We review our first games of the season over the last 15 years.
There is just a week to go until the Sky Bet League Two fixtures are released for the new campaign.
As previously announced, our team will travel just shy of 6,500 miles in 2015/16, but will renew acquaintances with old rivals Notts County following their relegation to this league.
Today, we take a look back at some of our opening day fixtures from yesteryear.
2014: Northampton Town 1-0 Mansfield Town
Five debutants were in the Stags’ starting line-up as they succumbed to defeat at a sunny Sixfields Stadium. Kaid Mohamed, on his first appearance for the hosts, bagged the match-winner just shy of the half-hour mark when he rose highest to head home from Darren Carter’s corner.
2013: Scunthorpe United 2-0 Mansfield Town
The Stags were backed by 1,500 travelling fans as they returned to the Football League with a game at sunny Scunny. However, it was to be a day of disappointment as first half goals in quick succession from Matt Sparrow and Sam Winnall consigned us to a 2-0 defeat. Louis Briscoe missed a late penalty.
2012: Mansfield Town 3-4 Newport County
The Conference Premier title-winning season began with a seven-goal thriller at One Call Stadium, but it was the visitors who were celebrating the three points. Newport opened up an early two-goal lead thanks to strikes by Yakubu and Tony James, before Jake Speight and Matt Green levelled things up after half-time. Ex-Stags Anthony O’Connor and Jefferson Louis then made it 4-2 in the visitors’ favour, before Speight reduced arrears on the stroke of full-time.
2011: Mansfield Town 1-1 Bath City
Almost 4,000 fans took advantage of a special ticket offer as Paul Cox’s reign got underway. Things were going well initially as Paul Connor headed home in the third minute following a cross from Matthew Bell. Debutant Martin Riley then hit the post, before the visitors levelled through Adam Connolly to pick up a surprise point.
2010: Mansfield Town 3-1 Forest Green Rovers
The Stags oozed class and quality in equal measure as they recorded a comfortable opening day win over Forest Green Rovers. After a goalless first half, Paul Connor opened the scoring on 47 minutes, but Gavin Caines soon levelled for the visitors. Gary Mills’ deft chip restored the Stags’ advantage, before Connor converted in a one-on-one late on to secure a well-deserved three points.
2009: Mansfield Town 4-0 Crawley Town
The new season started in sensational style as Mansfield ruthlessly put Crawley Town to the sword in a fiery encounter. Steve Evans’ visitors had no answer as Kyle Perry’s double and a strike by Rob Duffy gave David Holdsworth’s team a commanding 3-0 lead. Jake Speight completed the scoring late on.
2008: Ebbsfleet United 2-2 Mansfield Town
On a wet, windy and miserable afternoon, the Stags staged a second half fightback to take a point against Ebbsfleet United in their first game in the Conference Premier. The hosts opened the scoring as Michael Gash’s strike eluded Paddy Gamble, and made it 2-0 thanks to Stacey Long’s 25-yard shot. Michael Blackwood reduced arrears after the re-start and Mark Stallard’s late strike provoked wild celebrations from the 400-strong travelling faithful.
2007: Brentford 1-1 Mansfield Town
Bill Dearden’s men were unlucky not to take maximum points as they were the better team in an entertaining draw at Griffin Park. Alan Connell put the hosts ahead on the quarter-hour mark, but Michael Boulding quickly levelled things up. The Stags then pressed hard for a winner – forcing Ben Hamer into a string of saves, whilst John McAliskey also hit the woodwork.
2006: Shrewsbury Town 2-2 Mansfield Town
Four goals were scored during a mesmerising first half on the Stags’ last ever visit to Gay Meadow. In front of just over 5,000 spectators, Matt Hamshaw opened the scoring for Peter Shirtliff’s team, before Stuart Drummond drew Shrewsbury level. The turnaround was soon completed through David Edwards’ goal, but Simon Brown equalised on the stroke of half-time.
2005: Stockport County 2-2 Mansfield Town
Carlton Palmer’s team squandered a two-goal lead against his old employers as Stockport County fought back to earn a point at Edgeley Park. Stephen Dawson’s low shot put the Stags ahead during the first half and Adam Birchall made it 2-0 before half-time. However, Jermaine Easter’s ‘double’ earned the hosts a deserved share of the spoils.
2004: Mansfield Town 0-2 Bristol Rovers
In soaring temperatures, the Stags were caught cold as Bristol Rovers eased to victory. Scott McNiven, Alex Neil (now Norwich City manager) and Derek Asamoah were all given their debuts, but they had no answer to the visitors’ dominance. Junior Agogo bagged both of the Pirates’ goals.
2003: Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 Mansfield Town
Bo Henriksen’s brace meant that Keith Curle’s men suffered defeat in the opening game of the 2003/04 campaign. Despite dominating, the Stags fell behind on the quarter-hour mark when Henriksen’s cross-shot beat Kevin Pilkington. Wayne Corden levelled on 65 minutes, but the Danish striker scored from the spot to secure his team a win.
2002: Mansfield Town 4-3 Plymouth Argyle
The Stags made a glorious start to life in Division Two with a nail-biting win over Plymouth Argyle. Micky Evans opened the scoring for the visitors, but Andy White equalised prior to half-time. Craig Disley, Colin Larkin and White then struck to open up a three-goal cushion, but late goals by David Friio and Nathan Lowndes ensured a nervy finish.
2001: Hartlepool United 1-1 Mansfield Town
In what proved to be a promotion-winning season, Bill Dearden’s team opened their account by registering a point in the North/East at Hartlepool United. On the day of Les Robinson’s 700th career game, Chris Greenacre broke the deadlock during the first half, but Ian Clark levelled things up on 78 minutes.
2000: Cheltenham Town 2-2 Mansfield Town
Mark Blake found the net at both ends in an entertaining draw at Whaddon Road on the opening day of the 2000/01 campaign. The midfielder’s own goal put Cheltenham ahead on the quarter-hour mark, but Liam Lawrence soon levelled things up. Both sides then had chances before Blake made it 2-1 with a few minutes remaining. However, Neil Howarth’s late leveller rescued a point for the hosts.
The Stags’ complete opening day record since the turn of the century is as follows: Played 15, Won 3, Drew 7, Lost 5.