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League Two

All you need to know ahead of Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final - Mansfield Town v Port Vale

27 May 2022

A bumper weekend is on the way at Wembley Stadium, beginning with Saturday's Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final.

Both Mansfield Town and Port Vale have endured struggles in recent years, but the fourth tier rivals are now one game away from Play-Off glory, and whatever happens on the pitch, both sides have turned their fortunes around in remarkable style. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the showdown:

When and where is the Final taking place?

The Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final will be contested between Mansfield Town and Port Vale at Wembley Stadium, with kick-off between the two teams at the National Stadium at 4pm on Saturday, 28 May.

The Stags will be housed in the east side of Wembley, while the Valiants will be located in the west side of the home of football.

How can I follow it?

The Final will be shown live on Sky Sports Football, with viewers able to tune in for coverage.

Live updates from the showpiece can also be found on the EFL's official social media channels by following @SkyBetLeagueTwo on Twitter, @theEFL on Facebook and @EFL on Instagram. You can join in by using the hashtag #EFLPlayOffs.

What have the Managers said?

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough:

“It's been a long 10 months to work towards this, so we just want to perform somewhere near our best on Saturday. It’s going to be a good day if we get a result. We're not going there for anything other than that.

“You have to separate yourself from people going down for a weekend and having a great day out. We're going to Wembley for work, nothing else, just work.”

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke:

"The focus has just been on trying to build and bring success to what I think are exceptional owners and people behind the scenes and the support base.

"I'm not interested in personal accolades. My motivation comes from wanting to do well for others. I know that sounds cheesy but that's how I am."

Who is officiating the game?

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistant Referees: Neil Davies and Nick Greenhalgh

Fourth Official: James Linnington

Reserve Assistant Referee: Matthew Smith

VAR: Peter Bankes

AVAR: Constantine Hatzidakis

What are the figures behind the game?

Here are some of the key statistics ahead of the Final:

46 - Loan stopper Nathan Bishop is the only player to have started all 46 of Mansfield’s League games.

11 - The Stags set a new record of 11 home league wins on the bounce between October and April.

62 - Mansfield's Stephen McLaughlin has contributed with eight league assists this season, boasting a 62% accuracy.

2 - This will be boss Stags Clough's second Wembley appearance as a manager.

125 - This season marks Mansfield’s 125th year in existence.

17 -  Academy prospect Eden Bailey was the youngest player to feature for the Valiants this season, making his league debut in December at the age of 17 years and 310 days.

20 - The Valiants recovered 20 points from losing positions during the regular season – the joint-second highest tally in League Two.

14 - The number of goals leading marksman James Wilson has bagged this season – his most prolific season to date.

174 - Vale boss Darrell Clarke made more appearances for Mansfield Town than any other Club in his playing career.

39 - Vale have picked up the exact same number of points both on home turf and on the road.

How does Mansfield and Vale's showpiece history look?

Mansfield Town have featured in Wembley Finals twice, along with a visit to the Millennium Stadium in 2003/04. The Stags have enjoyed success in other competitions, including the EFL Trophy and the FA Trophy, but are yet to taste victory in a Play-Off Final. This weekend's Final will also represent the Nottinghamshire side's first trip to Wembley in over a decade.

1987 Bristol City 1-1 Mansfield Town (4-5 on penalties) EFL Trophy Final
2004 Huddersfield Town 1-1 Mansfield Town (4-1 on penalties) Third Division Play-Off Final
2011 Mansfield Town 0-1 Darlington FA Trophy Final

Port Vale's only two Wembley appearances in the Club's 115-year history came just seven days apart in the 1992/93 season, winning the EFL Trophy but, upon returning to the capital a week later, losing out on promotion in the Play-Off Final. The Valiants have also ticked off a trip to Cardiff, playing out a showpiece at the Millennium in 2001.

1993 Port Vale 2-1 Stockport County EFL Trophy Final
1993 Port Vale 0-3 West Bromwich Albion Second Division Play-Off Final
2001 Port Vale 2-1 Brentford EFL Trophy Final


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