It’s back to the Sky Bet League Two this weekend as Mansfield Town entertain Tranmere Rovers in the weekend’s featured kick-off.
With the Stags looking to break free of the bottom two and Rovers on the brink of the Play-Off places, get the lowdown on our spotlighted game…
📅 Match details
On the eve of Halloween, the One Call Stadium will play host to the League Two clash on Saturday 30 October, with kick-off scheduled for 15:00.
James Bell has been named as referee, with Robert Atkin and Lisa Rashid running the line, with Lee Freeman taking on the role of the fourth official. Ironically, the last time Bell took charge of a Stags match was in September 2020, when Mansfield and Tranmere registered a goalless draw.
👔 At the helm
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough is fast approaching his one-year anniversary at the helm of the Nottinghamshire Club. Having taken the reins in November 2020, with the Stags dangling dangerously above the drop in 22nd place and guiding the League Two side to a 16th placed finish.
Back for a second stint at Prenton Park after a spell north of the border, Micky Mellon led Tranmere Rovers to successive promotions, from the National League to the Sky Bet League One between 2017 and 2019.
After suffering relegation back to League Two at the end of the 2019/20 season, the former Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town boss departed for Dundee United but re-joined Tranmere in May of this year.
🔑 Key man
Having joined Mansfield from Ipswich Town in the summer, Oliver Hawkins has managed four League goals so far this season, making the score-sheet in a 2-1 defeat to Exeter City last weekend.
Despite the outcome, the 29-year-old earned a place in the League Two Team of the Week, powered by WhoScored ratings, at the heart of the defence alongside Oldham Athletic’s Carl Piergianni.
Tranmere’s top scorer Peter Clarke is already over halfway to last season’s tally, with three goals to his name to date this campaign. A defender by nature, the 39-year-old has provided some solidarity at the back for Rovers, whilst his firepower has certainly come in handy, too, having scored in the 2020/21 Play-Off Semi-Finals against Morecambe
The ever-present former Everton man Clarke inked a one-year extension with the Club in the summer and, despite his age, proved he can still get the business done for Tranmere.
📈 Form guide
Without a win in 12, could that all change for the Stags this weekend? Mansfield Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat to high-flyers Exeter City last time out, keeping Nigel Clough’s men firmly anchored to the bottom two. Despite taking the lead within five minutes of the restart, the Grecians came from behind to claim the victory.
Level on points with rock bottom Scunthorpe United, the Nottinghamshire outfit have taken two points in October, sharing the spoils with Port Vale and Oldham Athletic. But all is still to play for, with just a point separating the Stags in 23rd place and Carlisle United above them in 22nd.
Conversely, Tranmere Rovers have taken 10 points in the month of October. However, Micky Mellon’s side’s six-match unbeaten run in the League came to a grinding halt against Northampton Town last time out at the weekend.
The result also saw Tranmere slip three positions, dropping from fifth to eighth in League Two as the promotion race heats up. Just a point shy of Swindon Town, Sutton United, Harrogate Town and Exeter City, each level on points inside the top seven, Rovers could soon hoist themselves back up into the Play-Off spots this weekend when they travel to Mansfield.
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