A hotly-debated red card may have helped, but City finally broke their spell of draws with an emphatic second half performance in defeating Crawley 3-1. Matt Taylor made a number of changes for the trip to West Sussex and is likely to make a few more again for the visit of Mansfield. However, the scoring form of Matt Jay and Sam Nombe (whose late strike means it’s now six successive games the summer signing has scored in) is likely to ensure they remain in the side. It’s elsewhere that Taylor may rotate with the likes of Timothee Dieng and Jevani Brown itching to get back into the starting eleven.
Every season Mansfield seem to spend big, making eye-capturing signings, they’re then installed as promotion favourites only to flatter to deceive. This season was supposed to be different with Nigel Clough at the helm, and wins in their first two league matches seemed to suggest things were indeed going to turn out as planned. However, that second win, over Newport in mid-August, was the last time the Stags have tasted victory, with five draws and six defeats in the subsequent eleven matches to leave Clough’s side in 21st in the table. Danny Johnson, so prolific with Leyton Orient last season, has started slowly and has three goals, although that makes him joint top scorer with Oli Hawkins, while nobody else has scored more than once in the league. With on paper talent in the shape of players like George Maris, Rhys Oates and Jordan Bowery it should only be a matter of time before Mansfield pick up their form, but recent seasons in Nottinghamshire have suggested on paper talent doesn’t always manifest itself on the pitch.
City had the edge last season in this fixture, winning 2-1 at Field Mill – Menayesse gave the hosts the lead before a Farrond Rawson own goal levelled things, City’s second half winner coming through Josh Key. In keeping with City’s dour form late on in the season, the return at the Park finished 0-0. City’s head to head lead was slightly extended to 26-22, 19 matches finishing level. Details of the last 33 games can be found at https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?p=9794
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Assistant Referees: Richard Morris and Andrew Laver
Fourth Official : Daniel Flynn
Four games for Purkiss in charge of Exeter https://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=purkiss