A look at a side from Sussex ahead of their return to Sky Bet League Two.
Manager: Mark Yates
Last Season: Sky Bet League One, 22nd.
After three seasons of punching above their weight, Crawley Town were unable to retain their Sky Bet League One status last term – despite an extremely spirited showing in the latter stages of the season.
Under the now departed Dean Saunders’ stewardship, the Red Devils went from near relegation certainties at the time of his arrival to a team who came within a whisker of avoiding the drop.
Crawley collected 28 points in 24 games and were leading relegation rivals Coventry City on the final day of the campaign – a victory which would have saved them from the drop – until a late turnaround consigned them to Sky Bet League Two.
Since then, John Gregory, who stepped aside due to ill health in mid-season, has confirmed he will not be returning to the club, whilst Saunders has been appointed as the new manager of Chesterfield.
The man who will now lead them in just their second ever campaign at this level will be ex-Cheltenham Town boss Mark Yates – appointed nearly a fortnight ago.
WE’VE MET BEFORE
Although we are yet to lock horns with Crawley in the Football League, our paths did cross during our days in the Football Conference.
In six meetings, both teams won three times. Crawley’s best success was a 4-1 triumph in North Nottinghamshire in October 2010, whilst our best success was a 4-0 win on home soil on the opening day of the 2009/10 campaign.
Our last six meetings with Crawley Town are as follows:
Crawley 2-0 Stags, Broadfield Stadium, March 2011
Stags 1-4 Crawley, One Call Stadium, October 2010
Crawley 0-2 Stags, Broadfield Stadium, November 2009
Stags 4-0 Crawley, One Call Stadium, August 2009
Stags 1-0 Crawley, One Call Stadium, January 2009
Crawley 2-1 Mansfield, Broadfield Stadium, September 2008
John Dempster is arguably the most notable player to have appeared for both ourselves and the Red Devils.
The centre-back, who is now our youth team coach, helped Crawley to a ‘double’ promotion during Steve Evans’ reign, before joining us in July 2012 following a loan spell and helping us win the Conference Premier in 2012/13.
Others to have played for both clubs include Gary Mills, Jefferson Louis, Tyrone Thompson, Ray Keeley and Graham Brown.
Since our last visit to this part of Sussex, the ground has been renamed as the Checkatrade.Com Stadium and has undergone redevelopment work to bring it up to Football League standards.
What was an uncovered terrace on one side of the ground is now a temporary covered all-seated stand. This is where away supporters are now housed.
The rest of the ground remains more or less the same.