Dale Jenkins continues his series of profiles on fellow League 2 clubs.
Mansfield Town may well be a second team for many Wycombe supporters this year after a final day win at Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium in May 2014 consigned the Pirates to the drop and allowed Wanderers to complete a great escape. The two meetings last season saw Olly Palmer net a late winner at Adams Park before the Stags recovered from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Field Mill.
Formed in 1897, Mansfield changed its name three times before deciding on Mansfield Town in 1910. 2001/02 was a high point for the club as the Stags were promoted to the third tier but manager Keith Curle could not prevent an immediate relegation back to the fourth tier.
In 2007/08 Mansfield were relegated out of the Football League and struggled to make an impact in the Conference under new ownership until Paul Cox was handed the manager’s job in 2011. His first season led to a play-off semi final defeat to York City but promotion followed in 2012/13, as well as a run to the third round of the FA Cup when only a controversial goal from Luis Suarez was enough to earn a 2-1 win for Liverpool.
The club plays at Field Mill which has a capacity of 9,186. The club has been marred by ownership struggles for a number of years. The 2006–07 season saw a ‘Stags Fans for Change’ group set up to protest against owner Keith Haslam.
Despite the club being bought by three businessman and Mansfield fans following the club's relegation in 2008, Field Mill was still being rented from Haslam. At the start of the 2010–11 season Mansfield were bought by John Radford. On 1 March 2012, Radford purchased the ground from Haslam and March 1st is now considered 'Amber Day' to celebrate the re-ownership of the ground.
Manager Paul Cox instigated a mass exodus of players this summer as Paul Black, Ian Deakin, Ross Dyer, Ben Hutchinson, James Jennings, Keiran Murtagh, George Pilkington, Godfrey Poku, Jake Speight, Alan Marriott and Lee Stevenson were all released. Defender Anthony Howell has also been unable to agree terms and will leave the club. Wycombe hero Colin Daniel has left for League One club Port Vale.
Cox has so far signed Luke Jones, Italy-based striker Alex Fisher, trialist Fergus Bell and former Grimsby Town striker Liam Hearn. Left back Amari’I Bell has also joined on loan from Birmingham City. The Stags have also rejected a bid from Dundee United for defender Ryan Tafazolli.
The Stags travel to Adams Park on Saturday 13th September 2014.
The reverse fixture at Field Mill is on Saturday 24th January 2015.