Mansfield Town preview
On Saturday, the Bees entertain League Two's bottom club, Mansfield Town who have only managed to gain 4 points from the first 10 matches with their solitary win coming on the first day in September when they won 4-2 at home to Stockport County. The Stags come to Underhill having lost their last six league matches and manager, Bill Dearden, in his second spell at Field Mill, must be wondering when Mansfield's season will take off.
Last season, Ismail Yakubu and Adam Gross scored in a 2-1 win just before Christmas at Underhill. Gross' goal was his first goal and as it turned out his last for the club. Richie Barker scored a late goal for Mansfield. In the return, in April, Adam Birchall's goal against his old club was not enough to save the Bees in their last away game of the season as goals from Conlon and Brown gave Mansfield a 2-1 win.
Two seasons ago, Liam Hatch's goal in a 1-0 home win against Mansfield at Easter, gave the Bees a desperately important three points which pulled the club away from the bottom of the table and helped the Bees to retain their league status.
In goal is much travelled, Carl Muggleton who joined Mansfield from Chesterfield last summer. The 38 year old keeper is in his second spell at Field Mill and has played for Stoke City and Leicester City amongst others. 21 years old, Jason White is a product of the young system at Mansfield and has made nearly 50 first team appearances for the club.
At right back is former Reading player, Johnny Mullins who joined the Stags last summer and has previous league experience on loan at Kidderminster. On the left side of the defence is Dan Martin who arrived in the summer from Notts County. Bees' fans may remember him scoring County's winner against Barnet at Meadow Lane in the New Year encounter two seasons ago.
At centre back are the highly rated Alex Baptiste and Jake Buxton. Baptiste has been the subject of a lot of interest from clubs higher up the league, but is still at the club he joined at 14 and for whom he has made over 150 appearances. Buxton also came up through the youth system and has made over 100 first team appearances for Mansfield, many of them alongside Baptiste. Veteran defender, Martin McIntosh joined from Grimsby Town in the summer and has a lot of experience having played for Huddersfield Town, Stockport and Rotherham as well as in Scotland. Teenager, Ashley Kitchen made his first start of the season at Rotherham on Saturday, having made his debut last season.
Former Leicester City trainee, Stephen Dawson has been a regular in midfield this season. Dawson joined Mansfield two years ago and is approaching 100 games for the club. Lee Bell signed in the summer from Crewe Alexandra where he had found it difficult to get a regular first team place and was loaned out to Conference side Burton Albion last season. Sean McAllister is on loan from Sheffield Wednesday for whom he has made just a few first team appearances. Simon Brown is a key player for the Stags but has been out for much of this season with injury. A thorn in the Bees' side, Brown has scored in both of the games at Field Mill when the two sides have met in the last two seasons. Mansfield paid WBA £50,000 three years ago for Brown, who has recently returned to the side. Tricky winger, Matt Hamshaw began his career at Sheffield Wednesday making 88 first team appearances for the Yorkshire club before moving to Stockport County and then onto Mansfield last summer. Hamshaw scored for Stockport in the 1-1 draw against Barnet at Edgeley Park two years ago. Former Manchester City youngster, Jonathon D'Laryea joined last summer after a successful loan spell at the club. D'Laryea, who made his debut against Barnet in Mansfield's 4-0 home win two years ago, has not played this season due to injury.
The major force up front this season for the Stags has been Michael Boulding who has scored 6 goals in 10 games for the club. Boulding is in his second spell at the club, rejoining them last summer following spells at Grimsby Town, Barnsley, Rotherham and Aston Villa. John McAliskey joined from Huddersfield Town in the summer having failed to get a regular place at Leeds Road.