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Match Previews

Preview: Pirates vs Stags

2 May 2014

Everything you need to know ahead of our last match of the campaign at Bristol Rovers…

TEAM NEWS

Our team will be without centre-back Ryan Tafazolli for the visit to Bristol Rovers. The 22-year-old missed was absent from our 3-1 defeat to Torquay United due to a hip problem.

On loan shot-stopper Lewis Price is likely to feature once again as neither Alan Marriott (dislocated finger) nor Ian Deakin (hip) have recovered from their respective injuries.

In more positive news on the injury front, right-back Darryl Westlake, who has been hampered with hamstring trouble in recent weeks, could return to the starting xi.

Meanwhile, boss Paul Cox has confirmed that youngsters Liam Marsden and Jack Thomas will both be in the squad that makes the journey to the Memorial Stadium.


RECENT FORM

Following recent back-to-back home defeats to Cheltenham Town and Torquay United, our team have slumped to 13th position in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Nevertheless, our away form is impressive as we haven’t lost to a team outside the top eight all season.

In our last away fixture, we drew 1-1 with Accrington Stanley. Jake Speight fired us ahead with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, but Kal Naismith’s stoppage-time spot-kick denied us a win. You can watch highlights by clicking here.

Bristol Rovers go into this match knowing that if they avoid defeat, they will be safe from relegation to the Conference Premier.

The Pirates have been in a relegation dogfight for much of the campaign, but goals from Lee Brown and David Clarkson earned them a vital 2-1 victory at fellow-strugglers Wycombe Wanderers last week. You can watch highlights by clicking here.

The points that Darrell Clarke’s team registered at Adams Park lifted them to 21st position – level on points with Northampton Town, but above them on goal difference, and three points clear of Wycombe.

However, Bristol Rovers will be relegated if we win at the Memorial Stadium, Northampton avoid defeat to Oxford United and Wycombe win their clash away to Torquay United.

The Pirates’ home record this term is as follows: P22, Won 10, Drew 6, Lost 6, For 20, Against 20. Our away record this term is as follows: P22, Won 7, Drew 9, Lost 6, For 21, Against 26.


PREVIOUS MEETINGS

The previous meeting between the two teams at One Call Stadium in October ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Lee Stevenson opened the scoring with a strike on 22 minutes, but Keiran Murtagh’s unfortunate own goal in the closing stages earned Bristol Rovers a share of the spoils. You can watch highlights by clicking here.

Our last trip to the Memorial Stadium was back in November 2006. The encounter was petering out for a goalless draw until ex-Stag Craig Disley struck late on to earn Rovers a 1-0 victory.

In total, we haven’t beaten the Pirates in our last eight meetings – a run stretching back to September 2003, when we achieved a 3-1 away win thanks to goals by Junior Mendes and Craig Disley (2).

That success was just our second victory at Bristol Rovers in our entire history. The other occurred in November 2001 as Liam Lawrence’s strike gave us maximum points.

Our full record against the Pirates is as follows: Won 15, Drew 13, Lost 20.


OFFICIALS

The Football League has appointed Mr Oliver Langford as referee for this match. He will be assisted by Mr Steven Plane and Mr Adrian Tranter. The Fourth Official is Mr Darren Sheldrake.


MATCH TICKETS

To view complete ticket information on this match, click here.


TRAVEL DETAILS

- By Road…

Leave the M4 at junction 19 and join the M32. Travel along the M32 for just over three miles until you reach junction 2. Here, exit the motorway and take the third exit (signposted Horfield and Southmead) and follow the road through a roundabout, which has clear signs reading ‘The Memorial Stadium’. Join Muller Road and continue along this road for 1.4 miles until you reach signal-controlled crossroads. Signposted right is Horfield Health Centre and Library. At this junction ignore the sign and turn left into Filton Avenue where the stadium is located almost immediately on the left-hand side.

- By Rail…

The nearest railway station to the Memorial Stadium is Filton Abbey Wood, which is approximately a 20-25 minute walk away. However, you are far more likely to end up at either Bristol Parkway or Bristol Temple Meads, both of which are well over three miles away. Taxis from either of these stations will cost you somewhere in the region of £10. Alternatively, buses 73/73A/73B run from Bristol Parkway past the stadium at frequent intervals.

- Parking…

You'll be extremely lucky if you can find a parking space on Filton Avenue unless you arrive a couple of days in advance. The areas around the stadium are all residential and you'll have to battle for spaces with the locals as well as other home and away supporters and police cones. Therefore, parking on Muller Road is a popular choice as is Gloucester Road, although quite often this is more difficult. If Muller Road and Gloucester Road are both busy, there are many other roads across the other side of Gloucester Road – travel past ‘The Wellington’ pub along Kellaway Avenue and you'll find another area of roads, which are used for matchday parking.


TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter (@MansfieldTownFC) for comprehensive pre-match coverage and minute-by-minute updates throughout the match.


COMMENTARY

If you aren’t travelling to the Memorial Stadium, you can hear full-match commentary on Stags Player (online) and Mansfield 103.2 (local radio). You can also hear full-match commentary in the company of other supporters in the Sandy Pate Sports Bar. 

Mansfield 103.2’s ‘Stags FM’ show begins at 1.00pm. To subscribe to Stags Player, click here.


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