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Match Previews

Preview: Mansfield Town

23 October 2020

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It's a home clash on Saturday with Mansfield Town at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium for Cheltenham Town (kick-off: 3pm).

Fresh off the back of Tuesday's home win over Scunthorpe United, the Robins go into battle again with a Stags side featuring a strong squad at this level who will provide yet another stern opposition in what's been a very busy opening couple of months to the new season.

The team are full of confidence after back-to-back wins but will have to be on their guard against a Mansfield side who will be aiming to make the trip back to Nottinghamshire at the end of the game having taken some of the points on offer.

The match is taking place behind closed doors with fans still unable to attend due to covid-19, but if you want to watch all of the action you can do so live online by purchasing an iFollow match pass.

Team news

Having both been stretchered off on Tuesday night, Elliot Bonds and George Lloyd are both unavailable for the game.

Tom Sang is expected to be available again after returning in midweek, however Sean Long, Finn Azaz, Scott Flinders and Callum Ebanks are all out.

Watch Michael Duff's press conference as he looked ahead to Saturday's game.

Opposition

Mansfield have taken to the field ten times this season, seven times in the league and three times in cup competitions, but are yet to record a winning result so far.

They will make the trip to Gloucestershire eager to record their first victory of the campaign and can boast a number of options to select from.

In 30-year-old goalkeeper Marek Štěch they have a goalkeeper who has experience further up the pyramid as well as in his home country of the Czech Republic with Sparta Prague.

Their defensive options include towering central defender Farrend Rawson, former Bristol Rovers man Rollin Menayese and another former Pirates defender in Ryan Sweeney.

Ollie Clarke, who is another to have spent time at the Memorial Stadium, is likely to miss the game because of injury, however they can still call upon the highly experienced James Perch in a central area, while summer arrival from Southend United Stephen McLaughlin and ex-long serving Cambridge United man George Maris are others who provide plenty of EFL knowhow.

In attack they boast the attacking qualities of Nicky Maynard, the physical nature of Andy Cook and one-time Aston Villa attacker Jordan Bowery. Jamie Reid, who has enjoyed a number of successful seasons in the National League in front of goal for Torquay United in recent seasons, also arrived at the One Call Stadium in the summer.

An ambitious outfit in the division, they'll have been left disappointed by their start to the season and will be eager to begin lifting themselves up the table, starting with a much needed winning performance on the road in Gloucestershire on Saturday.

The manager: Graham Coughlan

In December 2019 Graham Coughlan made the switch from Bristol Rovers to take on the managerial job at Mansfield Town following the departure of John Dempster.

The 45-year-old had turned the fortunes of the Gas around in his time in the south west, but opted for a move to the Stags where he's hoping to be given the opportunity to challenge for honours and to get the club into League One.

It's only his second managerial job having worked initially as a coach at Rovers before making the step up to become boss.

As a player, the Irishman was a centre back who represented the likes of Plymouth Argyle, Livingston, Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Southend United in his career.

One to watch: Nicky Maynard

Though a substitute in their outing against Morecambe on Tuesday, Nicky Maynard stills boasts top level quality at League Two level.

He was amongst the top goal scorers in the division last term and though he is yet to get off the mark in the new campaign he's got a noteworthy ability in front of goal that's seen him net nearly 140 goals in a career that's also seen clubs spend big to secure his signature.

Starting his career at Crewe Alexandra where he partnered ex-Robins forward Luke Varney up top, he has also been on the roster at Bristol City, West Ham United, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic.

Before joining Mansfield he was a part of the Bury team that clinched promotion to League One before financial problems stopped the Shakers from taking their place in the third tier.

Match programme

Available to buy in either print or digital format, Saturday's match programme features a big interview with front man Alfie May who is desperate to get himself back into the starting XI and to rediscover the form that saw him set the team alight after his arrival last January.

Also in the printed edition of the programme there's an interview with Liam Sercombe, under-18s scholar Liam Atwell and the thoughts of boss Michael Duff.

The larger digital edition of the programme features more interviews with Matty Blair and Ladies defender Sammy Hallsworth.

The print version is available to purchase for £2.50 from the online shop, while the digital copy is on sale for £2 and can be downloaded to whatever device you choose to download it to.

Watch the match on iFollow

Purchase a match pass for £10 online ahead of kick-off and enjoy the full 90 minutes live online with iFollow.

A match pass is available to buy here on the club website and gives you access to watch the whole match live.

Coverage

The best way to stay up to date with affairs at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium is to follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter, while you can also keep an eye on score updates on both Twitter and Instagram.

A match pass on iFollow is available to buy for £10 and gives you full access to watch the match online at home.

Following the full time whistle you can read a match report on the club website, while there will be post-match reaction to see too.

Extended highlights will be available to watch online on iFollow a few hours after the match has ended, on the club website, and on the EFL iFollow app which is free to download to your smartphone.


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