League fixtures so far this season, brandishing 17 yellow cards and one red card.